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Uncanny X-Men #206 (1986, June)

July 16, 2015

So, I’ve won two new books from Goodreads. Call me Pomeroy, by James Hanna, and Kasmah Forma, by S. Vagus. But for today, by Claremont and JRJr, “Freedom Is A Four Letter Word!”

Freedom Is A Four Letter Word!

How did Storm end up in that hole?

The story starts in Chinatown, with a gang attacking a couple, and Storm confronting them. One of them says “whomever.” Awfully erudite for a gang member. Anyway, she easily kicks the asses of the gang, just in time for the police to arrive. Storm is thanked by Bree Morrell, an old friend of Jessica Drew. Speaking of whom, that’s who the X-Men are living with right now. Storm gets home to learn that Kitty is about to go on a date with David Ishima, a guy Jessica had a thing with. They’re going to a Lila Cheney concert. Rachel brings in the last of the dinner dishes, while Rogue reads a postcard they’ve received from Scott, suggesting they pay a visit to him and Maddie in Alaska. Rachel starts freaking out, throwing dishes around telekinetically. Ugh. The tantrum is about her not being ready to face Scott and tell him who she is.

On a flight, Amanda is thinking of Nightcrawler, wondering if they’re still an item, or if something’s happened to him. She starts to cry.

Back in San Francisco, Kitty and David are walking home from the concert, and the street starts sweeping them up. The wave hits Jessica’s house. The X-Men rush out to see what happened, and run into an energy web. Colossus and Rogue tear it apart, and the current Spider-Woman passes out. Rachel goes after Spiral, but is immediately taken out. Pyro yells at Avalanche for the destruction he’s caused, saying heroes aren’t supposed to do that, and then he creates a big flame bird and challenges Storm to put it out. Luckily, it does start to rain. Then Rachel lifts her into the air telekinetically.

Rogue goes on the attack, but Blob pops up out of nowhere. Spiral hits Rachel again, causing Storm to start falling. Kitty saves her, while Colossus pops open a fire hydrant to use against Pyro. Blob blocks, and Avalanche buries Colossus. Blob gloats about how much fun he’s having, until Colossus lifts the ground beneath him, and Rogue grabs Blob and throws him away.

Jessica’s arrived, and she’s pissed at the woman calling herself Spider-Woman. But she doesn’t have her powers any more, so she can’t actually fight Spider-Woman. Lindsay is dangling from the house’s top window. Rogue grabs onto Spiral, trying to absorb her, but gets taken over by Spiral’s more powerful mind. Meanwhile, Fastball Special! With Kitty Wolverining. I won’t add it to the counter.

The X-Men are finished off. Which is when the police arrive again. Morrell brings an end to the fight, and demands Freedom Force present a warrant for the arrest of the X-Men. Freedom Force doesn’t have one, so she tells them to beat it. Unfortunately, the X-Men have to leave town, or else be attacked by Freedom Force again. Rachel thinks about how close she came to dying, and decides she needs to tell Scott the truth.

In an epilogue, Maddie is brought into a San Francisco hospital, dying from multiple gunshot wounds. And, back in New York, Nightcrawler sees off Judith, the woman he saved a couple issues ago.

This is a great issue. It’s a shame Claremont didn’t keep them in San Francisco any longer. And that it took over 20 years for another writer to follow up on this thread. It was a nice change of pace. New York has so many superheroes – why not put the X-Men in San Francisco? It’s a very progressive city, after all, so it would be a good place to show some civil rights efforts. But alas, no. A real shame. The fight against Freedom Force is cool. Lots of clever tactics on both sides, with some nice back-and-forth. I still don’t like JRJr’s art. It’s not bad here, though. He does the fight well enough.

Solid issue. Not too much in the way of setting things up, aside from Maddie in the epilogue. She ends up joining the team pretty soon.

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