Thursday, 9 June 2011

UXM #6: "Sub-Mariner! Joins The Evil Mutants"

(Stan Lee blamed for '60s exclamation mark shortage)


Ah, crap.  After a whole episode almost entirely without anything even slightly objectionable, it's time for Jean Grey: Emergency Housewife.  Well, OK, technically it's Emergency Chef and Table Manner Enforcer, but close enough.  And if I remember correctly, it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Magneto seems to have miraculously developed mental powers.  That's... unexpected.  I honestly don't remember this happening, which rather suggests they dropped it just as quickly as Xavier's secret desire to expand her curriculum into some very unexpected topics.

This is the second time Marvel Girl has been unable to hold the Beast, apparently due to his weight.   It's a reminder of how far Jean's powered developed over the years, I suppose, but it doesn't entirely make sense.  Especially since just last issue Jean was able to pick up a piece of electronic equipment and hurl it through a pane of reinforced glass which Beast's weight couldn't break.

Actually, now I think of it, the massive, bulky metal mechanism that Jean used was kind of bullet shaped.  Yes, that must be it.  Very clever of Stan Lee, to wield the laws of physics so well.

Namor buys into the whole "I'm a mutant" thing pretty damn quickly.  Two panels after the suggestion is mooted, it's "My fellow mutants" all the way.  He won't always be so happy to be in the club, no matter how many sexytime mutant fillies Magneto tries to whore out to himand that Scarlet Witch is so pretty Jean has to get all catty about it. Thank God that Angel is on hand to offer slightly creepy compliments, otherwise who knows how much a bitch-fest we might have to suffer through...

Come to think of it, how exactly did Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch patch things up with Magneto? 

I have to say I'm less than impressed with Xavier's long-term planning.  Preventing Namor from joining Magneto is clearly an important tactical victory, but it's a bit tricky to see how persuading the leader of Atlantis that his best bet is go back to planning invasions of the surface world really counts as a "win."


Once again, the narration implies this issue takes place over a single day.  I'm not sure that chartering a boat of that size would be quite so quick a job, though, even given the money on display.  Besides, it's stretching credulity even by X-book standards to believe that Magneto's hidden island is within a few hours sail of New York.  Besides, that's far too close to civilisation; there'd be an endless procession of tourists clomping around.  Who'd have time to get any plotting done with all those meddling interlopers to liquidate?  There's a reason supervillains favour volcano lairs, and it has nothing to do with central heating options.

So let's say the X-Men sailed through the night, just to give this story the slightest caress of plausibility.  Everything that happens once they reach the island happens the same day.

As regards the placing of the tale in the more general context, we have to references to work off.  Firstly, Angel notes that this is the first time he's seen Scott smile in months.  That doesn't really tell us a great deal, though.  It's possible Cyclops was a little less dour before Jean showed up; it's also possible he's been a miserable emo moper for much longer than that.  Maybe pre-Marvel Girl, he spent all his time worrying about shaking his glasses loose whilst masturbating.

Actually, that would be pretty bad.

The second reference involves Xavier explaining how he came to locate Magneto's hidden base based on an electromagnetic phenomenon observed by a freighter "some days ago". Presumably this encounter had to take place after Asteroid M took a beating, otherwise Magneto would still be up there, rather than picking up fishing boats and spewing them on the shore hurling vessels over to the Caribbean (which seems a little bit like overkill, but there you go).  We'll use the same logic for "some days ago" as we did for "days later", and assume we're talking six days in the past.  We'll also assume that, somewhat unluckily for him, Magneto had his peace ruined by the blundering freighter only the day after the battle on Asteroid M (everything always goes wrong when you're moving house, doesn't it?)


Sunday 14th  to Monday 15th  October, 1978.

 X+43 to X+44.

Compression Constant
1 Marvel month = 6.76 standard months.

Contemporary Events
Homebrewing becomes legal in the US.

Stand-Out Line

"So that's the famous Sub-Mariner!  He's just a man in swimming trunks!"  Ssh, Mastermind!  No-one's supposed to notice!

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