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3 3/4" sighting and hauls


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My Muppets Select wave 2 pre-order is processing now at BBTS. I'm hoping that Statler and Waldorf's balcony has a peg hole so I can hang it over my other figures and have them heckling the Avengers.

I had no idea that was coming out. You made my day!


No problem! It's a pretty sweet line. I'm hoping we can get a Swedish Chef with a bunch of talking veggies before the line is finished.

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Initially I thought the hair was wrong, too. But it's a lot closer than you might think to the image here––the image that is their obvious basis for the design of the figure. Rogue doesn't wear this costume in exactly this way in the Uncanny X-men at any point. She gets the outfit from the costume maker that gave Spider-man his alien costume (at the end of Secret Wars I the X-men play around with the costume maker briefly), but when the X-men arrive back from Secret Wars she already has a different look, with the orange tunic. Later, she'll have a green pantsuit, and then she experiments for a while with looks similar to this one. When Warpath tries to kill Professor X Rogue is wearing a big green sweater, off the shoulder, which goes to mid–thigh. At that time, she starts sporting 80s big–hair. Later, she wears the off the shoulder green tunic with black underneath, but with green bikini bottoms and green leg–warmers. Rogue constantly complains through this part of Uncanny X-men that her costumes get ruined in the X-mens fights.


This drawing appeared in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which is why the costume is well–known––in spite of it never appearing in the pages of Uncanny X-men. To me the main thing they got wrong is that the hair on the sides should be a little bigger––the brown hair isn't plastered to her head, like on the figure, but combed like the earlier pompadour–style hairdo she wore when she joined the team.


For a lot more of this era Rogue was wearing a bright orange tunic and green boots and gloves, with a longer, more flowing hairdo. It wasn't a good look for Rogue, but I have a special fondness for it, because it was the outfit she wore in the first X-men issue I ever read, issue 184.




They won't keep releasing Rogue in different costumes, of course, but I'd really like a figure in this one, for pure, burning nostalgia value. This was a great issue of X-men, which hooked me pretty much immediately (though it was years before I was able to get another issue of the book). Rachel Grey arrives in the past in the prior issue, and in this one she stumbles around through New York discotheques, hunted by Selene. It was one of the scariest things I had encountered in my early life––Selene makes a handsome 80s dude who takes Rachel home into a crumbling skeleton, and later on she animates the rug of an apartment into big hands that circle around Rachel's feet. It was the stuff of nightmares. The X-men appear on maybe only the last 3 or 4 pages, and Rachel is so shocked by how different they look than she has ever seen them (she doesn't recognize Storm in her punk outfit, or Professor X walking) that she faints. Reading it as my first X-men experience had me thinking that psychic vampires prowling New York city were a thing the X-men had been fighting to stave off, whereas readers who didn't read New Mutants were being introduced to Selene for the first time. How does she know Professor X when he is kicking her ass on the psychic plane? It's not explained. The X-men have never met her before. The art in the issue is very creepy, some of John Romita Jr.'s best art ever. He takes the supernatural elements of this story and evokes them all in ways which are pretty horrifying.


But the issue begins with the introduction of Forge, for the first time (and Val Cooper and Naze, I think, as well). Val Cooper and Mystique in disguise meet Forge at his Dallas compound, so they can get him to show them the mutant–de-powering gun he has made, based on ROM's blaster. Cooper and Mystique walk into a crazy hologram room, which just rocked my whole world when I first saw the double–page spread––a scene from an Arizona prairie, or something, but with unsupported–seeming stairs floating down to little ledges where there are couches and stuff. Ah, 80s X–men was something else again. Such good times. Following this was the issue where Storm lost her powers. The awesome cover was advertised on the pages of this issue, and I spent years and years looking for that issue without success. Now I have like 3 copies, but it took forever to find.

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That was around the same time I started collecting X-Men as well. I had read the Dark Phoenix saga and loved it, but it wasn't until a few years later that I became obsessed with them... an issue or two later than your issue, to be exact, Feihong... when Peter Henry Gyrich shot Storm and stripped her of her powers.

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I think that was a great time to get into X-men. The team was dangerous and strange. And the buildup of anti–mutant sentiment was playing out in the most interesting ways. Reading before then, X-men had always been more of a superhero comic. They went into space a lot, they fought villains, they smashed jets all the time. Then came God Loves, Man Kills, and Dazzler: The Movie, and they just took off with this idea that the public was very divided on mutants, and that people were starting to retaliate against their public presence.


