Monday, 7 January 2013

Uncanny X-Men #217-#218: The B-Team

Uncanny X-Men #217 follows the adventure of the X-Men on Muir Island: Rogue, Dazzler, Longshot and Psylocke. Rogue is their leader more by default than anything else: all the others have only been here five minutes, and compared to them she's practically an old hand. They train, under the supervision of Banshee, who is a bit more experienced but not able to take an active part himself.

Dazzler is feeling particularly unwelcome at the island, and after fraught exchanges with Rogue (who was Dazzler's arch-enemy for a while, in the Dazzler solo-series) and a well-characterised clash with Callisto (yes, they really wouldn't get on, would they), she pays a quick visit to Ullapool. Here she encounters some céilidh (spelled "kaylie"), and does some Dazzling.

After all this, she spots Cain Marko, a.k.a. the Juggernaut. I suppose she'd been briefed, a recent innovation that the X-Men have introduced, although it seems that the briefing did not include the circumstances of their last meeting: when they ended up picking on him for no reason and doing a lot of property and public relations damage. Dazzler is left (presumed dead?) by Juggernaut, but is rescued by the X-Men.

They soon find out that Juggernaut is rampaging in Edinburgh. They rally, go there, and stop him in a decent action sequence that shows Claremont's familiarity with the geography of Scottish capital. Marc Silvestri clearly has some decent reference material to work with, too, even if the locomotive on the "Inverness Flyer", looks like no British train I've ever seen. Our focus here - apart from the city - is on this group's ability to work as a team, which they eventually manage.

Of course, the Juggernaut's frenzy was merely a distraction. Black Tom has been robbing the Bank of Scotland. Oops. This has the air of something that doesn't quite make sense - what was Juggy doing in Ullapool to begin with? - but we're left in enough darkness that it doesn't seem blatantly silly.


  1. given what we later will find out about Longshot

    Is Longshot gay these days? I'm way behind on my current reading, but last I heard, Shatterstar was (well, technically, I think he's bisexual) but Longshot was still heterosexual.

    1. You know, I think I may just have got Longshot and Shatterstar mixed up when I wrote that. Shatterstar is bi. Longshot is presumably straight. I'm going to correct that in the post.