Saturday, 27 August 2011

X1C (v2) #7: "The Catalyst: Part 2"

("Have you seen the loneliness of the infinite-distance runner?")


Eek!  So many Sentinels!  I like the idea that they were programmed to lie low until their numbers reached a sufficiently awesome size.  Seems very mechanical to me (see also Zion, attack on).

I did wonder about the robots attacking the team after they'd been stripped of their powers; this issue immediately deals with that, and the Sentinels move on ("Yeah!  You don't want none! That's right!").  That might have seemed like a bit of a cop-out had I been reading this in monthly installments, but at this pace it seems entirely fair, and pretty logical.

Besides, it allows Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to be dragged into the story, which is welcome (I'm not a huge fan of them in their early stages, in general, but I like Parker's handling of them).  Short though it was, it was definitely enjoyable to watch a slice of their home life without it tipping into ultra-creep Jeff Loeb Ultimates territory.  Seeing Quicksilver fret about chatting up women whilst he puts away the groceries is exactly the kind of quiet moment that I love.

Then everything explodes, obviously.  This is a comic.

I love the idea that an alien species would try to enhance life, but would have no idea about how that would actually affect the creatures they were working on.  They can understand Cyclops power, and can enhance it to a ludicrous degree, but it doesn't occur to them for one second that fiddling with force beams whilst on a plane is an idiotic idea.  I may be reading too much into this, but it feels at least a little like a deliberate nod to the difficulties inherent in enhancing things you can't understand.  The Outer Limits had a whole episode about this, in which nanites designed to heal people then started giving them jellyfish stingers and quite literal eyes in the back of their heads.  Also, there were tits, obviously.

Also, just for the record, I'm not sure how Angel manages to slow a plane down just by beating his wing's really fast. I can't imagine a thrush trying to pick up a particularly heavy snail thinking "Christ, I wish I was a hummingbird".  On the other hand, Warren healing Pietro with a touch is a nice nod to the "Angel's healing blood" idea Chuck Austen came up with and which was never really spoken of again.  Of course, a more cynical reading of this page is simply that Angel wanted an excuse to feel up Quicksilver's remarkably developed chest, and it luckily turned out he had healing powers. YMMV.


The action in this issue takes place over a single day.  The launch of the alien creature/machine happens some unspecified time later.

I guess it would take at least a little time to organise another launch. Still, the Marvel Universe has always involved more space travel than our own, even in the "recent past".  Plus, a glowing blob of green energy that can make superhumans unstoppable?  That is exactly the kind of shit you want to be able to launch into space at short notice.  There might just be a rocket standing by at Cape Citadel with the words "HELL NO!" painted on the side, just for such an occurrence.

Let's say they got the launch ready within a few days, and that this two-part story took place over a week.


Saturday 8th to Thursday 13th April, 1979.


X+Y+7 to X+Y+12.

Contemporary Events

Idi Amin flees after Kampala is taken by Tanzanian troops.

The la Soufiere volcano erupts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Claire Danes are born, and Nino Rota (who composed the music for the first two Godfather films) passes away, aged 67.

Standout Line

"Perhaps... I could say I forgot something and go back.  No, women do not like forgetful men, do they?" Ah, Pietro. If the "former mutant terrorist" thing doesn't prove a problem, you should probably not sweat the small stuff.

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