Sunday, 13 November 2011

UXM #136: "Child Of Light And Darkness"

("...Not with a bang...")


See?  This is the way to do it!  Why offer extended clumsily-narrated flashbacks when you can just have some freaky-deaky alien go over it in an emergency briefing.  Muoks'Haarmin might lack Admiral Ackbar's charisma, but he does the job.

"Holy SHIT!  Vader is Luke's father, you guys!
Fuck me, am I right?"
This issue also features the second special guest appearance of Jimmy Carter, who's now so low in the polls that his emergency signals to Avengers Mansion are being answered by the butler.

Just kidding - it's because Hank left his post without telling anyone.  That's somewhat crappy on his part, actually.  I was entirely with him not telling his Avengers that the X-Men were being chased by the cops, but there's a big difference between looking the other way and actually leaving the emergency channel unmanned.  Indeed, this issue tries to tell us Hank was secretly summoned by Scott, but we know the truth, Claremont.  We know.

First: the calm before the storm.  The X-Men divide into three groups, according to their skills: training ("Colossus!  You must stop the 'Super Spanner'"), moping around (Cyclops and Storm), or actually doing something that's actually of use (that would be Beast, obviously).  Whilst Hank perfects a pisonic-nullifying tiara, Jean heads to her parents house.  It's not clear to either her or us why she's made the trip, but she quickly improvises by terrifying the crap out of everyone.  Not sure what that achieved, really, but it does give the X-Men time to reach Phoenix before she can get round to eating the Sun, so that's definitely useful.

Unsurprisingly, the resulting fracas does not go well for our heroes.  Even with Hank's device stuck to her head, Phoenix is horrifically powerful, and the X-Men can't stop pulling their punches against their former teammate.  Wolverine alone is aiming to strike a killing blow, but in the end he can't follow through either.

In the end, it's Cyclops who comes closest to stopping Phoenix, by - sigh - telling her how me he loves her, and how wonderful she is.  Fortunately, just as it looks like it's about to work (and I'm about to swallow my own fist with annoyance) Xavier sucker-punches Jean with his mental powers, and the psychic rumble kicks off.

Somehow, bafflingly, Xavier wins, despite it being entirely obvious that he couldn't so much as lick a star, never mind swallow it whole.  I'd honestly forgotten the end of Phoenix' rampage was so pedestrian, which means I'm pissed off all over again.  Nothing sums up the bathos more than the issue almost ending on Jean's father ranting about what assholes the X-Men are (dude!  They just saved your fucking planet!), but mercifully, his grumbling is interrupted by the whole team being beamed away to an unknown destination.



This story begins a few hours after the previous issue ended, and takes place over a few hours.

Since the story starts in the night and goes on for at least a little while, I think it's reasonable to assume that we've passed through midnight.


Tuesday 12th to Wednesday 13th of October, 1982.


X+4Y+196 to X+4Y+197.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.73 standard years.

(Shadowcat is 21 years old).

 I had no idea Desperate Housewives was still going...
Contemporary Events

The Ford Sierra is released in Europe.

Standout Line

"Be true to your malefic destiny, Phoenix -- kill me..."

Malefic? Clearly Cyclops responds to extreme danger by leafing through the new edition of the Thesaurus of Melodrama.

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