And, speak of the devil, Jean Grey arrives for a nice Freudian moment.
I'm not even going to write about this one. It's Harlan Ellison and Frank Miller on Wolverine, but I can't be bothered. It's just the same old tension between Wolverine's human and animal sides.
Finally we come to Chris Claremont writing Storm's encounter, and boy- is it a doozy.
Storm is confronted by a carnival ringmaster type guy, who invites her to 'step right up' to the Hall Of Mirrors. I guess this is supposed to lampoon Storm's perpetual seriousness. Yeah, lighten up, Ororo.
Nice layout by Brian Bolland there, with the panels becoming the jagged, distorted mirrors. Storm is shown various images of her possible self, each one more hilarious than the last. I would love to give this issue to a diehard feminist.
Storm's had enough of this nonsense, and attempts to take control of the situation until-- cream pie bukkake! Chris Claremont, you devil.
Storm gets drawn into the crazy carnival games, and in probably the first concrete appearance of the theme of this story, she realises that it's wrong to waste food. Nice work by Brian Bolland here.
Having defeated the psychic attacker by feeding illusionary cream pies to illusionary people, Storm returns to her compadres for some more discussion.
Wolverine won't stand for it, though. He's done with talkin'. Wolverine is always
done with talkin'. Imagine pizza night at the Xavier Mansion:COLOSSUS:
Then it is settled! One ham-and-pineapple, one supreme with none of the, how you say, anchovies, and one half pepperoni/half cheese.NIGHTCRAWLER:
Nein. I would like some anchovies.KITTY PRYDE:
And I should really be watching my weight-- do they have any low carb options?WOLVERINE:
I'M DONE WITH TALKIN'.
Here we get a nice crazy backwards over the shoulder look from Wolverine, thanks to Steve Rude.
Wolvie's outburst galvanises the X-Men into action, so they hop into the Blackbird. Cue Batmobile music.
Courtesy of Rachel's powers, the X-Men track the psychic presence that's been harassing them to the continent of Africa. Upon arriving, they are met with this horrible scene of deprivation:
I hate to inject levity into a situation of such gravity, but their outfits are just so ridiculous. 'Logan of Arabia'! He actually looks like a really bad Bob Kane sketch of Batman.
Before long, a fleet of DC-17s arrive, full of supplies. I like to imagine that these are the supplies paid for with the proceeds from "We Are The World" and "Do They Know It's Christmas?", just to tie everything together nicely.
Despite being the strongest on the team, Colossus takes a few minutes for a breather. He's caught out by the ever-vigilant Wolverine, and then makes up some bullshit about being disillusioned with the whole affair. Yeah right, Colossus. You're just lazy.
That night, masochistic Rogue becomes so frustrated that she hasn't had her turn of psychic punishment yet that she flips out and decides to hunt down the evil being herself. Either that or she links the terrible famine with the same guy behind the torment of the X-Men. I'll go with the first one.
Nice montage/collage of Rogue sneaking around the campsite stealing all her team-mates' powers here. And with that, she becomes:
Storm's not impressed with this, however, and calls Rogue out on it. If you're wondering why Storm hasn't been subjected to Rogue's kiss of death, it's because at this point in X-Men history she is without her powers. Probably should've explained that earlier.
Using the purloined psychic powers of Rachel Summers, the Rogue hybrid traces the presence of the X-Men's harasser to this desert hideaway. And it's on. You know it's on. Look at how she's standing. It's so on!
Upon entering the crypt, Rogue is jumped by this Dungeons & Dragons reject, presumably the avatar of the psychic being.
The sheer power of this being allows it to become the dominant personality in the new hybrid.
Luckily, Storm tracked Rogue here, and having observed the gruesome synthesis...
... launches into some frenzied kung-fu fighting!
As all good villains are wont to do, the creature tells Storm its life story.
Turns out it's a primeval god-force that feeds on human despair. Yeah, we've heard all that before.
While the god-thing was chatting up Storm, the X-Men awoke from their Rogue-induced slumber and decided to lay some smack down. Gotta love hubris, the fatal flaw of any decent villain.
Even while being attacked by all of the X-Men, the creature is still able to engage in some traditional combat dialogue. "I have seen your pathetic compassion." I just love it when aliens or mysterious ancient beings talk about their fascination with some aspect of human nature or culture. "Oh yes, I am familiar with your 'donuts'."
While the creature is distracted talking, Rachel launches a dazzling display of mental power to exorcise it from Rogue's body. You know it's a dazzling display of mental power, because her eyes are floating in the background. That's how you know.
After the evil spirit is given the heave-ho, the X-Men engage in the time-honored tradition of the post-battle wrap-up conversation.
Wolverine's like a goddamn kid out of some educational show here. "Well what's small, likes cheese, and is cute?" "A mouse!"
Nightcrawler has another
moment of existential crisis. What a whiny bitch.
After having returned to the village, the X-Men struggle to get a young man to eat his soup as he nears death's door. Wolverine decides this is a nice metaphor for the fight against famine, and indeed any human struggle. Ya gotta have hope.
Storm takes Wolverine's theory and runs with it. You can tell she's proselytizing, because she's gone extra-panelicular. The only reason for a character to grow to gigantic proportions and exist outside of a panel is if they're soapboxing about something.
Kitty/Shadowcat breaks up the philosophy session with the observation that she can feel
the evil despair entity is still there. Just stick to the phasing, Kitty, and leave the psychic stuff to the Summers girls. Wolverine delivers another of his trademark 'fuck yeah' moments.
And as the X-Men discuss great existential questions into the night, we zoom out to behold the nighttime campsite scene, and the final delivery of the message of hope. Awwww.
Daniel85 hopes you enjoyed this article!