Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jason Powell on The Kitty Pryde & Wolverine Miniseries

[Guest Blogger Jason Powell continues his issue by issue look at Chris Claremont’s X-Men run. For more in this series, see the toolbar on the right.]

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #4

Far from Claremont’s best work, the Kitty/Wolverine miniseries is notable mainly for being the first X-Men story to pair the two characters in a protégé/mentor relationship. The contrived, overly extemporized plot is as follows: Kitty goes to Chicago to visit her father, and learns he’s become involved with Shigematsu, a Japanese crime-lord. She follows her father to Japan, where she quickly realizes she’s in over her head and phones Wolverine for help. Shigematsu’s associate – an evil ninja calling himself Ogun (note again the phonetic allusion to James Carvell’s novel Shogun) – captures Kitty, brainwashes her into becoming his pet ninja apprentice, and sends her out to kill the newly arrived Wolverine. We learn that Ogun was Logan’s sensei years ago, and that there is now bad blood between the two of them. Wolverine rescues Kitty from Ogun’s thrall, becoming her tough-love mentor in the hopes that, with the help of his hard instruction, she’ll burn Ogun’s taint entirely from her psyche.

The climactic final battle involves not only Wolverine, Ogun and Kitty (who has by this time renamed herself “Shadowcat”), but also Yukio and Mariko. In the end, Wolverine saves the day even though he has to resort to his animalistic, berserker mode to do it, and Kitty proves to both Logan and herself that she is free of any evil influence. (As a happy side effect however, Kitty now has expert-level martial arts training.)

Though the story is not without its strong points, it is generally speaking not particularly exciting. Claremont has stated explicitly that he thinks Kitty Pryde & Wolverine is “as good” as the Frank Miller-illustrated Wolverine mini. Again, the author seems to have lost perspective. Where the Miller mini was direct and powerful, this one is contrived and overly complicated. And whereas Miller’s art was innovative and ahead of its time, Milgrom’s work is competent but conventional – and at times ugly.

The series is noteworthy more for historical reasons than anything else. It features not only the first use of the code-name “Shadowcat” for Kitty but also the last appearance of Mariko Yashida in a Claremont book. It’s clear in context that he didn’t mean for it to be thus; we learn in KP&W #5 that Mariko has actually adopted Akiko, the orphan Wolverine rescued in Uncanny #181, and in issue #6, Wolverine refers to himself as Akiko’s “foster father.” It will turn out that “deadbeat dad” would have been more appropriate – Wolverine won’t visit Mariko and Akiko again (at least, not on panel) for the next seven years.

This is another example of Claremont creating more story threads than he can possibly keep track of. Wolverine-as-family-man is an intriguing idea, and Claremont surely intended to explore the notion further in future X-Men comics or Wolverine miniseries ... but instead got sidetracked by various other threads and ideas, so that rather than KP&W being the beginning of something new, the miniseries instead marks the end of an era – no more Wolverine-in-Japan stories from here on out.


Anonymous said...

When it came to biological parents, Claremont stuck with the classic cliches:

1) Absent/dead.
2) Surprise! A hero or villain in own right.
3) Corrupt/criminal (dads only).

I remember that Kitty's father, as presented here, was almost identical to Sunspot's father (who was involved in criminal activity around the same time over in New Mutants); one was American, t'other Brazilian, but the characters were otherwise much the same IMS. (And come to think of it, in both cases the criminal skullduggery was an excuse to drag the heroes to someplace geographically distant.)

It's funny, because Claremont is absolutely fascinated with non-biological parent-like relationships. The X-Men positively fizzled with these. Almost every single character is on the giving or receiving end, or both -- nurturing or nurtured, teacher or student, giving or receiving discipline, protector or protected.

He just loves playing riffs on the parent-child relationship. But actual, you know, parents? Seem to leave him sort of baffled.

Doug M.

Jason said...

