Sunday, 21 August 2011
X1C (v2) #4: "Road Trip"
(Stolen cars and stolen glances.)
It's another outing for the X-Books' most promising bromance as we're once again reminded that these adventures might as well be entitled "Hank And Bobby Help The X-Men Out Of Charity". After all, those other losers are clearly just taking up space. Note how Bobby turns down every offer for a holiday buddy until Hank pipes up? That shit ain't accidental.
As you might expect from a story about a road trip, most of this issue is a series of vignettes and flashes, which suits Parker's writing very well. This structure lets him make full use of his sweet and funny dialogue and character beats without his oftentimes fairly simplistic plotting causing problems.
Sure, the issue climaxes with Hank and Bobby saving people from an unseasonal hurricane, but for the rest of the ride it's Hank driving with his feet, Bobby freezing every mosquito dumb enough to bite him, and the two of them finally opening up to each other. "Is this what the cool kids do?" Hank asks. "I have no idea what the cool kids do," Bobby replies. Because jokes about coolness aren't what's needed here, not even from Iceman. Guy-love is in the air.
Oh, and as much as I loved Beast before this issue, his willingness to toss aside his flip-flops and hang upside-down from the ceiling to cheer up a child he accidentally upset increases his awesomeness still further.
This is a tricksy issue. I finally remembered to search back through the early posts on the blog to remind myself as to when exactly the X-Men graduated. I had a feeling that it was earlier than X1C makes out, but I couldn't remember the exact issue.
Turns out it's UXM #7.
That means that in the original Lee run, the X-Men graduated before any of them (save possibly Cyclops) even knew that Cerebro existed. I think we're going to have to ignore the orignal graduation date if we're going to get anywhere with this title, then.
There's also the matter of Alex (who Bobby refers to as Scott's brother) showing up this issue, despite everyone being surprised when Scott reveals his sibling in UXM #54. By that point, Xavier is believed dead, and it's pretty tough to imagine this issue taking place after his return (why is Alex just visiting? Where's Lorna?)
Given all of these problems, then, and since Hank mentions that this issue's excursion is markedly superior to their time on Monster Island, we shall follow the standard practice of fitting this issue in somewhere between UXM #18 and #32. Indeed, Hank states that this adventure happens at a time which "early for hurricane season", which would put it somewhere around May. Fortunately, due to Roy Thomas' notoriously slack approach to continuity, we have months of spare time between UXM #21 and #22, which includes May 1979. We'll give them the whole fortnight off, so as to save me having to work out exactly how long it took our intrepid heroes to squeeze in all their activities.
Wednesday 16th to Wednesday 30th May, 1979.
X + Y + 46 to X + Y + 60.
Gay men riot in San Francisco after Dan White receives a five year sentence for the murder of Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
The X-Men's greatest foe yet: campsite toilets! "I'll recover through therapy, one day."