Sunday, 29 September 2013

NMU #24: "The Hollow Heart"

(The long, dark story-time of the soul - part 3.)


It's issue three of Claremont's strangely-paced sequel to a story I never even read, and clearly there's at least one issue still to go. Ugh.

But there are plenty places on the web where people spend their time complaining endlessly about the things they nominally love.  Let's see what we can find in here that'll make us happy.

Essentially, this issue can be broken into three parts (four, really, but the last one I'm saving for Subplot Corner), the effect Rahne and Roberto's transformation has upon their teammates, upon Cloak and Dagger, and upon themselves.

All three of these reactions contain something worth commenting upon.  Xavier is so concerned about what's happened to his young charges, for instance, that he insists on digging into Sam and Dani's minds to learn everything that's transpired, in case their descriptions aren't good enough (all he gets for his pains is a page-long plot summary).  It's a useful reminder of Charlie's central problem; he's built his entire sense of self-worth around the idea of rigorous adherence to a moral code, but it never even occurs to him that anyone other than him should be get a say in when and how that code needs to be sidestepped. Unilaterally declaring a situation as requiring invasive mind-scans is a real problem, and it doesn't matter how noble the man making that choice has convinced himself he is.

Heading out of Xavier's mansion and into the Big Apple, we find the runaways formerly known as Cloak and Dagger, and all is not well there either. Now they're out of hospital and of the superhero business, it's time to figure out a new theme, only Tyrone doesn't see how it can be done. The white daughter of a multi-million-dollar supermodel and a stuttering black kid from the slums? What could they possibly talk about? The demon darkness that used to nibble away at Tyrone's soul?

As usual, I'm far too white, middle-class and British to comment on how strong a point is being made here - I've genuinely no idea where the suggestion of incompatibility, were it to come directly from Claremont, would lie on the scale between "obviously true" and "horribly racist" - but I can certainly buy Ty believing it. And though neither he nor Tandy are actually mutants (you know, yet), the underlying point here extends to the X-books metaphor; lumping everyone into a single group labelled "mutants" puts people of radically different backgrounds into a proximity they neither necessarily want nor can handle. Intra-mutant culture clashes will take some time yet to become a particularly visible issue (indeed, it's debatable whether or not they have even now), but it's worth noting that - Logan's nicknames for his team-mates aside - the idea perhaps got its first start here, entirely by accident.  This isn't lessened at all when ultimately Tandy and Tyrone conclude they do still have something in common, the desire to good, leading to them returning to the X-Men at issue's end to offer their help with Wolfsbane and Sunspot.

Speaking of which, the troubled duo themselves. Even with my attitude stuck to relentlessly positive, this is difficult to drag anything interesting from.  Mostly this section consists of Dani and Illyana failing to cure their friends, though time is taken out for Rahne to head inside Roberto and save Colossus.  One could be petty and point out this simply restores the status quo from the start of the previous issue - two people possessed and no-one eaten - but then I suppose that's true of pretty much all successful rescue missions.  Plus, at least it gives us a glimpse of Colossus' interior monologue.  He's still blaming himself for "destroying" Kitty by dumping her. Which, of course, is horribly narcissistic, and entirely within character. It's always nice when writers pick up on this aspect of Piotr's nature.  From immediately injecting himself with the Legacy Virus cure to petitioning Cytorrak to become the new Juggernaut, the young Russian has a tendency to turn everything into a horrific immediate crisis that only his noble sacrifice/histrionic self-flagellation can solve.  A man so immature in his thinking that Kitty ultimately leaves him for Bobby Drake, ladies and gentlemen.

So far from an unambiguous disaster, then.  Even so, there was nothing in this issue so sweet as the final panel: "To be concluded".

Meanwhile, over in Subplot Corner, Magneto compliments Lee Forrester on her wardrobe, and apologises for being a dick.  Lee is bowled over by this unprecedented display of contrition, but it seems perfectly understandable to me: she's too hot to yell at. It's always tough for a man to stay mad at a pretty woman.  Up until the possibility of sex is removed of course, at which point everything previously swallowed suddenly rises to the surface. Still, that won't matter so long as Lee and Mags can make it work...


This story takes place over the course of a single evening/night.  Xavier mentions that the original encounter with Cloak and Dagger took place the previous year, but that works fine with our timeline.


