Tuesday, 21 June 2011

UXM #18: "...If Iceman Should Fail!"

("Welcome to Magneto's Bed and Breakfast.  You'll never hear a soul complaining!")


Few small points, first.  I think if there's anything that deserves a yearly award, it's "Most Convoluted And Unreliable Execution Method Devised By A Leading Supervillain".  If such a thing that existed in 1966, Magneto would surely at least be nominated for a hot-air balloon with a sealed and air-tight gondola.  I suppose I shouldn't be too harsh on him, though; he must have spent the majority of his very tight timetable rewriting and rebuilding the mansions security systems.  Oh, and learning to use magnetism to hypnotise people.

(He also seems to have gone to the effort of identifying the guest rooms.  I'd question the utility of that, but only one of the people in this paragraph is a dangerous supervillain, and it sure isn't me.)

As ridiculous as his death-traps are, though, I have to give him style points for how he opens his front door. "I?  I am power!  Men call me -- Magneto! And now -- come in!"  You're not likely to be bothered by too many travelling salesmen or Jehovah's Witnesses with that welcome, I'd have thought. 

I do feel a little sorry for poor old Toad. Mind you, I get annoyed enough when ingratiating snivellers follow me around at a party.  If one dogged me whilst I spent a few weeks exploring a new world, I wouldn't let him into my cramped spaceship either.

For all his lunatic ideas and ridiculous devices, I actually quite like the idea of a hypodermic syringe that uses a laser to cut through a superhero's skin.  As far as such things go, that's eminently logical and clever.  It certainly works better than Magneto's "magna-car".
Of course, all of the above pales into insignificance compared with the madness of Magneto's ultimate scheme: using the Angels' unconscious parents to breed a race of mutants.  The WTF reading on that starts at roughly 7 Russells [1], and just keeps climbing, especially when Magneto announces he's attached a device which will let him pick each mutant's power-set.  
 It raises all sorts of questions, from the immediate (why did Magneto nor anyone else ever try this again) to the more in-depth (couldn't this have been used to repopulate the species following M-Day), but at the time you read it, you're brain is too busy trying to switch gears to process anything.  About the only thing that registered was the question of whether shutting down the process mere seconds before the first clone stepped into the world technically makes Iceman a murderer.


This story takes place over a night and a day.


Thursday 7th to Friday 8th September, 1978.

X+160 to X+161.

Compression Constant
1 Marvel month = 6.22 standard months.

Contemporary Events
Iranian troops open fire on rioters in Tehran.

Stand-Out Line

"More than any other force on Earth, the power of magnetism is -- infallible!"  Actually, for all I know, Magneto might be right.  But I can't help reading this line and not seeing it as some kind of bizarre product placement.

[1] Named after the tsar of WTF? moments himself: Mr Russell T Davies.  If you're wondering, 1 Russell is equal to watching the Daleks squaring off against an overweight R2 unit painted up as Ann Robinson.  During the height of his tyrannical assault against storytelling logic, measurements into the hundreds of Kilorussels, or even Megarussels, were not uncommon.

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