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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #341 - Cannonball vs Gladiator

Sometimes a story just hits you the right way.  After reading it you look inward and say, 'WOW!  I loved that story."  Those are the kind of stories we all want, right?  They are the kind that make you want to talk about it, to call your best friend and see if he or she felt the same.  When you appreciate something you cannot help but want to talk about it even years later.  Uncanny X-Men #341 was one of those issues for me. 

As a whole, the story was okay.  However, there is an aspect in this issue that I have always loved and that is the battle that takes place between Cannonball and the Shi'ar Champion and leader of the Imperial Guard, Gladiator.  Gladiator is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe having only been defeated by Thor.  Gladiator's power and abilities mirror that of Superman's, if not stronger.  However, in this issue of Uncanny X-Men, the former New Mutants member Cannonball finds himself pitted against this powerful foe.  It's that battle aspect of t his story that I love so much and the characterization of Cannonball!  Why?

Sam Guthrie, aka Cannonball, has always been one to doubt his abilities and his place among mutantkind.  In this issue, however, we see his confidence level at its highest by showing a willingness to take on the powerful Gladiator.  In this battle we see Cannonball's real strength comes, not from his mutant abilities, but in thinking his way through the battle as a mature hero would.  While Cannonball does not defeat Gladiator, he does not lose either and stands toe to toe with him.  We also see, thanks to writer Scott Lobdell, the potential that Cannonball has to be a powerful hero, both in mutant ability and in thinking ability.  My favorite scene in the comic is when Gladiator tries to punch Cannonball from Earth into the Sun and fails.  The scene and dialogue that follow are great! 

Cannonball: "So tell me pardner...was that your best shot?"
Gladiator: "But..but that was my most powerful blow! live?  That's not possible...!"

In the end when Gladiator sends the X-Men to help Lilandra he does not send Cannonball saying that it would be an insult to send a child into such a battle.  How insulting!  Cannonball just held his own with one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe and he cannot go with the rest of the X-Men because he is a child?  I highly disagree.  Cannonball has the makings of not only being a great X-Man but a leader as well.  I only hope we get to see more stores like this with Cannonball sometime in the future. 

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1 comment:

  1. i love the fact that i own this book. it is one of the most argued battles between me and my comic geek friends.the art of joe madeureira against scott lobdell's story was awesome! a good read any time.