Saturday 11th May, 1984.

X Date


Contemporary Events

There's an solar eclipse on Mars when Earth passes in front of the Sun.  I hope the Ice Warriors and the tripod machine and whatever the fuck those things in Total Recall were supposed to be enjoyed themselves.

Standout Line

"Leave things to Slick, he'll take care o' you real good.  Rags, meals, a crib t'call your own, good times -- he got 'em all!" - A ridiculous stereotyped pimp I didn't mention because I was trying to be positive.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

UXM #190: "An Age Undreamed Of"

(You've been Gathed.)


There are times, we all know, when lightning is caught in a bottle.  When those who run the gambit from mediocre to barely competent somehow strike gold - to mix one's metaphors terribly - and produce a work of inexplicable quality. Some people call this the Richard Kelly effect, though I think that largely overlooks the fact that Donnie Darko isn't really all that good.

Blah blah blah, equal and opposite reaction.  Sometimes creators one has no reason not to trust as a safe pair of hands at the very least lay a turd of such staggering proportions any analysis feels like performing an autopsy in a hot sewer.

This is the story of one of those times.  Nothing about this issue works.  The basic drive is one of those worst-of-both-worlds ideas, which is too ridiculous to take seriously and too unfunny and violent to work as a romp. Essentially, Kulan Gath - an insane sorcerer who presumably escaped from the cursed jewelry we saw last time around; KG to his friends - casts a spell which turns New York into a Dark Age town. Guns become swords, cars become horses, 20th Century New Yorkers become loincloth-sporting peasants (with oddly contemporary speech patterns), with their memories rewritten accordingly but with full knowledge of the - epoch-adjusted - relationships they have with others.

Whether this idea is actually as bad as I think it is is, admittedly, a matter of personal taste.  What seems to me more objectively clear is that a) it can't support two issues, each three pages longer than average, b) the fact this is all apparently an attempt by KG to get revenge on Spiderman makes the X-Men seem like extras in their own book, and c) requiring Valerie Cooper to explain all this through multiple pages of exposition is supremely clumsy. I suppose framing it as a briefing is a step or two above starting with phrases like "As you know, sir...", but that's faint praise.

It's a pretty awful briefing, as well.  Not in terms of quality - not just - but because it lets Claremont toss off the line "Gath also practises human sacrifice on a monstrous scale... exclusively... children".  That's just not something you chuck into a plot and then leave alone. Sacrificing children? This is now the most horrific situation the X-Men have ever faced, and they don't even know who they are. This is just ramping up the body-count for a cynical correlation with dramatic heft. It's bullshit when Rob Liefeld does it (as one day we shall discuss in eye-bleeding detail) and it's bullshit here.

(It's also an immediate clue that this story will end with the whole affair undone through magicosity. I suppose my hatred of that particular ending should make me grateful for the head's up, but it doesn't seem to have worked that way.)

Oh, and also, while we're still at the briefing, there's one gentleman there who responds to learning the X-Men are within the city by announcing his desire to have mutants rounded up and done away with. This gives another man there, a general who helped liberate Buchenwald, the chance to wax eloquent on the subject of modern-day Nazis. Which, look.  I'm all in favour of hating Nazis, and everything, but if we want to get anywhere close to serious about mutants as an metaphor for real-life minorities, deconstructing bigotry has to involve something more complicated than Godwinising the book - particulary when Jim Shooter is putting out far more interesting takes on the idea over in the still-running Secret Wars. OK, Stryker was no less strident in God Loves, Man Kills, but that was as part of a commentary on religious extremism.  Being a cockdonkey in a Whitehouse briefing is something completely different. Every time we pat ourselves on the back for resisting the most extreme and obvious bigotry, we run the risk of concluding that this is what prejudice looks like, blinding us to its millions of more subtle and more pernicous forms.  It's how right-wing politicians can simultaneously argue Martin Luther King Jr. is a conservative hero and that affirmative action is the real racism.

Anyway.  Into Ye Olde New Yorke. Storm lives on a boat and dresses like a trollop.  Turns out KG's spell doesn't so much revert women's clothing to the Dark Ages as to a particularly outre Anne Summers line. Apparently Claremont's twin love of piracy and corsets here reached the point where Nightcrawler's fantasies and the entire female contingent of Hellfire dressing like the cast of a Blue Ribbon film just aren't going to cut it. I always said a violet-furred swashbuckler was just a gateway drug.

