Thursday, 31 May 2012

UXM #169: "Catacombs"

(TLC beneath NYC)


We start off this issue in Warren Worthington's Manhattan penthouse, as Candy Southern returns, apparently after spending the day finding the worst wig humanly possible.  Finding blood and feathers everywhere, she calls Xavier, but doesn't get far into the conversation before a brute named Sunder gets the drop on her. "I am here to hurt you", he announces.

The professor knows a crisis when he starts to hear it, and sends the nearest X-Man to investigate.  Unfortunately for Kurt, that would be him, forcing him to teleport out of the hot-tub he was sharing with his starkers foster-sister, and jaunt across town naked and dripping.  Thank God his tail has fourth-wall breaking powers of obscuring his furry indigo penis, huh? What a relief for everyone.

Guided by Xavier, Nightcrawler spies an unconscious Angel being carried into the subway by a shadowy figure.  There's no time to chase him, however, as Candy suddenly appears, thrown from the penthouse window.  Nightcrawler catches her before she falls, and can think of no other option other than to teleport her back into the hot-tub with Amanda. 

(Let's stop a moment to consider that Amanda didn't get Xavier's psychic summons, which means her unclothed boyfriend just left the flat without a word, and returned with a gorgeous, dazed raven-haired woman, who he's just thrown along with himself into the tub where she is sitting naked.  It is something of a shame we do not get to see what happens next.)

Meanwhile, over at the Hellfire Club, it seems Sebastian Shaw has finally recovered enough from the last vicious beat-down he suffered at the hands of the X-Men to start preparing for the next vicious beat-down he'll suffer at the hands of the X-Men.  Or at least, that was the plan.  Emma Frost has rather thrown a spanner in the works by telling Sage she had a desperately important warning for Shaw, and then collapsing into a coma.  Unsettling!

Back at Amanda's Questionable Bathing Emporium, the rest of the X-Men (minus Logan, off in Japan) have gathered to plan how to get Angel back.  Leaving Candy (and Lockheed) in Amanda's care, and wielding a portable Cerebro unit (Xavier refusing to loan the team Wolfsbane), our heroes go a-hunting.  Finding a seriously unwell ticket clerk in the subway, the X-Men figure they're on the right track, a supposition supported by their pocket Cerebro, though not by Xavier, who's encountering psionic resistance from up ahead.

And that's not all that's up ahead.  There's a secret entrance, and an associated welcome committee.  Our guys make fairly short work of the first wave, but a scouting Kitty finds their back-up, watching the battle and taking notes.  She high-tails it out of there, but not before someone named "Plague" gets her all tingly.  This, we suspect, is not good.

The resultant enplaguening means Kitty is late for her rendezvous with the rest of the team who, with no way of tracking her, choose to move on in the hopes of finding Angel.  That's amazingly cold, actually.  Storm's comments notwithstanding, not even bothering to wait until the dust has settled following the fracas seems ridiculous (as does not leaving behind 'Crawler in case Kitty catches up).  This is clearly characterisation and common sense being overruled for the sake of plot.  For shame!

Sprite herself is in an exceptionally bad way, and it's far from clear that her situation has improved when Caliban (last seen trying to steal her away as his live-in love-puppet) finds her, and decides to nurse her back to health... forever!

Meanwhile, the coterie of callous cads who condemned her to Caliban's calumny have reached the lower levels of a structure no-one knew stretched out underneath New York.  There they find Callistio, eyepatch-sporting leader of the Morlocks, who took that name from H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (though apparently didn't read it all that closely), and who have captured Angel so that they can tear away his ability to fly, so that Callisto can use him as her sex slave.  Interesting people, these Morlocks.

The X-Men, as one can imagine, take exception to these developments, but find themselves quickly beaten into unconsciousness by the assembled mass (the narration is kind enough to tell us that it makes no sense for Colossus to fall so easily, but fall easily he does).  Meanwhile, somewhere nearby, Caliban has figured out that Kitty has gotten herself a dose of the plague, and resolves to face off against Callisto herself, in order to force Plague to remove the biological curse.


Nightcrawler mentions that Wolverine is in Japan, and an editorial box suggests we check out WOL #1, which was published several months earlier.  Given that, along with the fact that Claremont doesn't seem able to decided if it's winter, spring, or early summer, I think the best option (read: least troublesome) is to assume the Wolverine limited series explains why Logan is in Japan (i.e. he's setting up his wedding), rather than it actually happening concurrently.

This issue takes place over a single evening.


Thursday 21st of July, 1983.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.71 standard years.

(Colossus is 26 years old).

"This is not going well."
Contemporary Events

The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth is noted at Vostok Station in the Antarctic (-89.2 C: lovely).

Standout Line

"If you ask me, pets should know their place and do as they're told."
"I wonder if Lockheed feels that way about us." - Kurt and Kitty.

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