("Dude, where's my property deeds?")
.Before we get going, I really should give a shout out to coverbrowser.com, whose archive has saved me from having to spend time searching the intertubes for issue covers. You guys are the awesomest!
It seems to me to be somewhat bathetic to resume a story about world-ending threats by having the X-Men fight four dude ranchers. It doesn't really make for interesting reading to see the super-powered defeat ordinary humans who were outnumbered in any event. I'm guessing Thomas' A-plot under-ran somewhat, but you'd think he'd come up with something better than this. There's nothing wrong with the central idea, indeed I rather like the thought of a landowner watching the potential start of the apocalypse and only be able to process that it's on his land and he won't have it. It's trying to turn it into an action sequence that proves problematic. Indeed, when even the script refers to the scuffle as a "time-consuming interlude", you know you're in trouble.
How polite are Lucifer's robot minions? Sure, they'll sneak up on a man and kidnap him so that he can be tortured and killed, but they'll take his wheelchair with them. Truly they are gentlemen robo-thugs. Their definitely far more classy that Lucifer, who's only too happy to rub Xavier's nose in it "He who foiled my first attempts at conquest on this puny planet now stands before me in abject defeat!" Dude, that's a low blow.
Not as low as Xavier, though, obviously. Because he's a cripple.
I'm sorry, but somehow Thomas has managed to make Lucifer's tower (now identified as "Dominus") look even more like a giant dick than last time around, which shouldn't have been possible absent the addition of testicular generators. It even opens at the top to fire out mind-control rays. Once that huge, turgid tube reaches full power and explodes from the tip, launching wave after wave of energy designed to reduce the recipients to mindless shells with no wills of their own, fated instead to do the bidding of the occupying force within...
Oh, I get it. It's a pregnancy metaphor. Clever.
It's a shame we don't learn anything about the inhabitants of the Sirius star system. We don't even know if their fetching briefs were forced upon them by their conquerors, or if they were merely in fashion at the time.
It's not often that an X-Man story annoys me (they don't always manage to avoid boring me, but that's usually as far as it goes), but the ending of this one manages it. Not only is Xavier's message to the X-Men pointlessly confusing (why say "Don't destroy the machine!" when he could say "Make sure you destroy the robots!"), but the idea that Cyclops wins the day by being so reluctant to consider the possibility that the message was faked he ends up shooting Angel.
That's not loyalty: that's bullheaded idiocy. It's one thing when you stick with someone you love when they seem to have abadoned or even turned against you, but assuming messages can't be faked, intercepted or compiled under coercion? That just makes you an idiot.
This issues follows on immediately from issue #20, and continues into the following day. Beyond that, there really isn't anything to be said. I guess the dude ranchers set the story as being after 1925, but so does, y'know, pretty much everything else.
X+220 to X+221.
1 Marvel month = 4.51 standard months.
Indira Gandhi is re-elected to the Indian parliament, and remains Prime Minister.
Californians reject a proposition aimed at banning homosexuals from teaching in schools.
"As always lad, our minds are kindred spirits!" I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't noticed until now, but the comic very much seems to have cast Iceman and Beast as a mis-matched duo. They go on dates together, they spend all their time good-naturedly insulting each other. They don't even seem all that interested in Jean, unlike Scott, Warren and (briefly) the Professor. If this comic had started up forty years later, I'd assume they were both gay. In fact, I still have my suspicions...Monday 6th to Tuesday 7th of November, 1978.