The difference between Kitty's father and Sunspot's was that the former was relatively normal guy who had sold out as a matter of expediency (and, per the story, originally to help people) and was, when Kitty found him out here, very much in trouble with the people he'd sold out *to*.

Sunspot's father was "wealthy beyond measure," and a criminal out of greed.

Other than that, though, yeah, your list covers most of the characters' parents, that we saw. Though there were exceptions: Sam's mother (she only appeared in one issue, but the relationship between her and Sam was quite nice); Jean's parents; Colossus' parents (unless they count as absent ...? ): and ... um ...


Well, in fairness, the theme is a natural fit for X-Men, which is all about a "school" for "youngsters." A haven for disenfranchised youths is not really a setting where you'd expect to see kids who "enjoy uncomplicated relationships with their parents" (a line quoted by Geoff in his book, though I don't remember from whom ...)

Anonymous said...

Of the original X-Men, Cyclops was the only one who was an orphan. The others all had a parent or parents offstage. They were at Xavier's because they were mutants, not because they were orphans or troubled.

True, the original series didn't bring the parents onstage much. But they were out there -- most of them made brief appearances in the Roy Thomas-scripted origin stories that ran as backups for a year or two in the 30s and 40s -- and pretty normal.

Claremont's NXM and New Mutants, something else again. As you say, only three characters out of a dozen or more had "uncomplicated relationships with their parents"... and one of those, Jean, Claremont inherited.

That leaves Sam and Colossus. Both of whom, you'll notice, fill similar roles -- they're simple decent honest guys, kindly and slow to anger, who come from someplace very rural.

Doug M.

Jason said...

That Claremont inherited Jean doesn't mean we can't give him some credit for keeping the parents present and normal ... after all, he inherited other characters with normal parents and proceeded to mess with them.

I'm just saying it's more interesting, if you're doing stories about kids in a school/haven, to make them orphans or in some way estranged from their parents. It speaks to the whole idea of them being outcasts, and the idea that Claremont obviously wanted to foster: That the X-Men are, for most of these characters, their only family.

It is interesting that both Sam and Peter share so much in common besides having good parents ... in addition to what you mention, they also are both characters who -- it is made very explicit -- had planned living simple, blue collar (so to speak) lives until they became members of their teams. And both their powers involve becoming invulnerable. Interesting.

(Sidenote: It occurred to me recently the parallels between Colossus and Superman -- both farmers who became superheroes, both "men of steel," both tall, muscular, handsome, dark-haired ... and both with the same color-scheme if you count Colossus' blue leggings. I wonder if that was at all deliberate. Both characters also have young, blonde female counterparts that they are related to, and who possess superpowers as well.)

(Sidenote 2: Doug, do you think Amara would count as a character with a good relationship with a good parent? Or does the fact that her whole culture -- including her family -- is part of a very comic-booky premise disqualify her?)

Anonymous said...

For some reason the Lost Roman City premise ruined Amara entirely for me. (N.B., this seems to have been a hangover from Claremont's days as a huge Edgar Rice Burroughs fan; in addition to writing John Carter of Mars, he was also a big admirer of Tarzan and the rest of the ouevre.) She's also IMO a milder example of the sort of Character Concept Overload that reaches its nadir with Forge.

-- You've mentioned a couple of times that you thought Claremont was running at half power on New Mutants until around issue #18, when he suddenly fell in love with them. I think that's true, and Sienkewicz is surely part of the reason, but I also think part of the problem was that the original New Mutants kinda sucked. Two of the female characters were painfully underpowered; the third had a power that either won the fight on the spot or was useless. The two male characters, on the other hand, had very conventional superhero powers /and were really boring/.

(Remember issue #2? The New Mutants fight the Sentinels? Cool idea, everyone should fight the Sentinels... except that 3/5 of the team was completely useless. D'oooh.)

The NMs were whomped up in a hurry, and it shows; Claremont came up with a bunch of character concepts that didn't in any way fit together. So their first year pretty much sucked.

