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Evil Geek Book Report – Uncanny X-Men #268

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Biff is taking you back in time (as if you would expect anything else?). We’re going to a quieter and more simple time…1990, before things really got out of control. Today, I’m reviewing a classic, Uncanny X-Men #268 by long time X-Men scribe Chris Claremont and rising Marvel star artist, Jim Lee. This was an issue that tends to be singled out often in Claremont’s legendary run that I hadn’t read or at the very least hadn’t read since I was a little kid. So I figured, why the hell not?

The cover certainly is a classic and if you haven’t come across it before you might be familiar with the opening page, an iconic image from Jim Lee.

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The story comes towards the tale end of the Siege Perilous era of the Uncanny X-Men where the team is split apart and literally scattered all over the world with each issue focusing on the different factions as they slowly regroup. None of that is important though, because within the midst of that this story functions nicely as a one off.

As it starts we find Wolverine, Psylocke and Jubilee in Madripoor engaged in combat with the mystical Ninja outfit, The Hand fighting to save Black Widow’s life. We soon find out that Black Widow and Logan have a history together. The book then flashes back to adventure taking place in 1941 Madripoor that centers around the first meeting of Captain America and Wolverine during WW II pitted against Baron Von Strucker. This ends up being tied to the Black Widow and ultimately culminates with us learning a chapter of her past as well. The cover is a bit misleading since Natasha is merely a child when they actually meet and the 3 of them are never together in that capacity. It’s a fun pulpy and cinematic adventure involving Ninjas, Nazis and espionage in the orient. The issue alternates between 1941 and present day 1990 whose story is not nearly as interesting but doesn’t weigh down the issue.

UXM_268_1-22101Uncanny X-Men #268 is important because we are offered a glimpse into Wolverine’s unexposed past. Keep in mind this was an era when only little tid bits here and there were glimpsed at, we didn’t know much and people ate up any little morsel they could get their hands on. It’s very different from now where so much of Wolverine’s past has been dissected and brought into the light making him a far less interesting character.

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Taken in the context of the then current era of X-Men this issues seems like both a breath of fresh air as well as kind of random. In an episode of Fatman On Batman Jim Lee revealed that the reason the story in this issue exists is that Claremont had asked the young artist who in the Marvel roster he would really like to draw and when he told him Captain America, Claremont crafted a story around it. Lee is no doubt one of the best artists from this era of X-Men and in my eyes he also draws the definitive Wolverine and Psylocke. That makes this issue  a visual feast for the eyes. Plus, it’s another chance to get to see Wolverine use a sword. Who doesn’t want that?

This one is definitely worth your time.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on July 9, 2014, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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