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  1. #91
    Fantastic Member Captain Buttocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Joe View Post
    This thread is great, and this is the first time I've read through it. I recently reread all of these comics partly because my favourite character in comics has always been Banshee. I was really happy to see him given exposure in the main X-Men book again, and also to see him on covers. That cover to 401 is, in my opinion, one of the best X-Men covers ever.

    At the time it was published I have to admit to being surprised and disappointed with the way Banshee was written, I found it to be completely out of character, even though I realised he'd been depressed and through a fight with alcoholism. It just never felt natural that he'd ever go that way, certainly not without someone with him.

    Since then, I have kind of wondered if there wasn't a redemption planned somehow that Casey never actually managed to be able to get around to. I'd love to know, because that's the last time the character really had any chance to be properly seen (even the Uncanny Avengers appearances don't cut it for me).
    I agree on Banshee, he seems an oft-strangely ignored character, despite being a team member when the X-Men exploded in populairty under Claremont, Cockrum and Byrne. His backstory has loads of interesting possibilities too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jawbreaker View Post
    Just wanted to chime in and say, this was the run that got me into X-men(picked it up in back issues some time after I watched X-Men 2) and its where I first discovered/fell in love with Chamber. So this brings back special memories. So nice job Captain Buttocks and thank you Mr. Casey!

    ps-I also really liked Stacey X and didnt get all the hate for her...
    Hey jawbreaker! Thanks for the kind words!

    Jono was my fave Gen-X character (no idea why, as a surly British teenager at the time I would relate to him!) so I was pleased to see him brought on board. I still love those Poptopia covers! I was pleased to see Chamber in the recent NEw MUtants title, but a little underwhelmed with how he was used. The Icons Chamber mini-series is another great showing for Jono (with Bachalo covers!) if you haven't picked it up?

  2. #92
    Fantastic Member Captain Buttocks's Avatar
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    Uncanny X-Men #409: Rocktopia part 8 of 5

    Uncanny X-Men #409, Joe Casey’s final issue on the title was released on the 17th of July 2002, a mere two weeks after the previous issue (seriously, if he could churn work out at this rate, why didn’t Marvel just make Sean Phillips the Uncanny penciller from the start?). The estimated report from Diamond to North American distributers had it shipping 93,107 copies, making it eleventh-highest for the month.

    The title of this issue caused a bit of a ripple when it came out. What did it refer to? What were the previous seven parts? Some speculated that the eight parts of Rocktopia were the four-part Poptopia arc, the X-Ranch issue, 2001 annual and both parts of this story. Others wondered if Poptopia was even a part of it. My own speculation was that it was a cool-sounding name (both Casey and Morrison are great at naming things) that Casey most likely came up with to f**k with his critics, the cheeky scamp that he is.

    This issue marks one of those rare instances - especially to anyone following the X-Men over the previous decade - where they get a nice solid tick in the win box, without angst, histrionics or melodrama. Archangel beats the Vanisher at his own game, thanks to some corporate shenanigans, and Stacy X using her powers in a way that is deemed acceptable by the actually-a-bit-judgemental X-Men to keep the Vanisher out of the picture. It is good solid stuff that wraps up the Vanisher storyline and continues to give Stacy a little bit more characterisation and indeed, a reason to stay.

    Elsewhere there is some resolution of sorts to the Nightcrawler storyline where the victory (and the nature of it) over the Vanisher causes Kurt to shrug off the disquiet that has been troubling him since his encounter with the Supreme Pontiff back in issue 400. The Church of Humanity do briefly show up to do a bit of foreshadowing, but it’s a small appearance so is easily stomached.

    Joe Casey himself mentioned earlier in this thread that he wanted to have his team of X-Men almost appearing as colleagues in a workplace, and the post-resolution wrap-up of this story is the closest any part of his run has come to that dynamic, with a debrief, a few exchanged barbs between Warren and Wolverine and some chat between neophyte members Stacy and Chamber. It’s a good scene and it does hint at a workable dynamic had Casey been able to nail it down earlier. The presence of two neophyte characters may seem like a bit much, but with Chamber being indoctrinated in the “Xavier way” since his youth and Stacy coming in as an outsider, it could have been workable.

    The corporate takeover stuff is an interesting line of attack for the X-Men (although it really doesn’t hold up to closer scrutiny) and, as mentioned previously, would have some early hints of what Casey would go on to cover more thoroughly in Wildcats Version 3.0. There is a bit of tension with Wolverine disagreeing with how Archangel is going to go about this, but gives Chamber the casting vote on whether or not to give Warren his chance. Obviously with Casey leaving this never really goes anywhere and merely serves as an homage to the dislike between those characters back in the early “All-New, All-Different” times. For a man who - by his own admission - had no great love for the X-Men, Casey did do his homework when it came to continuity.

    Sean Phillips continues his strong patch on Uncanny X-Men, doing a story which seems well-suited to his art style. He is obviously comfortable with the material and the characters and the scenes with Stacy and the Vanisher, particularly the Vanisher’s realisation that he has been duped, are the highlight of the issue. Phillips would stay on to draw a few fill-in issues of Chuck Austen’s run, and whilst his work remained to a high standard, I consider this arc to be his best work on the title.