In their second year, Claremont seems to have become belatedly aware of this, and you can see him putting the work in to make it right: getting rid of Karma, starting to retcon the existing characters and (of course) adding new ones. Magma, Cypher, Warlock and Magik weren't great characters, but they made the team (and the book) make more sense -- even if things did get a little crowded for a while.

Where were we... oh, yes, Sam and Colossus. Well, both are fulfilling similar roles within the team; they're both classic Bricks. (Yes, in terms of powers Sam is a Brick/Speedster. Bear with me.) Bricks generally don't engage in snappy patter, come up with brilliant plans, lead the team (except maybe in a charge) or have dark and angst-ridden pasts. By ancient comic book convention, the guys who throw and take punchs are straightforward and perhaps somewhat simple souls who prefer to let the team leaders call the shots. (Yes, there are a bajillion exceptions to this. Talking archetypes here.)

X-Men as all the family they have: the problem here is that Claremont throws other biological family relationships around with wild abandon. Most obviously, while to be a biological parent of an X-Man means either death, cliche or (most likely) total obscurity, being a sibling or adult child can get very interesting indeed. Havok, Magik, Juggernaut, Black Tom, Siryn, Warpath, Legion... the list goes on and on. With healthy dolloping doses of "My Brother -- My Enemy!!" and such. So I think there's something going on there.

Final thought: I was glad to see Wolverine stay the hell away from Japan. The Miller miniseries was decent, but otherwise I really hated it when Claremont went to Tokyo. His Japan was a string of cliches, many of them annoying or jarringly wrong. (Shogun is great pulp fun, but it's a lousy sourcebook for 16th century Japan, never mind 20th.)

I think you're probably right that Claremont simply dropped the thread; the sheer volume of characters and plotlines he was juggling during the mid and late eighties is pretty boggling, so it's not surprising if he sometimes just forgot stuff.

Doug M.

Jason said...

I agree with you about Amara, and about the first year of New Mutants, definitely. Even Claremont doesn't seem to have had much time for Amara, outside of making her a foil for Selene. You were talking about the New Mutants' powers, and I have to say Amara's strikes me as the least practical of anyone on the team. It's just far too unwieldy.

As always, your analysis is interesting and erudite, but I'm a little unclear as to the distinction you're making between parents vs. other relationships. Why is it a cliche when parents turn out to be heroes or villains (e.g., Sunspot's father, Cyclops' father, Nightcrawler's mother), but not when offspring or siblings do (Black Tom, Syrin, Legion, Magik, Proudstar)? I'm just not sure I'm getting your point there.

Also, I find it interesting that you mention Juggernaut -- presumably because he's Prof X's stepbrother? But not only was that not a Claremont invention (and, digression, Cyclops is NOT the only Silver Age X-Men who was orphaned ... Professor X lost both his parents early on too, per Stan Lee) ... but note that Claremont NEVER, in 17 years, had Juggernaut and Professor X appear in a scene together. Despite Juggernaut being a recurring villain, his relationship with Charles was a complete non-issue. (The only kinda-exception is an issue of New Mutants in which Charles relates a childhood memory about himself and Cain.) What do we make of this?

Stephen said...

I know that this miniseries is regularly excoriated as among Claremont's worst, but I have to admit that I have rather fond memories of it from the time.

I found the brainwashing of Kitty Pryde to be genuinely creepy, and to pluck at an existential dread in a way that (to be fair) when I reread it as an adult I didn't see at all. But at the time... brr.

I liked the scenes (issue?) when Wolverine was helping Kitty "heal" -- the scene where he leaves her in the snow, and they have this dialogue -- I can't get up; Then you'll die; I don't want to die; Then get up... -- I can't really justify it now, but again, at the time it struck me as a very powerful invocation of the notions of self reliance and how to teach it.

