Anyway, I have to admit to a bit of excitement here, because as the cover of UXM #261 proudly declares, Wolverine, Psylocke, and Jubilee are gonna meet Hardcase and the Harriers! OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY I LOVE THOSE GUYS!
I'm sorry. I've just been informed I've made another one of my silly mistakes.
Anyway, the comic book promises "the ferocious introduction of Hardcase and the Harriers," which is a nice trick seeing as they had already appeared the year before in Wolverine.
Panel from Wolverine (1988 series) #5 (March 1989), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Al Williamson, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Janice Chiang
Anyway, this column is titled "Psylocke Psaturday" and not "Harrier Hwednesday," so what's our friendly neighborhood British/Japanese ex-pilot ex-supermodel ex-secret agent psychic ninja mutant X-Men up to? Why, she's perfecting her impersonation of Morticia Addams. In the next panel no doubt Wolverine exclaims "Bets! You spoke French!"
Panels from Uncanny X-Men #261 (May 1990), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Marc Silvestri, inks by Dan Green, colors by Mike Rockwitz, letters by Tom Orzechowski
Jubilee still doesn't trust/is envious of Betsy, and it's a subplot that, while well handled by Claremont, pretty much goes away swiftly without comment, without even the type of quick-as-a-wink resolution that, say, the subplot of Kitty Pryde being spooked by Nightcrawler had ten years before. Psylocke is cool as a traditional English cucumber sandwich, and without even ever having met Professor X, she handily shows off one of his cleverer tricks of astral projection sending out an invisible psychic avatar of herself to spy on the world. She encounters shades of Carol Danvers and Nick Fury (well, what woulda been a Nick Fury-bot at that point, if recent mega-events are to believed) and battles them briefly, continuing to set up a subplot about Wolverine's mental madness that would of course be completely forgotten a few issues from now and indeed never picked up in his own solo book.
And oh yes, they get to fight the previously promised Hardcase and the Harriers.
It's their second appearance and once again the "trained to take on the Avengers" line is trotted out. Well, maybe, but consider that at this period in time, the Avengers consisted of what many fans might consider one of their lamest line-ups, and still the active members were Captain America, Gilgamesh the Forgotten Guy, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, and Thor. Freakin' Thor, dudes. And yet here they are defeated by Jubilee. Hoo boy! Were Claremont and/or Silvestri trying to build up these characters and creating a "back-door pilot" for this new team? If so, wave goodbye to those tasty royalty checks, guys, because this is the second and the final appearance of Hardcase and the Harriers. Well, unless you count their appearance in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition (yes, the one where you tear out the pages and store them in a three-hole binder)...but I don't.
Man, they really wiped out a dozen half-decent code-names for superheroes with this team, didn't they?
Why are the Harriers so ticked off at our mutant pals? Well, partly because Wolverine hired them to attack himself and the two X-Women to make sure that he and his team were in fighting shape, but mostly because Jubilee blew up their comic books.
So what was Psylocke doing during all this? Why, posing for her Milo Manara comic book cover, of course.
It's fairly early in the era of "ninja bathing suit-Betsy," so this might be the first sighting of the ever-changing-in-size uniform bottom. Sometimes it's fairly modest and pretty much covers up her whole derrière, but at other times it's not much bigger than a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model's thong. Well, here we can at least see it covers something. Not much, granted, but it protects UXM against the wrath of the all-powerful Comics Code Authority while at the same time giving young
OH FOR PETE'S SAKE SILVESTRI