    So why did this story work so well, and others seemed to be a bit of a misfire? I think, crucially, that this story appeared to be the kind of story Casey wanted to tell, rather than the kind of story he felt he should tell. We'll discuss that theory a bit more in depth next time.

    Cast update!

    Archangel gets a lot of panel time in this issue, as he clashes with Wolverine and then buys out the Vanisher. It’s another strong issue for Warren, but mostly the last we would see of the CEO exec portrayal of him.

    Nightcrawler perks up a little following the victory over the Vanisher. He makes a throwaway reference to Warren running for office again which I suspect may be an abandoned plotline.

    Iceman works undercover as a waiter at the summit between Vanisher and Warren and gets to save the day during the big fight, which happens off-screen, in a touch I enjoyed.

    Wolverine serves as a counterfoil to Warren’s approach, based on the long-standing animosity between the two and also his desire to meet the enemies in a more head-on fashion.

    Chamber gives the go-ahead to Warren’s novel approach and has a little heart-to-heart with Stacy at the end. I always liked Sean Phillips’ portrayal of Jono, incidentally.

    Stacy spends some time in the hot-tub with the Vanisher and seems to end the issue more at peace with who she is and her role with the X-Men.

    Best cover thus far – 405. This one seems a little odd, as it almost looks like Kurt is quitting the team, but obviously that doesn’t happen although had Casey stayed on – who knows?

    Worst cover – 403.

    Who died and will HoXPoX resurrect them? Kurt’s local priest is killed by the Church of Humanity after taking some Designer Genes. Given the absolute dumpster fire that the Church of Humanity and Kurt’s relationship with religion have become it would take an insanely brave or suicidal writer to tackle this mess.

    What I Thought Then – Enjoyed it, and sad to see Casey go, pleased that Phillips will do a couple of issues for the new writer, who I’m sure will do the Best Run Ever.

    What I Think Now – it’s a shame Casey went. Good story to bow out on, but all in all this run seems to have been somewhat of a misfire, for a multitude of reasons.

    For those reading this – how do you remember Casey’s run? Do corporate superheroes do it for you?

    Next time – Aftermath!
    Last edited by Captain Buttocks; 07-28-2020 at 02:42 PM.

  3. #93
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    Angel’s semi successful business approach during the run seemed an interesting, and brave, developmental move for the character. He seemed more integrated, and recovering from his trauma. Kurt i found to be preachy, Jona seemed tenuous, and self doubting. Never got Stacy X.
    Wolverine was clearly popping in on occasion to draw his fan base with him. Iceman seemed more mature, and thoughtful...a welcome change.
    Turning the good-natured Banshee into a pseudo Nazi, however, was a mistake. He needed a storyline, this wasn’t it.
    It was truly the end of the line for this once major player in the X universe.

  4. #94
    Mighty Member Thievery's Avatar
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    I would say that I remember Casey's X-Men pretty fondly, even if it wasn't perfect for certain reasons that Casey has talked about in this very thread. I enjoyed them at the time I read them also.

    Archangel's role as a businessman was okay, but I have always preferred the metal winged version of the character to the more business oriented stories with him. I just like the more murderous version of the character who is constantly being made to suffer. The buisness version can also work, as Warren was seen as being somewhat effective at it in the first issue of the X-Men Empyre tie in miniseries.

    I have to say that I agree that Wildcats Version 3.O was a better corporate book. I actually only found that series because I read the really terrific Serial Boxes story.

    I re read Casey's run as you were giving your reviews Captain Buttocks, and I would say that Chamber and Stacey were the two characters I liked reading the most from this run.

    It's to bad that so many people seemed to hate Stacey. I thought that she had a great character design and neat powers. And it really sucked that Austen humiliated her badly when he wrote her out of the comic. That was brutal to read.

    I know that some people find Wolverine to be used only as a cash grab in this series, but I thought that he added a bit more than that. He made for a good mentor figure for Stacey, and he still had his rivalry with Warren going on at that time. They hadn't become friends yet.

    Nightcrawler is someone that I am a little bit neutral on. I guess it depends on how interested you are in the religion part of his life. It kind of worked here.

    Iceman was probably the character that I enjoyed the least out of Casey's cast, but I don't care to much for Iceman to begin with. His fans may have enjoyed his character work in this series more than I did.

    I was sorry to see Casey leave X-Men when he did. I thought that his stories were progressively getting better. I would say that the X-Corp and Vanisher stories were the best. It would have been neat to see were Casey went from there.
    Last edited by Thievery; 07-29-2020 at 06:10 AM.

  5. #95
    Mighty Member jawbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Buttocks View Post
    Hey jawbreaker! Thanks for the kind words!

    Jono was my fave Gen-X character (no idea why, as a surly British teenager at the time I would relate to him!) so I was pleased to see him brought on board. I still love those Poptopia covers! I was pleased to see Chamber in the recent NEw MUtants title, but a little underwhelmed with how he was used. The Icons Chamber mini-series is another great showing for Jono (with Bachalo covers!) if you haven't picked it up?
    you're welcome! oh yes the Icons mini is among my top 5 Chamber stories, a must read if one is a fan. I agree he's been mostly wasted in NM, at least the Reis art for him was nice.

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