Godel x Uzumeri #9: My Name Is Wendigo Montoya (Uncanny X-Men 139-143, Annual 4)
Uzumeri: Yo x-people! It’s my birthday this weekend, and what better way can to celebrate than by finishing off John Byrne’s X-Men run?
Godel: I dunno – Smallville is looking pretty good!
IN THESE ISSUES: It’s been months since Dark Phoenix. The X-Men move on, with Storm leading and Angel and Kitty “Sprite” Pryde on board. In the Annual (pencils by John Romita, Jr.), the team battle through a facsimile of DANTE’S INFERNO to save Nightcrawler. In the monthly book (now Uncanny X-Men in the indicia): Nightcrawler and Wolverine join with Alpha Flight to take down WENDIGO! Sprite faces a lone DEMON at the mansion! And everybody battles the new BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL MUTANTS, hoping to forestall a DYSTOPIAN FUTURE ruled by SENTINELS!
SUBPLOT WATCH: Kitty is weirded out by Kurt and interested in Peter. Nightcrawler and Snowbird size each other up (this goes nowhere). Storm is jealous of Kitty’s rapport with dance teacher Stevie Hunter. People are worried about Wolverine’s murderous ways. Mystique hints she has a connection with Nightcrawler, Shaw and Senator Kelly launch Project: Wideawake, and Cyclops meets a charming Lady Boat Captain!
We should start with the annual, which I’ll confess out front is a great favorite of mine as something I read and reread when I was 13. What’d you think?
Uzumeri: It…kinda sucked. Had any of these characters appeared before? The barely-appearing Amanda is Amanda Sefton? When did Kurt show her his true appearance, anyway?
Godel: It’s weird – I think the only time she’s actually been seen before this was that Arcade story where she was one of the kidnappees. OK, yeah, the story’s sort of a mess.
I also don’t get the double-fakeout: Margali built the fake Hell, but Amanda sent them all there, posing as Margali, in order to show Margali that Nightcrawler wasn’t a bad guy? It seems like an incredibly roundabout and risky approach.
Uzumeri: It seems like a fucking dumb comic. Who plotted this, Dan Slott?
Godel: Ouch. Again, I loved this as a kid – but it was probably also my introduction to the Inferno, which seemed so epic and insane.
Uzumeri: I love how, in the Marvel Universe, Dante Alighieri ACTUALLY went to Hell. I feel like that should be an issue of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Godel: The real disappointment is, if you told me today that JRJr was going to do a giant-size story comic of the X-Men in Hell, I would expect something really awesome. This is really tame and basically looks nothing like him except for the faces on Minos and Margali.
Uzumeri: That’s because McLeod completely subsumes all of Romita’s style with his inking.
Godel: I was wondering about that actually – what did Romita’s work look like at this date? I figured he just hadn’t found his voice.
Uzumeri: Well, you can flip through some of the stuff here – and don’t forget he also did the cover to that Dazzler issue, which looked more like him than this does.
Godel: Art aside, I do think the annual’s a little better than the last one. And I love the birthday party, especially Wolverine giving Nightcrawler a framed picture of himself.
And there’s the page-turning prospect of finding out something about Nightcrawler’s backstory.
Uzumeri: I love how thoroughly this undermines the mutant panic thing in his original appearance. Originally, he’s just misunderstood, and everyone hates him because he’s different! Now they were after him because he snapped his brother’s neck.
Still not a great justice system with the pitchforks and all, but considerably different from “let’s just go kill the blue guy.”
Godel: To be fair, I could imagine backwards villagers being likely to blame the demonic-looking guy (who did snap his brother’s neck) for the recent wave of murders.
But it’s a great point, especially since we’re about to get the classic Everyone Hates And Fears Mutants story. So it’s a weird move, even if it helps flesh Nightcrawler out by giving him a dose of Catholic guilt.
Uzumeri: There’s so much goofy stuff in this though. When Nightcrawler falls unconscious, Storm is like, “hey, when I was a kid, I learned how to disable burglar alarms! That means I can totally figure out this bleeding-edge medical scanning technology (that probably has alien components) without a sweat!”
Godel: Yeah, you figure at that point that Nightcrawler is DOA – how about calling 911, guys?
Uzumeri: Don’t forget this:
Logan crushing the beer can is fantastic, but so is Xavier’s non-answer.
Godel: “It looks like he’s dead.”
