Sunday, 11 September 2011
X1F #2: "Beginning Of The End"
(Ghosts of X-Men's past.)
Yay! It's Froderick! (Sorry, force of habit). It's good to have him back, for two reasons. First, because one of the definite weaknesses of the previous First Class volumes was a lack of original characters - Frederick is pretty much the only one I can remember, really - and second, because it removes the idea that Cyclops killed someone as a teenager and never mentioned it again.
Speaking of Frederick, and his eighteen months spent tunnelling out of the collapsed mine-shaft, Jean is charmingly concerned with the fate of all the Moloids Frederick chowed down on, given that in the two times they've met, the Moloids tried to either a) steal their food, or b) kill them all. I guess that's what makes her a superhero. I say fuck 'em.
But Frederick turns out to be just a bit part in this particular scenario, as he finds himself on the crappy end of a patented Juggernaut knuckle sandwich. Which is pleasingly baffling, especially since he seems to have faded out of Warren's memory almost instantly.
Indeed, there are several strange factors at work here. How likely is it that they'd find a new mutant in exactly the same quarry as the one where Jean and the Invisible Woman fought the Mad Thinker's rock creatures ("Going into caves almost never works out well for us")? And how does the giant junk Magneto fit in to all of this?
Clearly we're focusing on the threats of the past. Last issue we had that rundown of a whole bunch of previous villains, and now we've got Frederick, Juggernaut and (kind of) Magneto. But what's the connection? I have to say, I'm enjoying this immensely - it's got the same level of fun lines and general tomfoolery of the previous two First Class volumes, but now they're tied in to a much more cohesive and weighty storyline. Shame there's only two issues left, really.
Just as a continuity note: there's a nice nod here to Hank signing on to work for the Brand Corporation, which is of course where he manages to turn himself into the bouncin' blue Beast in Amazing Tales #11. I'll probably take a look at that sequence of issues (there are seven or so, as I recall), once we've gotten through First Class Finals and maybe a few more Hidden Years.
Frederick claims he was trapped underground for a year and a half, and then spent some time studying the X-Men upon his return to the surface. Since our current time line puts the time gap as actually being fourteen months, we might need to do a little re-jigging. "A year and a half!" isn't the most accurate of descriptors, and one can certainly see why the time spent being trapped underground is something you'd be willing to exaggerate, but we should probably move this issue (and the one before it) a little further into the future, especially since it will give us more time to play with for the (currently serialised) XHY.
We'll therefore add on a further two months to the timeline.
Friday 4th September, 1980.
Shooting begins on The Great Muppet Caper.
"See, most people think super heroes live exciting lives every minute. They never see those times when we just walk into an empty cave."