(Double all squads of hapless goons!)
It's round three between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club, as our heroes enter the dark backstreets of Chicago to rescue their missing teammates. Phoenix draws first blood by detonating and then rebuilding a Hellfire car (the agents inside may not have been reassembled quite so carefully), both to stop it from running down a fleeing Shadowcat, and to use it as a Trojan Horse against their enemies.
As a display of power, it's unquestionable effective, and also pretty terrifying. Kitty bolts, (though Jean finds her almost immediately, naturally) and Cyclops' concerns are raised another level (we're now at DEFCLOPS 2, for those keeping score). Still, figuring out what to do about Jean's increased willingness to smash people to bits inside jagged metal wreckage will have to wait until, say, they've run out of people to so smash.
Having ripped the location of the Hellfire complex from whatever remains of her victims' minds, Jean points the team at Frost Enterprises, and their subterfuge begins - Cyclops, Phoenix, Nightcrawler and Dazzler are tied up and gagged, and play possum in the back seat whilst Jean plays puppet-master with their captured agents so as to get by the gate. Emma Frost herself, displaying remarkable mental agility for an early '80s supervillain, smells a rat almost immediately ("Salvatore's team was not equipped to tangle with them"), and orders up a second helping of faceless Hellguards, extra shooty.
Unfortunately for Emma, her smug pleasure at spotting the X-Men's gambit blinds her to the true threat - Shadowcat sneaks back into the building and frees Wolverine. Moreover, the extra mooks surrounding the car prove no match for the X-Men, now that Dazzler is helping out and Jean has become willing to fuck up anything within range. Even Nightcrawler has now mastered his punch-per-port manoeuvre, which looks a bit like this:
only with more transdimensional jaunting, and less barrels and cellulite.
Emma herself tries to stop the rot by challenging Phoenix to a psychic duel, but unsurprisingly, it doesn't go well for her. Indeed, the Hellfire Club are doing so badly that Colossus has time to change his briefs before joining the action (maybe he took his abduction particularly badly, if you know what I mean).
Ultimately, Jean brings the roof down, and Frost is - naturally - assumed to have perished in the wreckage. With the immediate threat dealt with, the X-Men turn to their new acquaintances. Dazzler chooses to return home, and it looks like Shadowcat is going to have to turn down the offer too, given her father's (understandable) fury at her overnight disappearance following the devastation of her last known whereabouts. Just on the off chance she wasn't being creep enough, Jean rewrites Carmen Pryde's mind on the fly, immediately turning him into Xavier's biggest fan,
Quite simply, this isn't looking good, and Cyclops and Storm haven't had any trouble noticing. Things are definitely accelerating, folks. Won't be long now...
This issue begins soon after midnight, and continues until sunrise.
We're told in the opening narration that this story takes place early Sunday morning, so the date below has been modified accordingly.
Sunday 3rd of October, 1982.
1 Marvel year = 3.66 standard years.
(Shadowcat is 22 years old).
|Yes! She's the one with the swimming, and such.|
A bomb blast in Tehran kills at least sixty people.
Oscar and Golden Globe nominated actress Vivien Merchant passes away, aged 53.
Seventeen weeks after its initial release, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial returns to its position of highest grossing film of the week after being briefly displaced by Amityville II: The Possession. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Friday the 13th Part III and An Officer and a Gentlemen had all also temporarily knocked E.T. from the top spot, only to see it bounce back. The film returned to number one twice more, nineteen and twenty five weeks after its initial release. All told, it remained in the top ten for an astonishing 35 weeks, and returns there several more times (it lasts a full year in the top 15). By my calculations, the film is at number 10 at the time when people who got lucky on the opening weekend are giving birth to the resultant progeny.
Oh, for fuck's sake...