Saturday, August 30, 2014

Psylocke Psaturday: The X-Position Agenda

Psylocke's next appearance is in 1990's annual, and hoo boy, is is eminently skippable.

Panels from "The Fundamental Thing" in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 (1990), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Mark Heike, inks by Geof Isherwood, colors by Nelson Yomtov, letters by Michael Heisler

This is the period when the X-Men have been dispersed and scattered in groups around the world, so every few issues follows another X-Man or three. Wolverine, Jubilee, and Psylocke are working their way across Asia, but they can't escape that year's X-Men/New Mutants/X-Factor/Fantastic Four Annual crossover "Days of Future Present," which, despite riffing on the title of one of the greatest X-Men stories and one of the greatest X-Men movies is...can I say it? It's not very good.. Most of the four issues involve the adult Franklin Richards, possibly from the future, who the heck knows?...skipping around and cameo-crashing in everybody's annual. Why is it I love the kid Franklin Richards and loathe the adult one? Ah, if o0nly he had crossed over into the 1990 Punisher Annual.

Wolvie, Jubie, and Psychie don't even appear in the lead story of X-Men Annual #14 (which, to be fair, has some fairly lovely Art Adams artwork whose continuity is marred by an uneven roulette wheel of assorted inkers) but in a back-up which serves a duel purpose of slightly tying into the main story and Wolverine recounting the history of the X-Men, both the Original Fab Five and the All-New, All-Different, in extremely text-heavy, caption box-crowded flashback panels:

(Never mind that the same recap concept had been done much, much better in UXM #138):

Panels from [Uncanny] X-Men #138 (October 1980); co-plot and script by Chris Claremont; co-plot and pencils by John Byrne; inks by Terry Austin; colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Wolvie doesn't even stop telling the tale to the skeptical Jubilee and the vaguely disinterested Psylocke when Franklin Richards and Rachel "I'm the Phoenix With the Spikes on Her Costume" Summers visit Wolverine to remind him to tie this story into the Annual's main plot.

Special guest appearance by Baby Cable oh geez just kill me now

Oh, and Jubilee and Phoenix have a catfight. Jubilee versus Phoenix. Let's just think about that for a while. Which one of those combatants do you think is more likely to wind up in a pile of flash-fried ashes?

So there ya go: X-Men Annual #14. It had Psylocke in it but not very much. In fact, there was more real estate taken up by word balloons than by Ms. Betsy Braddock. Oh, and collector/fanboys? First published appearance of Gambit.

Panel from "You Must Remember This" in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 (1990); script by Chris Claremont; pencils by Art Adams; inks by Dan Green, Bob Wiacek, Al Milgrom, Art Thibert, and/or Steve Mancuse; colors by Brad Vancata, letters by Tom Orzechowski

So be sure that you bag and board this turkey, folks!

1 comment:

Mike Collins said...

Well, technically, Uncanny #266 was the first appearance of Gambit, as it introduced him... shipping just got screwed.... drawn by, damn, what's his name again....? :-)