Tuesday, 29 November 2011

UXM #149: "And The Dead Shall Bury The Living!"

(Rite of passages.)


We learn in this issue that Professor Xavier, in addition to being potentially the world's most powerful telepath and an electronic and mechanical genius, is able to sense upcoming disasters whenever authorial fiat requires it.  That's a handy skill to have, or at least it would be if it kicked in a little earlier.

Still, better to show up late than not at all.  Whilst Scott and Lee find themselves dining at Magneto's pleasure, Professor X frets about what makes him think the X-Men's first ever foe is about to make his appearance.  He's so wound-up and distracted, he ends up psionically screaming at Kitty, merely because she enters his room uninvited, wearing an unusable and unbearable home-made costume, and short-circuits every computer he has running.  Unreasonableness, thy name is Charlie.

Kitty is pretty upset by this dressing-down.  Of course, dressing down is pretty much exactly what she should be considering:

but teenage girls are teenage girls, and there's nothing to be done about that. Case in point: Kitty responds to breaking the rules of both the mansion and of colour co-ordination by hiding on the Blackbird, just before the team takes a jaunt over to Magneto's lava-smothered Antarctic base, in the search for evidence that it's former owner is still alive.

One of the problems with Kitty is that she's endlessly annoying.  Either she annoys me by not sounding or acting like any teenage girl I've ever encountered (and three years of secondary school teaching means I have at least a little authority on the subject), or she annoys me because, well, your average teenage girl (or boy) frequently is annoying to anyone who's graduated from university.  I guess the latter is preferable, if only because if everything else is equal, believability is desirable.  And Sprite's stowaway stunt is certainly an example of the latter situation - hiding until discovered and then claiming she can't have been wrong to hitch a ride because no-one specifically forbade it is just the kind of jutted-jaw sophistry that defines one's early teens.

Storm decides the team is too close to its polar destination to make it worth turning around, and so allow Kitten to tag along (presumably working under the assumption that she wouldn't stay on the jet in any case). The base rapidly proves to be partially excavated, for reasons unknown.  Everything seems quiet, but Storm is nervous; she's hearing the voice of Garokk, the rock-god she was unable to save months ago in the Savage Land.

Soon enough, the man (?) shows himself, jumping Colossus and Kitty, despite being handicapped due to being partially melted.  Apparently Magneto has forced him through means unknown to keep an eye on the base whilst it's being dug out.  Sprite manages to hurt Garokk by phasing through him, and he responds by punching a hole through the passage wall to allow the surrounding lava to flow in.  You have to respect a half-melted guy who'll cover himself in magma in order to kill his foes, that's what I reckon.

Garokk quickly defeats the X-Men, and gouges out a pit with his eye-beams, hoping to throw Storm to her death just as (in his mind) she had done with him all those months ago.  It almost works, too, but Kitty, who survived the lava flooding the passage by phasing through metres of solid rock to get to the next tunnel over, pulls off a last-minute save.  Huh.  I guess she was useful after all.  All that time spent telling her she wasn't ready, and she should stay home, and yet she's proved her mettle and won the admiration of her comrades.

Man, why hasn't anyone used that idea before...


Scott and Lee are trying to get used to staying with Magneto, but his choice of wardrobe for them isn't particularly helping: Cyclops looks like a high priest of Cthulhu, and Lee looks like a hooker who's only expecting business from LSD-addled drag queens with a taste for sushi.  Still, at least Mags bought Scott's fake name.

Except turns out: he didn't!

Dum dum DUUUM!


This story takes place over a single day.

Storm mentions that it has been months since Garokk was assumed to have been killed.  Our timeline tracks with this,  having placed it as happening around nine months earlier.


Monday 8th of March, 1983.


X+4Y+336 to X+4Y+341.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.65 standard years.

(Shadowcat is 22 years old).

Once part of the greatest girl's gymnastics team in Europe.
Contemporary Events

Standout Line

"Isn't America wonderful, my friends? Where else could a woman revered as an African goddess become a mechanic instead?"

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