Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #245

Issue Date: 
June 1989
Story Title: 
Men !

Chris Claremont (writer), Rob Liefeld (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In deep space, a group of interstellar conquerors, comprised of myriad species and calling themselves the Conquest, make plans against their newest objective: Earth. Meanwhile in Australia, Wolverine notices the low morale among the men in camp. Taking a cue from Storm's all-ladies trip to LA, Wolverine suggests a trip with the guys to town. Shortly after arriving in Sydney, Wolverine's group, comprised of Colossus, Longshot, Havok and himself, witnesses the arrival of the invading Conquest. The reactions of the citizens of Sydney confuse the Conquest causing their leadership to decide to cut their loses and activate a bomb of unimaginable devastation. A half inebriated Havok destroys the command ship before the bomb is activated, saving the day and stranding the strike force members of Conquest. Meanwhile, in the highlands of Kentucky, Tessa of the Hellfire Club is shown a devastated installation that once imprisoned the now free Donald Pierce, the former White King.

Full Summary: 

On an alien ship, in deep space, the Fearless Leader of the Conquest, a group of warriors from myriad races, bent on conquest of worlds, addresses his fleet. The Leader announces the discovery of a new world to conquer, called Earth. As the Leader calls for the rallying of forces, a Conquest archivist, so lowly in importance that he lacks a name, discovers the history of the Conquest's new target. His computer tells him that Earth has repelled incursions by the Kree, Skrulls, Aakon, Badoon, as well as others. Data also confirms that Earth has not only repelled multiple assaults by Galactus, but is the homeworld of Galactus' current herald, Nova. Earth is also the adopted homeworld of the Phoenix Force. The archivist decides to warn his masters, even though it could mean the end of his life, as he fears more for the lives of many of the Conquest.
In Australia, Havok uses the monitor room to watch his fellow X-Men. After lamenting that Wolverine has disabled his scanners, Havok discovers Wolverine standing behind him, watching the watcher. The two argue about the use of the Reavers' monitors that corrupted Madelyne. They are interrupted by an astral projection of Storm, generated by Psylocke who has informed Storm about Havok and Wolverine's exchange. Storm warns of using any of the Reavers' systems until the X-Men are sure that they are safe. Havok storms out, questioning why the team stays in a place that they feel could be unsafe. Storm and Wolverine continue their discussion, focusing in on the recent problems with Havok and his two recent romances, with Polaris and Madelyne, both of which ended in tragedy. Wolverine warns that the problems with the men run deeper. When storm asks for a solution, Wolverine suggests Storm's recent cure for the ladies' problems and states that “What's good for the goose....“
Later, Dazzler attempts to disguise Colossus, still unable to change from his armored form, by applying flesh colored makeup. Colossus remarks that the light Dazzler has been generating to see better has been hurting his eyes. Dazzler turns off her power and apologizes, while thinking to herself about her recent unconscious use of her powers. She notes that in recent times her lasers have been more powerful, her photon bolts have packed more of a punch, and that her basic luminescence has been upshifting along the spectrum from yellow into white. As she hopes silently that this does not bode unwell for the future, Wolverine, Havok and Longshot enter looking for Colossus. The four heroes enter Gateway's portal, leaving Rogue and Storm wondering how much trouble the four will get into.
Meanwhile, aboard the flagship of the Conquest, the Fearless Leader is shown a newly devised Ultimate Secret Weapon: the Jean Bomb. Floating in a bubble-filled glass tube, the Jean Bomb appears to be a naked caucasian Earth woman with a large amount of red hair, similar in appearance, by coincidence no doubt, to a former member of the original X-Men. After asking of its abilities, the Fearless Leader is told that the Jean Bomb possesses the power to disrupt all relationships and dissolve the most loving bonds. It will prompt brother to slay brother, and boon companions to tear themselves apart. The Fearless Leader is pleased. The lowly archivist, who discovered Earth's history against invasions, interrupts the conversation. As he enters, he shouts of danger, but is gunned down by the bodyguards of the Fearless Leader. The Leader realizes that the now deceased newcomer was a member of the fleet, but as he was a lowly archivist, he couldn't have had anything important to say.
Wolverine, Colossus, Longshot and Havok arrive at a bar in Sydney. Colossus reminisces of a previous trip to a bar with Wolverine that led to a fight with the Juggernaut. Havoks mentions another interesting place that the group could go where anything goes: an island calls Madripoor. Wolverine notes that the rest of the group isn't old enough for that place and, addressing the bartender by name, asks for a round of drinks. Immediately all women in the bar flock to Longshot, Colossus begins to draw, and Havok and Wolverine vow to drink until one of them hits the floor. Rumbles from outside quickly interrupt the group's plans. After running outside to investigate, the quartet witnesses the arrival of the invading Conquest's fleet.
The Conquest's tanks and soldiers enter Sydney but are confused as to the populace's response; that of ignoring the invaders. Convinced that this is a ploy or a prelude to a trap the Fearless Leader orders his invading hordes to do nothing to provoke the locals, to err on the side of discretion and let the populace make the first move. Some soldiers ignore the orders and provoke a fight in a local bar only to discover the one local ready and willing to fight is a disguised Colossus. As other soldiers move in to join the fight against Colossus, Wolverine and Havok drink a toast at the odds.
Downtown, the Conquest Strike Leader enters the office of the mayor and demands his immediate and unconditional surrender. The mayor, upon realizing that the alien wishes to take over, declares that he is past due for a vacation and happily hands the job to him. The Strike Leader, wanting to show his seriousness, orders the Sydney Opera House destroyed, as its shape offends him. The mayor states that while he has wished to do that for years, the opera house is already on all of the post cards and brochures and the Strike Leader will simply have to put it back the way it was.
Back at the bar, the fight rages on between Colossus and the soldiers of Conquest. Longshot, who has been watching on, is attacked by a group of 3 bat-winged women. They introduce themselves as the See-Cubed, or the Cosmic Cutie Commandos. Using his agility, Longshot jumps between the airborne See-Cubeds and discovers that the wings with which the women are flying are fake. With their secret now revealed, the See-Cubeds vow to slay Longshot, lest the secret of that which makes them special be revealed. Longshot laughs this off, stating that while people might laugh, they would do so with joy at sharing the skies with the women. Amazed at such a statement, one of which they had never heard before, the See-Cubeds decide to take Longshot to their queen, to have him convince her as he had them.
Meanwhile, half a world away in the studios of a great metropolitan television network, preparations are being made to broadcast the inauguration of a new American president. In the midst of these preparations, a young employee runs into the studio with the news that Australia has been invaded. The news chief dismisses the report as being unimportant. He states that aliens invading a country that is mostly desert pales in comparison to the news of a presidential inauguration.
In Sydney, aboard the Conquest Command Craft, the Fearless Leader finds the invasion situation intolerable. Not only does victory seem to be eluding the grasp of the Conquest, the primitives refuse to even acknowledge their ultimatum. Seeing no alternative, the Fearless Leader decides on using the Jean Bomb, despite the destruction of the Conquest forces below.
Back at Wolverine's bar, the Strike Force Commander arrives, looking for his missing cadres. The Commanders is amazed to find one of the male hating See-Cubed dancing with a human (Longshot). Further inside he finds one of his soldiers, Lord Autarch playing a game of chance, a game called Poker, with Wolverine. The Commander attempts to bring Autarch away from the game, but is summarily backhanded. After rising off the floor, the Commander is approached by Havok who asks to take situation outside, to which the Commander, looking for a fight, agrees.
Back at the poker game, Lord Autarch is convinced of his imminent victory against the Earther, Wolverine. With three kings and a pair of sixes (a Full House), to Wolverine's apparent pair of twos, Lord Autarch is broached by the Earther at upping the stakes... to include their lives. Despite his hand, Lord Autarch weighs the difference between losing and the better part of valor.
Outside the bar, the Commander holds off on his fight with Havok when a soldier under his command notes that the Command Vessel, containing the Fearless Leader, is rising into the sky. Realizing that the Fearless Leader means to drop the Jean Bomb and that his Strike Force has been betrayed, the Commander orders his men to fire upon the rising craft. The half inebriated Havok laughs at the firepower of the Strike Force and, using his powers, obliterates the craft above.
Sometime later the quartet of X-Men return to their base in Australia laughing that Wolverine bluffed the alien with a pair of twos. Waiting for the group is a cross-armed Storm, showing her displeasure at the men's drunken condition. Wolverine swiftly approaches her and, sweeping Storm off her feet, lays a long and very loud smooch on the team leader. Staggering to his quarters. Wolverine yells to Alex about a cantina in Mexico on the Gulf of California where they could finish their contest of drinking each other under the table. Storm, still reeling from Wolverine's kiss, begins laughing aloud... at those men!
On another day in the Cumberland Highlands of Kentucky Ms. Tessa of the Hellfire Club visits a devastated installation belonging to Sebastian Shaw. The facility, now destroyed with all of the staff wiped out, once imprisoned the former White King of the Hellfire Club, Donald Pierce. Tessa is left pondering the plans of the now freed Donald Pierce, and how they might include the Hellfire Club and the Lords Cardinal.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Dazzler, Havok, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Fearless Leader, Lord Autarch, See-Cubed, Strike Commander, Strike Leader (all The Conquest, alien invaders)

