Uncanny X-Men #210 - 'The Morning After' - Claremont, Romita Jnr, Green and Oliver
Story - Much like the 'All-New, All-Different' X-Men were brought together by Krakoa, the living island, a natural disaster has effected this week's Review Group for me. The Icelandic Volcano has meant that there are no comics in the UK this week, and therefore no X-Men Forever. So instead I've decided to review another Claremont X-Men, any Claremont X-Men really, I wasn't bothered which, so I just chose this one based on the cover. It's a bad-ass cover for sure, but unfortunately this is kind of an average issue, really just a breather, setting up future stories, in particular, the famous 'Mutant Massacre'.
This issue mainly features a series of character moments, you have the mysterious Marauders hunting down some Morlocks, setting up the crossover, you've got Dazzler being bitchy, Rogue hunting for Phoenix II, Magneto being offered membership of the Hellfire Club, Shadowcat and Colossus rescuing Nightcrawler and Storm and Wolverine working out some leadership issues. Because I hadn't read the previous issue (which was the X-Men Vs Hellfire Club and Nimrod, say what you want about older comics, but they do exposition the hell out of you), a lot of this character stuff was lost on me, I was just confused about why Magneto was leading the team, and how there could be an X-Men book with only one page of Wolverine. I did like how the original X-Factor kind of hovered around the book, with most of the characters thinking that they were Mutant hunters and not actually the original X-Men.
Claremont's writing was mixed here, there are some of his usual quirks and problems, over long dialogue, clunky descriptions of character's powers, and I counted at least 2 passioned mutant equality speeches. But there were also more subtle moments, and even some humour, 'don't you dare fight in here -- This is Bloomingdales!'. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but it had me chuckling.
Overall, this was an odd issue, I enjoyed it on the whole, partly out of... not nostalgia, because I wasn't born when the issue came out, but from that nice feeling you get from reading an old comic, transported back to another time and place, I was in the 80s, I was experiencing the X-Men in their pomp, and Claremont in his, it was interesting to visit this period I've read about and know about, but never actually read. Part of that even comes from the ads, the pimping of the New Universe, Gumby, all that stuff, glorious.
But really, it was an issue in which nothing much happened, and there were some bad moments. Maybe I should have picked a different issue.
Art - The art here comes from John Romita Jnr, one of the best Marvel artists of all time, but this is 80s JRjr, and he's not quite at the level he's reached today yet, part of that may be due to the old-fashioned colouring, it makes his art look flat, even compared to the cover, it looks washed-out. I did also notice that at this time (1986) his art isn't as distinctive as it is now, you can still clearly see it's him, but it's smoother, and actually more reminiscent of his dad's work.
Best Line - 'Gentlemen! Gentlemen!! Don't you dare fight in here -- This is Bloomingdales!!!'