Sunday, 6 November 2011

UXM #129: "God Spare The Child..."

(Suffer little children...)


This is one of the most important historical documents in existence, my friends: the issue of Uncanny X-Men that was current upon the day I was born.  I'm not entirely happy that my arrival in the world coincides with that of Kathrine Pryde (actually, she got a five day head start), but it could be worse.  Some poor fool out there shares their month of arrival with Stacey X's, and we should definitely save our sympathies for them.

Anyway, what are the X-Men up to today?  First of all, they're heading back from Scotland, after a few days of R&R.  They've left Banshee behind, which makes sense; without his sonic scream he's going to be far more use to the bereaved Moira than to a team of mutant superheroes. Whether or not they'd ever admit it, I wonder if the X-Men think they've traded up, having replaced the creaky-boned Irishman with an unbelievably powerful telepath?  If so, then caveat emptor: Jean's visions of life as an eighteenth century noble-beeyotch are becoming more and more frequent.  It's a good job Cyclops snaps her out of her latest one before she gets another chance to try shanking some slob dressed up as Bambi's mother.

And what is it that Cyclops wants to say?  That his total inability to feel anything since Jean's "death" was because he was worried he would feel too much if he allowed himself to (which reads like nothing so much as "No, I really do love you, honest; lets have sex!"), and that he and Colleen Wing are "just friends" (let's hope he gives her her key back, huh?).  He even digs out the old "I've just been hurt so many times before" line, which I'm not sure I've ever seen deployed for reason other than to make someone feel better about treating their other half like disposable crap. I realise that a switch must flick somewhere in a man's brain when he suddenly realises that sex with a gorgeous redhead is suddenly back on the menu, but c'mon.  Show some respect.

Scott isn't the only one having trouble acclimatising to recent events.  The newly-returned Xavier - whose desperate need to return to Earth right fucking now apparently doesn't prevent him spending a few days doing nothing but shout at people - is finding it tough to understand why this latest iteration of X-Men doesn't have much interest in doing what they're told.  Cyclops is only saved from what would surely have been an incredibly awkward conversation (presumably along the lines of "Shut your yap, baldie; this is my gig now") by Cerebro detecting a pair of new mutants.

The X-Men split up to go investigating, but are beaten to the punch.  The Hellfire Club are on the case as well,  a group so deeply sinister that their secret headquarters is backlit with flaming braziers in a manner that I'm quite sure would have health and safety officers in tears (which they'd cry into specially prepared buckets so as not to create a slipping hazard).  Apparently it was they who unleashed the desperately amateur Warhawk against the team some months ago, and he bugged Cerebro to give Hellfire a head start on any new mutant manifestation.

One of those manifestations is the redoubtable Kitty Pryde, and the Ms. Frost - the White Queen herself -  is sent to recruit her, by way of offering her a place at Frost's private academy.  One half of the X-Men are hot on her heels, to make a similar offer (and cause trouble: I can't believe Logan was willing to start a fight over a shopkeeper not wanting him to stand in the middle of the shop flicking through Penthouse).  They're quickly knocked unconscious and kidnapped by the White Queen - they were the targets all along - but Kitty uses her phasing abilities to tag along.


This issue begins after sundown in Scotland, but crosses into daylight as the Blackbird heads west.

Banshee mentions that the X-Men have stayed for a few days rest after defeating Proteus, so we'll assume this issue starts on the third day following their victory.  Once home, the X-Men spend at least one day relaxing before

The leaves on the trees outside the mansion demonstrate that it's currently autumn, but that tracks with our current timeline.

We also have a new character to use for keeping track of character's ages.  Kitty is described in this issue as being thirteen and a half, so we can assume for the sake of argument that she was nine years old when the X-Men were first formed.  Whilst I'm actually slightly worried that I won't actually know any of the "celebrities" who'll match her extrapolated ages, I'm getting tired of Storm always being 35, so for a little while at least, we are proud to present the Shadowcat Chronological Hypothesiser!


Sunday 26th to Wednesday 29th of September, 1982.


X+4Y+180 to X+4Y+183.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.63 standard years.

(Shadowcat is 22 years old).

Oh, I know this one!  She's in that vampire
thing with that dude off Lost.
Contemporary Events
Seven people die in Chicago as a result of taking Tylenol capsules that have been laced with poison.  The case remains open to this day.

Standout Line

"Notify Wolverine that his childish outburst will cost him ten demerits."  Ye Gods, Charlie, not this again?  Even Cyclops has worked out this is a stupid idea.  Didn't your alien hosts teach you any extra-terrestrial tricks for classroom management?

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