Tuesday, 18 October 2011

UXM #111: "Mindgames!"

(Thanks for the lack of memories.)


At last!  Edna McCoy's handsome baby boy is back!  His hair is blue, his mind is sharp!

He's also determined not to let a life with the high-flying, fast-and-loose adventures dent his love for the scientific method.  Watch in hushed wonder as he observes an indigo-furred, demon-tailed creature teleport through space whilst wearing Nightcrawler's costume and conclude that it isn't definitely not Nightcrawler!  Stand aside, assumption!  Step back, interpolation!  Hank McCoy is on the case, and if he can't see the label on the boxer shorts, then this shit just gonna have to remain speculative.

Up until he sees Jean, at least, who's face and powers he can't fail to recognise, even if - like the other X-Men - she seems to be convinced she's a circus performer and, even more indicative of a damaged mind, that beauty spots are back in fashion.  You also have to give her extra loony points for going to her trailer, climbing out of her ridiculously revealing leotard, and then dressing up as a '30s prostitute.  She even changes her hair style and, uh, length, which shows true telekinetic dedication to looking like someone FDR might smuggle through the Rose Garden whilst Eleanor wasn't looking (hey, why should Xavier be the only cripple gettin' some?).

Also, Scott Summers is her body guard.  Or maybe it just looks like Scott.  Beast still isn't sure, which I think probably goes beyond scientific method and into a level of denial rarely seen outside of Kubler-Ross models and Gingrich's campaign bus.  He is duly punished for this refusal to be satisfied with the available evidence when Colossus punches him in the back of the head (and if this feature could be added to academic talks displaying similar levels of bullish refusal of the facts, I for one would be grateful), and then dragged before Mesmero.

FOR IT IS HE!  Last seen in UXM #60, looking thoroughly miserable because it turned out his boss was a robot about five seconds before he was abducted by another robot (fuck Harlan Ellison, this is clearly the real reason James Cameron dreamed up Terminator, original title: Robots are Douches), Mesmero has decided to gain his revenge on the X-Men for smashing his city up in UXM #52 by turning them into a circus act.

It's... not the most obvious method of wreaking your vengeance, is it?  Mind you, given Mesmero only ever saw the light of day post-kidnapping because the X-Men saved his green-tinged hide means that this whole escapade seems astonishingly ungrateful.  Like my mother always says: never trust evil circus hypnotists.  And she should know; before she ran into El Zappo Diablo at Scarborough Fair back in the late '70s, her future plans consisted of buying three dozen cats and a hysterectomy.  I could have been Mr fucking Huggles right now.  Whether or not I feel bad about this generally depends on the relative prices of cider and catnip on the open market at any given time.

I am straying from the point.

So, Mesmero has kidnapped and brainwashed the X-Men, and at least part of his plan is to use them as bait for other superheroes.  Does he not know Jean Grey has Sue Storm on speed-dial?  Indeed, couldn't he get Jean to use her powers to draw heroes towards them?  Why go to all this trouble?  The answer, I would imagine, lies in Jean mentioning an upcoming date with "the boss", which given the week or more she's spent under his total control suggests possibilities I have no intention of considering too closely.

Clearly she's not right in the head, though.  When next we see her, she's changed clothes again.  Boob-tube and short skirt are in, and the fishnet tights she apparently put on after the show are once more absent.  No wonder Wolverine is disgusted when he arrives, freshly escaped from Mesmero's grip because apparently watching Beast get wailed on awoke his primal urge "to be free" (read: stab things).   First order of business, of course, is punching out Cyclops, and who could object to that.  I could watch those to smack each other around all day.  There's no comic that can't be improved with one or both of them planting their fists square in each other's jaw.  Not just X-Men, either.  Sandman, Watchmen, Palestine.  Probably not Maus, I guess.

With Cyclops sprawled out, Wolverine tries to break Jean's condition in the only way he knows how - by slapping her.  This is... less awesome.  It's not immediately clear to me how he makes the leap from him escaping by watching a fight (his "gut, instinctual level") to the idea that Jean will respond best to being slapped in the chops.  I know that smacking a woman to her senses has some historical precedent behind it, but I really don't think that does anything to improve matters.

Still, you can't argue with success, and once Jean explodes (almost literally) with anger, she recovers her sense of self, and they're off to reset the other X-Men to their factory settings.

Meanwhile, Mesmero is trying to hypnotise Beast.  It's not working, possibly due to his short-sighted decision to replace his tear ducts with water pistols.

Not that it matters, though, because our villainous Vincent is interrupted!  The X-Men arrive seconds later to find both Beast and Mesmero unconscious, and standing over their prone forms: the Master of Magnetism!

Dun dun duh!


This story takes place over the course of a few hours.

Beast's investigation of the mansion reveals a bare minimum of seven days mail, judging from the number of visible newspapers in the pile inside the door.   It could be longer though, given Beast's thoughts on the matter, and given that there's been time for a postcard to arrive from Xavier.  I don't care how devoted he is to his students, there are other things that take priority on sexy tropical getaways - whatever state your hindquarters are in.

Let's assume then that the X-Men went missing the day after they stopped Warhawk, and that Beast has arrived in Texas exactly two weeks later.


Tuesday 9th of March, 1982.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.72 standard years.

(Storm is 35 years old.)

"None of these... creatures will escape!"
 Contemporary Events

Charles Haughey is re-elected to a second term as the seventh Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland.

Standout Line

"My pleasure, bub." KRAK!

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