Uzumeri: “Turns out he’s just a SCHRODINGER’s Nightcrawler!” Honestly, the best part was when Doctor Strange determines that Nightcrawler is not even part-demon. EAT A DICK, CHUCK AUSTEN!
Godel: If the Eye of Agamotto has spoken, that’s that. And Claremont was writing Dr. Strange at the time, so it’s totally legit! I would love to see this story used to undo The Draco, although with Nightcrawler having died in 2010 I doubt we’ll see that anytime soon.
A great thing in this comic: the letters column is all Dark Phoenix overflow. My favorite:
You stink, Murderer!
Uzumeri: aaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha that’s awesome
Godel: The others split the difference between devoted worship and rather sharp critique. Here’s one from a Lucius Darlo:
The epic had been developing for years; the crime for which Jean died was two issues old. [...] I do not know whether the death was planned by writer, artist, editor or whomsoever. I do not know whether it was a chaotic accident of the industry. I know little of comics; I merely buy them for pleasure. The fatalism of this fantasy is not for me. [...] Good-bye, sirs; our business is concluded.
Uzumeri: That’s AWESOME.
Godel: I said GOOD DAY, sir!
So then there’s this story where Wolverine goes to Canada (with Nightcrawler tagging along) to reconcile with Alpha Flight and fight Wendigo.
Uzumeri: I nearly shot somebody when I finished this one. Dear God, that was bad.
Godel: Oh wow, really!? I thought it was a really solid arc!
Uzumeri: The absolute worst part of it – the one that made me go “come the fuck on” – was Kitty and Storm going to Stevie Hunter’s dance studio, and for some fucking reason, the entire broom closet has exploded everywhere, conveniently blocking the door from opening and forcing Kitty to demonstrate her powers.
Godel: It was a different age! I’ll give you that it’s hokey, but…
Uzumeri: That was some Smallville shit.
Godel: At least Storm doesn’t blow in some fog to cover up the act.
Uzumeri: The most interesting thing in this arc was that Hudson was training Logan to actually become the LEADER of Alpha Flight, not just one of the members.
Godel: I thought you’d be into this one, especially since we’ve finally got all the pieces of the classic Wolverine in place.
An honor code. Rough-around-the-edges dignity. Mutant healing. A vague suggestion that he might have been in World War II. Oh, and a struggle with the Beast Within that helps him sympathize with others facing the same struggle (making him the mentor figure for struggling new heroes, and the senior Mutant Outcast).
Versions of that Snowbird sequence play out with Kitty, Rachel, and to an extent Jubilee ….we’ve already got him going out of his way to make Kitty feel included.
Uzumeri: It was interesting, I guess, but it was just… man, I really can’t explain why I disliked it so much, maybe I was just tired.
Godel: I also like the Wolverine/Nightcrawler dynamic. Especially knowing that Byrne didn’t like Kurt at all, it’s nice to actually see him doing something in the comic, and being the jolly mischievous pal to Wolverine’s actual bad boy kinda works.
Uzumeri: “Hey, John! Welcome to the X-Men!” “Thanks! Who was the previous guy’s favorite character?” “Oh, Dave loved Nightcrawler.” “Well, FUCK NIGHTCRAWLER.”
Godel: It says something that it took fifty issues to get around to elaborating his mysterious origin, and it had to happen in the annual because, I presume, Byrne could not be bothered to draw it.
But I liked all the character stuff in this. We also get a substantial retcon to Giant Size – Wolverine didn’t quit Department H because he was an impetuous hothead, but because he profoundly resented being transformed into a killing machine with adamantium claws.
Uzumeri: What’s interesting about Wolverine’s character development is that it isn’t really development. He doesn’t change; he just opens up parts of him which were already there. So I don’t feel like he learned how to socialize, I feel like there was a creative change and they decided he should socialize.
Godel: That’s true – it’s not so much a character arc as them redefining what the character is, item by item.
Uzumeri: He’s gone so far from Len Wein’s original blueprint it’s hard to describe.
Godel: I hate to say it but a lot of the credit has to go to Byrne, who apparently saw Logan as Dirty Harry - whereas I think the Len Wein Wolverine is someone Dirty Harry would consider a “punk.”
Uzumeri: This is because John Byrne is such a deeply selfish human being that he decided to take up the cause of short Canadians over the cause of any other demographic on the planet, whom he would just ridicule. You can drop the N-bomb all you want, but DON’T SHIT ON CANADA, BRO.
And while as a 5’2″ Canadian who loves beer, I am thankful for Byrne’s work in basically putting a really angry me in a comic book, it doesn’t change the fact that his priorities are utterly fucked up. Also: how did we miss the debut of the brown and tan?
