Uncanny X-Men #225-227 (1988): Fall of the Mutants

Colossus hasn’t seen the X-men in months.  Issue #225 opens with him watching some children on a dirt street in Scotland (he and other injured teammates have been convalescing on Muir Island).  He’s doodling in a sketch pad when, suddenly, the pad turns into a statue of him after a strange woman tells him his fortune and offers an ominous prediction.

We then see that same mystery woman, who is named Roma, taken prisoner by The Adversary.  We last saw The Adversary tricking Storm into killing Forge and then killing her himself.

Adversary calls himself Trickster, and plays a chess game with Roma with X-Men as the pieces.

Colossus rejoins the X-Men team that is trying to track down Storm, as the group investigates Forge’s old hideaway for traces.  Along the way, they have a skirmish with Freedom Force.

Blob sits on Wolverine.

Freedom Force has tracked down the X-Men to force to register as mutants under the new Mutant Registration Act.

Also, Destiny has foretold to Mystique that Rogue will die in Forge’s house, and Mystique might be bad but she still loves her daughter.  (Remember, she’s Rogue’s adopted mommy.)

I’ve lost the thread on the Longshot subplots.  For some reason, he doesn’t remember Spiral—but she seems to remember him.  There’s some kind of vague recognition here—and Longshot can tell that the battle is personal for her.

This is what I mean about the X-Men books getting too complicated.  And it’s not even the 1990s yet.  There’s over twenty regular “main” characters—the ensemble is huge—and each one gets a few panels of development each issue, which amounts to about one comic per character per year if you add up the screen time.  This of course is discounting the ones appearing in multiple X-books and the true “major” ones like Wolverine.  And the 1990s are really about to start this year because he’s going to get several solo stories soon in his own title and Marvel Comics Presents, both of which start at the end of 1988.

But I digress.

The battle is a good one—with each of the over-a-dozen combatants getting some good screen time.  But the highlight is the culmination of Blob sitting on Wolverine.  He squashed him, above, and then Wolverine is buried in Blob’s ass for the rest of the fight until Colossus is teleported in from Scotland by his sister, Magik, at just the right moments to do a variation on the Fastball Special…

The fight ends when the Adversary opens a portal, out which spill all kinds of people and creatures from across time (dinosaurs, futuristic structures, etc.).

There’s an interlude in Adversary’s dimension, where Storm is tending to Forge.  Neither are dead.  Of course.

Storm gets her powers back.

Storm and Forge return to Earth as the X-Men and Freedom Force team up to neutralize the time-travel threats and address some anti-mutant hate that’s stirred up in nearby Dallas as a result of all these goings on.

Ultimately, The Adversary reveals himself, there’s a big battle against him, and in order to win Forge has to use magic.  The whole thing is televised–and that’s important because the world watches the battle.

Frankly, I didn’t even know he had magic powers in addition to his being a mutant.  But he does.  And apparently, I was supposed to know that.

See what I mean?  Too many threads.

Anyhow, Forge doesn’t like to use his magic but he does anyway, the Adversary is cast out of our world, and all is restored.

The cost of Forge’s spell is that the X-Men must die—which is exactly what Destiny had foretold.  But instead of dying, they are teleported to the dimension where Roma has been observing the fight, and she then returns them to Earth.  But their “deaths” to save the world were televised—because remember this all happened near Dallas, Texas—so the world sees them as martyrs and doesn’t know they’ve been resurrected.

Roma returns them to Earth—Australia—and we see a glimpse of Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler mourning their deaths..

Next issue will be a soft reboot of the “dead” heroes.

Creators: Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri
Grade: B+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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