Friday, 10 June 2011

UXM #7: "Return Of The Blob"

( "When you thought up this torpedo shield, did it occur to you that the Angel can move in three dimensions?")


Having already given us the Danger Room back in issue #2, Lee offers us another staple in the form of Cerebro.  It's not quite what it finally became - Xavier tells Cyclops that his pscyhic powers mean he doesn't need it, but that Cyclops will - but it does its job.  Arguably too well; the best moment in the comic comes as Cyclops is operating the machine, and its list of "Known Hostile Mutants" includes someone listed merely as "Unknown" [1].  I suppose Donald Rumsfeld would have something to say on the matter.

Magneto tries his mind powers again.  He's convinced something is blocking him as he tries to scan the Blob.  An obvious alternative is that he can't read minds.

The X-Men have a sign-out book for when they leave the mansion.  Xavier must be a riot at parties.

Apparently convinced she hasn't done enough damage to feminism by complaining about how much she dislikes Scarlet Witch because she's pretty, this issue Jean uses her telekinetic power on Beast in order to remind him that it should always be ladies first.  This is en route to fight Magneto, by the way.  I'm not sure there existed etiquette for who should go first into battle against a mutant supervillain, even in the '60s.  Still, it's nice to know all that extra time spent strengthening her powers can be put to good use, like being completely unbearable during a crisis.

The X-Men have - briefly - a helicopter now (in addition to two planes, a car, and the ability to hire a yacht at ridiculously short notice). Mind you, Magneto now has a lovely house in the country, so who are the real winners, huh? 

Lastly, the only thing more stupid than Magneto trying to use a horizontal ring of torpedoes to force the Angel down to ground level is the fact that it worked.  I can't help thinking there's at least one X-Man diploma that's going to be revoked pretty sharpish...


This story takes place over two days.  The issue itself marks the one-year anniversary of the comic.

The main chronological issue to consider in this issue is the graduation of the X-Men.  Simply put, this makes fuck-all sense.  Each X-Man was recruited at a different time.  Did Xavier deliberately retard the progress of some of them to allow them all to reach their potential simultaneously?  Or are we to believe that he managed to enrol each mutant at the exact right time to ensure their staggered time-spans with the team worked out? How could that be possible?  Where did Xavier even get his teaching qualifications?  Not anywhere that explained about not perving over his students, that's for sure!

Given all of this, combined with the bare tree near Magneto's new hideout (I wonder if he ever thought about going into real estate and cutting out the middle mutant? [1]), which suggests we're now somewhere in mid to late November at least, I can't think of any explanation other than Xavier just doing whatever the Hell he wants.  Following the tree, and in order to make Jean's comments about her training make some sense, I think putting this story at the end of November covers all the angles as well as can be expected.  I guess it just took Magneto a while to scrape enough cash together to make the deposit.

Finally, whilst I've already established that absolute dates are off limits, Hank and Bobby's visit to a coffee shop is proof positive either that Stan Lee was writing the comic as being set in contemporary times, or that he imagined that fifteen years into the future there would be rest homes set up for all the hippies who had dropped too much acid to process the passage of time anymore, and that they'd end up selling reasonably-priced beverages to the local mutants.

In fairness, that's probably not even in the top fifty fucked-up ideas people in the '60s had about the future...


Thursday 29th  to Friday 30th  November, 1978.


X+89 to X+90.
Compression Constant

1 Marvel month = 4.01 standard months.

Contemporary Events
Publication of the Times is stopped due to a labour dispute.

Stand-Out Line

(As the Blob walks away, disconsolate) "I wouldn't wanna have to fight him again." Poor Bobby.  Still so naive in the ways of comics...
[1] Anyone thinking "Pigs In Space!" at this point, award yourself bonus points.

[2] Your terrible joke for today: what's a dolphin landlord's favourite show? Echolocation, Echolocation, Echolocation.

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