Storm finds herself being hunted down by the Morlocks - now being used as KG's enforcers, which makes little sense, since they're neither temperamentally inclined to follow someone like KG nor powerful enough to make them an obvious choice for domination - and in the resulting fight, she and Callisto are washed down the Hudson and out of the spell's radius.  Quickly recovering, they're keen to get back into the city and take on it's new ruler, but they're somewhat short on friends. The Avengers and the X-Men have no idea who they are, the New Mutants have already been forcibly recruited by KG (Warlock excepted), and Xavier and Caliban have been crudely welded together through magical genetic antics.

There is one potential ally left within the city, however. It'll take more than KG's cheap parlour tricks to keep down Selene, either because of her tremendous sorcerous power, or because she's the only woman in Manhattan who could only have obeyed KGs magical directives by putting more clothes on.  Piggybacking on "Lady Rachel" Summers' psychic powers, she hammers out a deal with Storm and Callisto: she'll provide enough magic protection for them to re-enter the city with just enough memory remaining to compel them to ruin KG's shit.  Oh, and to believe Selene is their friend, which sounds like a loop-hole wide enough to get Xavier's gigantic new Calibarse through.

Not that it might matter. No sooner have the Avengers and X-Men objected to the Morlocks trying to arrest Magik and inadvertently started a rebellion when KG ambushes and kidnaps Selene (along with Spiderman).  Now all that's left to stand against him is a dozen or so amnesiac superheroes.  Will that be enough? We've only got 25 pages to find out!


This story takes place over a single day.

The New Mutants are caught up in this madness, but that's fine, since we're setting this between NMU #21 and #22.


Friday 4th May, 1984



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.47 standard years

(Beast is 32 years old)

Contemporary Events

Diana Dors dies, aged 52.  "She couldn't act much, but she put on a show."

Standout Line

"How do you feel, Callisto?"
"Furious. I hate owing my life to you." - Storm and Callisto.

Friday, 13 September 2013

KPW #3: "Death"

(The space between us.)


We're now halfway through this mini-series, and as Logan heads for his rendezvous with Kitty only to find it's a trap with her serving as both bait and blade, our focus remains on figuring out what makes this title dare to believe it deserves to exist.

After three issues, something along those lines does indeed seem to be forming,  The key observation here is that sixty-plus pages in, Kitty and Logan have still yet to talk to each other (yes, Logan answered Kitty's trans-continental phone call, but she hung up immediately). This is a story about two characters interacting without an interface.

The result is interesting.  The two characters are essentially sketched out by the absence of the other. This is not always a wise approach, hence why it's a relief this series can't be subtitled "Mooning Over Colossus", but it seems to work perfectly well here.  In part, that's because the relationship between Kitty and Logan is sufficiently complicated and interesting - note how it's still being explored almost thirty years later - that it can withstand being deconstructed in this way.  It heightens both Sprite's vulnerability and Logan's disassociation from the world.

Admittedly, the former is less interesting than the latter. There's a lovely line in particular here about how Wolverine's general dislike of cities doesn't apply to Tokyo because he understands what its doing, because its attempt to generate order from chaos mirrors his own internal struggle.  Not an attempt to replace the chaos, so much as to compartmentalise it to the point where it no longer reigns supreme.

(One almost sure-fire way of doing this, by the way, is to become a parent, or at least so it seems to this childless writer.  Having children doesn't require that the mad, scrambling, explosive rush of youth be discarded, merely that it be set aside until a reliable babysitter is found. So, anyone know of somebody who could fulfil that role for Wolverine?)

As for Kitty's vulnerability, well, it doesn't look much like that's going to be an issue for a while, does it? Under Ogun's tutelage/mind control, she's become an assassin lethal enough to take down the mighty Wolverine himself, stabbing him through the chest in a manner that I'm sure would be very concerning were we not well aware of his healing factor.  Then again, Logan is somewhat off his game, made vulnerable by, I assume, his concern for Kitty.

This means our two title characters are not merely defined by their separation, but also by how that separation had led to them becoming more like each other. That close couples (platonic or otherwise) tend towards a central point is an obvious realisation, of course, but it's interesting to see it here in this strange half-separated situation.  I'm not sure it fully works - the outside pressure and compressed time involved in ninjafying Kitty cuts against my reading of the comic's intent - but it does give us a plausible hook for the second half of the series.


