(...Or "The Night I Told a Pack of Lies to a Child")
Good news: this is one of those "calm after the storm" issues that I tend to like quite a bit.
Bad news: the storm in question only lasted two issues, so I'm not sure giving readers a chance to catch their breath is particularly necessary.
Good news: it does open quite well, though; it's nice to see Storm suffering from her body's exploits last issue without it being too melodramatic. Just her sitting at the kitchen table having her bruises seen to by Carol Danvers (who it turns out is staying at the mansion as Xavier's "patient" following the loss of her powers, which doesn't make a lot of sense, but at least suggests we're not far from the arrival of Rogue). Having Peter and Kitty have to deal with Illyana's fears understandable fear following the attack makes sense as well (though there's still no indication that Peter's parents actually know where their daughter is). I really like nods to what's gone before that really are nods, as oppose to vicious headbutts. However...
Ultra unbelievably bad fucking news: the rest of the issue is a fairytale for Illyana, told by Kitty.
Actually, in all fairness, I didn't dislike this issue upon re-reading it nearly so much as I did the first time round. It still seems to fit a little awkwardly in the general flow of the title - I'm all for comic relief, but that's a different thing to whimsical silliness - but in retrospect I think my real problem with it was that it signals to me the beginning of a recurring problem with Claremont's work. I've said before back at the main blog that I'm convinced the only reason Excalibur came into being was to provide Claremont with a specific vehicle for all his dimension-crossing frivolity rather than gumming up UXM with it, which was what was happening.
If we ignore this issue as the start of a trend, though, and just take it on its own merits, it's actually quite nice in parts. Imagining what would happen if the Blackbird were also alive, and a dragon, and a bit like Wolverine, is pretty good fun ("I'm the last o' me kind, darlin'." is a great in-joke, too). Wolverine himself, now recast as the Fiend With No Name, is even better, a hulking, sulky monster who doesn't drink his beer cans but chews them.
But it's Nightcrawler's new incarnation as one of the "Bamfs" that's worth the price of admission alone, an unbearably cute foot-tall cuddly-toy horndog, who spends the whole of the issue alternating between gazing upwards adorably, and trying to persuade "Pirate Kitty" to let him bone her.
How could you resist? (Not the bit about the boning, obviously).
(As an aside, did you know BAMF has its own Wikipedia page? I love the internet).
So yes, it's all exceptionally lightweight, and of course most of it never even "really" happened (though in later years it transpires that Kitty's imaginary world is actually real, for some reason), but it does have a lot of nice touches, and as Charles says, it's been a bit too long since the X-Men got together and just had themselves a good laugh. If that requires a story about tiny German adults trying to seduce thirteen year old girls, then I guess that's just the way it's gotta be.
This story takes place over a few hours.
Given the state of the mansion, and the need for Storm to receive first aid (albeit of a fairly minor kind), it seems likely that this story takes place the day after the battle with the Hellfire Club.
Tuesday 24th of March, 1983.
1 Marvel year = 3.68 standard years.
(Shadowcat is 22 years old).
|Britain's oldest duck (RIP)|
The UN Security Council meets at the request of Nicaragua in order to consider "grave increases in acts of aggression." Officially at this point, US law prohibited America from providing assistance to the Contra rebels for the express purpose of overthrowing the Nicaraguan government, but aid for other purposes was permissable, and being given.
"I'm a Bamf! And you're a girl! Want to make beautiful music together, leibchen?"