Tuesday, 14 June 2011

UXM #11: "The Triumph Of Magneto!"

("There's a stranger here...") 


Cerebro has now been fitted with a snazzy "radar-image beam" that can generate a picture of any mutant the machine is scanning.  It's probably a good thing this idea didn't take; it would strip away a good deal of mystery if every mutant detected came with its own profile picture.  Maybe Xavier abandoned the idea after it blew up on the first try.

Whilst on the subject of Cerebro, it's really rather sweet to see it in its infancy, back when the known mutant population was so small that the machine had a card insert with the name of every foe the X-Men had faced.  Each with accompanying blinky light.  It's so '60s it hurts.

Not so '60s as the Stranger's landlady, though.  Presumably she's another acid-fried former hippie, blissfully unawares that she's taking part in a story set in the future.  In fact, it's becoming increasingly clear that the whole of New York City is filled with addle-minded lunatics.  I confess that if I saw a man walking through the air I'm not sure what conclusion I would come to, but "Some new kind of helium belt" wouldn't be anywhere near the top of the list.

This is, what, four bases for Magneto now?  Apparently, the Brotherhood has fallen on hard times, too.  From island base to asteroid station to country mansion to... what?  An apartment, maybe?  It's even described as a "temporary headquarters", presumably as in "This is just a temporary set-up, until Dad sends me some money, and my internet business finally takes off". [1] 

There's just such a stench of sad desperation about it all.  Lee probably made the right choice to take Magneto off the board for a while.

Whilst Magneto is languishing in squalor, the X-Men in contrast have yet another new helicopter.  The last one wasn't even dented, from what I could tell.  Between this and the apparently useless radar-image beam, it's getting increasingly clear that Xavier lacks for any meaningful kind of fiscal discipline.  I'm almost surprised that the last two years of present-day X-Men books haven't dealt with the total destruction of the Professor's fortunes in the wake of the financial crisis.

This story takes place over a single day, and from the look of it, the next issue will follow on directly...
There's not really much to be said about this issue, aside from having to add on six more days for the X-Men's return trip from Antarctica.  The whole adventure takes place in a single day, so far as I can tell.  The surrounding plant life continues to defiantly hold on to its foliage, but that's not a major problem just yet.
Jean's obviously a Dr Kildare fan.  Still, there were probably plenty of repeats in the late '70s.  Indeed, I remember my mother watching it almost religiously when I was a young boy in the mid '80s.

Everything is still green.

Tuesday 22nd August, 1978.


Compression Constant

1 Marvel month = 4.22 standard months.

Contemporary Events
The Sandinistas occupy the national palace in Nicaragua.

Stand-Out Line

"It'll be good to sit back and relax with a differential calculus problem for a few hours!" Tsk.  How disappointing.  Differential calculus is horribly boring, and it's a real shame to see that the Beast doesn't realise that.  Surely a better use of his leisure time would be pondering the long-term behaviour of time-inhomogeneous Markov chains.  Or maybe putting together a detailed analysis of the timeline of an ongoing fictional world?  That would be a lot less sad, surely?
[1] Did Asteroid M have building insurance?  Because I would love to see the claim form on that one.  Actually, that's a good point.  Does superhero collateral damage count as "acts of God"?  And if not, do the Avengers get around that by always blaming Thor? .

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