Thursday, 4 August 2011

UXM #62: "Strangers... In A Savage Land!"

(One of our mutant vampire dinosaurs is missing.)


Angel's really had a bad time of it lately, hasn't he?  Barely an issue goes by without him being brainwashed or hoodwinked into turning against the X-Men, and the rest of the time he's just being a headstrong berk.  Plus, at this point I reckon he's been captured more times than Jean Grey, which is pretty impressive for a comic that rarely misses an opportunity to tell us that Marvel Girl is gorgeous but all but completely helpless.

That aside, this is a pretty good issue.  Beast has a line (recorded for posterity below) that I induced my first laugh-out-loud moment so far, or at least the first deliberate one.  There's also a brilliant piece of silent comedy when Ka-Zar gets his hands on "The Piper"; I wish I could find it on-line, a description wouldn't do it justice.

Indeed, Ka-Zar is far more fun this time round than when we first met him.  Probably because he spends much of this issue pimp-slapping his foes (including Iceman, who frankly kinda had it coming). All this, and my favourite extinct bird species too!

Image taken from here.
There's also a flashback sequence early on done in partially-formed, almost gaseous pencils and colours that looks absolutely lovely.  It's definitely a number of steps up from the standard X-Men recap.

Lastly: the last-panel reveal that The Creator and Magneto are one and the same is brilliant, not least because it nods slyly to the fact that clothes really do make the man in comics, in that hair aside characters are generally only easily recognisable from their costumes.

In short, it's finally starting to feel like Thomas is getting a handle on the book.  Shame he'll be cancelled four issues later...

This issue takes place over a single day.
This time round it's Angel who makes the flight from New York to Tierra Del Fuego.  That's a trip of about six and a half thousand miles.  That would take a unladen swallow a week to fly, assuming it could maintain its top speed indefinitely.  Sauron seemed to do the trip within the day, but he had the advantage of being super-charged by sucking out various forms of mutant energy.

Angel doesn't have that, though.  I'm sure he's faster than a swallow, but that's compensated for by the fact that he can't recharge on the wing by eating insects in flight.  It's pretty clear Thomas (as usual) didn't give this any thought, but the only reasonable conclusion is that Angel must have stopped and found food (potentially through means better left unexplained) at regular intervals.

So let's say it took him a week, whilst the other X-Men spent their time searching for Sauron, whilst Tanya stays in the cabin.


Sunday 1st June, 1980.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 2.84 standard years.

(Iceman is 32 years old.)

"Verrrry interesting, jungle man!"
Contemporary Events

CNN is officially launched.

Standout Line

"And that is most definitely it, you grapefruit-league Tarzan!  For that, I'm going to..." "RRRARRR" "...I am going to lie very still, and play dead...!" Amazing what changes when a sabretooth tiger shows up, isn't it?

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