Saturday, 10 September 2011
X1F #1: "Senioritis"
We've clearly leaped through time by some considerable amount for this miniseries - this issue deals with the X-Men following Xavier's return from the dead. It's hard to know exactly what to make of this issue, since it's split fairly evenly between set-up and nostalgia.
As far as the former is concerned, it's clear Xavier is training them up for something big, and that Jean's already expanding psychic powers are now increasing still faster in response. Presumably, this is all leading up to the X-Men's "graduation" (hence the title of the series, and the issue). Of course, as I've mentioned, the X-Men graduated in UXM #7, but that never made a lick of sense (Bobby was at most seventeen at the time, and almost certainly sixteen). This is a far more sensible time for their graduation, but anyone particularly dedicated to canon like me, for instance) can easily just assume the X-Men are about to finish the "postgraduate work" the original series mentioned from time to time.
The nostalgia quotient is filled by an impressively/unbearably long (depending on your perspective) parade of the villains of yesteryear. Grotesk and Diamond Jack make appearances as danger room droids, along with the more commonly seen Sentinels ("Now why don't you go off and attack the Sun, because that's what causes mutations sometimes"), and a whole host of misanthropes show up in Jean's dreamscape. Even Kukulcan and the Locust aren't left out, despite being two of Roy Thomas' very worst ideas, which in condemnation terms is not dissimilar to listing Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi as two of the very worst nuclear disasters.
Still, it made me grin. Whether there's more here than a quick giggle, though, is something I'll have to wait and see about.
Hmm. This is potentially tricky. The dialogue in this issue makes it clear that this is set after UXM #66, which means we're in the same "no-man's land" currently being inhabited by XHY. Moreover, at least from the six issues I've read so far of that latter comic, it's difficult in the extreme to see how these stories are going to be reconciled. It's briefly mentioned that Alex has left, which is helpful, but even so, with Iceman and Angel in the Antarctic Circle and the rest of the team in Kenya (according to XHY), it's not easy to see how all five of the original X-Men could be chillin' in Westchester whilst Xavier is visiting Moira.
In the absence of a better strategy, then, we'll assume that the X-Men regrouped at the mansion exactly one week after the events of XHY #1-6. Time will tell (it always does) if this is a reasonable approximation.
Beast mentions that it's been "a couple of years" since the events of X1C #3, in which the team was dragged into a Cerebro feedback loop, but that holds with us placing that story in September 1978.
Friday 4th July, 1980.
Over half a million people gather at the Washington Monument to watch the Beach Boys in concert.
"It's also about uniformity -- that's why they're called uniforms!" Yeah, I've always wondered about that. The dress code around Xavier's is so lax it always makes those few people willing to toe the line just look like chumps. Still, at least they've stopped letting Jean design their costumes.