Saturday, May 02, 2015

Psylocke Psaturday: Warning: Psylocke May Not Actually Appear in This Post

I often joke in these (digital) pages: "Hey, remember when there was only one X-Men comic?" I mean: how the Sam Scratch could they ever have a crossover event with only one comic? Luckily by the early '90s there was a fine assortment of titles that began with "X" on your comic book shop shelf, and for that matter one of 'em began with "N," one with "E," and one began with "Wolver." Most of which would somehow get tied up in the x-citing x-over x-Travangza The X-Tinction Agenda,, the Marvel event that taught a generation how to misspell the word "extinction!" And also produced house ads that were nigh-invulnerable to reading comprehension. The X-Men: blocking the literacy of America's youth since 1963!

A little bit of comics history archeology (whoa, almost got run over by that giant rolling comics history boulder there!) turns up in the pages of Marvel Age what might be the first mention of The X-Tinction Agenda, under its original and less-misspelled title The Mutant Wars.

"The Mutant Wars" preview from Marvel Age Preview #1 (June 1990)

Yes, Marvel Age Preview! The book of Marvel advertisements you pay for! To be fair, it did bring us a preview of the greatest comic book achievement of the 1990s:

Also, the comic book most symbolic of the industry in the 1990s.

Anyway, take a look at that there above summary of "The Mutant Wars" and notice that's not the plot of X-Tinction Agenda. "X-Tinction" does take place in (or near) the issues listed in the yellow box — except for Excalibur, which curiously vanished from the crossover. Looks like the original plot line got tossed out of the window very close to the publication! Because the eventual published saga actually focused more on mutant-nation Genosha and X-Factor financial backer and creepy super villain nemesis (six o' one...) Cameron Hodge. And his creepy mecha-spider body and his penchant for collecting naked mutants.

Panel from New Mutants #95 (November 1990), script by Louise Simonson, pencils by Rob Liefeld, inks by Joe Rubinstein, colors by Brad Vancata, letters by Joe Rosen

Whew, thank goodness (and the Comics Code) for conveniently placed capes and shadows. Thank you Marvel Comics, for helping us not see Forge's Rictor's area! Thanks to Titanic Tim O'Neil for the correction on that guy!

How nineties was the X-Tinction Agenda? So nineties that it invented the second printing gold-inked variant cover.

covers of (from top) Uncanny X-Men #270, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams; The New Mutants #95, pencils and inks by Rob Liefeld; X-Factor #60, pencils by Jon Bogdanove, inks by Al Milgrom (all November 1990)

But wait, this is Psylocke Psaturday, isn't it? So where's out favorite purple-haired British-born Japanese supermodel/pilot/SHIELD agent/mutant hero/psychic ninja in all this brouhaha? Nope, not here:

Panels from X-Factor #60 (November 1990), script by Louise Simonson, pencils by Jon Bogdanove, inks by Al Milgrom, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Joe Rosen

Oh! Since Psylocke usually appears in the pages of Uncanny, I bet she'll be here in the UXM Dramatis Personae (i.e., folks what in the comic)! Right?

Panels from Uncanny X-Men #270 (November 1990), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Art Thibert and Scott Williams, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Yikes! To misquote the keen catchphrase of another 1990s mystery woman, where in the world in Elisabeth Braddock?

Why, she's right here in the next issue. Now that's what I call music hiding in plain sight.

Panel from Uncanny X-Men #271 (December 1990), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski and L. Lois Buhalis

There she is! Hi Betsy!


Well, that's all we've got time for on tonight's Psylocke Psaturday! We'll actually explore her exciting adventures next week, so tune in for "The Travelodge of Cameron Hodge!" or "Don't Injuh our Ninja!"


Peder said...

The art from Jon Bogdanove in the X-Factor books is simply brutal. I've seen some of the rest of his work and it's fine so maybe something else was happening here.

Tom said...

Poor Rictor! From the looks of that one panel, Mr. Hodge neutered the poor kid.