And then there are small details I like -- Kitty falling of a building and phasing so as to fall through the Sumo wrestler; Yukio jumping off a cliff and counting on the winds to blow her back. That sort of thing.

Again, I'm not sure I can defend it -- although I might try to make a defense of it as a character study of Kitty Pryde (long one of my favorite X-Men (yeah, I was one of those crushing nerds, sue me)), and it seemed to change her significantly, from being genuinely young to being a still-young-but-weathered woman, growing up a bit too early and a bit too hard.

So yeah, I liked it more than this. At least as a kid I did. (Which maybe goes to support my long-held view, that Claremont is a great *children's* writer even if he's not someone who holds up well for adults.)


Jason said...

Stephen, I kind of wonder how much of my reaction to it is actually just disliking the art rather than the story ... ? I don't know, because I also dislike the Windsor-Smith collaborations despite recognizing that the art is gorgeous. Certainly, though, Al Milgrom's work here really drags matters down. (I think a case could be made that Milgrom was the worst superhero artist of the 1980s.)

When there was the thread on this blog recently regarding artists "covering" comics, I did find myself wondering how the KITTY AND WOLVERINE miniseries would read if it were covered by, say, Alex Maleev or J.H. Williams.

Anonymous said...

Has KITTY PRYDE AND WOLVERINE been collected ever? It's a decent enough story and stars two of the most popular X-Men. You'd think Marvel could squeeze a few bucks out of it.

I liked the story; although I agree the art is pretty crummy. Kitty's coming of age is well done. She sheds the silly persona, "lighter" codenames like Ariel and Sprite, the constant costume changes, and becomes a more serious, more confident character. In fact, she would keep her "Shadowcat" costume until the mid-1990s! This story a milestone for Kitty, where she decided (more or less) who she was and stopped being a kid.

Jason, why do you find Amara's power unwieldy? A fiery, superheated form, magma blasts, the ability to control the earth and cause tremors...she's like a combination of the Human Torch and Avalanche. I think she's a pretty handy person to have on your team. None of the other New Mutants really had any long-range offensive capabilities (Except for Warlock when he chose to shapeshift a few guns, and Mirage's illusions). Plus I liked how strong-willed she was...remember she was the only New Mutant who was capable of rejecting Mojo's brainwashing. I think the character, even with the odd Romans-in-the-jungle past, had a lot of potential.

Interesting points about the similarities of Cannonball and Colossus. I'd never made that connection before! Boy, it's true about the parents of these characters...even later additions to the team have the same issues. I believe that Psylocke was an orphan (as was her brother, Captain Britain), and if you count Longshot's father to be his creator, Mojo...well, 'nuff said.

It is true that the early New Mutants were woefully underpowered. Did anyone else get sick of the bad guys being able to break free of Karma's mental possession power all the time? That got old really, really quickly. The team was more well-rounded with the additions of Magik, Magma, Warlock, and Cypher. At that point they had 9 members but a good range of skills. It also felt more like a class of students because there were so many of them compared to the X-Men. Too bad that Magik and Magma, though fun characters, had origins that made people scratch their heads.

Jason said...

Anon, I believe Kitty/Wolverine was just collected recently, for the first time.

I'd agree with you that the effects of the Kitty/Wolverine miniseries were good. It is certainly worth noting that this was Claremont's way of aging the character artificially, since Marvel Time ensured there was no way to age her realistically. (She is still 14 in Kitty/Wolverine, even though if the comics were in real time, she'd be nearly 18.)

The thing about Magma that I find unwieldy is the volcanoes-from-nowhere -- the idea that she can just make lava spurt from the ground anywhere, even inside the X-Mansion (as in New Mutants #14). And we never see her make these volcanoes go away, so can she? That one in the mansion, how did they get rid of it? It's just a bit much. The shooting lava from her hands, that is fine ... as you said, just a typical long-range super-power, not too dissimilar from Storm shooting lightning from her hands.

