[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.]
“It Was a Dark and Stormy Night ...”
Claremont has nothing but good things to say about Louise Simonson’s work as an editor on Uncanny X-Men, and indeed there are some fantastic issues to be found from the Simonson (then Jones) editorial tenure – the phenomenal Paul Smith run, for example. As a writer, however, Louise Simonson would come to make some terrible contributions to the X-Men franchise when she took over as regular writer of both X-Factor in 1986 and New Mutants in 1987.
Her first blow against the franchise’s integrity occurs right here, however, when the 12th issue of her original creation Power Pack – an altogether too precious series about superhero kids – crosses over into Uncanny X-Men #195.
Since the action mostly takes place in the Morlock tunnels, a grimy milieu that suits the down-and-dirty style of Romita Jr. and Green perfectly, the issue is not a total loss. It’s as lovely to look at as anything by the art team. (Plus, Romita Jr.’s iteration of Power Pack is surprisingly adorable.) Claremont’s writing has a few fun moments as well – the revelation that Shadowcat’s power has increased to the point that she can phase four people plus herself is very cool. Also well handled is Kitty’s embarrassment/pride at Wolverine’s constant deferment to her authority as temporary team leader.
Still, in spite of those pitifully few bright points, this issue ranges in quality from just generally bland to rather awkward and even laughable. There surely is no more embarrassing moment in Wolverine’s history than when he corrects a four-year-old girl for suggesting that Luke Skywalker’s adventures were “fun.” Apparently, Logan is an anal-retentive “Star Wars” geek. Who knew?