It made the whole world a dangerous place for the X-men. And the team was very malleable in that era, with members joining and leaving, getting hospitalized and proving their mettle (that iconic issue where Psylocke fights Sabretooth, for instance). And the development of Rogue as a character during that time was pretty amazing. That issue where Storm loses her powers is literally the very next issue:




It's the issue where Claremont first delves into Rogue's backstory, where she recounts the discovery of her powers. The issue is one of Claremont's shrewdest in terms of structure, because the whole thrust of the issue suggests that Rogue would be extremely happy to be free of her powers, and that had that been the outcome of Gyrich's attack, things would have been just fine. But because it's Storm who takes the blast from Forge's ROM gun, the outcome is thrown entirely out of whack. Storm, who loves and relies upon her powers to define who she is, loses them, and Rogue remains trapped in her own uncomfortable skin. I'm not sure if it was Claremont's intent, but when Storm returns to lead the X-men, she and Rogue seem to be much closer, perhaps as a result of the events of this issue. There is also one of Claremont's veiled lesbian romantic suggestions, when Storm offers to touch Rogue and have Rogue experience her powers. It's one of the best of those moments to me, because the vulnerability of the two women is shared on a deep level. Perhaps that's another reason Rogue and Storm are closer when Storm returns.


I like JR Jr's later, blocky style just fine, but this era on the X-men is his best work for my money. Not perhaps his best draftsmanship, but his talents were aligned to...it seems to me the most important superhero writing going on in that era? I realize that's debatable, but surely Claremont's X-men have a claim on importance in the 80s that few straight-up superhero comics can match. Romita Jr's art seemed to have this new wave edge that other books didn't. His figures wore popular fashions, for instance––most pencillers were still giving their characters sedate clothing choices from the 60s. And the action in X-men in this era was very well served by Romita Jr's taste for big mayhem. The X-men had great fights in that era––their clashes with Freedom Force and the Marauders, with Juggernaut and especially with Nimrod, who always holds a place in my heart. This is the main era in which the X-men seem prepared to beat the threatening future they face––they jack up Nimrod pretty severely, and Magus as well, now that I think of it. And I like the years of experimentation with radical change after this––the Outback era, Inferno, the fracturing of the team and the non–team era. All in all, a great time to be into X-men.


I just thought of something. You know how Claremont did those X-men Forever and New Mutants Forever books years later, continuing the stories as if he had never left the titles? Those books were a little underwhelming. I wish instead that they'd given Claremont free reign to do a What If? style maxi series of his Mutant Wars storyline. The idea in this era was that all of the dormant plot threads in X-men, New Mutants and X-factor were to come together in this big "Mutant Wars" crossover. Anti-mutant fervor was supposed to reach a fever pitch, and all these floating villains, from the Hellfire Club to Nimrod to Freedom Force to Mr. Sinister and the Marauders, to the Shadow King, would collide with the X-teams in this giant public conflict. Things like Magneto's flashback of fighting the Shadow King would get explained, and presumably the Hellfire Club's tacky superhero outfits from that last fight when they were a threat to the X-men would be given some sort of justification. I wish I could have seen that story play out, from that point where the Outback team gets broken up, just before Jim Lee and Rob Liefield and Whilce Portacio hijack the books, and see what Claremont had in mind. I think it would have been very interesting, at the least.

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My Vault sets arrived yesterday, and I am one happy customer. For me it was worth it for just the Collector and Lockjaw. The sculpt for the Collector's head looks ever better in person. I am very glad that they gave both the Collector and Moon Boy open hands so that they can hold weapons, since neither of them are at all brawlers (at least Moon Boy wasn't way back in the Kirby comics). The other items, with the exception of the lackluster Howard statue, were all just icing on the cake for me. The packaging is very nice, but I personally wish they had invested that money into Howard to at least give him 3 points of articulation (the head and the shoulder/arm joints). Still, for me, it is an awesome set.

Today I just ordered Quasar from Amazon. I can't wait until he arrives!

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Got my Vault set today. Haven't opened it, but the packaging is very nice and the figures look really cool in the display window. Also got Muppets Select wave 2. That balcony is a beast. It takes up the whole package (and they use the normal Select packaging) and it still needs to be assembled. I felt slightly ripped off buying the wave 1 Gonzo/Camilla set because it was very bare bones, but Statler and Waldorf totally make up for it.

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