Tuesday, 12 July 2011

UXM #39: "The Fateful Finale!"

(They always blame the cephalopod...)


We've now reached the conclusion of the Factor Three storyline.  A lot of it is just one mutant beating up another mutant (or a robot), but nothing that involves a giant space octopus can be all bad.  I note that "Mutant Master" hails from the Sirius system.  I wonder if he was from a different world to the one we saw in issue #21, or whether two different planets orbiting the same star managed to produce sentient lifeforms, one which focused on interstellar domination, and one which concentrated on figure-hugging briefs.

It's interesting that Cyclops and Iceman flee from a US military base with its commander convinced the X-Men are traitors.  I can't remember if this comes back to bite them, but it certainly should.

On that topic, a quick hypothetical for you.  If you'd captured your enemies in illusionary bonds that they believed totally real, and you were ready to send your android troops in to shoot them in the head, would you introduce yourself first, to remind them of your mental powers?

I ask because this question was presented to Mastermind at the top of page 3, and his response was "Hell, yeah!"  What an idiot.  I'm so glad he's dead.

Nice to see the X-Men - or three-fifths of them at least - working as a team.  Apparently without communication, Marvel Girl can nick a guard's keys whilst simultaneously throwing said soldier toward Beast to be punched out.  It's almost like these people have trained together, or something. 

Of course, once they've escaped, it's up to Hank and his "learn Russian fast" records to truly save the day, but then who could have expected anything else?  Jean Grey might be "the most attractive of the X-Men" [1], but when the shit's been shat, who do you send to sort things out?

That would be Hank McmotherfuckingCoy, I'll have you know.

Unless the crisis is fashion-based, of course, in which case you'd best send for Marvel Girl.  I'm really torn about what's worse - giving the job of designing the new costumes to the only girl on the team (she even starts whining when she doesn't think Beast is praising her enough) or the fact that the new designs are so jaw-droppingly awful.  Warren (presumably still nursing some hope that Jean will one day telekinetically remove his boxers) claims he finally looks like an angel, but in reality he's dressed too ludicrously to be let into a German gay disco.

Lastly, it's interesting to note that the Changeling's powers are finally revealed by him briefly pretending to be Professor X.  Combined with it being him who saves the day by switching sides (I guess he finally realised that it's probably best to consider whether you want a mad tyrant as a boss before he destroys civilisation), it actually sets up the "Professor X was Changeling all along!" twist that gets employed an a year or two.  I've never read the "official" line on this, but it always struck me as a pretty blatant retcon.  Having read this issue, though, it's a far more plausible scenario than I originally assumed.  The question now, of course, is when the switch took place. 


This issue follows on immediately from the previous one, and finishes on the same day.

Apparently Beast likes to acquire his audio entertainment/education on vinyl.  This is not evidence that this story took place before Walkman use became common.  It is merely evidence that Beast is a man of great taste and refinement, and who is happy to ignore changes in technology that he considers unnecessary because that is simply how he rolls.


Sunday 6th of April, 1980.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 2.11 standard years.

(Iceman is 38 years old.)
"I might as well be throwing
spitballs at the thing!

Contemporary Events

Somewhere, it will have been unseasonably warm.  Somewhere else it will have been snowing.  Somewhere out in America, it will have started to rain. In a thousand places, someone will have fallen in love, and in another thousand, someone will have fallen out of love.  On more than one occasion, both will have been true of the same person, and when they awoke the next day they will have blamed it on the drink.

In other words: it will have been business as usual.

Standout Line

"Of course it's insane, you fools!" The Mutant Master manages both to point out the idiocy of '60s supervillains and undermine this issue the same time.  Of course, molluscs like him make for excellent multi-taskers.  Onwards, my spineless brethren!

[1] I've mentioned before how narrative text boxes carry with them the weight of editorial opinion, so I'd like to ask: how dare Thomas dismiss Warren and Hank like that?  I'm sure any unbiased bisexual bystander would find it very difficult to choose between Jean's seductive curves and Warren's chiseled jaw.

That's assuming our hypothetical judge could even see them through the brilliant aura of awesomeness put out by Hank McCoy, obviously.

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