Friday, 5 August 2011

UXM #63: "War In The World Below!"

(Girl on girl action.)


Angel's now wearing one of his most well-known costumes.  It's definitely better than the magenta horror he's been sporting recently, but it's interesting that such a classic costume for him was originally provided by Magneto. It certainly can't be good for Jean's self-esteem to learn that their greatest enemy can tailor better threads for the team than she can.

Mind you, she does get to save the day in the final panels, which must count for something.  I seem to remember variations on this storyline appearing in a significant number of the cartoons I watched in the '80s; everyone becomes noticeably more chauvanistic for the first few minutes so that they can learn an important lesson when the token female character defeats a threat they were powerless against.

Presmably the writers of such tales then patted themselves on the back over how convincingly they had demonstrated their feminist chops, all the while forgetting that sexual equality is about both genders being able to handle themselves just as well in the vast majority of situations, not that there' some incredibly likely but just about feasible situation in which a woman might turn out to be of more use than a man ("My God!  These aliens can only be defeated by... WASHING UP!").  Hell, you could write a story in which humanity's only hope laid on the jittery shoulders of a rabid badger tied to a wheelbarrow, but it doesn't follow that employment law should be changed to gurantee them equal wages.

This is all amplified by the fact that Jean is only called upon to save the day because Magneto's trump card Lorelai is basically too damn bootylicious for the male X-Men to be able to beat up. If Lorelai had been a hag or, even better, a dude, that would be different.  But the totally irresistable seductive beauty who steals men's minds is a very, very old idea, and I don't know if it represents a deeply-held male fear or a deeply-held male fantasy (or maybe even both), but it certainly wouldn't be my choice for a story mechanism about how women are, like, totally sporadically useful, maybe.

Thomas doesn't even put any effort into making the rest of the team be overly patronising towards Marvel Girl (in marked contrast to how they once behaved), which makes Jean come across as just thin-skinned and with a chip on her shoulder.   Not a good combination, all told.

Anyway.  I'll get off my soapbox now.  There must be something else I can say about this issue.

Um... I liked the frog mutant.  He was good.

So was the unnamed wolf-caller, actually.  Presumably he was bwllowing at ultrasonic frequencies, but there's something wonderfully unsettling about a man stood rigid and apparently screaming in utter silence.  Very creepy.


This issue continues directly from the previous one, and takes place approximately in real time.


Sunday 1st June, 1980.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 2.88 standard years.

(Iceman is 32 years old.)

"What's that creep doin'?"
Contemporary Events

Rube Marquand passed away.  Rube was a Jewish baseball player and vaudeville performer, who threw with his left hand and was convinced opals cursed him.  This guy really needs a TV movie made about him.

Standout Line

"Let me go!  Hit him instead!" Man, frogs can be douches when you get hold of them.

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