Godel: It definitely seems more rugged and cowboyish… it’s a better look for him than bright colors.
Meanwhile, in fairness, we should swing around and take a look at Claremont’s new pet character. She’s hip! She’s precocious! She makes pop culture references, awkwardly!
I honestly really like Kitty in these issues – as I’m sure a million readers did at the time. She’s written (somewhat) convincingly as an awkward, trying-to-be-too-mature-for-her-age nerd. Claremont overreaches sometimes, but there are great scenes here, like her being shy at Nightcrawler’s party because she’s the 13-year-old who only hangs out with the Professor and thinks Nightcrawler is really weird.
Uzumeri: It’s amazing how Harry Potter it all is, and I get that we’re supposed to think that the X-Men are cool dudes and Kitty’s lucky to be there… but she’s thirteen years old and fighting a shitty Doom miniboss. Everything with Kitty is just kind of soured in my mind by the fact that the X-Men basically kidnapped her via psychic B&E.
Godel: Granted, back in that scene, everyone was freaked out by Phoenix using her powers to “fix” the Prydes, but it never gets referred to again.
Uzumeri: They even invite the Prydes over for Chanukah! Which makes zero sense – they aren’t remotely freaked out by their thirteen-year-old daughter living in a mansion with a bunch of people who are, at the youngest, maybe seventeen, including a big Russian dude whom their daughter calls “sexy?”
And I always thought Whedon threw that in!
Godel: I wish we got some scene with Xavier selling them on the school, explaining that Kitty’s a mutant and all that…
Uzumeri: I would call the fucking cops.
Godel: Kitty’s age is just a mess, though. Timeline-wise, it’s not solvable continuity: she’s been aggressively aged and de-aged by later writers. But also, I think at a certain point Claremont just throws up his hands, gets tired of writing this kid, and starts treating her as a much older character by authorial fiat, even if he insists on keeping her low in years for whatever reason. By the JRJr run she really feels like a 17-year-old, although that might also be the art.
Uzumeri: God forbid she have objects of affection she isn’t trying to tempt into statutory rape!
Godel: Well, that’s another thing. I think Shooter might have been involved in all that.
Uzumeri: Oh, absolutely, I know all about the stuff coming up with Secret Wars…
Godel: Yeah, he puts the kibosh on them being a couple. Claremont actually makes it work as a story about both characters, so bravo to him for that. But for example, in #168, she gets demoted to the New Mutants, and is really insulted to be put with the “x-babies.” Which makes no sense; at 14, she’d be younger than half the team.
Speaking of Kitty and her mature future selves – there’s this little story called Days of Future Past.
Uzumeri: Days of what? Oh, that fill-in arc?
Uzumeri: Joking aside, Mystique came absolutely out of nowhere. There wasn’t even a slight bit of prelude to her showing up with a new Brotherhood, other than I guess breaking the Blob out of prison.
Godel: Well, what more do you want? I guess, there could have been teasers for a while. In that Shooter interview in The X-Men Chronicles, he gets asked about a tendency, post-DPS, towards much shorter story arcs on the X-Men. He gives a really noncommittal answer, but I wonder if he was in the background going, “keep it simple guys!”
Uzumeri: Shooter did that in a lot of titles, actually. He was a big believer in every issue theoretically being standalone. Claremont was probably pushing it with the two-parters, honestly.
Godel: All kinds of Shooter influence in these issues, if you squint – like suddenly everybody on the team is putting pressure on Wolverine, with Storm flat out telling him he’s to use his claws only when she tells him to.
Uzumeri: As for Mystique: Shooter or not, she really just shows up and goes “Hey, look, I’m running the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants now!” I guess it’s not much different from the other random villains introduced, but I’m just not used to Mystique having… well, any kind of political agenda.
Godel: The movies in a way have gone back to this, by making her Magneto’s right-hand woman in the struggle for mutant liberation. But for a long time now, she’s basically just been either a psychotic or a mercenary doing things for personal reasons - or posing as one of the above.
Uzumeri: It just feels so off to me. Only person I’m used to Mystique giving a fuck about is Mystique, and maybe sometimes some other people in really rare circumstances, if they’re related. When she DOES show any kind of passion, it’s always really creepy.
Godel: Which we already get here, with her hinting, sadistically, that she has some connection to Nightcrawler (not to be resolved until the Lobdell era).
