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. Today:
X-Men #8 — Tooth and Claw
Guys. You guys. If you are around 30 years old and read comics, then X-Men #8 is a milestone in your comics life. This is the infamous X-Men picnic issue. The seminal Psylocke-in-a-bikini issue. This was one of those moments you remember forever. I have so much to talk about, that I’m basically going to dedicate a whole post to this issue. Are you ready?
I guess it’s pretty important that this is the issue where Bishop is introduced into the Blue Team universe. Which is a bit ironic, what with all the massive time travel stuff going on in the X-Universe right now. I guess time travel’s always kinda been in the X-Universe, ever since “Days of Future Past” (I can’t remember if there was time travel before that in a major way). So Bishop coming in and basically flipping his lid, calling Gambit a traitor, calling Jubilee the “Last X-Man,” his storyline and these hints didn’t pay off until literally SIXTEEN YEARS LATER. Good thing you laid the groundwork for that guys, so that a whole new generation of comic readers could basically go “Wait, what?”
I’d like to think that Bishop’s quote about a picnic was some self deprecating humor on Jim Lee’s part, but I honestly think he genuinely believes that people have picnics in real life as much as the X-Men do in his comics. Can you imagine hanging out with Jim Lee? And he’s like, “Hey man, great to see you, wanna go for a picnic?” And he holds up a picnic basket. You’re like “Uh…I guess? I mean, we could just go to a bar or something.” And he says, “Nah man, it’s PICNIC TIME!” And he runs off before you really have a chance to say anything, so you shrug and you go to a picnic with Jim Lee. BTW, if Jim Lee’s reading this, I would totally go picnicking with you.
So anyway, it’s picnic time. And…is that Jubilee hula hooping, while Beast just kinda…watches? Mad creepy, Hank.
Also, what in the WORLD is Gambit wearing? Mind you, he’s wearing this shirt, the shirt with the holes in the chest and frayed sleeves and collar, BEFORE he gets into a fight with Bishop. And of course, the fight with Bishop, with the best “pie in the face” gag in comics history?
Are you keeping score? Jim Lee wrote a PIE IN THE FACE GAG in this comic. This is some next-level comedy shit, guys. I kinda mean that unironically. Or maybe I don’t even know anymore?
Which of course leads us to this amazing, classic, all-time great comics panel. Maybe Jim Lee thought “Hey guys, you know who needs to be SEXIER? Psylocke.” Maybe he saw the Marvel Swimsuit Issues, and was like “PPSSSSHHHT!” But as every 12 year old boy who read this issue back in 1992, I salute you Jim Lee.
I mean, c’mon, can you blame Scott? I don’t care how much you love your wife/girlfriend/whatever, if that comes walking out of the lake to you, what can you do? What power do you have? I mean, yes he is a mutant, but he is only HUMAN.
There’s so much more that happens in this issue, for instance Bella Donna, Gambit’s WIFE, gets thrown into the mix. Ghost Rider’s appears. Some more Forge/Ororo drama gets dropped in there (ugh, gross). And the X-Men get ready to go to N’AWLINS. But I mean, how do you follow up the most epic picnic of all time in comics history.
I want to leave you with this very weird March Coolometer (remember those?) from the Bullpen Bulletins editor’s page that Marvel was doing monthly:
Look at some of these, like, what in the world. Christopher Columbus is cool? And also good call on Nomad being the COOLEST. You guys all remember Nomad, right? The Coolest comic book character of all time. Also, Death by Bee Stings (Guessing My Girl was out?), but how is that cool? And Michael Jackson in 1992, was sort of uncool? What? I am totally perplexed by this. I don’t even…
So anyway, yeah. Next time, GHOST RIDER AND THE BROOOOOD.