Thursday, 7 July 2011

UXM #34: "War -- In A World Of Darkness!"

(Sometimes, the enemy of your enemy is a homocidal mole.)


Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of amnesia stories, because what's remembered and what isn't always seems so random.  This issue is a particularly bad example - why can Bobby, Warren and Jean remember how to use their powers, but have forgotten about their training?

Still, it's almost worth it for Scott's final kiss-off to Tyrannus and Mole Man: "A little something to forget us by!" The idea of leaving two former mortal enemies (both of whom are thoroughly unsavory) left memoryless beside the River Lethe is really nice image.  Of course, as soon as their people find them, we might be back to square one (or perhaps I should say, all their squares will be back in place).  Or maybe not.  Maybe this is just the opportunity the subterranean dwellers have been waiting for to depose their tyrants and create a functioning, peaceful democracy. You know, like Iraq.

Why did the Mole Man put together an antidote, though?  Having three superhuman foot soldiers seems like a pretty nifty advantage (note how quickly Angel disposes of the Cobolt Robot)  He probably never intended to administer the cure, of course, but why even make it?

Still, as plot quibbles and mistakes go, that can just get in line.  You've got an entire page of characters referring to Angel as "Scott" (I've put this down to a Freudian slip from Jean before, but that raises interesting questions as to why Iceman is doing it too - trouble with Beast?), and you've got Cyclops and Beast using a rope to get down a vertical shaft twenty miles deep - which in itself might be deep enough to actually get our intrepid voyagers into the Earth's mantle.

Speaking of which, Ralph and Tyrannus' exchange: "Their grips are like iron!", "Of course! Do we not dwell beneath the earth itself?", has to be one of the most deliriously brilliant non-explanations I've come across.  Warren attributing his martial prowess to clean living Wheaties two issues ago was more convincing than this.

A few final points:
  • No-one ever mention Jean threatening to take people over her knee telekinetically, 'kay?  'Kay.
  • A new helicopter for the X-Men!  Well, kind of - they've stuck rotor blades on top of their jet.  Still, given the fate of their last two whirlybirds, I can't really say I blame them.
  • Ralph Roberts is my new hero! An unpowered homo sapiens trapped twenty miles beneath the Earth's surface, and his first response when his super-strong dictator captor is briefly distracted is to punch him in the faceThat's how you get shit done!

This issue begins the same night as the battle against the Juggernaut, and continues into the following day.

It would appear that the trees have started to bud this issue.  Since the last two issues both had no leaves anywhere to be seen, it's clearly only the very start of Spring, so we'll put this issue on the spring equinox, which took place on Thursday the twentieth of March. 

This fits nicely with it apparently being a school day, but it also means another time-line jiggering.  I'll put it up later today. It also means I don't get to mark my own birthday as a "contemporary event," which obviously troubles me greatly.


Wednesday 19th to Thursday 20th of March, 1980.


X+719 to X+720.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 1.94 standard years.

(Iceman is 40 years old.)

"Maybe you'd better start
the story from scratch!"
Contemporary Events

Jimmy Carter announces that the US will boycott the Winter Olympics.

Standout Line

"Optic-blasts! Do your duty!" Woah, Scotty.  Once you're ordering your own bodily functions around, it's time to think about giving up the reins of power. "Anal sphincter!  In the name of America, release on my command!  Now shit! Shit for freedom!"

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