Saturday, 11 June 2011

UXM #8: "The Uncanny Threat Of... Unus The Untouchable!"

(Didn't they do this on Stargate: Atlantis?)


Wow!  This is actually... pretty good!

Of course, I'm biased.  This is the issue in which Hank McCoy finally becomes the character we all know and love.  No longer just a book-worm, he's now officially been upgraded to all-round shed-head.  And not before time.  Let Angel preen, and Ice Man clown, and Cyclops and Jean think all the thoughts they would never dare voice (possibly because their romantic inner monologues are so toe-curling I have four fists right now).  Hank McCoy will be over here, Getting Shit Done.

After he's over his strop, of course.  I mentioned after re-reading issue #2 that I was impressed how quickly the theme of humanity disliking mutants was introduced; this story takes that to its next logical stage: a mob forms to lynch Beast for the crime of saving someone from falling to their death.  "He probably saved that kid just to throw us off guard... To make use think mutants aren't dangerous!" as one of them puts it.  I might have said that was somewhat unbelievable, actually, had I not watched the reaction to a black man becoming US President two years ago.

So as abrupt as McCoy's departure is, you really can't completely blame him for his "Fuck those fuckers" conclusion.  Besides, he changes his mind pretty sharpish as soon as there's work to be done.

And what does he get for his troubles?  Suspicion and violence.  There's gratitude for you.  Only a week after he leaves the tight-knit team and everyone's "like He must have joined Magneto, ZOMG!!1!".  Ingrates.

Actually, this is the one part of the story that sticks out.  The rest of it is genuinely pretty good by 60s standards - the twist that increasing Unus' power will force him to surrender is brilliant - but the X-Men's sudden willingness to believe McCoy is a traitor is impossible to swallow.  Between that, and the howling mob at the start of the issue, and you might as well retitle this story "Hank McCoy vs Every Ungrateful Turd in New York City."

It's fun to watch Cyclops put Jean through her paces at performing housework with her telekinesis.  It seems her sewing is going great guns (fancy dropping a stitch, though; women, eh?), her ability to iron, wash up or hoover at long range remain a mystery, as is the range at which she could furnish Cyclops with a perfunctory hand job.

Doubtless she'll never beat Unus at clothes-folding, though.  You see how neatly he puts away his jacket whilst Angel is dive-bombing him?  That's some bullet-time domestic chores shit, right there.

I note the X-Men have got themselves a new helicopter.  If I hadn't already committed myself to tracking the timeline of the comics, I'd be severely tempted to start monitoring the amount of materiel loss the X-Men suffer throughout their history, instead.  Though having said that, it'll be difficult to resist a tally of Blackbird losses from the Claremont era onwards.


This story takes place over at a week, I reckon.

Beast's fight with Unus takes place exactly a week after he quits.  That makes it another Saturday according to our current timeline, so I suppose the fight could be a matinee.  That would allow for the rest of the issue to take place in the same afternoon/evening.  Assuming people rob banks on weekends, that is.  I suppose there's no reason to believe they went in whilst it was open.  Or maybe New York has banks that opened at weekends, even in 1978.  Not that this really was 1978, but-

There is the slightest possibility that I might be over-thinking this.

Anyway, let's assume the X-Men first face Unus on the same day Beast did, and that his subsequent implosion happens later that evening.


Saturday 1st  to Saturday 8th  December, 1978.


X+91 to X+98.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel month = 4.30 standard months.

Contemporary Events
The Spanish Constitution restores democracy to the country.

Stand-Out Line

"Careful where you're waving that elongated icepick, Bobby!"  OK, I admit it, I'm six years old.  It's still funny.

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