Thursday, 28 July 2011

UXM #55: "The Living Pharaoh!"

("Long way to go just to get your butt kicked, huh?")


Boo!  This is another one of those beginnings that would have Annie Wilkes on her feet and screaming at the theatre.  We've gone from last month's "I will kill you, Cyclops!" cliffhanger to "You will join me, Cyclops!" It might not have been quite so obvious is the opening scene didn't contain Cyclops dialogue word-for-word from the previous issue, only for the Living Pharaoh to say something different in response.  I guess if there's any time at which this can be forgiven, it's when you've switched writers, but even so; grrrr.

Also, too: who the Hell is the glowing green figure on the front cover?  He's nowhere to be seen inside!  Unless he's a metaphor representing the dangers of stereotyping ancient cultures in order to justify their vilification.  Maybe.

This issue has given me a grudging respect for Cyclops, kind of.  You have to give at least some credit to a man willing to break his brother out of a sarcophagus by head-butting it to splinters.  Not sure why he didn't use his fists, of course, but let's not back-seat coffin-wreck.

However, as impressive as Scott's manning up might be, it's small potatoes compared to The Living Pharaoh on page 8, who leans out of a jet flying miles above the Atlantic in the hope that his magic
ping-pong bat can damage an Avengers quinjet [1].  That takes no small amount of balls, my friends.

And it would have worked, too.  Especially when Beast broke the joystick trying to regain control.  Thanks to Bobby's "ice-wings" (who knew he had a degree in aeronautics), though, along with Angel's ability to adequately counteract the force of gravity on a plane, they make it down OK.

But how, I ask you, do the X-Men manage to get their vehicle working again in time to rescue Cyclops and Alex.  Well, I shall tell you, dear reader.  Hank motherfucking McCoy.  Strong enough to break your joystick, smart enough to put it back together again.

Man, that needs to be on a T-shirt...


This issue follows on directly from the previous one.  It takes a few hours to get Cyclops and Alex to the airport, after which the Living Pharaoh flies them to Egypt.  That's about an eighteen hour flight, so back in New York it's presumably early morning on the Thursday by the time the battle outside the pyramid begins.

From the back-up strip we learn that Angel was invited to join the X-Men in the winter of early '63 ('80 in our timline), which puts his arrival only a few weeks at most after that of Iceman.  Beast must have joined soon after.


Wednesday 21st to Thursday 22nd May, 1980.


X+2Y+51 to X+2Y+52.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 2.60 standard years.

(Iceman is 34 years old.)

"Then step on the gas, Beastie baby!"
 Contemporary Events

Pac-Man is released, changing the face of electronic entertainment forever, even if said face was now without a nose and possessed of staring, soulless eyes that gave me nightmares as a child.

Standout Line

"Lafayette, we are here!  I think I read that, someplace!" That's a surprisingly obscure reference from Iceman, but it's a nice one - a quote from the First World War from a US military officer standing over Lafayette's tomb.  Lafayette had fought with the Americans during the Revolutionary War, helping them overthrow the British, and the idea that the Americans entered WWI to repay that debt is a nice one. 

Well, it's a nice one compared to how hideous and brutal the war itself was, at least.

[1] Which presumably Warren still hasn't returned.  It's always the filthy rich who you have to pester to give back what they owe...

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