Wednesday, 27 July 2011

UXM #54: "Wanted: Dead Or Alive -- Cyclops!"

(Walk like an Egyptian.)


It's the end of another rather short tenure as Arnold Drake offers us his swan-song.  Like Friedrich before him, Drake wasn't really around long enough for me to get much of a handle on his work, but I can safely say that I'm not looking forward to Roy Thomas once again taking the reins, starting next issue.

This is an interesting final story, though.  It introduces Scott's younger brother, who of course becomes a major player in the X-Books (though is it really likely Scott wouldn't have mentioned him in two years, buttoned-down or not?), and also suggests the idea that the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were actually mutants, which is something returned to during the fleshing out of Apocalypse's character decades later.

The idea of framing an X-Man for murder has potential, too.  OK, it's some distance from being original, but there's definitely some mileage in the suggestion that the cops might automatically assume someone is guilty because they're a mutant.  The execution doesn't really work, though.  Even granting how stupid the New York cops have proven themselves in the Marvel universe, it stretches credulity that upon finding one man dead and another unconscious they would assume the latter was faking and had actually murdered the former.  I'd not be surprised by them taking Cyclops in for questioning, but arrest for murder?  That's just stupid.

Also stupid, but this time hilariously so, is the idea that the Living Pharaoh keeps his guards inside gilded sarcophagi just in case his base is attacked.  What are they supposed to do the rest of the time?  Do they get magazines and reading lights?  Don't these people belong to a union?

Lastly, I'm not entirely convinced Scott would tell his brother about being Cyclops.  I thought one of the big advantages of a secret identity is that it protects one's family?


This issue takes place over a single day.

Cyclops mentions that this story takes place during Spring, but that works out fine, happily.

The issue of Cyclops having a younger brother who has just graduated from "Old Landon College" is interesting.   The legal age for buying alcohol in 1969 (and, as it happens 1980) in New York was 18, so how is he graduating college?  It would make more sense if he was graduating high school, but the specific references to "on campus" make me wonder.  Is that a common phrase to describe American high school life?  I don't know.

Still, Alex being 21 would cause massive problems in terms of Scott's age.  Best to assume Alex is indeed 18 (and either OLC is a high school, or he's a wunderkind who got into college three years early), and that Scott has just had his 20th birthday.

Specifically, let's put his birthday on the thirteenth, since that day was skipped over during issue #51.  We now have four birth dates, then.  Xavier was born in 1935, Hank 30.03.60, Scott on 13.05.60, and Bobby on 19.03.62.  The idea of Scott being only six weeks younger than Hank won't last indefinitely, of course, but it will do for now.


Wednesday 21st May, 1980.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 2.57 standard years.

(Iceman is 34 years old.)
"Buster -- you're lookin' for an ice cube kimono!"
Contemporary Events

The Empire Strikes Back is released.

Standout Line

"[PD Helicopter] Seventeen reporting!  No sign of Cyclops in the fourth sector!  Any further orders?"

"Yes -- move into sector five now!"

Yes, good plan, NYPD.  Five comes after four.    Don't they have flightplans, or something? " We've flown eight miles so far!  Any further orders?" "Yes! Fly for a ninth mile!"

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