This issue takes place over a single night.  Logan states that this is the night after Kitty tried to swipe money from a cash machine, but this is flatly impossible unless both Wolverine's flight and Ogun's ninja brainwash process both take no more than a couple of hours.  We'll therefore place this story the day after KPW #2 concludes.


Monday 6th February, 1984.



Contemporary Events

Euro Tunnel is given the grant to build the... well, you can guess, I'm sure.

Standout Line

"I've always loved [this temple's] garden, the elegant simplicity of the pattern formed by the arrangement of rocks and stones... creating harmony from diversity, order from chaos.

A man's spirit, it's said, can be shaped the same way..."

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

ALF #18: "How Long Will A Man Lie In The Ground 'Ere He Rot"

("My God! Look at all the junk food!")


This is another of Byrne's multi-thread spectaculars, so much as we did with NMU #23, we'll discuss the main story here and then summarise the various offshoot scenes in Subplot Corner.

Ever since this blog began I've been running the "contemporary events" section, in which I nod to historic events concurrent with what I'm suggesting individual comics can be argued to have been set.  Well, one month exactly after Sunspot first felt the effects of acute Cloakism, and during the filming of Dazzler's intended debut feature, Columbia Pictures released Ghostbusters.

The effect of Ghostbusters upon pop culture is well-known, of course; as Spike said in Buffy, the phrase "Who you gonna call" is now forever entirely unuseable in its intended context.  There's also a clear link between the film and this issue. Again, comics borrowing from genre classics is hardly something of a surprise (it seems to me impossible to argue the issue of UXM involving Kitty being stalked by a N'Garai demon wasn't inspired in its entirety by Alien), but the link here is unusual because Byrne has made so odd a choice over what to ape.  He has seemingly no interest in this

or this

or this

or even this

All he cares about is riffing on this:

"Yay! Smaller gas bills!"

A strange choice for an image to replicate, one might think.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Our main plot here follows on from the sudden appearance of Shaman’s daughter, who after years of estrangement needs her father’s help.  As before, it’s difficult to get fired up by the return of Michael’s long-lost daughter because she’s so horribly unpleasant.  The fact that Michael lost his daughter’s trust and love when she was a child because his promise to save her sick mother came to nothing just about works as a beat in a frankly pretty clichéd “Arrogant man of science is brought low and embraces mysticism” way – and by clichéd I mean Marvel has done the exact same plot with a surgeon turned magician already – but bringing her back is a clear mistake.  There’s just no way to get past the fact that someone old enough to vote is treating her father like shit because medical technology only goes so far.  The only words that should be coming out of Elizabeth’s mouth are “Dad, I’m so sorry you had to lose your wife and your daughter on the same day”, and until she offers those up, she can engage in indefinite fucking off.

Shaman investigates the skull his daughter unearthed a few days earlier, and returns a judgement of angry, presumed evil. With nothing else to go on, the two Twoyoungmen head to the police station to await developments. 

It doesn't take long.  Let's head on over to the Stang place, where old Mister Stang - a bastard of the uppermost crotchetiness - is mulling over whether one hundred and seventeen years is far too long a time to spend amongst us.  All that's keeping him in this vale of tears is the love of his great-grandaughter Emily, the only member of his family he hasn't yet chased away. His bitter cynicism leads him to conclude she made contact a year earlier in the hopes of squeezing some money out of him, but apparently she's just genuinely a nice person - surprising given the writer and the chromosone combination.  Her reward is to be attacked by her own scrambled eggs.

So. The thing. It's possible here that Byrne intends for a woman being threatened by the beaten results of chicken ovulation to be funny.  He's playing it exceptionally straight, yes, but that hardly invalidates the comedy theory.  But, there's a limit here.  There's playing things straight, and there's playing things lumpen and dead.  I mean, check this exchange out:
Lucas Stang's great-granddaughter just called up in a major panic. Somthing about her scrambled eggs attacking her!

Yes... yes, that sounds like the kind of thing I've been expecting.  Eggs, after all, have the dubious distinction of representing both new life... and the promise of life unfulfilled.
I simply cannot believe that Byrne wrote that thinking it to be comedy gold.  Of course, before reading this issue, I don't think that anyone could have written those words in that order at all.  So what do I know?

