Tags Matching: scott lobdell

Space X-Men in Spacesuits

During the later period of Scott Lobdell’s epic run on the ’90s Uncanny X-Men, things got a little weird. An amnesiac Magneto joined the team, dubbing himself Joseph. The X-Men for some reason or another were in space, and instead of like every other time they’ve been there, they decided to get some fancy-dancy spacesuits. This screams of either Joe Madureira boredom or “we need some space variant action figures!” I’ve never seen this promo poster for this storyline.

This all led up to, of course, Uncanny X-Men #350, where it’s revealed that Gambit was involved with the Marauders and had basically aided and abetted the Mutant Massacre. This, as I believe I’ve alluded to before, was effectively the last relevant Gambit story. The issue came out in December, 1999 – what if he had just been left in the ’90s? His character has only gone through painful and terrible development since this time, and it would have been poetic for his last story to be at the very end of the decade he helped define.

Instead, we’ve been saddled with a character who’s been so embarrassing for the past ten years that there’s almost no imaginable way to revitalize him as a valuable property. To think, he was once seen as a potential contender for Wolverine / Punisher / Daredevil levels of popularity. Ooof.

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Top 100 Summer Comics #4

Gene Ha wasn’t meant for the world of hero comics.

He was too good.

#5 – Askani’son 1

His style was both science fiction and organic, which created this surreal futuristic setting that has not often been replicated. His take on the book MADE it – the stories are great, and Scott Lobdell deserves some major props for excellent pacing and tone. But it was Gene Ha’s unique vision that made this one of the best x-books of the ’90s, if not ever.

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Top 100 Summer Comics #26

This issue has a certain relevance, but let’s talk about the meat and bones first.

Longshot, who doesn’t like him? Well, I bet a lot of people, but most people my age are alright with him. He was the original vapid alterna-hero. He basically is the archetype for Gambit, Every Image character ever, and many spinoff Marvel characters who would make you think that head bands and long hair were HUGE in the ’90s. They weren’t. But this was the last great story featuring the Mojoverse, and had Longshot taking a slightly more heroic turn. Scott Lobdell wrote him straight, and it was a perfect story. Dazzler and Longshot struggling against the oppressive Mojo.. it was good. Real good. And then…

#26 – X-Men 11

… It was over. This was Jim Lee’s last issue of X-Men. Done. Some of the plot threads from this (pregnant Dazzler, the rebellion in the Mojoverse) were completely abandoned. Despite Lobdell’s long run on the x-books, for some reason this was never really touched on again.

That said, it’s ironic that Jim Lee’s creative influence was supposedly one of the reasons that led to Chris Claremont being ushered off of the X-Men books… and eight issues later, at the height of the X-Men’s popularity, Jim Lee leaves. And never comes back. So who knows what would have been if decisions made with regards to the formation of Image had come two, three, six months earlier? Would Claremont have left? Would Jim Lee had lasted even 11 issues? Would (self titled) X-Men even been created? And conversely, what if Lee had stayed on? Would Liefeld? There were many little promotional hints and posters put out there that had me (and many others) salivating at what storylines were to come… What could have been.

Nonetheless, this is a great read. And it exists. So find it.(And by find it, I mean, click the image and buy it.)

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Top 100 Summer Comics #50

I wanted to do a special issue for #50 of this. Instead, an issue that has all the components of a special issue, but doesn’t quite hit the spot.

#50 – Uncanny X-Men 325

There was a great and highly underrated writer, Scott Lobdell, who wrote 60 or so straight issues of Uncanny, and at the same time threw down a 20 issue run on X-Men on top. If anyone has been forgotten unjustly, it’s Lobdell.

There was the young, trendsetting artist Joe Madureira. Mad was firing on all cylinders with this issue.

There’s an X-Men baseball game – an homage to the olden days, a Claremont era tradition. There’s Morlocks, a whole new batch (I went with the Gremlins reference intentionally).

But for some reason, this one is just real good. Not classic. I think that the problem is there lacks a tension in the issue, that the conflict just isn’t hitting the audience. No major plots were dangling or resolved, and the nu-Morlocks were just half rate. Still, a fun read. I just read it again and continue to scratch my head as to why no collections exist of this era.
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Top 100 Summer Comics #56

Maybe the most 90’s thing ever.

More 90’s than the parted-in-the-middle 13 year old teen boy haircut.

More 90’s than Pepsi.

More 90’s than alt rock.

#56 – Generation X 1

How about a x-men comic book with a holo-foil cover named “Generation X” featuring a diversity plus lineup of teen angst ridden outcasts? Here. It. Is.

And… I dig it.

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Anniversary Issues – a story of diminishing returns

Anniversaries are slowly becoming less relevant in our society. 

Am I wrong? Doesn’t the sentimental significance of an “anniversary” mean less and less, as our attention span zooms in on minutes and seconds over months and years?

