Thursday, September 29, 2016


Today we continue our sporadic coverage of the Atlantis Attacks crossover, with the third chapter, featuring a guest-star I love to death, used badly; in a trope I somehow associate with the book's regular writer even though he didn't write this one. From 1989, X-Men Annual #13, "Double Cross" Written by Terry Austin, art by Mike Vosburg. Now, Austin's a name you've seen on a ton of X-Men comics, but he was an inker--aside from that link there, I didn't know he had any writing credits.

Set during the X-Men's Australian outback days (which lasted maybe two years, but still seems a definitive era) the story opens with Dazzler about to jump into bed with Wolverine, in a somewhat hammy pass. She is interrupted by Alison--herself!--and the rest of the X-Men, since she's actually Diamondback, from Captain America! By way of explanation, Storm goes through her taped account: rejoining the Serpent Society, DB was on a mission for Ghaur and Llyra, who wanted some mystic artifacts stolen from Mr. Jip. Instead, the somewhat cadaverous and apparently pantsless Jip captured Diamondback, and Dazzler, then swapped their bodies in order to blackmail them into collecting the magic items...that I thought he supposedly had. Hmm...

Splitting into groups and teleported by Gateway, the X-Men fight the Serpent Society in the Savage Land, Ohio, and Iceland; collecting the items. Longshot is believed lost, but upon receipt of the items Mr. Jip restores Diamondback and Dazzler, then returns Longshot to leverage his position. But Jip and the X-Men are double-crossed by Diamondback, who is retrieved by her boss, the teleporting Sidewinder; they had likewise double-crossed the Serpent Society and bilked them of most of their fee. Ghaur and Llyra receive the mystic doodads, and have a chuckle at how humans can be so short-sighted, since they would use them to raise Set and kill them all...while Mr. Jip laments the setback: he had been trying to stop Ghaur and Llyra's plan only because it involved Dagger, and Jip had his own plans for her. Jip also notes their plan may have repercussions for Storm as well...

Even though Austin wrote this, the body-swap aspect feels like regular writer Chris Claremont; and I'm not sure why. I don't know if he used that one that often, but still. I don't think I've read another comic with Mr. Jip, so I don't know if he's used correctly; but Diamondback is a bit out of character here, far more shallow and callow than she had become in Cap. Also this issue: a Jubilee story, written by Claremont under a pseudonym; and another chapter of "The Saga of the Serpent Crown," featuring a cameo from Kull!

2 comments:

SallyP said...

I remember this! I do have to admit that the whole Australian thing was a little... weird... especially in retrospect.

Dale Bagwell said...

First I'm hearing of this Mr. Jip guy or of Terry Austin writing, but props to him for stepping outside his comfort zone though.
I only vaguely know of this, besides seeing the cover before, because DB brings this adventure up in an issue of Captain America during the Bloodstone Hunt saga. She was bemoaning her then current predicament in the story, saying she should've stayed in Australia. Guess that wouldn't have worked out too good for her either if she had.