Uncanny X-Men #237 (1988, November)
Some Magistrates are chasing the aircar Carol and Logan stole. It’s empty, and blows up. The Genegineer is brought a medical report that shows Logan is dying, and has only a few days left. On the streets, Logan sees a couple Magistrates being dicks to a mutant who picks up garbage. Carol shows off her new outfit – a very sexy outfit, at that.
She heads into a Magistrate bar to get attention and be a distraction, while Logan looks for pockets to pick. Phillip, the Genegineer’s son, is drunk and belligerent and punches a Magistrate, and Logan starts a brawl to make picking pockets easier. Logan and Carol sneak out, and are followed by Magistrates tossing out Phillip. The Magistrates are annoyed at how the Genegineer’s been riding the Chief Magistrate, and figure they can take it out on Phillip, by putting him on a “mute train.” Logan and Carol follow. They jump on a train heading for a mutant processing facility.
Meanwhile, Jenny Ransome is meeting with the Genegineer, who explains the situation she’s in, and justifies Genosha’s actions.
He’s then called down to be present for psi-scans of Maddie. Elsewhere, the X-Men arrive on Genosha. Right in front of a Magistrate patrol. It’s a quick fight, just long enough to give each X-Man a chance to show what they can do. As Psylocke is trying to get through their psi-screens to wipe their memories, a psychic backlash hits her. Back to Maddie! And, uh, turns out she’s very serious about her privacy.
Back to the train, where Logan and Carol almost get in trouble from the mutates, but are rescued by some Magistrates, who think they’re fellow Magistrates. Once the train’s stopped, some Magistrates start beating the mutates, and Logan makes a decision.
This issue does have a bit of middle-chapter syndrome going on. It’s moving pieces around a little, getting characters where they need to be, but with little real plot development going on. We don’t get any new insights into Genosha. We don’t even really get much more evidence of their general awfulness. The Genegineer does explain why they do what they do, but it still doesn’t bring much to the story. The main thrust of the issue seems to be showing how good Carol and Logan are at spy stuff. They do show how clever they are. But some of it feels like it’s there instead of story, instead of advancing story.
There is some character stuff with Logan, showing how poorly he’s dealing with being weak, and feeling useless. That’s fairly cool stuff. And Carol supporting him, keeping him going, is nice. But it doesn’t really feel like enough to make this issue stand out. This issue does set up an awesome climax, though.
The art’s good. Solid work from Leonardi, especially with Logan. He makes Logan look old and weak and bitter and just really good. The brief action scenes flow well. And the panel showing the aftermath of the attempt to get into Maddie’s mind is fantastic. Really dark and gruesome and creepy, and leaves readers desperate to know what happened.
Despite my comments about the issue’s weaknesses, this is part of an arc, and is meant to be read as such. And when the arc is read in a sitting, those weaknesses don’t really appear. It’s only reading it as a single issue – as I just have – that it ends up feeling lacking.
There’s also Classic X-Men #27, a reprint of X-Men #121, the classic X-Men/Alpha Flight brawl. New pages are by Claremont, Dwyer, Austin, Oliver and Orzechowski. Over in the Parliament building, Jeryn Hogarth is seeing some official about Alpha Flight smashing his plane. Then the Japanese ambassador busts in, demanding to know why the saviours of Japan have been attacked by the Canadian government. A later scene follows up, with the American ambassador getting in on the fun of bitching out the Canadian government. She also points out that the weather has gotten out of control, and apparently, she knows it has to do with Canada’s attempt to capture Wolverine. Not sure how she knows. Oh well. In the end, the Foreign Minister has to call and wake the Prime Minister. And, at the end, we see Alpha Flight checking out the prison transport truck that Wolverine busted out of, and Vindicator starts planning a covert mission to bring Wolverine in, until the PM calls to call off the hunt. The added scenes are OK. I think they’re mostly there to explain why Alpha Flight never tried again to capture Wolverine, though I’m not sure the explanation was really needed. At the very least, they’re kinda funny.
And the back-up, by Nocenti, Bolton, Oliver and Orzechowski. Scott, Jean and Logan have stopped off at a burger place, near a shut-down factory, part of which has been modified into loft space for artists. While Scott’s inside getting the burgers, Jean and Logan are outside, with Logan hitting on her. Logan, you’re an asshole. Such an asshole. Complete and total asshole. Don’t hit on people who you know are in committed relationships, OK, people? It’s a dick move. Also, Logan just comes across as a dick in general here, with the way he speaks. Like he’s god’s gift to women and that Jean should be throwing herself at him.
Jean senses someone in trouble at the factory. She carries Scott and Jean over, and they come across a janitor saying the chemicals should have been cleaned up. Jean and Logan head inside, and the floor collapses beneath them. They’re in a dark tunnel, with Logan still flirting and being a dick, and they end up surrounded by weird little black creatures. They push against the telekinetic bubble Jean encloses herself and Logan in, and Logan won’t stop frigging hitting on her. She keeps yelling at him to focus on the creatures, but he just. Won’t. Stop. Asshole. Scott gives her a telepathic call to let her know the building’s empty, so it’s safe for her to use a big TK push. But first, Logan hits on her more.
Jean blows up the building and kills the creatures, and that’s it. This story is so ugh. I hate the Logan/Jean ship. I despise it. I loathe it. I cannot fully express to you the depths of my contempt for that ship. It’s stupid. It’s a stupid bullshit retcon. Jean never showed any attraction to Logan. Not until Jean was brought back from the dead and Claremont got all pissy about Scott’s happy ending being ruined. So he put in a stupid bullshit retcon that she’d secretly had the hots for Logan. And here, Nocenti picks up that stupid bullshit retcon, and frankly, makes it even worse, by having Logan be just the most obnoxious bastard ever. He is unbearable here. “Come on, you want me. You know you want me. You should have sex with me. Come on, have sex with me, you know you want to. Hey, you know what this situation makes me think of? Us having sex. Which we should totally do.” Holy shit, just shut the hell up, you jackass. It makes the story impossible to enjoy. Even people who do ship Jean and Logan wouldn’t be able to enjoy this story.
The art’s good, at least. Bolton actually does a really good job making Jean look annoyed at Logan throughout the story. In fact, he does such a good job of it that it makes the eventual probable-kiss even less believable. But still, it’s pretty art. It’s dark and creepy, with a bit of the feel of Alien mixed with the kind of ’50s B-movie Logan references at one point. So, nice art, shit story.