Friday, 16 December 2011

UXM #156: "Pursuit!"

("There's always a bigger fish...")


When last we left Marvel's merry mutants, Colossus was dead.  In this issue: Colossus is not dead!  It's a miracle.

Instead, he's only super-nearly dead, but Wolverine pronounces him beyond help, thanks to the detailed medical training one presumably receives as an amnesiac multiple murderer.  Whilst the X-Men crowd round their fallen friend, Tigra attempts to placate the recently arrived NYC cops. "You can't arrest us!" she insists "My... associates and I were doing our job, battling a notorious super-villain."  That can't be how it works, surely, even if she is flashing her Avengers membership card (amongst other things, natch).  The head cop isn't having any of it, certainly, pointing out that they've levelled an IBM skyscraper.  Maybe that's the rule, actually - the Avengers can beat up all the ne'er-do-wells they like so long as no-one wealthy accrues any property damage.  Occupy Wall Street take note: the Avengers are tools of the one percent!

In any case, both problems are resolved when the Starjammer arrives overhead, beaming the X-Men up and chucking Colossus into its advanced medical facilities.  Cyclops is panicking somewhat, and making rash promises.  "I won't let him die!" Which, well, yeah.  Not really up to you.  But you'd let it go, wouldn't you?

Not if your Corsair, you wouldn't. "There was fuck all I could do when your mother was stabbed to death", he tells his son, "So I'm well aware of the fact you're full of shit about stopping your friend from keeling over."  

I may be paraphrasing.  Frankly, I'm not sure Cyclops should feel obliged to take advice from a man who refers to his dead wife by four different names within two pages ("I never got over the death of Katherine-Ann, or as I called her, "Kate", and also "Anne"), but there you go.

(Incidentally, we learn this issue that Colossus is eighteen, which is... interesting, given he's been having kissing times with a girl not yet fourteen.  Still, wait until Pete Wisdom arrives; that's when it gets really icky.)

Meanwhile, Kitty and Kurt cool their heels on Lord Admiral Samedar's vessel.  Samedar himself calls them up to show them a video of Colossus getting stabbed, which seems a fairly dickish move, even for someone who hates humans.

But that's because he was evil all along!  Which is a shame, actually - it's always more interesting when the racist ones aren't always villains as well.  Apparently, Samedar has been paid by Deathbird to ensure the X-Men fail to rescue Lilandra - fair enough - and to guarantee the Earth is obliterated, which I don't really see the need for.  Still, we know that Deathbird's a major bad 'un; she only has to show her face outside Lilandra's cell (which is also now Xavier's, which proves that Deathbird has either some lingering threads of compassion, or only one cell) for the Shi'ar Empress to go so crazy she starts screaming "Matricide!"  You know someone's pissed off with someone when they can only start naming the crimes they've committed.  Like if you ran into Dan Brown and could only bellow "Shit writing!"  Though obviously that would be worthwhile in itself.

Whilst Deathbird taunts her prisoners, the Starjammer has crept up behind her ship.  Unfortunately, Deathbird's other ship has crept up behind them.  This new vessel is truly gigantic, and looks much like some kind of transporter accident involving flying fish, sharks both hammerhead and basking, and a TV aerial the size of Luxembourg.  Later on, having witnessed this giant monstrosity, all fins and eyes and row upon row of jagged teeth, Storm will pronounce herself amazed to have learned this is actually a living creature.  This is really not Storm's day where observation is concerned (see Standout Line, below).

The X-Men are in no mood to fool around this time, and the instant a docking tunnel connects to the 'Jammer, they blow the seal and commence punching out every Brood soldier that comes at them, led by a newly revived Colossus, and with the Starjammers on back-up/callous murdering duties.  The panicking Brood turn off the artificial gravity to slow their enemies down, but it doesn't do any good.  It also means that the instant Cyclops and Corsair free Xavier and Lilandra (having sneaked into Deathbird's vessel whilst the guards are distracted by dying in droves), Charley can start bouncing off walls and punching Brood in the face.  Which, credit where credit's due, Baldie, is absolutely awesome.

The team rendezvous outside the 'Jammer, all save Storm, who got careless fighting Deathbird and has been sucked into space (ruh-roh!).  Fortunately, since this is space and thus no rules apply, the team can simply blast their way through the side of a void-born leviathan, transport Ororo to the medbay, and turn on their all-purpose wonder-bed.  Must be nice.

Once Storm has recovered, it's time to go save the Earth.  Just one problem - the Starjammer is completely knackered, and will never get to Earth before the deadline runs out.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuur!


This story begins a few hours into Araki's 24 hour countdown, and ends around six hours to go. 

The arrival of the Starjammer on page 3 is described as happening "late in the day", but the dogfight between the Sidri and the X-Jet in UXM #154 happened at roughly the same time, and is described by FAA traffic control as happening "the other day".   Combined with Araki's timescale, the only way out of all this is to assume the X-Jet was beamed aboard the Shi'ar flagship the morning following the Sidri attack on the mansion.  I've no idea where they were flying to, but there it is.


Wednesday 7th to Thursday 8th April, 1983.


X+5Y+7 to X+5Y+8.

Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.70 standard years.

(Shadowcat is 22 years old).

"I'm gonna let ya finish, but Maggott is the most
underrated X-Man OF ALL TIME!"
Contemporary Events

An 80 000 year old skeleton is found in Egypt, the oldest human remains yet discovered (depending on how strictly one defines "human", of course).

Standout Line

"Everyone's floating!  What's happening?"  For God's sake, Storm.  This is the second time you've been in space.  People float in space.  It's a minor goddamn miracle of alien technology that up until this point you haven't been floating.  You might as well unplug the freezer and ask "Why is everything reverting to room temperature?"


  1. "I'm gonna let ya finish, but Maggott is the most
    underrated X-Man OF ALL TIME!"

    You know what pisses me off about Japhett ? That Beak STILL LIVES . We lost guys like Skin, Maggot, Bolt, Jess Bedlam & many others so THIS guy can live... the chicken that banged a fly ! ( as you can see , many forget that plot point about Morrison's run. But hey the "God " of comics ruined 4 characters in a row but gave us a mutant made of flatulence... why can't I see the genius already ?)

    Also forget Magneto as Xorn, here's what would have happened if Stryfe was Xorn all along (which would actually make a bit more sense for numerous reasons...)

  2. Hah! Love it. Not sure there'd be much point to eating Beak, though.