Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Uncanny X-Men #148: Featuring Dazzler and Spider-Woman!

There was once a time that comics would feature gratuitous Spider-Woman, promoted on the cover. Who knew? That time was August 1981, and that comic was Uncanny X-Men #148.

It's an issue of two halves. Some domestic stuff, some superhero stuff. First we get a few pages of Scott and Lee's continuing adventures in what I can only assume is the formerly sunken city of R'lyeh, but we'll come to that if something finally actually happens. A thing they're doing here is having Scott be separated from his glasses for a protracted time, and having to wear a blindfold, which is pretty cool and I'm surprised it's taken them this long to do.

It then picks up the aftermath of #147. Angel angrily quits the X-Men in protest at Wolverine being on the team. The idea of Wolverine being a kind of murderous rampager got a boost in the last issue, when he had to stop himself going berserk but then beheaded an android duplicate of yon Storm. Angel wasn't in the room at the time, so he must be relying on the account of either Arcade, DOOM, Storm, or Wolverine himself. Anyway, Angel leaves, not wanting to be part of any team that has Logan on it. (Little does Angel know that one day he'll be helping Wolverine cover up his little unsanctioned death squad.)

Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) is visiting after the events of Spider-Woman #38, which introduced young Theresa Rourke, Banshee's daughter by his dead wife that he didn't know he had. Moira, who's over from Muir, is a bit jealous (she and Sean have discussed having kids already! - but she daren't, not with Kevin having turned out the way he did). Little Illyana is still at the mansion, they're wondering whether she might be a mutant, too.

This is then followed by a sequence at a nightclub, where Jessica, Stevie, Ororo and Kitty (because 13½ year olds are totally allowed clubbing in NYC), to watch Dazzler perform. This bit manages to pass the Bechdel test incredibly well, as FOUR WOMEN have a GROUP DISCUSSION about LOTS OF STUFF.

We then get our action bit, in the form of Caliban, who can smell mutants, but only wants a friend, having lived underground alone. He eventually runs off, declining their offer for him to join up. The fight sequence is fairly well thought out, although of course it has to be contrived so that Dazzler can actually help. Turns out that Kitty can walk on air (i.e. fly, really rubbishly), which is a perfectly sensible corollary of her being able to phase and not fall through stuff.

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