I was never too bothered by Karma's possession power ... didn't she only have trouble with people breaking free because she either would try to possess too many people at once, or else she'd get distracted by some physical attack on her person? Only a few people actually broke free just through their own force of will. (A big thing was made of Wolverine being the first person to do so ... and obviously the Shadow King turned the tables on her...)

I like Karma and her power a lot -- particularly its use in the New Mutants Special Edition, the Asgard one. I also enjoyed that she was part of the cast of the Wolverine "solo" ongoing (a series which, under Claremont, was not so much a Wolverine solo title as a Home for Disenfranchised Claremont Females).

But yeah, the nine-person New Mutants line-up was a beaut. Again, I point to the Asgard special as the ultimate example of how fun that group was (albeit also an example of Claremont not really having much for Magma to do ... her arc in that special -- an arbitrary transformation into "faery folk" -- was the least organic/interesting).

Anonymous said...

Juggernaut, good point about him and Xavier never appearing together! I never noticed that.

OTOH, it´s not true that his relationship with Charles is a non-issue. Remember the two-part story in 102-103? That whole story turns around Cain´s relationship with Charles, and the lengths he´ll go to for ´revenge´. Claremont seems to have lost interest in this aspect of the character later, but it was definitely there at the start.

(I know you didn´t read the Onslaught storyline from the mid-1990s. Overall you didn´t miss much, and I can´t recommend it. However, it does have one beautiful moment when Evil Xavier reveals himself to the Juggernaut.)

Parents, more in a bit.

Doug M.

Anonymous said...

Parents, right. Okay, refining my thinking a little.

Claremont is either uncomfortable or uninterested in the parent-child relationship, especially when the POV character is the child. If you look at the X-Men and their close supporting cast -- somewhere between fifteen and twenty characters -- you find that parents are either absent or are used purely as plot hooks. The sole exception to this is Nathan Summers / Corsair... and Corsair is one of Claremont's weakest creations; a cliched concept and a dull character. No other creators have used him much, and when he was killed off a few years back it was to general approbation.

(In this context, it's interesting that Cyclops/Corsair scenes are always clunky and uncomfortable. Scott can't seem to decide if he should love or hate his father, and Corsair seems brusque and uninterested.)

The general rule seems to be that parents are not real characters. They lack agency; when they do stuff, it's purely to advance a plot. Exceptions are few.

This is interesting because (1) Claremont doesn't hesitate to make use of other biological relations, most notably siblings, and (2) the X-Men are full of non-biological pseudo-parental relations.

You pointed out that the X-Men are at a "school" for "youngsters", but I don't think that's a strong answer. After all, Claremont hated the whole school for youngsters concept for the X-Men (cf. Wolverine and demerits, back when); he wanted them to be a clandestine global superteam with only a tenuous connection to the original Lee-Thomas boarding school model.

Also, I don't think this only applies to the X-Men. Looking around Claremont's other work -- John Carter, Iron Fist, whatever -- there's the same absence. The only exception I can think of is Carol Danvers' parents in Ms. Marvel, and they're minor characters and pretty cliched: traditional, loving, apron-wearing mother and oppressive traditional macho Dad.

-- Hum. When fathers do show up in Claremont, they're generally not too sympathetic; emotionally distant know-it-alls at best, oppressive tyrants at worst. Not suggesting anything here, just... noticing.

Doug M.

Anonymous said...

And a last thought on the Juggernaut:

The character who fights Colossus in issue 183 is really very different from the Roy Thomas villain who appears in 102-3. Claremont was still working through the classic X-villains back then. He was already adding his own touches (the addition of Black Tom is brilliant; notice how many other Marvel writers picked up these two and played with them over the years) but he wasn't yet ready to mess with core concepts. And "H8 Xavier!1!" was the Juggernaut's core concept.

This is still the case when Juggernaut appears (briefly) to hire Arcade; he's a hotheaded brute who's out for revenge.

