Friday, 9 September 2011

XHY #6: "Behold A Goddess Rising..!"

(The oncoming deluge.)


This is certainly better than yesterday's atrocity.  Let's see if I can focus on the positive this time around.  Erm... introducing Storm is an interesting idea, though I won't know until I get to Giant-Size X-Men whether or not it's going to cause continuity problems.  And it's good to see the comic finally introducing an original villain (the Nhu-Gari don't really count, they were just glorified henchmen) in Deluge.  At last we have someone whose future actions aren't already fully known.  Plus, as staggeringly powerful and unpleasant as Deluge is, at least when the ties Storm's unconscious, topless body to a stake he has the decency to ensure her hair is tied down too to prevent her exposing herself.  That kind of gentlemanly conduct is sadly all too rare amongst today's supervillains.

The Candy Southern subplot is moving forwards as well.  She's right to point out that Xavier can't wipe the knowledge of the X-Men from her mind without having to poke around Warren's cerebellum as well, but I'm still not sure what her endgame is in all of this.  Does she just want to know where Warren is?  Zelda and Vera clearly wanted more general answers, and I'm not sure what Candy told them she would do.  Still, we'll doubtless learn more later, and whilst the "clueless human girlfriend seeks answers" storyline is hardly a little-used one in superhero comics, it's not the sort of thing the X-books do very often, so it's interesting to read.

There's also one scene that, just for a change, I really like - Beast seeing a staccato burst from Cyclops and assuming he's sending a distress single, when really Deluge is merely playing his fingers through the beam to try and learn what it is.

There's far fewer major problems with the plot (you know a book's in trouble when "no longer riddled with obvious nonsense" counts as a point in its favour), though even for a superhero comic it's ludicrous to believe Karl Lykos managed to find Iceman almost immediately after the latter arrived in Antarctica [1].  The latest unnecessary and terribly written "now I remember..." re-cap only lasts a third of a page, which is a mercy.

Beyond that, it's once again nothing at all special, though running five storylines at once (in addition to those above, Havok, Lorna and "Big K" find the survivors of the volcanic eruption, and Angel is found unconscious at sea by a Scandinavian trawler) does give the comic at least the illusion of a faster pace, which it definitely needed.


The opening narration to this issue tells us Bobby quit the X-Men "a little over two days ago".  We could take this as evidence that Beast did indeed make it from Antarctica to Kenya in the space of a few hours.  On the other hand, whilst we're clearly being asked to believe that Bobby managed to cross the Drake Passage at a speed of 200mph or so (!), the structure of this issue is such that we can assume Bobby's arrival and Xavier's conversation with Candy Southern take place on the 25th, and then we move forwards two days when the "action" shifts to Kenya.

That does raise the question of why it takes Ka-Zar, Havok and Lorna so long to get from the crash site to the now-ruined city of the Nhu-Gari, but presumably they've been slowed down by not having wings like Angel, and by not having access to the world's fastest river.


Wednesday 25th to Friday 27th June, 1980.


X+2Y+86 to X+2Y+88.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.12 standard years.

(Iceman is 31 years old)

Contemporary Events

A breathless world is finally treated to the birth of Kevin Pietersen.  His mother is the first and last English person in history to complain that he wasn't easy enough to get out. HEYO!

Standout Line

"Is it ever the nature of you X-Men to waste time and energy with pointless bickering? " - Ka-Zar

[1] At least, I assume it's Lykos.  The narration makes a point of not giving us his name, but since a) he's in the Savage Land, b) he recognises Iceman, and c) he wants to chow down on Bobby's sweet, sweet mutant energy, I'd say the comic's attempt to be coy about his identity is probably wasted effort.

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