Uncanny X-Men #200 was a tale of Magneto’s prevailing as a hero—as he displays compassion to in front of the tribunal set to try him for his crime’s against humanity. Well, flash forward 8 years and 100 issues—and it seems Magneto’s legacy lives on in the former of Fabian Cortez and the Acolytes, a band of zealous mutants who favor Magneto’s original cause of mutant supremacy. By now, not only had the X-Men spawned a second title—which sold an astounding 8 million copies…five separate covers notwithstanding.
Newsarama and its rotating panel of “eXperts” continue their look back at the 100 milestone issues of the Uncanny X-Men.
Uncanny X-Men #300
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: John Romita Jr. / Brandon Peterson
Inker: Dan Green
Release Date: May 1993
Cover Price: $3.95
Title: “Legacies” and “Epilog”
$3.95?!? Holy HOLO-FOIL gimmick covers! The 20th Century was winding to a close but the world still spins on it’s axis: in May 1993, a former French Prime Minister commits suicide; the President of Sri Lanka is assassinated; the worst factory fire in the world happens at the Kader Toy Factory in Bangkok Thailand; AC Milan loses a UEFA Champions League Final; and Eritrea gains it’s independence from Ethiopia and joins the United Nations.
All’s quiet on the home front apparently…unbelievable.
Team Roster: Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Colossus, Iceman, Bishop, Archangel, Wolverine and a guest-appearing Nightcrawler.
Issue #300 starts with the X-Men hot on the tail of the Acolytes in France, after their leader, Fabian Cortez, kidnaps Moira MacTaggert in the hopes of using her to brainwash new followers much like Magneto did to two years earlier to the X-Men. A gaggle of new Acolytes are introduced—with a couple of very solid stand-outs: Amelia Voght and Neophyte. The X-Men mop the floor with the Acolytes—rescuing Moira and gravely wounding Cortez. The Gamesmaster, a mysterious telepath, indicates to Cortez that his former leader, Magneto, may in fact still be alive. Colossus also cares for his sick sister and Moira MacTaggert reveals that the mutates of Genosha appear to be dying of a strange illness that effects only mutants.
How Scott Lobdell remembers writing Uncanny X-Men #300: If I recall my thought processes at the time, I thought it would be interesting to look at the X-Men from the point of view of an outsider—an unknown young mutant known as the Neophyte. Unlike all the other Acolytes who had gone to follow Magneto at later points in their lives, the Neophyte was indoctrinated at an early age. In many ways he had no choice but to follow Magneto, all the while suspecting perhaps that there was another way. Imagine his shock to discover the X-Men he had heard about were not the dark and violent enemy he was lead to believe them to be. Instead they represented his secret hopes that there was a way for humans and mutants to live in peace. In many ways, the Neophyte having his eyes opened was a way for us to take stock once again of the selfless and heroic mutants known as the X-Men.
How Chris Yost remembers reading Uncanny X-Men #300: I remember that never in a billion years would they let Illyana die. I know, it didn't happen in #300, but damn.
How Troy Brownfield remembers reading Uncanny X-Men #300: Hey, didn't JRJR draw both #200 and #300? Anyway, I recall this being another in the running battles between the X-Men and the Acolytes. The thing that frustrated me at the time was that it seemed like the same Acolytes were getting killed in different issues, but they weren't matching up. Also, most of the new Acolytes were introduced haphazardly so that it was hard to connect to them as antagonists in any meaningful way.
How Mike Carey remembers reading Uncanny X-Men #300: Hey, I'm not gonna hear a word said against #300. It gave me a title, for one thing—X-Men Legacy. Plus, it had the Acolytes in it, JRJR was on art, and it showed Iceman manipulating his frozen form for the first time into something beyond the default option. Something for everyone!
How Lucas Siegel remembers reading Uncanny X-Men #300: Ooo! Shiny! As a kid, I first started reading comics during the X-Cutioner's Song storyline. This came soon after, at the height of the Legacy Virus insanity. Xavier's realization was a heartbreaker for me, too- at least Illyana, like most X-Men, is getting a second chance at life now!
How Steve Ekstrom remembers reading Uncanny X-Men #300: I actually almost got in a bicycle wreck riding home from the comic shop because the sun reflected off the cover of Uncanny #300 right into my damn eyes! Fat kid + inertia = injury! I liked this issue quite a bit—because it was the first time that I started really looking at the growth of JR JR’s work as an artist. It was like a new aspect of my love for this medium took form because of this specific issue of X-Men. I remember realizing how much of a bad ass Iceman was finally becoming. I wish that more had come out of the Gamemaster/ Upstarts storyline—the Upstarts were a new generation of bad guys for the X-Men who just kind of “poof” disappeared overnight…or did they?
The X-Men and their popularity were, much like the comic industry as a whole, reaching a critical mass by the time #300 hit shelves—but the X-Men still seemed unstoppable at the time—but there were much darker storms just off the horizon...
To be continued…