Wednesday, 3 August 2011

UXM #61: "Monsters Also Weep!"

("I'm a monster! A MONSTER!")


My God.  The opening pages of this comic are just eye-searing.  Why has Angel decided to squeeze himself into a hot-pink costume? He was still in yellow at the start of last issue (I'm reading these issues in black and white, save for the four colour pages Marvel Online will let me see).  It's hideous is so indescribable, he makes the giant praying mantis creature that tries to eat him on page 2 look like it's just acting in the public interest. 

This is actually from issue #62;
and they've really toned down the pink.

Is Sauron actually narrating his entire back-story to Angel on pages 5 and 6?  Because if hypnotising someone means you get to tell them about yourself at great length without them being able to resist, then sign me the fuck up for that jazz.

This issue does a reasonable job with making Sauron/Lykos more three-dimensional than the standard '60s villain.  His transformations are pretty clearly a (characteristically unsubtle) metaphor for his hunger for money, but the fact he needs the money in order to feel worthy of the woman he loves (who loves him too, apparently, despite her disgraceful anti-geek bias) gives the story a bit more depth.

We can also play the cliched yet still fun "Who is the real villain?" in this one.  Sure, Lykos can transform into an energy-sucking pseudo-dinosaur, but it's his drive to prove himself to his love's father that motivates him, and said father is a grade A dick.  "I would follow you to the ends of the Earth, daughter... To stop you from marrying one who is not worthy of you!"  What an arse.

(I also note, by the way, that he doesn't actually follow her when she heads for Tierra Del Fuego to be with Karl.  I guess Andersson meant he'd follow her anywhere that didn't have too many killer flying reptiles and/or brown people all over the place).

The X-Men are acting pretty stupid again.  Let's look at this logically.  Angel has been hypnotised by a man who can turn into an emerald flying horror (who, we learn later, has exactly the same voice as Karl). When the X-Men mention the name of the only hypnotist they know, Angel starts screaming in panic, begging for that man to be kept away.

X-Man response? Knock Angel out, and bring the hypnotist over. 

How are these people still alive?

Nice ending, too.  The X-Men don't defeat Sauron, Karl does, by realising he's let himself become controlled by his id.  It's all very Jeckyll and Hyde, actually, but as adaptations of 19th Century horror stories go, this is about a thousand times better than that earlier bollocks with Frankenstein's Monster.


This story follows directly on from the previous one, and concludes the following night.

That's my best guess, anyway.  The matter of Sauron's flight from New York to Tierra Del Fuego is something of an issue, but he does claim he can fly "[A]t speeds you never dreamed of!".  Certainly, ingesting Alex's energy only seemed to give him a few hours as Sauron, so even with Alex, Lorna and Warren's combined buzz, his flight can't have taken more than twelve hours or so.  If we assume that his later comment of it being "almost a day" to mean that long since he took sustenance from a mutant, rather than arriving at his father's cabin (I think either intepretation is equally valid), then his final moments can be assumed to occur the evening following his attempt to murder Tanya's father.


Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th May, 1980.


X+2Y+54 to X+2Y+55.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 2.83 standard years.

(Iceman is 32 years old.)

"That's quite a pair of tenor tonsils you've got there!"
Contemporary Events

Mount St. Helens disgorges another significant ash cloud.

Standout Line

"One final maneuver to demonstrate my superiority..." Nice. I always appreciate a bit of unchecked egotism from my comic book villains.

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