But five years later, Claremont has completely reimagined the Juggernaut. He's still a violent bruiser, but now he's mercenary: money, not revenge, is his first motivation. He's no longer actively evil, just callous and selfish, and he's somewhat redeemed by his love for Black Tom. He's a bit more intelligent, or anyhow less stupid -- less headstrong, not ruled by emotions, more cool and collected. If I were really getting deeply into Juggernaut studies, I'd look for other Claremont-scripted appearances in this years to connect the dots (his appearance in Spider-Woman with Siryn and Black Tom was brief but, in this context, very interesting; he's very calm there, slapping Spider-Woman down without getting upset at all, his only emotion concern about Black Tom) but this is left as an exercise for the student.

So, really a different character, and overall a better one... but to do this, Claremont had to abandon the whole fraught "Charles Xavier's jealous half-brother" thing; it just doesn't fit that well with the new version.

-- There should be a TV Trope name for this phenomenon. It happens often enough. See, e.g., the character of Boxey in Battlestar Galactica: he makes a single appearance in the first season of the new version, then disappears forever as the writers realize he just doesn't work here.

Doug M.

Anonymous said...

I think that after X-Men #183 where Colossus gets into a bar brawl with the Juggernaut, he doesn't appear again until right before 'Fall of the Mutants' where a mini-team of X-Men including Rogue, Psylocke, Dazzler, and Longshot have fight him in Edinburgh. Good issue, and narry a mention of Prof. X. Claremont used Juggernaut again in early issues of Excalibur. He maintains that "cool, collected", "less headstrong" characterization you speak of.

Something we should keep in mind is that from X-Men #200-on, Professor X is off in space with the Starjammers, so the sibling rivalry couldn't be played up. It makes you wonder if Juggernaut knew Professor X was out of reach so began looking for other goals (in his case, money). Or maybe Black Tom convinced him that he couldn't center his life around revenge on one guy. To quote Inigo Montoya in "The Princess Bride": "There's not a lot of money in revenge". You can see Black Tom saying, "Boyo, you're an unstoppable Juggernaut. You know how much money you can make? Forget Xavier, you can do so much more."

In fact, Juggernaut pops up an awful lot in other comics through the 1980s...Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up. Always as a villainous strongman, not a dude out to get Prof. X.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's just it... the mercenary Juggernaut could be exported a lot more easily. No need to stop and explain who this Professor X guy was.

Also, the addition of Black Tom helped a lot. Tom wasn't very interesting by himself, but together with the Juggernaut... well, the combination of "sneaky little scheming guy" and "big strong guy" is a natural for comics and related media, from Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser onwards.

Doug M.

Jason said...


I see what you're saying now about the difference between the parent relationships vs. the other familial ones. Claremont does seem to avoid the former. (I always found it strange, for example, that he introduced the Siryn character into the X-canon via that Spider-Woman arc, and then proceeded to not really explore it. Indeed, whenever Banshee appeared in the comics after that, Siryn was nowhere to be found.)

I hate to argue semantics since I think we are pretty agreed on this point, but I feel compelled to point out that I still think the Juggernaut/Xavier relationship was *always* a non-issue in Claremont's X-Men, even at the start. As you state, Juggernaut's Xavier hate was totally generic, and really no different from, say, Doc Ock hating Spider-Man. That they were related (and only by marriage in any case) was beside the point in that first storyline (except for the thematic coincidence, I suppose, that Juggernaut's partner was ALSO the brother of one of the heroes ... but that always struck me as strange anyway ...).

Also, Doug and Anon, I think you're both right in the idea that we are to understand that Black Tom convinced Juggernaut to expand his horizons. Doug, you mentioned the Arcade thing, and indeed, that seems to be the whole point of that bit. Recall their argument when they hire him: Juggernaut doesn't want to -- he wants to kill the X-Men himself. Black Tom says no, screw it, we'll have Arcade do it, we have "bigger fish to fry."

