X-Men X-Cess: Basketball, Dates, & Tentacles

Originally posted at Adam WarRock’s tumblr page.

I bought a bundle of X-Men Vol. 2 issues, 1-79, and I am going to read them all and blog about them here.



X-Men #4 — The Resurrection and the Flesh
Look, I know that Omega Red is introduced in the beginning of this book and takes the life force of 20 men, but we all know where the real heat in this issue comes from. It’s the 2-on-2 bball game between Gambit/Jubilee and Wolverine/Rogue. See, this is the thing that was cool about the X-Men. They took the time to regularly do things, like have picnics, play bball, go on dates. I just don’t remember the Avengers ever playing basketball. But maybe they did. Who knows.

Remember when Gambit and Wolverine regularly smoked? Remember when everyone cool in comics basically smoked? Anyway, Gambit and Rogue go on a date and while on his sweet motorcycle, Gambit basically ducks and lets Rogue get completely taken out by a tripwire. I mean, c’mon dude. You’re Southern, have some courtesy for the lady. He also said “Sapriste! My bike” when it gets blown up, which I just looked up and means “crap! or shit!”

And here’s the introduction of Omega Red. It’s been widely discussed on various podcasts and interviews how as a kid, I was terrified of Omega Red. And the end of this issue is a good example why. Dude is just scarily unstoppable. And he has tentacles. You don’t want to get trapped in an alleyway cornered with a dude that has life-sucking tentacles. It’s weird to think that Jim Lee created Omega Red, and he’s sort of become a widely popular (I mean he’s in video games). Back when I first read it, the way that Wolverine makes the mention of “Not that scent again,” I guess I just assumed Omega Red was around before then.

X-Men #5 – Blowback
One thing I’ve already noticed is wow, the titles to these issues were kinda terrible.

Let’s get right to it, with PSYLOCKE IN A BIKINI. One of many Jim Lee Psylocke-in-a-bikini panels, which as an 11 year old kid, was pretty important. It’s because of that panel that I’ll always remember what “Klaxon” means. Forever. Seared into my mind.

One thing I forgot about these early issues is how good Beast is in them. Something about the way he’s drawn, maybe it’s Jim Lee’s exquisite way of drawing debris, but he always looked like he could wreck shit; but just always chose not to. Because he’s smart see.


You don’t believe that Omega Red is wrecking shit? Look at that panel? Who laughs like that, except exceptionally evil men. This issue also displays a problem that a lot of X-Men books had, in that their villains, which here I believe is the Hellfire Club and the leader of the Hand (don’t remember his name, don’t care, he was the ASIAN dude) sitting around in suits and talking. Which I mean, don’t get me wrong, is cool, but the way Jim Lee drew a lot of the less-than-defined characters, you kinda got lost in who was who. So if someone didn’t have a costume, or wasn’t just an evergreen character who you could identify in a second, it gets kinda confusing who is who and why they are doing the things that they are doing. So you’d probably just flip past it and get to the action anyway. This is probably why 90’s comics were like they were. I was the target demo. Story? Characters? Who cares. When do they fight?

Anyway, the issue ends with the introduction of Maverick, which we will get to NEXT TIME. But suffice to say, Maverick is one of my favorite characters ever. And then we get a teaser about Longshot, Spiral, Mojo, and Dazzler. One thing that’s worth mentioning is that Lee really seemed to have these 11 issues figured out from the get go. From #1’s “Things to Come” foldout, to the way these issues are sequenced (Magneto story, Wolverine/Weapon-X story, Gambit/Brood/Bishop story, Longshot story), I mean, if we got that kind of heavy artillery in any run of a big title NOW, we’d all be loving it.

Up Next: Sabretooth, more Omega Red, and MAVERICK.