Maybe I’m just cold. Or too real. But regardless, that’s how I feel. And comic books are on my side. Uncanny X-Men, step up to the witness stand.

Uncanny X-Men #100. “At last”? I’m willing to bet it was an absolute shock to many that the Uncanny cast made it to 100 issues. Please note – the X-Men series was actually cancelled after issue #66, and was published as reprints from #67-93. Really. So this was a big one, and had a pretty decent premise. I remember it, but it took a refresher. rating: 7/10

Uncanny X-Men #150. Great issue. The first full blown Magneto bash that the “all new, all different” team had, and this was a doozy. Pretty much a classic at any price, but the one above is still in the bargain column. Now established as a titan, Uncanny was just churning with Chris Claremont in his glory. rating: 8.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #200. The trial of Magneto. Fenris. Magneto in some weird new purple pajamas. John Romita Jr. drops in and really pulled this one together as Professor X makes yet another prolonged absence; he doesn’t reappear until #273-#275 – more on that later. A real twist as the X-Men started to veer off the tracks as far as their team direction. For me, the team only got better from here until issue #275.For anyone who’s taken a college level history course, I always enjoyed breaking it into two periods – the RISE and the FALL. I was always on the “Fall” side, as far as interests lie. Here begins the fall, and eventual rebirth. But as a single issue, well, it’s continuity heavy. And that’s gonna knock it back. rating: 7.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #250. Full disclosure, this is a part of my favorite era of the Uncanny X-Men, roughly issues 235-260. A true golden era, Claremont demolishes the team to rubble with Silvestri, Dan Green and this guy named Jim Lee serving the art up on a golden platter. I dig this issue, but I will give some perspective to balance it out. Man, I want to give it a 9, but I won’t.No icons, no long lasting results, Havok¬†and Polaris have been retconned so many times… rating: 7.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #275. So good that it needed to be included even though I’ve been sticking to the century and half century marks. Chris Claremont’s opus essentially concludes here, with a brief encore in the eponymously titled X-Men for a brief three issues. Everything and the kitchen sink – multiple long running trademark Claremont plot threads get wrapped up, Shi’ar, Xavier, Savageland, Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, Jubilee, dinosaurs, Magneto and some big ol’ spaceships. Absolutely classic and can be enjoyed by people who only know the X-Men from a movie or cartoon. rating: 9.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #300. A huge dropoff. I’m not going to blame the creative team – Scott Lobdell deserves a lot more credit than he receives for his X-Men contributions, and you can’t lose with John Romita Jr and Dan Green on the stick and ink. But storywise, this one’s a dud. The lamest incarnation of the Acolytes (please argue this with me, someone) with Fabian Cortez at the helm, Bishop prominently featured on the cover (a later post to detail his fail levels being dangerously high to come) and Moira MacTaggert, a leading support character who died and has seen zero interest in a resurrection. That is a testament to her lameness. Fabian Cortez, Bishop, MacTaggert… three lames and you’re out. rating: 5.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #350. The conclusion to a dangling storyline almost a decade in the wait. Probably more like five years, though for some reason this was the beginning of the end for any and all Gambit love. He never recovered his heat after this, but I will give this issue some points. Joe Mad’s only contribution on here and though I’m not his biggest fan, I do think he did a great job for the X-Franchise. The story and summation of Gambit’s past was good and I think this could be enjoyed on a single issue level. Though people maybe confused by who this “Joseph” character is… rating: 7.25/10

Uncanny X-Men #400. Alright, here come those diminishing returns. I’m not going to flack this too hard, but let’s just talk about the major characters used in this one. Archangel, Chamber, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Wolverine, and Stacy X. Stacy X. Really. So let me just stop there, and for those unfamiliar, Stacy X was introduced in this arc and was a prostitute mutant who controlled pheromones. And I’m not even a HUGE detractor of the character, just on how poorly she was fleshed out and developed. Poor form. Joe Casey had a rough time to be writer on X-Men and I don’t think it was his best work. rating: 3.5/10

Uncanny X-Men #450. Chris Claremont + Alan Davis + X-Men = … BAD?!?! NO! Say it ain’t so, Joe (Q)! This is real. Alan Davis has his normal smooth style but I would even say this was a low moment for him. Some weird facial angles can really jack up what I normally love in Davis’ art, which reflect this odd oblong structure and overly pronounced cheek and lip definition. Big story development – the introduction of X-23. Not the worst, and certainly relevant now, but… overall a very anti-climactic return to Uncanny for both Claremont and Davis. rating: 3.75/10

Uncanny X-Men #500. I wanted to love this. Not just like, but LOVE. And I didn’t. I didn’t even really like it. I tried. Believe me, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are absolutely tops of the game in this era, and I have admitted to really digging on Terry Dodson’s art. But there was too many moving pieces and just a kind of poor execution here. Magneto, and Sentinels, two pencilers and two writers… it just didn’t gel. Not bad, but forgettable in that “wait, what happened in last month’s issue” kind of way. rating: 4/10

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