Friday, 19 August 2011
X1C (v2) #2: "Island X"
("This is insane!" "Fascinating, though!")
Ooh! A two-parter! This is new. And there's not a special-guest appearance to be found! Lovely.
Also: it's a really funny issue, whether it's Bobby conquering his Wizard of Oz-induced phobia of flying monkeys ("That's right, childhood trauma!"), Jean freaking out over the same ("Not in my hair!") or the occasional sly rejoinder ("Considering the fauna, I believe it best to stay under the cover of the canopy!" I share your beliefs, Hank".) Given the more than slightly ludicrous nature of the set-up - something which Cyclops cottons onto at the end of the issue - playing it at least partially for laughs was probably the best option, and Parker certainly makes it work here.
Beyond the giggles, this is really just an extended travelogue through monster country, but that's certainly fun enough in itself. The plant that mimics sound to catch prey is a particularly nice idea (albeit one used by Scott Smith a year earlier). Plus, any story that drives home the limitless evil of butterflies is worthy of respect.
The events on the island take place over a single day, but working out how long it took the X-Men to arrive there might require some effort. Presumably they chartered a ship that took them through the Panama Canal and out into the Pacific. Since there's no real clue as to where this island is, lets put it close to the entrance to the Pacific Ocean near Balboa. That makes the boat trip at somewhere around 2400 miles or so. Assuming a speed of 25 knots (which is at the upper end for container ships, apparently), that's around three and a half days travel.
Let's assume the whole issue takes place over four days, then. Once again, Mastermind's petrified presence places the story between UXM #18 and UXM #32, so let's place it just after the team released their dragon onto Monster Island (after giving them two days to get back from there - clearly this is a busy season for the X-folk).
Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st October, 1978.
X+211 to X+214.
Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin share the Nobel Peace Prize.
Geoffrey Unsworth, who was cinematographer for (amongst many other films) Cabaret, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Bridge Too Far, and the first two Superman films, dies in his mid sixties.
"What is this place?"
"Proof the professor hates us! And always has!" Bobby and Warren.