Retro Review: Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men #247 By Chris Claremont & Marc Silvestri

Editor’s Note: A big hearty welcome to yet another new Comics Nexus contributor Josh Pollard! Say “hi” in the comments section.

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Retro Review: Uncanny X-Men # 247

Writer: Chris Claremont

Pencils: Marc Silvestri

Here we have an issue with a nice deal of historical value. As the cover indicates, one of the X-Men meets their fearful fate; by the end of the line though, it’s closer to most of them meeting fates both good and bad. Gotta love the Siege Perilous. As a plot device, it’s a 500 pound wrecking ball.

We open up with Master Mold, having assimilated Nimrod and become a great big death-bot (he’d later become slightly smaller death-bot Bastion), giving the collective X-Men a whupping. Reinforcements arrive though in the form of even more X-Men, and he can’t quite see them due to this bunch sporting the immunity to electronic detection that they’ve been toting around forever. Unfortunately, Robert Kelly’s wife Sharon didn’t have any such luxury in the previous issue and caught a mean case of death thanks to Master Mold. Kelly winds up a bit miffed with the muties getting his wife killed and then being unable to save her. Sucks to be him, sucks to be mutants in general as he winds up holding even more of a grudge than he had already.

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I personally feel that Robert Kelly was a nice character with nuance to his madness. You’d think he’d be about equally wary of giant robots from this point given how complicit Master Mold was in his wife’s death, but hey, you try being logical when the love of your life just died horribly due to mutie collateral damage.

Anywho, Master Mold/Nimrod goes down, and the X-Men ponder that maybe something in him was actually alive, given he could kinda sorta see them when an electronic robot shouldn’t have even had that going for it. Interesting, innit? Meanwhile back in Australia, relatively new character Jubilee has stumbled into the X-Men’s home while they aren’t around and is making a general nuisance of herself. Meanwhile again back in the States, Master Mold finishes merging with Nimrod and can now see the the muties just fine. Rogue winds up borrowing Colossus’s powers, heading into orbit and smashing Master Mold/Nimrod with a one woman Fastball Special. Which works, but you’d think she’d be a bit more careful of smashing things like that given what just happened to Kelly’s poor wife. Funnily enough, Master Mold proceeds to flip-flop between Sentinel robot speak and Nimrod’s quipping as he rebuilds himself from his new life as a pile of rubble with a head.

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So in a decision that will in no way end up biting everyone, Dazzler remembers she has the mighty mystical doodad the Siege Perilous in her coat pocket and decides that the only way to deal with Master Mold is to open up Roma’s promised wormhole to new lives. It kind of works, but Moldy decides he’s taking Rogue with him. It’s right around here that Nimrod/Master Mold has an existential crisis (and being a few seconds away from doom by magic wormhole is a good enough time for it, I suppose) insofar that if he can see the X-Men and the X-Men can only be seen by the living, he must be living. As he was a robot before that, now he’s mutated, and mutants must die, according to Master Mold’s programming. Sooooo, both halves promptly suicide dive through the portal. Unfortunately he was still holding on to Rogue at the time and she goes through as well. Whoops.

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And we wrap up with Sentinel profiteer Sebastian Shaw turning up and offering his sympathies to Robert Kelly, still hanging on to his wife’s corpse. With tears in his eyes, he vows to put an end to this kind of craziness.

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I’ll say again, I like Kelly a bunch. He’s blinded by rage, he’s blinded by fear, and by God he’s going to take down every irresponsible mutant he can. The best villains have a good motivation for their actions. Or at least one that’s good to them.

Whoops, I lied about things wrapping up. Elsewhere the Reavers and Donald Pierce plot the downfall of the X-Men, and the tag team of Nanny and Orphan Maker plot to save them for their own silly reasons. They…ugh, this was a pretty good issue, let’s not drag those two into it.

The Verdict: Hella good show, with repercussions for ages to come. Master Mold/Nimrod will fuse into Bastion on the other end of their trip through the Siege. Robert Kelly has righteous vengeance in his heart. The Reavers are set to become more than silly robot men who are fun to blow up, but are about to pull off what ends up being a very nasty attack. Hell, the writing itself was even free of Chris Claremont’s usual long-winded long-windedness. Good stuff.

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