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90 – ROMA

22 Aug

Subject: Roma
Real Name: Roma
Height: variable Weight: variable
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #225, January 1988

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 7/7
  • Mental Powers: 7/7
  • Strength: 7/7
  • Fighting Ability: 7/7
  • Intelligence: 7/7

Sorry again for having this card published before I actually finished writing it; 90 cards into the series, you’d think I’d know better.

And finally, we get to the one single character in the series with all 7’s in their Power Ratings, whom many had assumed would be Dark Phoenix (from whose Intelligence and Fighting Ability ratings they docked points).

Having been created by Chris Claremont in the UK version of Captain Britain (Roma’s first appearance, listed here as Uncanny X-Men #225, refers to her first appearance in the United States), she was designated the guardian of the Omniverse*, and commander of the Captain Britain corps. As mentioned before, while the concept of multiple universes was not unique at the time (any expanded fictional universe with incidentally-crossing continuity is basically wrestling with this concept), Claremont somehow managed to organize the Marvel version, creating the now famous concept of (arbitrarily) numbering the various universes. I have no clue whether Claremont had any idea the impact of his own seemingly arbitrary decision.

Anyway, within the X-Continuity Roma was also responsible for nudging the X-Men through the Siege Perilous, a portal of sorts through which the X-Men saved their lives but also separated them through various parts of the globe (as part of the palate cleanser that eventually led to the relaunching of the X-Men books). She was also responsible for the formation of Excalibur.

Not bad for a character I don’t recall much at all. Also another character I don’t think Lee ever actually drew himself, and while the plain green background seems uninspired, the posing is pretty good, and she’s got that wavy ponytail thing that Lee loves to draw (see Gideon, Omega Red, and Shatterstar).

*There seems to be conflict over the use of Omniverse versus the more ubiquitous Multiverse, with a flame war nearly erupting in the Comic Vine forums over the issue. The contention is definitely arguable, especially when considering the hierarchies of the various omnipotent Marvel characters (Living Tribunal, Eternity, Galactus, etc). In general I’d think that the two terms were used interchangeably, with multiverse being the more accepted term now, but with Roma’s position as Omniversal Majestrix one would think she was the leader above all within Marvel.


19 Aug

Subject: Weird Happenings Organization (W.H.O.)
Roster: Dr. Alistaire Stuart, Brigadier Alison Stuart
First Appearance: Excalibur #9, June 1989

We’re near the end here, I feel bad stiffing you on entries,
but once again I can’t fake knowing more than very cursory things about the Weird Happenings Organization. They’re allies of Excalibur, one’s apparently a guy, one’s a girl, um…



So once again, let’s just transcribe the bio text:

Bewitched by the black arts? Annoyed by aliens? Disturbed by dimensional gateways? Whenever something unusual appears in the United Kingdom, it is the duty of W.H.O. to investigate. W.H.O. is a joint scientific and military research team headed by Dr. Alistaire Stuart and his twin sister Brigadier Alison Stuart. Together, they track down the most mystifying incidents ever to bedevil the British Isles!

X-Tra Fact: Oddly enough, W.H.O. spends most of its time investigating the British super hero group Excalibur!

So next time we can move past this Excalibur stuff, right? Oh wait, no? Dammit.


17 Aug

Subject: Lilandra
Real Name: Lilandra Neramani
Height: 5’11” Weight: 110 lbs.
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #97, February 1976

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 2/7
  • Strength: 2/7
  • Fighting Ability: 1/7
  • Intelligence: 3/7

For a stuffy old disabled guy, Professor X sure gets himself a lot of ass. Gabrielle Haller, Moira MacTaggart, and of course Ms. Shi’ar Empress here, Lilandra, whom I guess is considered his one true love (convenient that they hardly ever see each other).

Lilandra’s introduction was another one of those “I think the rest of the team is dead, so let’s not even bother looking for them and just go off on an interplanetary adventure” moments, which is weird because Professor X, the world’s most powerful telepath, with access to Cerebro, didn’t seem to try too hard to indeed confirm that his beloved students were definitely dead. So he went off to hook up with a mysterious alien chick, without bothering to notify his students’ next of kin.

Anyway, Lilandra looks pretty hot in her portrait; sexy pose, with that classic Jim Lee chrome accents that he does so well (and Liefeld not so much). The pose might be a little too sultry and not enough regality, but who am I to complain.

Lilandra gets a 2/7 Mental Powers rating that looks like simply a consequence of her bond with Charles. I don’t recall her ever manifesting psychic powers otherwise. Also, am I mistaken, but isn’t she more formidable of a warrior than a 1/7 Fighting Ability rating would lead one to believe? She certainly wears armor that would befit someone who wouldn’t shy away from combat.