Friday, 31 August 2012

X-Men #98: How the Sentinels stole Christmas

It's our first Christmas in X-Men #98! The gang are celebrating an unusual white Christmas in midtown New York (frankly I'd be rather suspicious of Storm, but she just says something about the snow and Kilimanjaro)

No sooner do Jean and Scott kiss (watched by no other than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby), but they are attacked by Sentinels, who've been tasked to bring them in. Storm has been very poorly briefed, and doesn't know what a Sentinel is. Despite some resistance, they manage to take Wolverine, Banshee and Jean alive.

Meanwhile, it turns out Xavier really is on holiday. Well, a boat, anyway, where he's seeing if he can't track down that binary system he's been dreaming about. Sentinels come for him, too. He's able to shut them down with his mental powers, but a second takes the more direct approach of destroying the boat. They take Xavier alive, but leave his mate Peter Corbeau to swim to shore.

The remaining X-Men regroup with Cerebro, but can't find any trace of the four captured mutants anywhere. Corbeau turns up (apparently knowing all about the X-Men) and tells them that's because they're in space!

#98 is a highly important issue in the development of Wolverine, as he calls someone "bub" for the first time, and gleefully shortens Jean's skirt. Er, sorry, I'll try that again, as he's seen outside of his costume, and it's shown that his claws are actually part of him (something new to the other X-Men as well as to us). And some question is raised by Lang's project as to whether he's really a mutant. It's been completely hazy as to what his actual power is so far (the idea that he heals quickly isn't yet present, let alone him healing contrary to the laws of thermodynamics or having bone claws). And although he's been called "Weapon X" already, there's no conception what that means.

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