Sunday, 18 September 2011
AMA #15: "Murder In Mid-Air!"
(Beasts and dogfights.)
Aw. It's so nice when Beast can make new friends. Particularly sexy redhead friends in their negligee. It's clear Patsy Baxter is a real humanitarian - you wouldn't have thought any woman would want to open their doors in that state of undress (porn stars aside) but she is so devoted to her fellow man that she's entirely happy to let them fall into her whilst scantily clad. Because she cares.
I can't entirely tell whether her fretting over what her husband would say should he see her tending to the savage Beast (who's now unaccountably turned black, which would surely shock Buzz all the more) like that whole Sarah Palin thing) is supposed to make us understand how risky her behaviour is, or just think that Buzz is a controlling, chauvinistic turd.
Either way, her administrations keep Hank going for long enough to meet up with Angel (presumably Xavier was feeling generous enough to "let [him] leave"). Interestingly, Warren flies off to help Hank, but since he can't actually recognise his old friend anymore, he's reduced to spectator status as the Beast faces off against a new adversary: the Griffin (who shows up a few times in various 21st century Avengers titles, amongst others, this is his first appearance). There's something significant in that, of course; in the four-colour world of early superhero comics (not that that "early" qualifier is necessarily essential, of course), it's rare for any confrontation to not have an easily discernible "good guy" and "bad guy", but part of the nature of mutation is precisely that degree of ambiguity regarding whether someone will behave in a manner consistent with their appearance.
This is further true of spies and secret agents, of course, which brings us back to the central theme of these issues. "Bad guys can't be identified on sight", as Toby Ziegler once said, "There's no use trying." Hank certainly still hasn't worked out the danger he faces in courting Linda, even though Patsy Baxter doesn't hesitate in lying to her own husband in order to keep him safe, something Linda wouldn't do for her own boyfriend.
(Interestingly, Linda is actually called out on that idiotic move by "Number One", presumed high muckity-muck of the "Secret Empire", and clear fashion inspiration for Cobra Commander, and she claims to be playing the long game by ingratiating herself with the Air Force. I suspect she's covering up her mistake, actually, but at least it's been nodded to. Number One also explains that Quasimodo wasn't working for him - the droid had just been intercepting his email - but that Mastermind was. Which doesn't really make any sense, but whatever.)
Beyond that, this is a fairly light-weight issue. Hank manages to throw Baxter off the scent, and then joins forces with Angel to beat up the Griffin. There's nothing wrong with that, of course - and the Griffin's origin story about having his hands amputated and replaced with a lion's paws fits in to the theme of external changes and what it means to be human - but there's not a great deal more to say about it. Presumably next issue will offer some closure (AMA #17 only has two pages of sexy Beast action), though since it apparently involves the Beast fighting the Juggernaut on Halloween, I'm not completely convinced.
Still, the issue ends with Beast coming face to face with his mysterious stalker at last, so I look forward to finding out what all that was about.
This issue takes place over a night and a day.
The narration makes it clear that this issue begins the night that Beast is shot by Quasimodo (with a rivet gun, because he's not an android to do things by half).
Thursday 2nd to Friday 3rd April, 1981.
X+3Y+3 to X+3Y+4.