Uncanny X-Men #399-400 (2001-2002): 1st Stacy X and X-Ranch

Bottom line up front: When you hire a writer like Joe Casey, expect something a lot more grown up than what you’ve done in the past.

The X-Men investigate a mutant brothel—X-Ranch–sending Iceman undercover as a client.  Hence, the hilarious cover to #399.  Interestingly, Archangel is the one who discovers it when he finds out that his company is funding the ranch.

One of the women staffing the X-Ranch is Stacy X, who makes her debut in this story. 

She’s got pheromones that stimulate other people’s organs and systems, which means she can make you vomit and ejaculate at the same time if she wants to. Safe to say, we’ve never seen a character like her before.

When the team confirms that the brothel has sinister motives, and is connected to the broader Church of Humanity, a big battle ensues.  Because it’s a “church” group, we get to see the various members’ interactions with a group claiming allegiance to a Higher Power.  It’s particularly interesting, of course, when it comes to Nightcrawler, given that he has a long history of strong faith in God.  The “Supreme Pointiff” of the Church has psychic powers and seems to do something to Nightcrawler’s mind.  We’ll see if it carries over into future issues.

In the end, the ranch is destroyed, and Stacy X ends up joining the team.

Issue #400 has a bunch of artists contributing pages to the big battle against the Church.  It’s always fun to see the different styles, but the sacrifice is that a pretty mature story has less continuity and the art is more of a distraction than it is in service to the tale.

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