Thursday, 29 September 2011

UXM #100: "Greater Love Hath No X-Man..."

(Today was the last day of the whole of your life to now.)


Hmm.  The X-Men don't really seem to be on their game today, even allowing for the fact that three of them are suffering from the after-effects of exposure to hard vacuum, and a fourth is trying to resist freaking out entirely. They've just spent the last few minutes defeating a robot army determined to destroy them, and now they've come face to face with the original X-Men - two of whom have changed costume and sides astonishing quickly, and a third who's appearance is over a year out of date - and no-one thinks that these people might be robots too?

It's damn lucky for Dr Lang that our heroes have been chowing down on dehydrated stupid pills, actually, because otherwise this plan is pretty weak.  The the Cyclops, Havok and Polaris robots are pretty impressive, but otherwise there's no reason to think any of the mechanical doppelgangers are any tougher to beat than a standard Sentinel.  Icebot actually starts the fight by throwing snowballs, and Xavierbot tries to beat Wolverine in fisticuffs, rather than frying his brain.  Maybe Lang is hoping to use the fake X-Men to lull other mutants into a false sense of security (somewhat implausibly, since the percentage of mutants the team has met and not tried to punch out is somewhere around zero), but right now it seems like an awful lot of effort just to confuse the X-Men for a few moments.  I mean, there are other ways to use Sentinels to do that.

Lang's clearly a mental case, of course.  The instant his "X-Sentinels" are destroyed (well, one is destroyed, then they seem to give up), he flies into an apoplectic rage that causes him to explain his entire back-story to his enemies.  As you do.  His "flying gunship" is rubbish too, both visually, and because his controls jam almost immediately and he crashes and dies.  Note to Dr Lang: maybe if you'd spent all your money on Sentinels OR on X-Sentinels OR on a kick-ass gunship OR just not being in space for no reason, you might have gotten somewhere.  Idiot.

This story isn't really about Lang's ludicrous plan at all though, really.  This is about creating a situation whereby Jean is the only X-Man who can get everyone home (she can use her TK to shore up the whole in the Starcore shuttle's hull, and can pilot the craft using the knowledge in Corbeau's head).  Not surprisingly, since this seems an obvious suicide mission (that pesky solar activity again!), this leads to much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but we all know what's coming, right?  It's time for Claremont's fist major contribution to the X-Universe: the birth of the Phoenix.


This story takes place in approximately real-time.


Tuesday 29th of December, 1981.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.53 standard years.

(Iceman is 29 years old.)

"Heads up, midget!"

Contemporary Events

The BBC shows a film with one of the best taglines ever written:

Standout Line

"I have tried to like you, Wolverine -- obnoxious little upstart that you are -- but for the life of me, I don't know why I made the effort!" Jean's appraisal of Logan, which is mainly of interest in comparison to what she says to him the next time they're about to burn to death out in space, twenty five years later.

1 comment:

  1. The instant his "X-Sentinels" are destroyed (well, one is destroyed, then they seem to give up

    For what it's worth, the view screen in the background of Lang's origin rant depicts the new X-Men summarily trashing the X-Sentinels now that they know they're robots.