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    The X-Men vs. Proteus - Chris Claremont John Byrne



    The X-Men vs. Proteus - Chris Claremont John Byrne
    Dave Cockrum / John Byrne (covers/portadas)
    After a terrible battle with Magneto, the X-Men were presumed dead by Jean Grey and Hank McCoy (Beast); when they share this devastating information with Professor X, Charles Xavier decides to abandon Earth, accompanying Lilandra Neramani, Shi’ar Empress, to her homeworld. Grief-stricken, Jean Grey decides to travel around the globe (and is constantly stalked by the mysterious Jason Wyngarde) while the Beast returns to the Avengers.   

    Nevertheless, all of the X-Men had survived, and as they step foot on Xavier’s mansion they realize the venerable building is completely empty. They think Beast and Jean have died during the conflict with Magneto, until they actually find out that’s not true. Quickly, they take the Blackbird to Scotland, although none of them suspects that “There’s Something Awful on Muir Island!” (Uncanny X-Men # 125, September 1979).

    In order to understand the limitations of the Phoenix force, Jean Grey has asked geneticist expert Moira McTaggert for help. Moira has one of the best genetic laboratories in the world, and it’s on this facility located on Muir Island that something weird takes place. Proteus, one of the world’s most powerful and dangerous mutants, is at large. In “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth” (Uncanny X-Men # 126), the X-Men are finally reunited with Jean Grey, and they experiment happiness but also preoccupation, as they must find and defeat Proteus. Jean Grey, Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Storm join forces with Moira McTaggert, Banshee, Polaris, Havoc and Multiple Man. But even this extraordinary assemblage of superheroes may not be enough to stop Proteus.

    Even with all the action scenes, Claremont and Byrne still find the time to reveal the secret past of Moira McTaggert in “The Quality of Hatred!” (Uncanny X-Men # 127). Long before meeting Charles Xavier, Moira had a relationship with a Scottish officer, an alcoholic that had a tendency for violence. When the two of them were in New York, he savagely beats up Moira McTaggert and then rapes her. She is hospitalized and although her wounds heal, there is a much more serious repercussion: she’s pregnant. She raises her child on Muir Island, until at a tender age the boy starts manifesting an unprecedented level of power matched only by his depravity. Moira had found the way to keep him imprisoned for years but now that he’s free, he kills people without any remorse.     

    There is an especially intense moment that I’d like to mention. Moira knows that her son will seek out his father to kill him in the most horrendous way imaginable. Moira also hates the man who raped her, but still, she risks her life, travels to Edinburgh and warns him about the arrival of Proteus. Arrogant as ever, the man dismisses Moira’s advices, and in an outburst of rage, she takes a gun and is about to shoot him. There is something quite exquisite in this sort of human contradiction, and Claremont and Byrne knew exactly what to do to bring their characters to life. In “The Action of the Tiger” (Uncanny X-Men # 128), the X-Men have no choice but to kill Proteus in order to save Scotland’s largest city.



    John Byrne (penciler) and Terry Austin (inker) were the ideal artistic team back in the late 70s and early 80s. I often think that together there is nothing they couldn’t accomplish, and reading these comics now, it’s easy to notice the graphic shortcomings of many of today’s comic books. According to Claremont, Byrne’s “stellar artwork just got better and better with every issue. John could do it all: action and characterization, the most mundane of settings and the most fantastic, presenting with equal facility a couple discussing life and their potential relationship over a cup of coffee to the formal coronation of the Queen of an interstellar and decidedly non-human empire […] He established character so indelibly that the ramification of those debuts have resonances today. He can do drama, he can do humor. He did it all”.
    The X-Men vs. Proteus - Chris Claremont John Byrne
    Moira McTaggert & Jean Grey

    Obviously, I agree with Mr. Claremont 100%. I’ve often said that I turned into a serious comic book collector thanks to John Byrne’s Superman. And to this day, every time I reread these classic stories from the 70s or 80s I feel just as excited as I felt that very first time, when I realized I could never turn my back on the ninth art. These classic comics have inspired me to write and draw my own, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. 
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    The X-Men vs. Proteus - Chris Claremont John Byrne
    the many faces of Jason Wyngarde/ los muchos rostros de Jason Wyngarde

    Después de una terrible batalla con Magneto, Jean Grey y Hank McCoy (Beast) asumen que los X-Men han muerto; cuando comparten esta devastadora información con el Profesor X, Charles Xavier decide abandonar la Tierra, y acompaña a Lilandra Neramani, la emperatriz Shi’ar, a su mundo. Desolada, Jean Grey decide viajar por el mundo (y es acosada con insistencia por el misterioso Jason Wyngarde) mientras Beast regresa a los Avengers.   

