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Uncanny X-Men #207 (1986, July)

August 1, 2015

Hey, I got a review up today! By Claremont and JRJr, “Ghosts.”

Ghosts

A pretty famous cover. I find it a bit boring.

Wolverine is in a post-apocalyptic New York, screaming for Phoenix. He tries to kill her. She pushes him back and runs away, and as she passes a mirror, she sees herself in her old Hound outfit. She doesn’t know what’s going on, and wonders if her whole trip to the past was just a dream. Wolverine catches her and kills her, and Rachel wakes up. She hates that she’s alive, and doesn’t think she deserves it. She smashes a nearby mirror, so Colossus and Kitty come in to check on her. Kitty chastises her for breaking the mirror, since whoever owns it probably values it. The X-Men are temporarily living in the Morlock tunnels. In another room, Wolverine, still injured, also wakes up, and mutters that Rachel needs to stop. He’s the reason they’re in the tunnels – he was brought to the Healer, and is still too weak to be moved.

Rachel asks Storm how Wolverine is, and Storm responds coldly. Rogue points out that Rachel’s stunt in San Francisco, where she took the lifeforces of Colossus, Wolverine and Storm without permission, was pretty bad.

Later on, Rachel has another dream, of being in a Japanese temple. Wolverine attacks her again. She wakes up, this time in an alley. She’s still full of angst. She feels worthless. Then she has another dream, this time in a dead, mountainous area. She falls down a cliff, and lands in some water, where she sees her Hound outfit and markings. She tries to claw them off, but just rips off her entire skin and costume. She thinks it’s a chance to start over, be someone else, but Wolverine still attacks her.

She’s woken up on the subway, by a kind police officer. She runs from him, and finds herself near the apartment of the guy Selene killed way back in UXM #184. Rachel remembers the guy, but can’t remember his name. Rachel decides to kill Selene.

In the tunnels, the X-Men find Wolverine gone. And Rachel gone, of course. Storm says Wolverine has to take precedence. Rachel gets Selene’s helper monkey, Von Roehm, to take her to the Hellfire Club. She sneaks into Selene’s room while she sleeps, and tries to decide if she’s capable of killing. She decides to give it a shot, and attacks Selene.

Rachel easily deals with Selene’s attacks, then asks if she remembers the guy she killed when they first met. Selene remembers him, and his name, which pisses Rachel off. Eventually, Rachel manages to beat Selene, and is about to kill her, but Wolverine steps in and tells her not to do it. He tells her she doesn’t have the right, and she points out that he’s a killer. He agrees that they’ve both killed, and will probably kill again, but says what Rachel is about to do is murder. He tells her that, as heroes, they need to stand for the dream, but she says her dreams are nightmares. She refuses to back down, and says the only way to stop her is to kill her.

Snikt.

This is a great comic, with one hell of a final panel. It’s one of the all-time great cliffhangers in X-Men history. It’s shocking, chilling and leaves you wanting to know what the hell happens next. Awesome ending. The rest of the comic is great, too. It’s an exploration of Rachel’s ongoing survivor’s guilt, and it actually does a pretty good job with it. She thinks a lot about how she shouldn’t have lived, how there were people more deserving, how she’d be better off if she was dead. It’s done well. It’s really sad. Tragic stuff. Claremont really makes you feel bad for Rachel. The confrontation between Rachel and Wolverine is also really good. Very tense, and truthfully, both sides raise valid points. Selene is immensely dangerous, but it’s impossible to lock her up. If we’re honest, it actually might be better for someone to just kill her. On the other hand, not only does that set a dangerous precedent, it’s also murder, which is totally unethical.

JRJr’s art isn’t too bad here. It’s not bad at all. It’s a bit softer than usual. But it’s dark, fitting the tone of the issue.

This is yet another classic issue. Claremont just would not stop putting out classic issues back then.

I should also mention that Sabretooth is in Spectacular Spider-Man #116, by Peter David and Rich Buckler. He goes to the Foreigner to get work as an assassin. Black Cat steals from the Foreigner, so Sabretooth goes after her. Spider-Man gets in the way, and then it’s fight time. Spider-Man webs up Sabretooth’s face, and Sabretooth hurts himself ripping the webbing off. The issue itself is pretty good. Sabretooth’s a tool. This was before Claremont brought him around to being an X-Men foe – at this point, he was mostly an Iron Fist villain. He’d previously teamed up with, of all losers, the Constrictor. So, Sabretooth still sucked at this point.

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One Comment
  1. This one does sound really good.

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