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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 54

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

In honor of our friend, AERose, we continue our special “Moments from Uncanny X-Men” theme week!

We continue with a great Jim Lee moment featuring a certain star spangled Avenger!

Enjoy!

Uncanny X-Men #268, by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, is a cool story mostly set in the past when a pre-Weapon X Logan teamed up with Captain America to protect a young Natasha Romanova (who would grow up to become the Black Widow – hey, folks, what is the explanation for her odd aging?). In present day, Black Widow seeks out Wolverine and his female furies, Psylocke and Jubilee, for help.

The book opens with one of the coolest action shots you can imagine, and this became such a famous drawing by Jim Lee that Marvel plastered it over so many products during the 1990s. I hope Lee was paid for all the usage of his awesome drawing!

Click to enlarge!

So awesome.

The story was pretty cool, too.

The second best scene in the comic (for unintentional humor purposes) was Psylocke and Black Widow going under cover to a party.

Hilarious.

Daniel Way recently did one of the few good “the story you thought you saw wasn’t actually what was going down” stories that I have seen with an issue of Wolverine Origins that was smartly packaged with a reprint of this issue for an extra buck.

42 Comments

Lord, I loathe Jim Lee’s artwork….so freaking flat.

I remember wondering about Widow’s age thing back then. At the time I assumed that Claremont would get back to it at some point, as he was (in)famous for casually mentioning a minor fact and/or dropping a bombshell, then following up on it months or years later. In the meantime, I theorized that as a Russian agent, she was injected with the USSR’s version of the Infinity Formula or Super Soldier Serum. I vaguely remember the latter explanation appearing somewhere, but can’t recall where or when, so I can’t be sure.
-r-

Actually, the best part of the issue is where, after they’ve saved Natasha, Cap starts to suggest that he and Wolverine continue working together, and Wolverine declines, saying “I don’t need a sidekick.”

This was the first X-Men book I ever bought as a kid. It made no sense to me (how can these people have been around during WW2 and still be young???) and I actually threw it out in disgust. Stupid Aqua-boy.

Black Widow’s age–I have no idea, but two Black Widow mini-series from a couple years ago featured Sean Phillips and Bill Sienkiewicz artwork. They’re worth a look! How about some cool Sienkiewicz moments?

I think they actually did offer a partial explanation for Black Widow’s aging in Richard K. Morgan’s first Black Widow miniseries, with Sienkiewicz doing finishes over Goran Parlov’s art, but I don’t have the issues in front of me to verify what it was.

I actually thought the best part of the issue was when Jubilee was checking out Betsy and Natasha’s boobs and sighing in frustration.

Great issue though still one of my faves.

At the time I assumed that Claremont would get back to it at some point, as he was (in)famous for casually mentioning a minor fact and/or dropping a bombshell, then following up on it months or years later.

Are we talking about the same Chris Claremont. At the time I assumed that Claremont would NEVER get back to it at ANY point, as he was (in)famous for casually mentioning a minor fact and/or dropping a bombshell, then never remembering to following up on it because he wanted to keep adding more teasers, subplots and bombshells.

The worst part of this story was the godawful expository dialogue by the ninjas when they fight Captain America: “Look! The gaijin even knows some of our martial arts!”.

The Wandering Parakeet

February 23, 2009 at 7:24 pm

In the Richard K. Morgan mini-series, they said that basically Natasha was one of several Black Widow agents who were biochemically treated to be long-lived, stronger, faster, stamina-er, etc., than normal people. The downside was that, among other things I don’t recall, they were infertile. They also stated that she had been given a number of false memories (including that she was a ballerina, mentioning that she never showed any damage to her feet that would have resulted from years of performing en pointe) and that she was given a post-hypnotic suggestion never to question or ponder those memories without having severe physiological reactions. All in all, I liked it as an explanation. The plot of the mini centered around the fact that in capitalist Russia, the former spymasters were now eliminating those former Black Widow agents because they were cashing in on their biochemical expertise to create age-defying beauty products and the Black Widows were infringing on their copyrights. That… I didn’t like as much.