But you’re right. I actually think the selfish take goes better with the shapeshifter concept. Deceit is her whole deal.
Uzumeri: I think that’s why it felt so damn wrong to me. Like, if it had been, I dunno, some dipshit like Exodus, someone way more tied down in ideology, I could have believed it more. Mystique isn’t a nihilist, but she’s far from an idealist.
Godel: I think I’ve always read this through the lens of later Mystique stories. So I assume she doesn’t mean the things she says… but there’s no basis for that in this comic.
Really, on this read I was surprised by how much of it is the fight with the Brotherhood, versus the future-dystopia stuff.
Uzumeri: The future-dystopia stuff is really barely worldbuilt. Life sucks, concentration camps, graves, let’s go back in time! Oh, hey, shit’s still hopeless. “WELCOME TO THE 21st CENTURY.”
Godel: I admit some details like the gang members are off-the-shelf tripe. But I like the idea that transportation in the future is subway cars being pulled around by teams of horses.
Uzumeri: That was great, but that’s just an example of the kind of thing that we just barely saw touched upon. And there just wasn’t enough of it. It’s far from — HERE WE FUCKING GO AGAIN, GUYS, I KNOW — “Here Comes Tomorrow.”
Godel: Wait - “Here Comes Tomorrow” is your example of coherent world-building?! The biggest problem with that story is that the future seems totally unreal, with no plausible world beyond the characters.
Yeah, DoFP’s a stock 80s dystopian future, but this is four years before The Terminator and has the exact same plot, so I kind of want to say they’re ahead of the curve. Two years before Blade Runner, maybe six months out from Escape From New York. I guess Mad Max is probably the immediate antecedent but it’s a pretty different vibe here.
Uzumeri: Wow, really? I kind of subconsciously figured this was riding the wave of dystopian futures.
Godel: It’s probably all cribbed from scifi paperbacks that Claremont had been reading, but still, the arrangement of elements here is so close to The Terminator that you figure Cameron had to have read this. In the future: merciless robots have reduced our world to rubble and are involved in starting a nuclear war to wipe out all humanity due to ill-conceived programming. A band of rebels simultaneously breaks into the robot headquarters and sends someone back in time to prevent the future from ever happening. They succeed (OR DO THEY), with the heroic dudes dying and the heroine learning to believe in herself.
Throw in the last shot from 143, with the ashes of the demon’s OUTSTRETCHED ARM and you’ve basically got it.
Uzumeri: Well, I’d never claim to know the Terminator universe as thoroughly as you do.
Godel: The story brings to the fore a few things that are going to be major themes of the title: the idea of mutant paranoia becoming a mainstream political hot-button, and the notion of Magneto joining the X-Men. And the whole idea of mutants being put in concentration camps introduces a Holocaust parallel that will soon become much more explicit.
DOFP also casts a shadow of permanent angst over the title’s future (especially once Rachel comes back, suggesting the future was not prevented after all), so it can start to seem like being an X-Man isn’t really very fun at all.
Uzumeri: But it’s also WAY in the future. Kitty’s 13 in 1980, so she’s about to hit 40.
Godel: It’s so far away that it can always be a POSSIBLE future… although it’s pinned to the 1984 elections.
But did it work for you as a story? I still think it’s super entertaining, and I love the doomy, horrifying future world where REED RICHARDS lies dead and WOLVERINE gets the flesh burned off his adamantium skeleton. IN THIS ISSUE: EVERYBODY DIES!
Uzumeri: Yeah, it totally worked – would have worked better if I didn’t know where everything was leading. I don’t know if as much of the skill was in the telling like it was with Dark Phoenix Saga. The abrupt ending, especially, is fairly unsatisfying – but that’s probably largely because I know elements of this future are going to come back.
Godel: That’s a fair point actually – they’re maybe trying to do a little too much in two issues.
On the art side, much as I hate Byrne …it’s just one great panel after another, again with substantial credit to Terry Austin, whom I’m afraid we lose along with Byrne, and whose well-honed rubble technique comes in handy here.
I also forgot how soon this was into Kitty’s stint on the team. It’s her first big story, even if it’s really her future self.
Uzumeri: It does a good job of establishing her as crucial to the cast, by foreshadowing her future relationships. I doubt she would have stood out to us reading the title at the time, since she wasn’t in it all that much; I think it’s largely the benefit of hindsight that allows us to see how central she’ll become. Claremont and Byrne try to sell that hard here, though.
