Monday, 13 June 2011

UXM #10: "The Coming Of... Ka-Zar!"

(The land that feminism forgot) 


We'll add Ka-Zar and the Savage Land to Lee's tally of iconic X-Men then, shall we? Whatever one thinks of him fifty years on, I'm very much impressed with his batting average, here.  Ten issues in and the only super-powered character mentioned so far who doesn't become a staple of the Marvel Universe is Lucifer (just as well, since he's terrible).  Once we've finished his 19-issue run, I might put together a full roll-call of everything he came up with.

I just can't stop chuckling every time someone refers to X-Men training sessions as "post-graduate work". I was a post-grad for three and a half years, and I don't remember having to disassemble a rifle with the power of my mind even once.  Though I suppose that could have been one of the days I stayed in bed.  Or the pub.

Speaking of telekinetic disarmament, it's nice to see Jean's PG work has now moved beyond home economics. I'm sure Cyclops has only finished making her reassemble sewing machines, though. 

If indeed, he's been doing anything other than mooning over her.  The terrible romantic thoughts continue, and apparently have gotten to the point where Cyclops can't even remember to check all four of his team-mates have shown up for training.

I was going to (rather pedantically) criticise Marvel Girl for referring to dinosaurs as belonging to ancient history (rather than prehistory, obviously), but then I remembered I'm reading Marvel and it's entirely possible that in this universe, people started making iron blades to fight off rampaging stegosaurs, and Hadrian's wall was built by velociraptors.  To keep out the Scottish t-rexes.

Having spent so much time celebrating Beast's continuing transformation into the super-genius we all know and love, I suppose I should note that there is still some way to go, yet.  It is difficult to praise the intelligence of someone who, when meeting a savage, uncommunicative denizen of a savage prehistoric landscape - and his attendant razor-toothed pet - compliments the wild man on his biceps, and then starts feeling him up.  True, Hank has no idea of how the etiquette of the Savage Land manifests itself, but you'd think he'd have the wherewithal to assume that pawing at the locals' pectorals would be very much frowned upon. 
It's almost certainly a typo, but I do love how Jean calls Warren "Scott" just before the tyrannosaur appears.  As Freudian slips go, it's pretty reasonable.  Shame she goes into a state of shock immediately after, whilst Warren is the model of cool.  Still, maybe we shouldn't blame '60s sexism.  Maybe we should just blame Cyclops wasting all that time making Jean thread needles, when she could have been learning to lobotomise giant lizards (hindsight is 20/20). At least she manages to upset the dinosaur.  The implication is she uses telekinesis to ruin its balance, but I prefer to think she planted something in its brain.  "Your arms are too tiny to ever allow you to embrace the lizard you love." 

Aww. I feel quite bad for him now.

This adventure takes place over approximately a week.

Presumably, the X-Men took another nine days to return from Bavaria. Also, Bobby and the Professor both note that it's been weeks since their last mission.  Let's assume then that three weeks have passed since they defeated Lucifer, allowing them a more leisurely trip back to New York if they wish.  They could even have a holiday, wouldn't that be nice?

We'll again assume six days for the "days later" it takes for the X-Men to get to Antarctica.  That sounds a little slow, actually, but perhaps they didn't go the whole way by plane.  That or having to involve Washington slowed everything down.  I don't even want to know how many forms you need to fill out in triplicate to lend a plane to some mutants so they can hunt a sabretooth tiger.

Once in Antarctica, though, their escapades can plausibly be considered to take place over a single day.


Tuesday 15th August, 1978.


X+131 to X+137.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel month = 4 standard months.

Contemporary Events

Audrey Tautou is born.

Japan and the People's Republic of China sign the Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

150 Palestinians are killed during a terrorist attack in Beirut, during the Lebanese Civil War.

Stand-Out Line

"Personally, I've always believed that violence is the last refuge of the incompetent!" Definitely the best line in the issue.  I mean, it's a shame it's Isaac Asimov's, but...

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