Oh! And there was one other thing I liked: the Black Widows were conditioned to subconsciously obey and the orders of people (and further, to never harm them) who were wearing some kind of pheromone. Not only do we find out that Nick Fury knew this during Natasha’s defection and joining up with SHIELD and in fact, used those pheromones to ensure Natasha’s compliance, but it led to a great scene where Natasha is getting her ass absolutely kicked by a guy sporting those pheromones who she cannot bring herself to fight back against. Then he breaks her nose, it fills with blood, and she gets even.

The book opens with one of the coolest action shots you can imagine, and this became such a famous drawing by Jim Lee that Marvel plastered it over so many products during the 1990s. I hope Lee was paid for all the usage of his awesome drawing!

I doubt it. From what Mike Wieringo told me on his board, Marvel doesn’t pay out royalties on art used on merchandise.

Guy to the left of Psylocke there in the last pic looks like Whilce Portacio.

The shadows on the cover make Cap’s outfit look like Bucky’s current one. Neat.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I doubt it. From what Mike Wieringo told me on his board, Marvel doesn’t pay out royalties on art used on merchandise.

How do they feel they have the right to use it then?
If the work is submitted for use in publication, how can they put it on another product and use it with nothing to the artist?

i remember how the shot of cap blew me away and still wonder about Natasha’ being a baby when wolverine and cap rescued her then when next they see her she is grown. not to mention loved the don’t need a sidekick jab by wolverine.

I don’t think the work is strickly speaking ‘submitted for use in publication’. I am fairly sure that it is actually work for hire and therefore Marvel owns the copyright as soon as it is drawn, to do with it what they see fit. This is from a legal standpoint of course, not a moral one.

OK, so I never actually read all of the Black Widow series!

How do they feel they have the right to use it then?
If the work is submitted for use in publication, how can they put it on another product and use it with nothing to the artist?

I’m pretty sure Marvel’s lawyers are good enough to make airtight contracts regarding that. Merchandising is probably covered in the work-for-hire contract.

Yeah, my “hope” was meant a bit facetiously, as I know that he was not. :)

Who was the letterer for this X-men era?? I have always liked this style of lettering and it instantly reminds me of Claremont and the X-men.

Lord, I loathe Jim Lee’s artwork….so freaking flat.

He was even worse back then. These days I don’t much like his work, but I can see what other people see in it. In those days it was just bad

The letterer is Tom Orzechowski, letterer on the X-Men from #94 to #292 (I think), although he didn’t work on every issue in that span. His lettering probably reminds you of Claremont because he frequently works with Claremont — he did the lettering on the X-Treme X-Men and Mekanix series as well. He’s probably the only letterer whose work I can recognize on sight, and I always appreciate it.

Really enjoyed Morgan’s Black Widow miniseries… They were both clever at cleaning up some of her back story… I particularly liked the explanation of why they can’t have kids (their enhanced immune system sees the pregnancy as a parasite and rejects it…)

I really enjoyed Jim Lee’s work at the time, but seeing it reprinted in Wolverine Origins recently just showed how bad some late-80s/early-90s stuff was… look at Psylocke and Balck Widow’s dresses…. eee-yuk!

But that was deemed “cool” at the time…

Wait, am I missing something or does it say “Together again – for the first time”? Or do the involved parties not remember the first time they met? (Has not read the book in question)

It’s the first time that they’re together AGAIN.

Basically, it’s a convoluted way of saying it’s the first time they’ve all been together since the last time they were all together.

That Captain America splash page looks almost exactly like a Wolverine cover Lee drew- I think it was used on the box to a Nintendo game. There’s also a very similar Travis Charest pin-up page in a Heroes Reborn Cap issue (from when James Robinson wrote a few issues).