Godel: Claremont has said that he was always trying to make sure the team didn’t consist of too-similar people; he liked the idea of having a younger sidekick person with a different perspective. I sort of figure that after she and Dazzler first appeared they waited for the mail to come in and got so much “Put Kitty on the team!” that they figured, why blow against the wind?
Uzumeri: You really think? Just from those three issues with Emma Frost?
Godel: She had a pretty big role! Breaking the X-Men free, learning to use her powers… much more than Dazzler. Maybe they were planning to bring her back from minute one, or maybe she was a stock “new mutant” that struck a chord.
Uzumeri: Well, considering they had to throw in Dazzler and they already had the mutant search plot bubbling, I’d guess they were intending it from the beginning… but yeah, DoFP makes a big deal establishing her, and also this Rachel girl with red hair and telepathic powers, which seems pretty bizarre.
I mean, I guess Claremont was already hinting at Jean’s return? I know she didn’t get a grave either, but I imagine they wouldn’t move her body to the concentration camp.
Godel: Yeah, that’s another thing that comes around sooner than I remembered it – Jean just died a few issues ago! I wonder how many people saw her as being at all Phoenix-related, especially since the only thing we see her do is this really narrow time-travel mind-swap thing. Probably people were more jazzed at the idea of Future Franklin Richards.
Uzumeri: Was this the first Future Franklin?
Godel: The… FFF? I believe so. A couple years later, John Byrne has him psychically age himself into a bearded superman named Avatar.
Uzumeri: Does he then hook up with Mystique?
Okay, so, just wrapping up the other plot developments here…. uh, the Angel joins the X-Men.
Uzumeri: Zzzzzzzz…. wait, what?
Godel: (crickets chirp, tumbleweeds roll)
Uzumeri: He doesn’t have razor wings yet? Sorry, wake me up in a few years.
Godel: On paper, I like the idea that Angel (despite being a veteran) is a sucky, out-of-shape klutz compared to the battle-seasoned New X-Men. But it’s hard to really care. He seems to have no relationships with anybody besides the Professor, except that scene where he realizes that Colossus has the soul of a poet.
Uzumeri: He’s just there, the guy who flies. And has money.
Godel: All that leaves, then, is the Kitty solo story in 143, also known as “Chris Claremont really liked Alien.”
Uzumeri: Part One.
Godel: Hahha, yuuuuup. Maybe it’s just Byrne’s character design that makes the N’Garai monster so specifically Alien and not just “the last thirty minutes of every monster movie ever.” But then you have Kitty thinking stuff like “well, this worked in that movie!“
Uzumeri: And again, Kitty’s hypercompetent to the point of unbelievability. The issue’s cleverly laid out, but the way all the stuff Kitty was complaining about came in useful kind of felt like “and this is why you don’t complain about Algebra homework!!” and then a dude’s arm comes off like in Arrested Development.
Godel: “Psssht, why would I ever want to study how to use the afterburners in the Blackbird! What a drag!” The story works a lot better in the moments where she’s scared to death and clearly losing the fight.
And I’ll go ahead and say it: it’d be better with about half as many thought balloons. We always get to hear her rational inner voice in the midst of all this chaos, when we want to hear the heartbeat pounding on the soundtrack.
Uzumeri: I can actually almost sympathize with Byrne, since it must suck to draw a sick page and then find out that over half of it got covered with balloons.
Godel: There’s still not as much text as we’ll see by the late 80s, but, yeah. Claremont’s voice works better on some kinds of stories than others. Things like the Wendigo story would not work at all without his dialogue selling the character moments. But for pulse-pounding, emotionally-fraught action moments….well, you can see why he would say, quote, “The fights are bullshit.”
This might be a stretch, but I’d compare him to Bendis – who also covers his pages in words, is very concerned with getting his characters to interact with each other, but can drop the ball sometimes on immediacy.
Uzumeri: No, I’d say that’s a very accurate comparison. They both love the down-time, just watching the characters interact, getting into their heads.
Godel: Once again going to Byrne’s Comics Journal interview -
BYRNE: Chris’s idea of a perfect issue of the X-Men, I think, would be 22 pages of them in the mansion or walking around in the Village or at Scott’s apartment [...] where they sit around, out of costume, in jeans and T-shirts, and just talk. Jeans and T-shirts, that’s become like a buzzline. [...] One day he said, “Around the mansion, I figure Storm wears jeans and a T-shirt,” and I said “Storm!? The former African goddess?! Is this the same character, or have we got a black maid now named Storm?” [...] I said, “A caftan, maybe, something loose and flowing,” and Shooter says something with big sleeves so when you look up ‘em you can see her tits…
Uzumeri: “So you can see her tits.”
