For some reason, I’ve always been a fan of the Sentinel overlord, Master Mold. Maybe it’s because he looks like a cross between Galactus and a Sentinel, or maybe it’s because he’s a walking factory that somehow produces raw materials to make Sentinels within his person, but the bigger, more menacing look of the monolithic Master Mold has always made me take pause and go, “Cool.” That being said, his first appearance is wrapped up with early Sentinel tales and in the early days of the silver age X-Men, so that’s out of my price range for the time being. However, I did track down a two issue story with him recently at the Boston Comic Con for a scant buck apiece.
Uncanny X-Men #246 has a bold (inaccurate) color scheme for the Master Mold, looking something like a leftover redesign of Megatron or Iron Man. Written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Mark Silvestri, it opens with the Dazzler looking into the Siege Perilous (ironic because the Boston Comic Con already introduced plenty of Dazzler into my life) and seeing her own death. We also see Nimrod acting as a sort of anti-hero(?) taking out some crack dealers (remember guys, this is the 80s), as well as Wolverine talking about going to do his own thing because that’s what Wolverine does about half of the time in team books.
Another key subplot to this is Rouge dealing with the inner struggle of the absorbed memories of Carol Danvers taking over her body from time to time, including a seemingly out of nowhere salute to veterans plopped into the middle of the book. Meanwhile, Senator Robert Kelly is making deals with Sebastian Shaw (the cad!) while his trampy wife plays provocateur.
To get back to the Master Mold portion of the story, Nicholas Hunter, the anti-hero Nimrod’s alter ego (something I never knew existed until this point in my life), is working at a construction site and accidentally touches a buried piece of the Master Mold, which is enough to cause him to revert to being full Sentinel and become some sort of Master Mold/Nimrod amalgamation, a super-Sentinel, if you would. We close with Master Mold looking giant size, Rogue rocking Carol Danvers’ Ms. Marvel outfit (the lightning bolt one), and Robert Kelly’s wife (Mitzy? Wait, Sharon, it’s Sharon) getting squashed in a limo.
This issue’s a nice setup to what’s to come. We get some characters moving forward (Wolverine), as well as some characters struggling (Dazzler, Longshot having a crisis of confidence, and Rouge wrestling with the specter of Carol Danvers). Throw in some big giant robot, and the character mash-ups of Master Mold/Nimrod and Rogue/Ms. Marvel (mash-ups are something I always like) and you get a solid issue. One last note, Mark Silvestri’s art in this is amazing. Not for any huge splash pages or “redefining the genre” or any somesuch, but for drawing realistic looking characters with realistic hair, in my opinion. With so much hair going on (remember guys, this is the 80s, so the volume’s turned up to 11), it helps you get invested in the characters when it seems like they could actually be real people (right down a quick reference to Wolverine starting to use hair gel). If you can find this one cheap, give it a read.
This is the first part of my multi-part look at Master Mold, in the same vein as my fascination with Venom 2099.