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Uncanny X-Men #249 (1989, October)

September 4, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today, by Claremont, Silvestri, Green, Oliver, and Orzechowski, “The Dane Curse.”

The Dane Curse

Lorna’s back!

It opens with Alex noting who’s gone, and who’s left, and wondering who’s next.

Uncanny X-Men #249

OK, this is actually kinda cool.

On a monitor behind him, the others are laying Storm to rest. Alex drinks, angsts, and yells at an image of Wolverine for not being there. A monitor screen helpfully shows a recap of the last issue, and he blasts it, which causes a feedback and an explosion that knocks him out. So he rants about how Storm died because he used his power recklessly. And in this rant, he proceeds to . . . use his power recklessly. Smart move, Alex. Because he’s unconscious, he doesn’t hear the phone ring. It’s Lorna calling! Apparently, after Sinister’s seeming death, Malice’s hold has weakened. When Lorna finds out it’s not Alex who answered the phone, she gets all sad, and then argues with Malice’s reflection in the phone booth glass. She gets pissed and destroys the booth, and gets found by a couple dudes who try to help her. One guy is sent off to find either a doctor or a medical kit, but he gets attacked.

Back in Australia, Colossus gets fed up with his painting. Deathstrike and the Reavers are watching, and Deathstrike wonders why he’s so angry. And engages in some art critique.

Uncanny X-Men #249

Just because she’s a killer cyborg doesn’t mean she’s uncultured.

I actually do really like that. She grew up in a household with money, of course she’s well-educated and cultured. I find her more interesting when that side of her is accentuated, rather than her “REVENGE!” thing. She’s got a lot more depth than she’s given credit for. Anyway, she adds that killing Piotr might be an act of mercy, and tells Pierce she’s only there for Logan and doesn’t actually care one way or the other about the other X-Men. And she and Pierce start making out. OK then.

Alex wakes up in his bed, with some flowers and a note that Lorna called.

Uncanny X-Men #249

That’s very sweet of you, Jubilee.

Psylocke comes in to check on him, and they go down to the computer room, which is already fully repaired. With Storm gone, she actually seems to have stepped into the role of leadership, which is pretty cool. And makes sense. Of them ones left, she’s certainly the most put-together. The others are kinda messes. Actually, no, that’s not fair. Alison’s got it together. But she’s not leadership material, not at this point. The computer traces the call to Punta Arenas, Chile, and the team gathers to check it out. But first, Psylocke psi-scans the town for intruders, finding nothing. It’s mostly forgotten, but Jubilee had a high natural resistance to telepathy.

Down in Chile, Lorna’s having her cuts checked out, and some guys on dinosaurs bust into the bar. That’s when the X-Men arrive in town. Alex notes that they can’t track Lorna without Wolverine, and then there’s an explosion, and honestly Alex, you should know by now that finding other X-Men is never that tough. They get attacked by a couple of the dino-riders, and Alex is hardcore.

Uncanny X-Men #249

Holy crap!

The Savage Land Mutates attack, with their latest recruit, Whiteout, blinding them all. Though Ali has some protection, and can still see a bit. Unfortunately, she tries to blind Gaza. Who’s already blind. The team’s being taken apart, until Psylocke can focus enough to get some teamwork going. She’s a good leader. And just very fun. I really do love this version of Psylocke. Anyway, elsewhere in the city, Zaladane is telling the people that the attack is retribution for an oil freighter that crashed and spilled oil into the Antarctic sea. She’s also using a black lotus flower to sedate Lorna.

Uncanny X-Men #249

And no one makes an entrance like Dazzler.

They trade the Mutates for the people of the city, and let Zaladane and her forces go. With Alex in their midst as a spy. And Zaladane calls Lorna her sister. Which is an unexpected twist here, but becomes a hilariously stupid one in the next issue.

But this issue! It’s pretty good. Lots of Alex being angsty and dark. He honestly doesn’t carry it off very well and just comes across as dorky. Which is oddly endearing. Psylocke pretty much steals the issue. She’s kinda cold, and has stepped into the leadership role very effectively. It’s a role she’s surprisingly well-suited for. Less so now, actually, with her being more of a scrapper. But back in this period, leadership suited her. And I loved her costume in this time. The cloak added a real sense of drama to her. Look at that last panel I posted. Psylocke looks bitchin’ there. Mysterious and menacing. I really love the pre-ninja Psylocke. She was so great. It’s a shame that it’s pretty much impossible to get her back to that. I like ninja-Psylocke well enough, too, but damn if she wasn’t awesome before that.

Meanwhile, Jubilee manages to be the best without even showing up in the issue.

The art’s great. It’s Silvestri, Green and Oliver, of course it’s great. It’s a gorgeous comic. And full of pretty sights for both men and women. Psylocke in a nightgown, Alex shirtless. Lots to ogle. Even aside from that, though, it’s gorgeous art, and great visual storytelling. Great use of shadows in Alex’s pity-fest at the start.

This two-parter is a bit odd. I’m not entirely sure it was the right story to tell. But I’ll talk more about that with the next issue.

There’s also Classic X-Men #38, a reprint of X-Men #132. And a back-up by Ann Nocenti, Kyle Baker, Glynis Oliver, and Bill Oakley. Alison, dressed professionally and all in red, gets on a lift with an old, fat, bald guy. She finds him creepy.

Classic X-Men #38

This is an amazing expression.

In the car park, she almost gets hit by a car, but the fat guy saves her. And cuffs her to a post. He claims it’s a joke, and leaves to get the key. She decides to get back at him by scaring the crap out of him. She turns on a radio to provide sound she can turn into light, and starts creating trippy light shows at him. He breaks down, and when she asks what the hell he was doing, he says he’s a filmmaker who’s obsessed with fear, and just wanted to study it up close. It’s an odd story, but a fun one. It really is creepy, up until Alison decides she’s fed up. Then it gets pretty awesome. Turns out big lightshows are kinda scary when you don’t expect them. It’s worth noting that the filmmaker looks like a morbidly obese Alfred Hitchcock, which is presumably intentional, but a bit odd. Either way, Baker and Oliver do a great job setting a creepy, uncomfortable tone. Actually, Oliver deserves particular praise here. The bright red of Ali’s outfit stands out brilliantly. And the light show is spectacular. She really does make this story. Just an amazing colour artist.

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One Comment
  1. Adam Steed permalink

    This was probably my favorite Psylocke issue back then. In some alternate Universe, the swap never occurred.

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