Godel: Let’s go there again, shall we?
BYRNE: Comic book girls live forever and are never affected by gravity. So they can be enormous and always be that way and always look good.
ITKOWITZ: So even when they lay down, their tits still stand straight up.
BYRNE: You betcha. Well, my girls’ don’t. My girls have real breasts that move.
ITKOWITZ: [...] There was a Neal Adam poster of Wasp, this girl was laying upside down and they stood perfectly –
BYRNE: Neal does the worst boobs in the world. Neal draws these great-looking ladies with no breasts, and then it’s as if he says, “Something’s missing – Ah! breasts!” And it’s like, how can a guy who’s that good draw such lousy breasts?
Uzumeri: Don’t forget his line about enjoying the Scarlet Witch “for two very obvious reasons.”
Godel: OK, I wasn’t going to go on, but since we are about to say goodbye to John Byrne…
BYRNE: Chris has a couple of buzz-things that always come out. [The] other one was, “Is there any reason —”
STERN AND BYRNE (in unison): “— this character couldn’t be a woman?”
I like Claremont more with each word out of Byrne’s mouth. Like, here’s this guy in the late 70s trying to get around having all the characters be male by default, and the bros at the office just make fun of him for it.
Uzumeri: Byrne has said that someone had a “CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FOWLCOON” poster up in the offices.
I did expect more from Roger Stern, somehow
Godel: BYRNE: I’m very Victorian. [...] I have come into the 20th Century sufficiently that people don’t have to get married and that faggot-queer-homos can live together as long as they don’t bother me….
Uzumeri: “Faggot queer homos,” holy shit. It’s honestly surprising it took so long for people to realize he was a shithead.
Godel: I guess it shows where comics fans’ values and standards were in 1980… he probably just came off as a rakish provocateur.
BYRNE: [Claremont] soured me on Colleen Wing when he told me that she was a) bisexual and b) promiscious. She sleeps with anything because she’s looking for the big O. [...] I didn’t need to know that to draw her, but I couldn’t draw her properly from then on. [...] And every time I put her in any kind of a costume or in danger or any kind of a tied-up situation, I knew that it had a different meaning for Chris. [...] I liked Colleen Wing right up until he laid this brilliant little bit of characterization on me. But my idea of sexuality and what’s exciting and what’s stimulating is a long way from Chris’s.
#1, I assume he is talking about kink in that last bit, #2, what a dickish thing to say given that you’re still working together, and #3, I really doubt that’s what Claremont said, but at least we finally know why Colleen vanished from the comic.
Uzumeri: Yeah, I bet Claremont used words like “free-spirited,” and Byrne’s brain interpreted as “huge slut.” I mean, Claremont’s always had his sexual peccadillios, but at least they’re all healthy/fun/consensual/etc.
Godel: Except when people are MIND CONTROLLED, but yeah – Claremont is like from a different century than Byrne.
Uzumeri: No shit, dude! Byrne literally just described himself as Victorian.
Claremont’s gotten lot of shit recently, and absolutely none of it’s deserved on a really forward-thinking writer who by all accounts is still one of the nicest and most generous guys in comics. It’s really unfortunate that his most famous work shares a byline with someone who’s managed to completely poison the well of goodwill by being one of the most outspoken douchebags in the industry.
Godel: Unfortunate, and kind of amazing – I mean, you read Byrne’s interview, and then you read Claremont’s from the year before - how did these two people have a working partnership?
Uzumeri: There’s a difference between your embarrassing dad and your racist uncle. If anything, Claremont’s greatest sin has been trying too hard to seem cool in his old age.
Godel: If he’d retired for good in 1991, there’d be nothing to hold against him, depending how you feel about his last few years on Uncanny.
Uzumeri: And it’s not like the stuff he’s written since is OFFENSIVE, just kind of lackluster and aged-feeling.
Godel: So that’s that! John Byrne’s run on the X-Men!
Uzumeri: Now we get to the shit I’m really excited about, when my mental map of early X-Men starts to fall apart. I know that we somehow get from here to X-Men #1, and it involves Australia and a really confusing thing called the Siege Perilous, and also Hell in New York.
Godel: And we’re a long way from all that! NEXT TIME: The return of COCKRUM! The return of ARCADE! The return of… Garokk the Petrified Man?!
Uzumeri: But first, more JLA! See you next week!