Uncanny X-Men #196 (1985): Secret Wars II

I like the way this issue starts. Xavier has lost his memory of who mugged him in issue #194, but he senses their presence in the audience during one of his lectures.

He tries to track the thought but can’t pinpoint it.

This plotline is just warming up when Beyonder appears in the cafeteria where the X-Men are strategizing how to root out the mugger(s).

He knows how to make an entrance. And he makes a lame vaudeville joke.

But I guess it’s cute.

An interesting thing about Secret Wars II is that several of the tie-ins, which weren’t written by Jim Shooter, are way better than the event itself. They really get his voice right, and make him interesting.

But nothing happens.  He just watches them.  This is an entirely unnecessary crossover with Secret Wars II–which is not to say it’s bad. It isn’t. I like how Nightcrawler reacts to Beyonder’s godlike power. 

But at the end of the day, this comic does little to nothing to move Beyonder’s arc forward or affect the SWII miniseries.

Maybe that’s a good thing? All it does is use the event to drive character work.

Then we’re back to the regular story, the X-Men find the perpetrators, and mind-wipe them so they forget that Professor X is actually the leader of the X-Men.

Also, Magneto is hanging out with the team now.

Storm is still depowered and is fighting the Strucker twins, who are poaching wild animals in Africa.

The robot-from-the-future Nimrod is getting positive press from taggers as an anti-mutant fighter.

And there’s a fastball special.

Despite how good all that stuff is, the best thing about this issue is Kitty.  First, she smokes one of Wolverine’s cigars. 

And gets sick.

Then, she uses the N word.

She does it to prove a point about irrational bigotry, but wow—that’s pretty ballsy to publish in a comic book.  Marvel wouldn’t do that nowadays.

It’s a tie-in to the Hate Monger/Beyonder/Psycho Man story in Fantastic Four, another Secret Wars II tie-in that uses the N word.

2 thoughts on “Uncanny X-Men #196 (1985): Secret Wars II”

  1. Hi Ekko, thanks for your impressive work. I didn’t know this xmen story.
    The beginning with Xavier on stage receiving thoughts of a murder reminds me of a movie by Dario Argento, profondo rosso quite well known for the progressive rock music he used by the italian band the goblins. I noticed that at least one movie by Argento was playing on the us theatres in august 85 so may be Claremont had the chance to see profondo rosso at the time.


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