Roquefort Raider

February 24, 2009 at 7:09 am

“Wait, am I missing something or does it say “Together again – for the first time”? Or do the involved parties not remember the first time they met? (Has not read the book in question)”

I took it as meaning that although *we* have seen them together before, in stories set in the 80s, this was the first time the three characters had met (chronologically speaking).

Great art. Jim Lee is one of the best. Beautiful cover.

DubipR doesn’t know what he is talking about.

“look at Psylocke and Balck Widow’s dresses…. eee-yuk!”

I wouldn’t blame Lee for that – he probably photoref’d the dresses. The late 80s / early 90s weren’t a great time for fashion.

Even for the era, those were bad dresses. But in fairness to Lee, the girls are supposed to look trashy and low class as part of a disguise, so I can forgive it.

On the other hand, the skintight trousers on the fat military man along with his fey stance are a much weirder art choice to me by Lee than the dresses.

Sorry… My comment was a general reference to the era, not Lee’s art…
Didn’t mean to confuse…

Is it my imagination, or did a scene involving Nick Fury and Black Widow suggest that she was keeping young with injections of Nick’s own anti-aging elixer?

With Jim Lee’s art, I always end up looking for how many shoes/feet he avoids drawing, and how bad-looking the ones he includes frequently end up. But he does do good T&A.

I think people get on the backs of Claremont and Lee just because they can. These are two seriously cool “late 80s early 90s” comic scenes. Really, this whole issue was a cool “late 80s early 90s” comic scene.

That Cap splash was just about the coolest thing I ever saw as a kid, and I didn’t even read this book. It was all those shirts. And yeah, the Wolverine videogame cover had pretty much the same pose.

In the second panel, it’s funny how ugly and random Psylocke’s gloves are. I guess the dresses are ridiculous, but Whilce and his buddies don’t care. When two beautiful women in wacky clothes step onto your boat, you don’t question what they’re wearing, you just go “yeeeaah foreign chicks.”

I think people get on the backs of Claremont and Lee just because they can.

Erm.. no.

I could slag off the works of Ed Brubaker, Alan Moore, Tim Sale etc if I did that sort of thing “just because I can”. I only slag off the works of people who’s work I don’t like.

Re: “Together again for the first time” — this is one of those expressions, I think, that has changed to be the opposite of what it originally meant (sort of like “carrot and stick”.) I think it was first used in house ads for the Huntress backup in Wonder Woman to promote a storyline where she teamed up with the Earth-2 Robin — the implication being that these were two characters that SHOULD have teamed up before, but never had. (In other words, a long-overdue team-up.) The phrase was catchy enough, though, that it got re-used in broader contexts, eventually coming to mean (as it does here) just “together again.”

That “Anonymous” was me by the way (again).

Surely “Together again for the first time” simply means “Together for the second time” – and “together again for the second time” would by the same logic mean “together for the third time”

The Cap page may be okay, but Black Widow’s and Psylocke’s poses look really stiff and unnatural in that second page. Not to mention the chubby red-haired dude’s legs… What’s wrong with them?!

I stopped reading X-Men around the time Lee became the regular artist. Of course it was mostly due to the writing getting worse, but even as a teenager it was quite obvious to me that the main reason Lee was brought in was that he was good at drawing boobs and asses. And that was not what I wanted from X-Men. Psylocke used to be one of my favourite characters in the series, but all of a sudden she metamorphosed into this D-cup ninja warrior in S/M leather suit, which just felt like catering to the lowest common denominator.

[...] The hack was taken from the classic Uncanny X-Men #268 you can read more about this issue here http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2009/02/23/a-year-of-cool-comic-book-moments-day-54/ , this issue still counts as one of the best X-Men stories of the modern [...]

Love this one still have it…Tho I’m w/ Tuomas…and I stoped getting X-man about 308…Too many books to bey just to keep up, it stoped being about the reader and more about the $$$$…

BTY I have 108-312 most are the old brown thing there were mailed out in…

Lee’s art became worse, a lot of cross hatching and less shading.

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