So What's This About Forge's Dire Wraith Neutralizer?

Last Spaceknight Saturday, Rom and SHIELD found out about a neutralizer built by Forge that could arm the human race against the Dire Wraiths and turn the tide of the war, if only he'd let us use it. But when did this happen? Answer: Pretty much concurrently with those issues of Rom, as part of Forge's first real storyline...Uncanny X-Men #186... Lifedeath, a Love Story. A couple issues after Forge's neutralizer is used to accidentally take away Storm's mutant powers (less than 2 years after Claremont took away her sense of fashion), the mutant inventor has taken it upon himself to nurse her back to health in his high tech skyscraper in Dallas. Guest artist and full time legend Barry Windsor-Smith got to draw a number of Storm nudie shots and... Dire Wraiths!
Dire Wraiths sucking people dry!
Ooh, that's nasty. Obviously, they're after the neutralizer, collecting clues that will lead them to Forge. At one point, they come across Rogue and her amazing exploding fists of fury.
So what happens when Rogue touches a Wraith without the benefit of gloves? A lot of puking, apparently.
Back in Dallas, Storm finds out Forge created the gun that took away her powers, so she leaves just as an actual storm kicks up. Somewhere else in the Marvel Universe, the Casket of Ancient Winters has been opened, placing this story at the same time as Rom #60. Cue Uncanny #187 and Dire Wraiths drawn by John Romita Jr.
He focuses more on Wraiths turning people into dust than into bags of gross, as you can see.
Forge's building is easily infiltrated. Elsewhere, a powerless Storm was still, you know, trained by Wolverine.
A huge battle ensues inside, one that involves a ton of Wraiths, Darkwings, Hellhounds, an Indian shaman, and a few more X-Men. The Wraith take a page from the book of Captain Kirk's doubles:
Yeah, that never works. (Because in Claremont's comics, everyone's also a mystic. And a ninja.)

Colossus' skin vs. Wraith drill-tongues...
Is it me, or are Wraiths particularly vulnerable to kicks in the head? Now stand by for the Reprinting Copyright Infringement Nightmare Moment:
Can X-Men Essentials reprint this panel? We'll let the lawyers decide. Is "They're holograms, not the actual characters" a solid defense?

The battle continues in Uncanny #188, as the Wraiths call up even more demons, and Rogue once again comes in contact with them. More puking? Not this time!
The problem with stealing a shape-shifter's powers, I suppose. It takes Magik's sword to rip the Wraith right off of her.
I'd forgotten how much casual angst was in this series...

When it's all done, Forge remembers one Wraith was left on the roof. Good memory. Neutralizer in hand...
Somehow, I don't think it sends them to Limbo, do you?

Now that you've been prepared, tune in tomorrow for Spaceknight Saturdays, as we find out why Forge won't share his Wraith-killing technology.


Austin Gorton said...

Ah memories...this is one of my favorite little arcs in one of my all-time favorite X-Men runs (the Claremont-JRJr run).

In addition to the casual angst Claremont tosses about, I love all the quasi-deities Claremont cooked up, in whose names the characters could exclaim. Storm has her "Bright Lady" and Colossus his "White Wolf."

And of course, you have to love the fact that these three issues work in the X-Men's ongoing stories plus a thread of Rom's story AND a plot element from Thor. And it wasn't billed as a CROSSOVER EVENT, just good old fashioned universe-sharing. Good stuff.

Martin Léger said...

Why do you mention your Kung Fu Friday in a roll over? lol.

Siskoid said...

Uhm... exploding fists of fury joke?

Anonymous said...

Teebore, don't forget my favourite: "Lenin's ghost".

That saga was a good job, indeed.

But the Comics Code didn't say anything against puking on yourself?

The Dire Wraiths also fought the Avengers. That make me think that Rom was well considered by other writers back then.



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