Thursday, 3 January 2013

Classic X-Men #7: Shaw and Frost

It's not always obvious what Classic X-Men's back-up strips are trying to do. Some of them provide characer moments that fill in gaps (we've had the lovely Scott/Jean silent backup in #6, and Thunderbird's funeral in #3). This one seems to be more for the continuity wonks, as it provides some backstory for how Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost took charge of the Hellfire Club; and how Michael Rossi came to be alive to turn up in New Mutants.

But that's not all that's going on. In the main books being published in 1987, the X-Men are on the verge of an alliance with the Hellfire Club, and therefore Shaw and Frost's reputations need to be repaired. This story shows therefore how they were taken for mugs by the original Black King Ned Buckman, who is the real evil mastermind behind using the Sentinels to kill all mutants. Shaw and Frost had merely wanted the Sentinels to give them a good going over, or something, in some odd scheme to identify the X-Factor.

Shaw and Frost are betrayed by Buckman, and use that as the excuse they need to assassinate him and his cronies, and install themselves as the new Lords Cardinal.

I'm not sure this ultimately works. They're still too closely associated with the Sentinel program after this is supposed to be set for it to be blamed entirely on Buckman. But at least it's going in the right direction.

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