Extremely Uncanny Thanksgiving Special 2021: Uncanny X-Men #308
Pass the gravy, it’s time for the Extremely Uncanny Thanksgiving Spectacular! Guess staring Marvel’s Merry Mutants and favorite found family, The X-Men!
This year we will be looking at Uncanny X-men #308
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: John Romita, Jr.
Inkers: Dan Green & Al Vey
Letterer: Chris Elippoulos
Colorists: Steve Buccellato
The plot of the story is that after all of the beatings and just terrible year the X-men, having went through with the Death of Illyana Rasputin, the whole Fatal Attractions storyline, and the rising anti-mutant bigotry, come together to have Thanksgiving dinner as this large family.
Complete with the customary trapping of backyard football. It is wonderful experience. While everyone is gathered for the holiday, Scott and Jean take a trip down their memory road as a couple. A fairly complete retelling of the couple’s major milestones up to that point in continuity are on display.
The waxing poetic of the past brings Jean to the point to ask Scott to marry her (basically, taking up on his proposal from years ago). Overjoyed, the couple announce to the rest of the X-Men that they are to be married.
This issue is one of the best X-Men comics I’ve ever read. Flat out. I can’t pretend otherwise. Now, why is that the case? Let me explain.
First, it is primarily a Scott and Jean issue. I am a sucker for Scott Summers. He is my favorite comic character of all time. While I am a fan of Scott and Emma Frost (They were together when I got into comics and Astonishing X-Men does a lot with the two), this issue helps sell me on Scott and Jean, especially circa 1993. The retelling of their story is one I really enjoyed and is completely accessible to new comic readers. I love it.
Scott telling Jean that despite knowing what terrible futures that could lie ahead (Days of Future Past and the Cable future), their love is strong enough to change the world. Jean responding back with their love being stronger than destiny? Oh yeah that’s the stuff. Give me that schmaltzy romance.
Second, it features a great time capsule of the X-Men from that time frame. All of their designs are over the top and wonderful. Look at Gambit here
THAT DRIP. THAT STYLE. This panel is too much. Da Boxy God, JRjr does a masterclass job in this comic. All of the characters are wonderfully dynamic, even in his unique style, and just fun to look at and follow. No one can draw a mullet like JRjr and that is not an insult. They all look brilliant. Now some of the inks on some of the facial designs is a bit over rendered. That is minor complaint, though. Overall just pleasant.
The line up in this book is great with Storm, Iceman, Jubilee, Beast, Arcangel, Forge, Psylocke, Rogue, and Bishop being the featured X-men. The dynamics on display are phenomenal. Bishop having to learn the basic Thanksgiving traditions is a nice touch.
Then there is Beast.
I miss the old Beast, straight from the ‘Go Beast// Brighten your soul Beast, set on his goals Beast// I hate the new Beast, the bad mood Beast //The always war crime Beast, take over your country Beast
Just a reminder of how fun Characters could be. Not saying the Krakoa Era is bad. It’s great. Just hate that Beast is continuing to be the War crimes jerk.
Third reason it is my favorite? I am sucker for X-Men stories where they are a family. The big appeal about the X-Men is that they are often a found family of outcasts and rejects. There are few in the world that understands them but other mutants. It gives the team a great sense of comradery to see them just playing football and eating Thanksgiving meal. Also, watching Chucky X give flattened in the game is top notch. That is what really set him off to become Onslaught. Not the Magneto mindwipe—The X-Men leveling him in a backyard game of football.
The fact they get a “quite” issue to settle down before the next big crossover—Phalanx Covenant—is always welcomed. These moments are often the ones I remember the most.
So yeah, I loved this story more than I was expecting going into it. It is a great X-Men comic and will be one I will remember fondly for many years. Plus, it captured the feeling of Thanksgiving with the story. Highly recommend checking this one out on Marvel Unlimited.