Friday, 12 August 2011

X1C #4: "Seeing Red"

(Better red than dead.)


This is an odd choice for a story: a sequel to the events of UXM #33.  The idea that Cyclops brought back a demon from his time in the Crimson Cosmos is a nice one (especially since it ties in well with the idea that only his red-tinted visor can see it), but both the timeline of the original story and the dialogue in this issue make it clear that some time has passed since the Juggernaut was defeated, raising the question of why it's taken so long for the demon to make its presence felt.  Also, notwithstanding Strange's argument that such creatures don't think the way we do, I'm struggling to understand what made the demon decide to possess someone and use him to rebuild and reactivate a damaged Sentinel, which could then be used to attack the X-Men.  That's a lot of thought and effort to put into an action that will likely have the exact opposite of the desired effect.

On the other hand, the basic idea is entirely sound, Strange is competently used, and the obligatory "Why doesn't anyone believe me?" section is gratifyingly brief.

I also like the running joke that seems to be developing regarding the X-Men waiting for their original costumes to be repaired, though since Hank is relying on the mansion staff to sort it out, there may be something of a long wait.  The joke gets funnier still when you realise that presumably this has now happened to both the original costumes and to Jean's redesigns.  I guess the team's threads don't work out any better than the team's holidays.


Ah.  This buggers things up quite a bit, actually.

The problem here is not a small one: UXM #33 ended with the X-Men realising that Professor X had been kidnapped.  He was only retrieved following the showdown with Factor Three in issue #39, and by #41, the storyline which concludes with Xavier's death had begun.

We also know that for at least a fortnight of the period between those two issues, Xavier was already hidden underground, with Changeling leading the X-Men in his stead.  In order to make later events fit correctly, we'd previously assumed that the switch had taken place very quickly after Factor Three was defeated.  I think that's going to have to change, now; extra time will have to be added in on at least one side of issue #40.  That causes its own problems, though, because we know issue #54 takes place in spring, and I'd like to keep seasonal references correct if at all possible (I've ignored them in the past, but only when they explicitly contradict previous information).

That only gives us an extra sixteen days to work with.  I'll put them after #40 (since it's heavily implied that Frankenstein's Monster was the team's first post-Factor Three encounter), and set this issue on the first day after that issue possible.  Essentially, this issue takes place on the date originally given for UXM #41.

Clearly, the above changes will require a new timeline, but I'll compile that in a few days, once the entirety of the original First Class miniseries has been considered.

This issue takes place over a single day.


Sunday 13th April, 1980.



Contemporary Events

The brilliantly named Colleen Clinkenbeard is born.  Amongst other talents, Colleen provides voices for English-language anime cartoons, and also video games.  Apparently she was "Professor Ghost" in the recent Ghostbusters game, reminding us that the glass ceiling is far less of an impediment once you depart the mortal coil.

Standout Line

"When is my pointy mask going to be fixed?" - Marvel Girl.

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