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Uncanny X-Men #234 (1988, September)

July 29, 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today, by Claremont, Silvestri, Rubinstein, Oliver and Orzechowski, “Glory Day.”

Glory Day

He’s about to bust into a song.

The issue opens with a description of the Mile High Diner, in Denver. Some quick Googling suggests it might actually be closed. Maybe because of what happens in this issue? Probably not. Anyway, Dazzler crashes through the window, fighting one of the Brood-mutants, Spitball. She then gets grabbed by Whiphand. She’s rescued by Longshot, and then by Colossus, who snaps Whiphand’s neck. Then Storm fries Blindside. It’s a good fight sequence, well-choreographed and tense. And the whole time, these two were in the background:

Uncanny X-Men #234

They have their priorities.

Now, we go to Maddie, still unconscious in the computer room, still dreaming about being a nothing-being. In her dream, she comes to a branching path, one leading to town, the other into the desert. She takes the desert path.

Uncanny X-Men #234

This is a very cool sequence.

Then she trips over a skull and falls into some water, and is met by S’ym, who leads her to a very nice house, filled with a sumptuous banquet. He manipulates her very effectively.

Uncanny X-Men #234

He knows where to hit.

As brutish as he looks, S’ym is smart and insightful. He offers her a chance to confront her darkest side. She accepts, and he turns her into the Goblyn Queen. Inferno is coming.

And now to Red Rocks! William Conover is about to go on stage, and chastises someone he overhears saying “mutie,” saying he won’t tolerate that word any more than he’d tolerate any other racist slurs. After he goes on stage, his wife is approached by the paramedic, who offers some relief for her arthritis. Rogue is flying towards the ampitheatre with Temptress and Wolverine. Wolverine wakes up and kills Temptress, and Rogue, in her anger and grief, throws him hard to the rocks below. The rest of the Brood, with Psylocke, drive their stolen police car right into a waiting Colossus. Psylocke’s stunned free of the Brood control, but Rogue’s still on their side, and goes after Storm, where none of the X-Men can reach, except Dazzler.

Uncanny X-Men #234

A pretty good question.

I love that Ali’s got a big-ass cannon in her fingertip. Because that’s how she fires her photon blasts, from her fingertip. Wolverine stumbles into Conover’s speech, badly hurt, and starts to transform into a Brood as Conover tries to comfort him. Conover shouts some prayers to cast the demon out of Wolverine’s body, and Wolverine’s healing factor kicks in to get rid of it. But was it the healing factor? Or was it the prayers? We’ll never know!

Anyway, then Havok fries Tension, without even hesitating. Cold. Then Spitball accidentally kills himself and Lockup by dropping a wall on themselves. That just leaves the leader, who has Hannah Conover as a hostage. He gives a speech about how the humans hounding mutants makes it even easier for the Brood to take over. Wolverine sneaks under the stage and delivers one of the worst quips ever:

Uncanny X-Men #234

Wait for it . . .

Uncanny X-Men #234

Yep.

What a terrible quip. It’s supposed to sound clever and badass, but it doesn’t. At all. It’s just stupid and makes me groan. Anyway, the day is saved, the X-Men are gone, Hannah’s arthritis is healed (William wonders if he now has healing gifts), and intrepid reporter Trish Tilby shows up for an interview where he talks about how cool mutants are.

Uncanny X-Men #234

“Can I get an AMEN!”

I like William Conover. I wish he’d hung around, maybe as someone occasionally seen on TV or something. Just someone we routinely see as a contrast to the constant anti-mutant crap we see.

Good issue. The fighting is intense and exciting. The Brood do end up feeling like less of a menace this issue, as they get destroyed one by one. They lose all their threat entirely when this happens:

Uncanny X-Men #234

Failed Charlie Chaplin impersonation.

Hard to take them seriously at that point. As fun as it always is to see the X-Men being awesome and crushing opponents, it does feel a little too easy in this issue. Last issue had the Brood as legitimate threats. This issue, two are taken out by a wall that one of the Brood made fall in the first place. And then Wolverine’s quip was just . . . no, Logan. No. It doesn’t even make sense in context! It’s like he thought of this quip he wanted to use, but he got tired of waiting for an opening, so he was just like, “Screw it, I’m going for it.” You failed, Logan. You failed hard.

Anyway! I did like William Conover, speaking out on behalf of mutants. It’s nice to see pro-mutant humans in the X-Men comics. I wish we’d get more of that in the current titles. But probably the biggest thing here is actually Maddie. This issue is, in many ways, the official entrance of UXM in the march to Inferno. New Mutants, of course, was already on that road. But now, with this issue, Inferno becomes an inevitability for UXM, as well. It’s handled in a really effective way, making Maddie’s fall believable.

And once again, great art. Silvestri, Rubinstein and Oliver are all top-notch artists, and they do their jobs well, and make for an enjoyable read. Solid visual storytelling, especially in the dream sequence.

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