    No obstante, todos los X-Men habían sobrevivido, y apenas ponen un pie en la mansión de Xavier se dan cuenta que el venerable edificio está completamente vacío. Ellos piensan que Beast y Jean murieron durante el conflicto con Magneto, hasta que descubren que esto no es así. Rápidamente, se suben al Blackbird rumbo a Escocia, aunque ninguno de ellos sospecha que "Hay algo horrible en la isla Muir" (Uncanny X-Men # 125, setiembre de 1979).
    The X-Men vs. Proteus - Chris Claremont John Byrne
    Storm versus Proteus

    Para entender las limitaciones de la fuerza Fénix, Jean Grey ha buscado la ayuda de la experta en genética Moira McTaggert. El laboratorio genético de Moira es uno de los mejores del mundo, y es en estas instalaciones ubicadas en la isla Muir en las que algo extraño sucede. Proteus, uno de los mutantes más poderosos y peligrosos del mundo, se ha liberado. En "Más filoso que el diente de una serpiente" (Uncanny X-Men # 126), los X-Men finalmente se reúnen con Jean Grey, y experimentan felicidad pero también preocupación al tener que encontrar y derrotar a Proteus. Jean Grey, Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler y Storm unen fuerzas con Moira McTaggert, Banshee, Polaris, Havoc y Multiple Man. Pero incluso este extraordinario ensamblaje de súper-héroes podría no ser suficiente para detener a Proteus.
    The X-Men vs. Proteus - Chris Claremont John Byrne
    Jean Grey, Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler,
    Storm, Banshee, Polaris & Havoc 

    Incluso con todas las escenas de acción, Claremont y Byrne se las arreglan para revelar secretos del pasado de Moira McTaggert en "La calidad del odio" (Uncanny X-Men # 127). Mucho antes de conocer a Charles Xavier, Moira tenía una relación con un oficial escocés, un alcohólico con tendencias violentas. Cuando los dos se encuentran en New York, él golpea salvajemente a Moira McTaggert y la viola. Ella es hospitalizada y aunque sus heridas sanan, hay una repercusión mucho más seria: está embarazada. Cría a su hijo en la isla Muir, hasta que a una tierna edad el chico empieza a manifestar un nivel de poder y de depravación sin precedentes. Moira había encontrado la manera de mantenerlo prisionero por años pero ahora que está libre, mata personas sin ningún remordimiento.


    The X-Men vs. Proteus - Chris Claremont John Byrne
    Colossus versus Proteus
    Hay un momento muy intenso que me gustaría mencionar. Moira sabe que su hijo buscará a su padre para matarlo de la manera más horrenda que pueda imaginar. Moira también odia al hombre que la violó, pero aun así, arriesga su vida, viaja a Edimburgo y le advierte sobre la llegada de Proteus. Arrogante como siempre, el hombre le hace poco caso a Moira, y en un estallido de ira, ella sujeta una pistola y está a punto de dispararle. Hay algo bastante exquisito en este tipo de contradicción humana, y Claremont y Byrne sabían exactamente qué hacer para darles vida a sus personajes. En "La acción del tigre" (Uncanny X-Men # 128), los X-Men no tienen otra opción más que darle muerte a Proteus para salvar la mayor ciudad de Escocia.

    John Byrne (lápices) y Terry Austin (tintas) eran el equipo artístico ideal a fines de los 70 y comienzos de los 80. A menudo pienso que juntos no había nada que no pudiesen lograr, y al leer estos cómics ahora es fácil notar los defectos gráficos de muchos de los cómics de hoy. De acuerdo con Claremont, el estelar trabajo de Byrne "continuaba mejorando número a número. John podía hacerlo todo: acción y caracterización, el escenario más mundano y el más fantástico, presentaba con igual facilidad a una pareja discutiendo sobre la vida y su potencial relación mientras tomaban café o la coronación formal de la reina de un imperio interestelar y decididamente no humano [...] Él estableció los personajes tan indeleblemente que las ramificaciones de estos debuts tiene resonancias hoy en día. Puede hacer drama, puede hacer humor. Y lo hizo todo".

    Obviamente, estoy 100% de acuerdo con Claremont. He afirmado con frecuencia que me convertí en un coleccionista de cómics de verdad gracias al Superman de John Byrne. Y hasta el día de hoy, cada vez que releo estas historias clásicas de los 70s y 80s, me siento tan emocionado como al principio, cuando me di cuenta que no podría darle la espalda al noveno arte. Estos cómics clásicos me han inspirado a escribir y dibujar los míos, y por ello estaré eternamente agradecido.

    Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-x-men-vs-proteus-chris-claremont.html

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    About the Author - Arion


    Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

     


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