Friday, 21 October 2011

UXM #114: "Desolation"

(The X-Men I admire most...)


It's the day the X-Men died! 
Bye, bye, the team led by One-Eye
Mighta scarpered from the lava if a few more could fly
And Beast and Jean look to Antarctic skies
Singing "This'll be the day that I die." 
Except of course, the X-Men aren't dead.  Which isn't in any way a surprise, but then that wasn't really the point.  Claremont brings them into the issue pretty quickly ((apparently Storm used an ice storm to slow down the magma flow whilst Cyclops and Banshee blasted an exit route, which seems exceptionally ridiculous even by comic standards but, whatever), more or less as soon as Beast and Jean are saved (by a passing helicopter, which seems exceptionally coincidental even by comic standards HOLY SHIT I GOT DEJA VU RIGHT THERE YOU GUYS!)

The idea then is not for us to believe they are dead, but to give the X-Men some time to play around in a world that assumes they're six feet under.  Or, you know, six hundred feet under, covered in molten rock.  The fact that this means Phoenix' ridiculous power levels are no longer an issue is unlikely to be coincidental.

While Charles mourns the loss of another team, our heroes find their way back into open air inside the Savage Land.  Banshee quickly finds himself in a tangle with a giant pterosaur, but a patented "fastball special" allows Wolveirne to quite literally tear it apart.  This leads to possibly Cyclops' most pissy complaint ever: if Wolverine had missed, he'd be dead (which, OK, Scott doesn't know any better, but it's not like he's ever asked how Wolvie's power works) and so would Sean.

To which: no.  Go fuck yourself.  If Wolverine failed to save Banshee, then you do it your damn self, or it's your fault Sean dies.  You're team leader, you pathetic whining clown.  At least Wolverine tried something, rather than just waiting to pick fault ex post facto.

Anyway, things start looking up for the X-Men after that, as they find a village of healthy, friendly natives willing to put them up for a few days, and who apparently make an exceptionally skimpy costume for Storm from their own women's bras, leaving them tragically bereft of cover above the Equator (no wonder Peter looks so happy).  The team are processing their belief that Jean and Hank are dead, of course, but nothing helps with grief like a tropical paradise with, at least in Peter's case, pussy on tap.

Banshee and Storm both note though that Scott is perhaps dealing with the situation a little too well, given that his girlfriend (or, if you go by U1C, possibly recently ex-girlfriend) of two years or so has been burned to a cinder.  Storm confronts him on it, just as Scott is on the verge of realising that Corsair is his father.  Immediately such thoughts go out of his head, which, c'mon.  Storm is sexy and scantily clad, sure, but his is your long-lost father we're talking about.  Summon up some focus, would you?

That's strictly small potatoes compared to the massive degree of prickishness he demonstrates a moment later, though, when he confesses to Storm that Jean's change into Phoenix had been so pronounced that he'd basically given up on her in any case.  Dude, that is some cold-hearted bullshit right there.  No wonder everyone's so willing to believe you let most of your team get pressure-cooked in an Antarctic volcano.

Indeed, Storm is so pissed off by this jackass she immediately stomps away and gets her mutant energy drained by Doctor Kyle Lykos (last seen falling to his death, at least as far as Claremont knew at the time). She'll later claim she was taken by surprise, but I think the truth is obvious - it was all a way of teaching Cyclops a lesson.  After all, I'd think "If you're not nice a giant vampiric green flying lizard will kill your friends" is probably quite a strong motivation, don't you?

This issue takes place over the course of a week.


Saturday 13th to Saturday 20th of March, 1982.


X+3Y+347 to X+3Y+354.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year =  3.80 standard years.

(Storm is 34 years old.)

"I feel reborn, more alive
than I've felt in weeks!"
Contemporary Events

The Falklands War is precipitated when a small group of Argentinians occupy a whaling station on the island of South Georgia, and raise the Argentine flag.

Randy Rhoads, a heavy metal guitarist who played with Ozzy Osborn and Quiet Riot, is killed in a plane crash, aged just 25.

Standout Line

"These ladies wish to show me their special island." - Colossus.

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