Doug, I love the phenomenon of characters getting re-purposed or refolded to fit an ongoing narrative's changing plot, theme, and other areas of foci. It is one of my favorite things about serialization. (One of the Onion AV clubs said this was a "peril of serialization" in a blog-article of the same name, but I disagree. I think it's what makes that type of story vital and interesting, and -- in some ways, at least -- more realistic. Or versimilitudistic, at least ...) You're right, there should be a name for it.

Finally, one other observation about the Black Tom/Juggernaut thing. Despite the suggestion that Black Tom is the in-story reason for Cain Marko's changed demeanor, it is also perhaps worth noting that after that Spider-Woman story, Claremont stops using Black Tom. Whenever Juggernaut appears -- beginning with Uncanny 183 and going right up to Excalibur 3 -- he appears alone. The text always makes mention that he is still Black Tom's partner, but the character never again shows up. Like the lack of shared screen-time between Cain and Charles in Claremont's run, I find this a curious phenomenon ...

Anonymous said...

Good point about Black Tom never appearing when Juggernaut does. Especially when you look at Juggernaut's appearances in Amazing Spider-Man and Marvel Team-Up around this time where Black Tom DOES appear. Apparently other writers liked to use both members of the duo, while Claremont liked to have Juggernaut be the strongman for a crafty, behind-the-scenes character.

Good point about the Siryn-Banshee relationship, too. Theresa Cassidy MAY have been mentioned in some X-Men tales. I think Sean was leaving the mansion at one point to meet his daughter? Or someone showed up to tell him he had a daughter? Was any attempt ever made to bring Siryn into the X-Men fold? You'd think after Banshee lost his powers and retired they would have actively recruited his daughter, not only to instruct her in the user of her powers but to replace her father on the team. I guess she could have been in the New Mutants, but I think it's always been implied she was slightly older than most of those characters. When does Theresa end up on Muir Island, anyway? She's not in the "Proteus" arc, yet she's there in the "Fallen Angels" mini-series, and gone again (likely still with the Fallen Angels) during the "Muir Island Saga" and when the Reavers attack the island. As far as I know she's not used anywhere until she joins X-Force. I remember reading about her in the "Marvel Handbook" and seeing her in the "Fallen Angels" series. If not for the Handbook, I probably would have been like, "Who's the woman in Banshee's costume?"

Jason said...

Yeah, she wouldn't be there for the Proteus arc; that was 1979, and she was introduced later.

I believe it goes:

-- Claremont introduces Siryn in a Spider-Woman arc, in 1981
-- In X-Men #148, published only about a month later or so, Banshee meets Siryn, and it's implied that she will come to Muir Island to live with him and Moira.
-- We do not see her again, until "Fallen Angels," in 1986.

So, you didn't really miss anything, Anon.


It's rather strange -- I think Claremont may have forgotten about her ... ? Both the X-Men and the New Mutants do travel to Muir Island, and there is even that story circa X-Men #193 in which Banshee is kidnapped from the island, and then returns in New Mutants #26, to Moira's great happiness (there is much talk of how worried she was about him). If Siryn was around, it seems like she would have been present for Sean's return to the island, but she is not even mentioned.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this mini series - great fight sequences, character growth for Kitty and Wolverine...if the art was better it would be considered a classic IMO...Milgrom is terrible...Paul Smith would have been a perfect fit and would have elevated the material.

John Voulieris

Teebore said...

I think a case could be made that Milgrom was the worst superhero artist of the 1980s.

Agreed. So agreed...

wwk5d said...

Siryn was in the "Muir Island Saga". She takes down Banshee. However, once Claremont stops writing and Nicieza takes over, she disappears mid-story.

I really don't see what was all that confusing about Magma's origin.

True, she didn't get as much characterization as the others, but she does have some good scenes here and there, and I always liked her. With the exception of Cypher, I liked most of the New Mutants. As for the 'under-powered' thing, that improved over time for some of them.