Tag Archives: scott summers

86 – STARJAMMERS

12 Aug

Subject: Starjammers
Roster: Corsair (leader), Hepzibah, Raza, Sikorsky, Binary, Ch’od
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #107, October 1977

While waiting in line for X-Men: First Class some friends had started a trivia game of naming the roster of an X-team (or related). I won most rounds, but got especially far with Starjammers, of whom most people could only name one member (Corsair). I forgot Raza at the time, and Binary*, who joined the team years later.

Yet another one of the aspects of the X-Books that didn’t jive too well with the civil rights movement thesis, on account of its space opera leanings, the Starjammers are most notable for being led by the previously mentioned Corsair, aka Scott and Alex‘s long-lost dad.

In fact, let’s take a moment to just reflect on this disturbing motif within comics of more-often-than-not “assuming your friends and loved ones are dead and I shouldn’t even bother looking.” This happened a lot in the Claremont (and Byrne) era, during which various members of the team would get separated after some climactic disaster (underground cave-in, big explosion, etc), and the surviving members mourning for all of a few days and then accepting the deaths of their teammates, and without ever mounting an appropriate search and rescue.

Given the tenacity and hardiness of these mutants, one would assume they wouldn’t think twice about, I dunno, spending a few more days digging through the rubble? Meanwhile after the mourning oftentimes they don’t even bother notifying the “deceased” next of kin!

Anyway, Corsair (Christopher Summers) and his wife were abducted by aliens while flying his plane with Scott and Alex onboard. Scott and Alex parachuted off, and the parents were whisked away across the galaxy to become slaves, Corsair’s wife dying in the process. He meanwhile escapes and become a notorious space pirate with an extravagant ship, the Starjammer, going off on Flash Gordon-esque adventures with his teammates.

At no point during his Han Solo tenure did he ever actually return to Earth, despite having easy access back to the planet. His parents (Scott and Alex’s grandparents) were still alive, and he never thought to look his kids up, whom, if he had actually succeeded in his original plan, had parachuted to safety. But no, he decides to foresake the remnants of his dead wife’s memory only to run into Scott and the X-Men while Phoenix and the Shi’ar were harassing each other.

Sadly this manifests itself later on when Scott has few qualms about giving his sick son up to a mysterious woman who (correctly) claims to be from the future, taking this stranger’s word that she will save him. True, she kind of did, but the end result was still Cable and Stryfe. Like father and son (oh, Cable’s son also has daddy issues).

Once again, I digress. With a dynamic but so-so front image (with Lee’s trademark focal point yet again on the leader’s featureless crotch), the card’s back features a large and impressive rendering of Lee’s version of the Starjammer. The layout differs from other “team” cards in that it’s in portrait mode, allowing for a larger second image, but forsaking an X-tra fact (for the first time so far!) as a result.

*Binary being the cosmically-empowered post-Ms.-Marvel-post-Rogue-depowering Carol Danvers.

42 – MR. SINISTER

2 May

Subject: Mr. Sinister
Real Name: Unrevealed
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 225 lbs.
Group Affiliation: Marauders
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #221, September 1987

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 3/7
  • Mental Powers: 6/7
  • Strength: 4/7
  • Fighting Ability: 2/7
  • Intelligence: 3/7

I don’t care what other people say: Mr. Sinister looks way badass and one of the most stylish X-characters out there. You’d have to be to have been introduced as a villain at the same time as Apocalypse and still stand toe-to-toe with the guy (didn’t help that they were both cloaked in shadows for a long time and had the same color scheme).

By this point in X-Continuity his penchant for messing around with mutant genetics, specifically Scott Summers and Jean Grey‘s, has been well established, most devastatingly to create Jean’s clone Madelyne Pryor (aka Cable‘s mommy), but the convolusion would continue well after Lee and the others made their Image exodus.

Among the convolusions to come? The revelation that Sinister is not a mutant at all, instead just a crazy scientist who was manipulated by Apocalypse in the 1800’s to become the monster he eventually became. This technically makes him a mutate, not a mutant.

Anyway, the art here is pretty good, giving Sinister that good goth-horror look, though if I were Lee I would’ve obscured those ankle boots completely.

His Power Ratings are a little wonky, but not unexpected given how mysterious his powers actually were (I mean, his m.o. is splicing various mutant genes into his own to give himself further abilities).  Ironically enough, his Intelligence rating is only a 3, which is pathetic for being a nefarious expert in genetics.

Requiem for Havok

9 Apr

I’ve been vocal about the general mistreatment of Alex Summers‘ character throughout his history, and depending on how you look at it, his genealogical flip-flopping in X-Men: First Class is yet another example of that.

Anyway, I’d been rereading old X-Men‘s again, and specifically got to the classic X-Men #54-59, in which Alex is first introduced graduating from high school college*. Later, as they get themselves in an action bind, he more than holds his own in a fight alongside the other X-Men, despite his powers not manifesting themselves yet at the time.

And yet this guy gets a 1/5 Strength rating?! Yes, fine, he’s an upstanding athlete but by no means superhumanly strong, but to find himself below the ranks of, say, Shadowcat, his own love Polaris, Boom Boom, AND Jubilee? Yikes.

I’m gonna relish reading early Havok when his appearance really brought an infusion of family drama that’s become an integral part of mutant lore (I’m sure the crazy incredible Neal Adams illustrations helped the reading experience as well), and I’m sure I’ll get angry again later on.

*Alex is Scott’s kid brother, but we first meet him graduating from “old Landon College.” Scott had graduated from Xavier’s only about 40 issues prior to this, and never attended college himself. The letters page clarified Cyclops as being between 19-20 years old at the time, which means Alex would have had to graduate college way ahead of schedule. I guess that accounts for his 4/7 Intelligence rating.