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Uncanny X-Men #178 (1984, February)

August 9, 2014

OK, Assistant Editor’s Month is past, so it’s back to normal comics. Today, by Claremont and JRJr., “Hell Hath No Fury . . .”

Hell Hath No Fury . . .

This is actually a really weak cover.

Last issue ended with Colossus superheated then supercooled, hardening him, maybe killing him. That’s where this issue comes in. Kitty stops from crying and psi-calls Xavier, who’s reading a letter from Scott (enjoying his honeymoon). In the Danger Room, Storm is flying around, and she flies past Wolverine, who cuts her cape off without touching her. She figures she’ll just have to fly faster next time. Xavier sends them out to help Kitty and Nightcrawler against the Brotherhood, but he doesn’t let Rogue know what’s going on, since she sees Mystique as a mother. Xavier cries out in pain, the result of a powerful psychic scanning wave. What is it? That will be revealed in three months.

Back at the Lincoln Centre, Kitty’s trying to figure out a way to help the X-Men. She remembers an article she read by Reed Richards about a device he invented that can thaw organic matter without causing harm. She read about it in Scientific American – a nice reminder that Kitty’s a genius. She calls the Fantastic Four, but they’re not home, so she hops a cab over.

In an alley, a young woman – a runaway and a heroin junkie – is dead. Callisto, Masque and Sunder are standing over her. Cal asks Masque to do her thing, and Masque says even Kitty’s parents won’t be able to tell the difference.

Kurt and Amanda are making out, and then Amanda realizes it’s getting late. They wonder what’s keeping Kitty and Kurt, and a dragon made of fire attacks. They teleport to the roof, where Avalanche is waiting. Amanda uses her magic to block the fire dragon, but Blob grabs them. Storm blasts Blob in the ass, and he gets angry at Destiny for not warning him. She thinks that Mystique will probably not fault her for keeping Nightcrawler alive.

Kitty’s arrived at the Baxter Building, and she heads in to search for the device. Back at the Lincoln Centre, the X-Men are holding their own against the Brotherhood. Storm whips up a monsoon to deal with Pyro. In the Baxter Building, Kitty feels terrible about committing burglary. She finds the device, and muses that maybe she can make it up to them by babysitting Franklin. She heads to the roof, and plans to walk to another building, but she gets startled from behind and falls.

At the Lincoln Centre, Nightcrawler tricks Avalanche into burying Blob, and Wolverine puts his fists up to the Blob’s chin. The Brotherhood surrenders. Blob reveals that it was all a diversion. At the school, Rogue comes in with some tea for Xavier, and he realizes that the psychic interference he’s sensing is the same as what he felt in Washington, when Mystique attacked him. Mystique shoots him, but he was able to move enough to avoid being killed. Rogue enters, and Mystique tells her to pack her things and get ready to leave. Rogue refuses to let Mystique kill Xavier. She says Mystique can’t help her with her powers, and Xavier’s her last chance.

Mystique contacts the X-Men, and makes a trade: The Brotherhood’s freedom for Xavier’s life. Destiny tells them she senses something between Kitty and the Baxter Building. Then, it cuts to the Baxter Building, where Kitty lays on the pavement, dead.

Then a letters page, with “Angel” answering the letters.

This is a good issue. The fight is very exciting. JRJr does a pretty good job choreographing it. I loved Kitty’s role in the issue. We see some determination, some resourcefulness, and we get a nice reminder of her intelligence. I also like Amanda being a part of the fight – she’s a talented magician, so it’s always neat seeing those skills come into play. We get some resolution in regards to Rogue’s ties to the Brotherhood – she still loves Mystique, but she can’t be a part of the Brotherhood any longer. As usual, though, one story’s resolution is accompanied by two others going on. The Morlocks show up again, advancing that plot, and we get the start of a new subplot, with the scanning wave Xavier sensed. A few other comics have similar subplots start around this time, with characters picking up incredibly powerful signals. It seems to be something beyond their capabilities. But like I said, the secret will be answered soon. You can’t see it, but I’m totally winking.

Song of the day: Putty by the Detroit Cobras.


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