(Inconceivable flying objects.)
So, last time on UXM, our fearless heroes narrowly escaped a life of ritual humiliation and celebrated by putting on ludicrous costumes and getting threatened by a man with a bucket on his head. That was a bullet dodged, then.
But it's too late for regrets now, because Magneto has no sooner initiated a game of "turgid smack talk" than he's using his magnetic powers to fly their circus wagon into low orbit. Nightcrawler is the one to work out what is happening, through the rather drastic method of teleporting outside the caravan and into empty air. He's in trouble now! If only he had some way of instantaneously returning to the caravan. Porting his own body, if you will.
And even if Nightcrawler can be dragged back into the caravan, the rest of the X-Men are helpless. Helpless! With Magneto keeping them aloft, any attempt to beat him could lead to the cart falling dozens of miles to the ground below. If only they had a massively powerful telekinetic with them. How useful would that have been?
I'm not sure the X-Men have recovered as much of their minds as they think they have.
In any case, they decide to keep sullenly quiet until Magneto takes them to where they're going. First, though, it's ballast-tossing time, as Mesmero is chucked from the back of the wagon. Magneto is kind enough to lower him to the ground rather than splattering green and purple across half the Amazon basin, but the sight is still enough to drive a local fighter-plane crew to drink (I guess Mesmero isn't the only one who's... off the wagon?). Storm is less than happy about Mesmero's treatment (despite admitting to having been sorely tempted to kill him herself about nine pages ago), and Magneto claims never to have met the man.
That brings up something I'd always wondered about. Who actually built the Mags robot that Mesmero once worked for? And why? Was it Magneto himself, to act as a decoy? For that matter, how is Magneto so good at making stuff anyway? Seriously, he's managed to create machines that can generate mutants with specifically determined powers, at least one immensely complicated robot, and secret bases both in space and inside lava flows. Are we really supposed to believe that's because he can control metal? That Dog Whisperer dude can control labradors, but that doesn't mean they'll build a condo for him.
Once they land inside the massive secret complex (after travelling through molten lava, because magnetic fields trump massive temperatures and pressures, as well as poisonous fumes), it's time for a fracas. Once again, Wolverine and Colossus find themselves fairly useless due to their reliance on metal (there's a truly wonderful panel in which Magneto forces Wolverine to punch himself out, which I wish I could find online), and no-one else does much better.
Save Phoenix, who has Magneto on the ropes until her power cuts out. That's interesting, actually. As she says herself, the assumption was that she has no limit. I presume this is another attempt to ensure Phoenix isn't just able to massacre any given opponent the team faces.
The issue ends with the X-Men hooked up to another one of Magneto's diabolical machines of provenance unknown. This one reduces them to the physical and verbal level of six-month old babies, to give them a taste of what Magneto went through when he was de-aged (it happened outside of the X-books, so I've never really been sure of the details).
Like Mesmero's scheme before it, it's a tad unconventional as a revenge plan, but at least this time there's some poetic justice mixed in there, even if it's more than a little misplaced.
This issue follows on directly from the previous one.
Our first consideration here regards how long it takes Magneto to carry the cart from Lubbock, Texas to his secret underground base in Antarctica. It's clear that he can lift the cart miles into the sky in the time it takes Wolverine to have one of his hyper-aggressive/embarrassingly petulant strops, so we're definitely talking in the tens of miles per minute. we then learn that the cart travels over four thousand miles in the space of half an hour, which means it could travel from pole to pole in about an hour and a half.
Since the flight began in "the midnight air", that presumably puts touchdown at some time around 1am. It's not clear how long the X-Men are unconscious after the fight that follows, but Magneto refers to the machine which imprisons them as the last of the night's surprises, suggesting they can only have been out for a few hours at most.
Tuesday 9th to Wednesday 10th of March, 1982.
X+3Y+343 to X+3Y+344.
1 Marvel year = 3.74 standard years.
(Storm is 35 years old.)
|"You -- monster!"|
The solar system undergoes what could loosely be considered a syzygy as all nine planets (shut up, Pluto counts) found themselves on the same side of the Sun.
"We will fly home and get very, very drunk." At last! A human response to mutant activity that is thoroughly believable.