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Mighty Week of Marvel #30

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Marvel’s mutants are being kept busy this week, so let’s dive straight into the gene pool…

The mystery of Cortex deepens in X-Factor #44 when Darwin finds himself being first seduced and then attacked by a possessed Monet who appears to have been turned into a techno-organic being! Meanwhile, Siryn has a rather unwilling heart to heart with Val Cooper, and eighty years in the future Madrox and Layla Miller are caught up in a last stand by a handful of surviving mutants in a world dominated by the Sentinels. Curiously though, there’s no follow up this issue to the surprise return of a seemingly Cortex controlled Shatterstar last month…

Continuity: Monet’s transformation appears reminiscent of those infected by the Technarch transmode virus, first seen in New Mutants #18 (1984) though this may be coincidental.

There’s a double dose of clawed Canuck action in Wolverine #74. First off, Logan tries to save the son of an old friend from himself in part two of ‘One Percenter’ by Daniel Way and Tommy Lee Edwards, then in part two of ‘A Mile in My Moccasins’ by Jason Aaron, Adam Kubert and Mark Farmer, Spider-Man drops by to warn our taciturn hero he’s heading for burn out-and we find out why, as Wolvie confesses his reason for running himself ragged on half a dozen different teams at once is an attempt to make up for the sins of his newly remembered past!

Ironically enough, Wolvie is also very much in evidence in Uncanny X-Men #511, in which the team have their final (?) showdown with the Red Queen and her Sisterhood. The evil psychic presence which was Madelyne Pryor attempts to possess the corpse of the still currently dead Jean Grey, but is tricked when the X-Men switch the body in the casket for another.

The substitute body proves unable to contain the Red Queen’s power and burns out, but it’s unclear if ‘Madelyne’ is gone for good this time or not. And in the wake of the battle, Psylocke returns to the X-Men, free of the Sisterhood’s influence! There are more problems yet to be resolved though, as Beast finally confronts Cyclops and the White Queen over the secrets they have been keeping…

Continuity: the’ secrets’ Beast is referring to are Emma Frost’s involvement with Norman Osborn (as seen in Dark Reign: the Cabal) and Cyclops’ reforming of X-Force as a covert strike team (as seen in current issues of X-Force).


Uncanny X-Men First Class Special #1 finally takes us beyond the ‘first class’ to the early days of the ‘new’ X-Men. Cyclops is having a hard time dealing with an entirely new team of X-Men, but eventually learns a lesson from them about team work. This issue also contains solo backup strips recounting the early lives of Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm and Banshee, the latter providing an interesting coda to the late Banshee’s saga. If you really need a reason to buy it though, the highlight of the issue is the two page look at the mutants Charles Xavier supposedly rejected when looking for this new team…

Continuity: It remains debatable whether this series is a part of the main X-Men continuity, but if it is then this issue takes place shortly after the events of Uncanny X-Men #95. Banshee eventually died in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #3 (2006).

We’re still on the fringes of X-Men territory in War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar, as an old sparring partner of theirs-Starbolt, of the Shi-Ar Imperial Guard-and his foe, the Inhuman called Gorgon, find themselves trapped and alone on the savage world of Sakaar, forced to work alongside each other or die-at the hands of Skaar, son of Hulk! Naturally, as soon as the unlikely pair are out of danger and back in their own galaxy the truce is off, but both sides in the Kree/Shi-Ar war are now aware of Sakaar and the ‘Old Power’ its denizens wield so it seems unlikely this one shot will be without repercussion

Continuity: Starbolt first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #107(1977), along with the rest of the Imperial Guard. He is Marvel’s analogue to Wildfire of DC’s Legion of Super Heroes, on whom the Guard was loosely based.

Back in the wider Marvel Universe, Amazing Spider-Man #597 finds our friendly neighbourhood wall crawler up to his neck in trouble. Spidey has disguised himself as Venom, the ‘Spider-Man’ of Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers, in order to gain entry to Avengers Tower. Once in, he learns that Norman intends to transform his son Harry into a ‘super soldier’ codenamed American Son! Unfortunately, before Spidey can escape with this info, he’s attacked by Daken, Osborn’s ‘Wolverine’. Despite defeating Daken, Spidey is captured when Harry betrays him to his father, and is then seemingly shot by Norman…

Horse faced hero Beta Ray Bill is out for revenge on the being who annihilated his race in Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #1. His prey? Why, Galactus of course! With a little help from SWORD, Bill soon tracks his quarry down. Unfortunately, since Bill seems unable to deal with even the planet eater’s heralds in this issue, his chances of destroying the big G seem far from good! This issue also features a reprint of Thor #337 (1983), in which Bill made his debut.

Continuity: SWORD (the Sentient World Observation & Response Department) is a largely independent subdivision of SHIELD, first seen in Astonishing X-Men #6 (2004).

There’s a new Doctor Doom in town in Fantastic Four #567. The monster who taught Victor Von Doom all he knows has apparently destroyed Latveria and dumped a defeated Victor back in prehistoric times, unarmored and defenseless, though not before first cruelly showing Doom his true heart’s desire: to become the savior of the world and the leader of the Fantastic Four! With Victor seemingly gone, his former ‘master’ dons his mask and vows to succeed where Doom failed and destroy the Fantastic Four.

An unlikely team of heroes rises to defend the Earth in Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #2, as Lockjaw, Ms Lion, Zabu the saber tooth, Lockheed the dragon, Redwing the Falcon, Hairball the kinetic cat and the Frog of Thunder travel back to the age of the dinosaurs to retrieve one of the Infinity Gems. Unfortunately, the gem in question is being defended by Devil Dinosaur! How would I describe this everyday saga of a superheroic dog against the universe? Barking mad, but fun…

Also out this week: more mutant action in Genext United #2, Frank Castle encounters cannibals in the deep south in Punisher Max #71 and there’s classic reprint action )(and a new story, too) in the Miss America Comics 70th Anniversary Special. Something for everyone, it seems.

Panel of the week: Amazing Spider-Man #597, page 22

Has Peter Parker finally bitten the bullet? Norman Osborn shows a shocking disregard for the conventions of super-villaindom.

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