Tessa (Hellfire Club)

Story Notes: 

The situation that Colossus remembers where he and Wolverine visit a bar, only to end up in a fight with the Juggernaut occurred in Uncanny X-Men #183.
The bar in Mexico that Wolverine mentions is the one they visit in the Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown limited series, set between this and the next issue, where the two men have already returned from the adventure.
This issue is Rob Liefeld's only penciling job on Uncanny X-Men, his name was misspelled Leifeld in the credits.
This issue is a parody of the recent DC Comics crossover Invasion !, which was published the previous year. In the DC crossover, many alien races team-up to invade the Earth, as they realize that from this insignificant pre-space faring world have arisen hundreds of powerful beings that have influenced the universe on cosmic matters. In the X-Men story of this issue, the Conquest invades while being completely ignorant of these very things.
Many of the species in this story are parodies of ones from DC.The toothy species of the Fearless Leader is a direct swipe/parody of the Dominators in the Invasion! story. The species of the Strike Force Commander is a swipe/parody of DC's Khunds. The See-Cubed women seem to be parodies of Thanagarians who also participated in the Invasion! One DC alien species that is depicted, but did not participate in the Invasion! is the gray skinned tusky Branx warriors from the DC series Omega Men.
In the two page splash page at the beginning, swipe/parodies of many aliens from popular science fiction can be seen. Some of them are as follows: the alien from “Alien“; Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewbacca, and Jawas are from “Star Wars“, E.T. and A.L.F. can be seen.
The television studio in a “Great Metropolitan Television Network“ takes a stab at Superman's place of work, the Daily Planet. For a while in the 1970s Clark Kent worked as a TV anchor, and not a newspaper reporter.
The use of the “Jean Bomb“ is, of course, a self deprecating swipe at himself by Chris Claremont at the confusing continuity of Jean Grey and her clone Madelyne Pryor who managed to destroy both Cyclops and Havok's lives. It also parodies a weapon used in Invasion! called the “Gene Bomb“ which was designed to interfere with Meta Human powers.

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