Friday, 8 July 2011

UXM #35: "Along Came A Spider...!"

(Because how many spiders can there be?)


What is it about about-to-die or about-to-fall-unconscious people and their freaking terrible communication skills? "Beware of the spider" is about the least useful message Banshee could send and still claim to be vaguely on topic.  Professor Xavier sent him to find Factor Three's base, not gripe about its guardian.  It's like asking a friend for directions to their new house and getting a text back that says "Be careful of the wobbly paving slab after the garden gate."  Only in this analogy, your mentor is tied up somewhere in your friend's attic.

Oh, also, a wobbly paving slab decides to show up in your neighbourhood for no reason and then you attack it, also for no reason.  I get that superhero internecine conflict is part of the great Marvel tradition (see issue #9, for a start), and when both sides are made up of heroes considered menaces by the majority of the public, it even takes on shades of genuine tragedy (just to get pretentious for a moment).  That said, you have to come up with a better set-up than "We distrust all arachnids!" vs "I showed up here for at random!".  Especially since the whole situation relies on the suggestion that "a mutant-built robot could affect Cerebro just like an actual mutant", which is just too idiotic for words.

In other news, Factor Three have picked up some wings!  In fairness, the suggestion is that they used their "gravo-disk" to swipe the Prof, whilst the X-Men were fighting the Juggernaut.  That's actually fairly sneaky, which means I need to revise my opinion of F3 from "Total idiots" to "Amazingly lucky that Juggernaut didn't question their apparent uselessness".


This issue takes place over a single day.

Banshee has been searching Central Europe for weeks, looking for Factor Three's HQ. Given the amount of technology Xavier has provided him, it seems reasonable to assume Banshee started searching more or less immediately after the transfer.  That in turn means it can't be more than a few weeks since the Professor was kidnapped.

On the other hand, the trees seem to be more or less in full bloom at this point. Let's add on a fortnight to the last date, to give the trees time to grow, and move to the weekend, to explain why Jean isn't at college.  This puts us at the start of the third year of the X-Men's adventures, in Marvel time.


Saturday 5th of April, 1980.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 1.94 standard years.

(Iceman is 40 years old.)

"Slug my buddy, willya?"
Contemporary Events

R.E.M. play their first gig in an converted Georgia church.  The band is still unnamed at this time, though "Negro's Eyes" and "Cans of Piss" are being considered as possible monikers.

Standout Line

"Also, turn around when I'm talkin' to you!  It isn't polite to ignore a threat!" Superheroes these days, eh?  No concept of threat etiquette.

("Threat Etiquette", by the way, will almost certainly be my next band name.)

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