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The ’90s Revisited: X-Men #40

90srevisited_thumb[2]_thumb

xmen040Legion Quest part 2: The Killing Time

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Andy Kubert
Inker: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Kevin Somers
Editor: Bob Harras
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: January 1995
Cover Price: $1.95

Having responded to Jean’s distress, the other X-Men squad scours the desert for their missing teammates. On locating Jean but not the rest of the group, they rush her back to the temporary HQ, where she awakes and tells them about Legion. Meanwhile, in the past, the time-lost X-folks have no memory of who they are or what they’re doing in the past. Several weeks have passed for them, and they’re beginning to regain some memories, just not the key ones. Also in the past, Xavier and Magneto continue to interact as we see the growing friendship, as well as Xavier’s romance with Gabrielle Haller. Erik deals with an anonymous patient who unlocks painful memories. In the present, Cable and Domino arrive, and while they’re assessing things, a cosmic projection from Lilandra of the Shi’ar brings tidings of doom to the heroes of Earth…information authenticated by presence of numerous Watchers.

Going through this issue, I’ve realized that Andy Kubert is–alongside if not moreso than Jim Lee–probably my favorite X-Men artist. I love the looks of the characters in this issue, the layouts, etc. I normally don’t notice the art like this, but it hit me here, and actually added to my enjoyment of the issue.

The story’s not bad. While I’m reading these for the first time in years and without the context I’d had when I originally read them, I’m also noticing a similarity in the books that is quite pleasant–where I probably honestly would not be able to tell you for sure who did what issue’s story(ies) between this and Uncanny X-Men withOUT the credit boxes.

There’s a two-page “interlude” in this issue that addresses Wolverine’s absence (he left the X-Men after Fatal Attractions and from what I recall is just now returning to the mansion and the group)…and sets up his “final issue” for the next month. Almost a pointless bit, but well worthwhile all the same and fitting in the time of touching on numerous plots and not keeping a tight internal story “just” for the eventual collected volume.

I’d remembered the core of Legion Quest being four parts but couldn’t remember how it was broken down…with this issue, a lot of it came back…though I won’t elaborate here, as there are still several issues to cover.

While truthfully I’d forgotten all about this issue’s cover image, having it brought back to mind it is rather iconic–showing Legion with the flames all around. It stood out quite a bit to me back in the day, but being a middle chapter of this story and such it just didn’t stick with me the way the final chapter did. The issue doesn’t begin or end the story, just moves things along…but it was still very much a treat to re-read, and continues drawing me back in time myself, 20 years, to when I was a kid reading these for the first time…when the story was current and unfolding and not essentially a footnote in the history of the X-Men.

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