Wednesday, 26 October 2011

UXM #119: "'Twas The Night Before Christmas..."

(No it fucking 'twasn't.)


The majority of this issue us an extended action scene, which as usual means there's strict limits on what can really be said.  The two primary takeaways from the team's assault on Magnum's base in the Kuril Islands are that a) the team is finally operating as a well-honed unit, and b) Moses Magnum is a goddamned idiot.

Using Nightcrawler as a teleporting homing device for an underground attack - using Cyclops and Sunfire as tunnellers - whilst Storm and Banshee run interference is a pretty good plan, especially given their usual tactics of either charging forward one at a time or just waiting around to get beaten around the head.

On the other hand, Magnum seems determined to ruin his own plan.  Halfway through effortlessly beating the mutated tar out of the X-Men, he decides he doesn't want to "waste his power", and sends the Mandroids in again. Because clearly the one element missing in them defeating the X-Men last time was the lack of lack of surprise.  Once that fails, rather than killing the X-Men immediately, he decides to sink Japan instead, because apparently getting the ransom he's put months of work into acquiring doesn't interest him anymore. I guess the "arcane" combination of earthquake, laser and suit tech that first gave him super-powers rather did a number on his brain-pan.

Just because he's clearly an idiot doesn't mean he isn't dangerous, of course, and Banshee steps up to plate to stop him.  The resulting sonic-virbation-off destroys Magnum's base and hurls him out to sea (where presumably the X-Men believe he presumably dies) , but Banshee lapses into a coma.  Everyone else escapes (due to Storm's new-found and entirely unexplained ability to carry three people at once), but Sean is laid up in hospital for more than a week and a half.  He returns to the X-Men almost entirely unable to speak, and they rather cruelly exacerbate the situation by pretenfding that it's Christmas.  For shame!

At least it's not all bad.  Storm's realisation that the team has become more like a family, and her subsequent admission to Nightcrawler about how much she loves him, is genuinely rather sweet ang quite affecting.  As the X-Men finally come to an end (at least potentially) of the string of complications and encounters that began with their abduction by Magneto, there's a real sense of peace in the air.

Except on Muir Island - where Jean is headed after her long vacation - upon which the embittered owner of a hovercraft the X-Men totalled (back in UXM# 104) comes looking for revenge, but finds only... death!


This story starts several hours after the end of the last issue, and takes place over eleven days.

According to this issue, Banshee recovers from his ordeal (at least enough to leave the hospital) on Christmas Day. This places the X-Men's initial rescue in Drake's Passage at the start of November, and their abduction by Magneto in mid-October.  This is an extension of the same problem we've come across before, of course: it relies on UXM #110 to be the only recorded adventure in eight months.

Given this, then, I don't think I have any choice but to activate my first Christmas veto.  I shall keep a separate count of X-Xmases, so as to log what has been ignored, but this particular festive season must be the first to feel my wrath.  In this context, at least.


Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 14th of August, 1982.


X+4Y+126 to X+4Y+137.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.54 standard years.

(Storm is 35 years old).

"We began as... loners.  And have grown into a family."


Contemporary Events

The UNSC votes to censure Israel over its failure to remove its troops from Lebanon.

Mexico triggers a debt crisis throughout Latin America by announcing it cannot pay its debts.

Henry Fonda passes away, aged 77.

Standout Line

"Kurt? I just wanted to tell you... that I love you very, very much." - Ororo.

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