Shaman and Elizabeth teleport their way over to the Stang residence and launch their attack on the world's most violent breakfast. It turns out the eggs are accessing an alternative dimension and using its energies to grow at an alarming rate.  If things aren't brought to a stop soon, the portal could widen to the point where all life on the planet is destroyed. If you want a vision of such a future, imagine evil squamous scrambled eggs everywhere, forever.  Not particularly keen on this idea, Shaman slams shut the portal. 

Things don't end there, though. Shaman is concerned. What if the expanding death-eggs were only a diversion? Upstairs, they find Lusas Stang, surrounded by the white light of Impending Evil.  Apparently Stang has been waiting one hundred years for the spirits to come mess his family up, which is why he's been doing his damndest to keep anyone he cares about away and safe.  Since Emily is here, though, Lucas decides she might as well die first and save him.  Which I assure you makes no more sense on the page than it does in summary.  Maybe if Byrne had had more space he could have explained more thoroughly - God knows, extensive explanations are usually his most favourite thing ever - but then that would have meant cutting down on the scrambled egg fight scene, and nobody would have wanted that.

Anyway, so it is that Emily first becomes possessed by Ranaq, the Gerat Devourer, and then starts trying to kill Elizabeth with villanous demonic eye-beams.  Elizabeth's latent mystical powers trigger in response, setting up a supernatural duel that could kill either or both women, so Shaman steps in to expel Ranaq without hurting Emily. Always nice when a man can save a helpless woman, especially one so beautiful but haunted by demons, and over the efforts of some other woman to, like, totally overract.

(Some may argue at this point I'm just twisting things to take cheap shots at Byrne.  Others will realise the fact Byrne's work can be so quickly and easily twisted is a valid criticism in itself).

With Emily saved and Stang still alive (albeit catatonic), the immediate danger is passed. This week's episode of When Haunted Skulls Get Pissy isn't quite over yet, though.  For their next trick, the amazing Shaman and his lovely daughter will wow you with their greatest feat of all - a pilgrimage 100 years back in time in order to slap around the Ghost of Angry Mr Stang Past.

We're going all wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.  Pass the 3D specs and hold on tight.

In subplot one, we learn that those who might claim Byrne cannot multitask are sadly mistaken. This conversation between Heather and Judd combines both the former’s plans for rebuilding Alpha Flight and a remarkable degree of product placement.  I don’t know how much McDonald’s paid for John Byrne’s immortal soul, but I bet they’d been hoping for Claremont. If they’d caught that fine fat fish, imagine how different eighties culture could have been.

Heather starts off by phoning up former members of the team, hoping she can put together a more centralised unit (why this is useful when half your team can get across Canada almost immediately and the other half need to hitch lifts on aeroplanes isn’t explained).  Northstar rudely refuses (though how cool is it that he has a nearly-naked young man answering his phone for him?)  and Shaman, of course, isn’t about.

(Just as an aside: what the heck  is “Where the heck is High River?” all about? Any knowledgeable Canadians in my audience?)

The second subplot concerns poor old Douglas Thompson, who waits in the wilderness hoping to meet the woman he once knew – and still loves – as Anne McKenzie, now revealed as Snowbird.  He’s been waiting for days for a response on his admission of love.  It’s not really too nice to leave someone hanging like that – though I can’t claim to be objective on that point, which is all I’m going to say – but worse is to come when she returns to tell him she does love him but it can never work because she’s all messed up and yadda yadda.  When will emotionally distant women stop tormenting poor pure-hearted men? Seriously, does anyone know if Byrne ever got therapy over his fixation with implausibly curvaceous but emotionally difficult women?  Because damn.

(Oh, and for bonus ick factor, we should note that when Snowbird tells Doug she can't love him, he responds by grabbing her and forcibly kissing her. Because how can a woman knows how she really feels without a man sexually assaulting her so she knows what she's missing?  The idea people still wrote this crap within my lifetime is genuinely depressing.)


This story takes place over a single day. Dr Twoyoungmen's receptionist states it's been two days since his daughter arrived, placing this issue one day after the conclusion of ALF #16. That would make it something like eight days since Doug made his feelings known to Snowbird, which seems a bit long. But clearly Byrne wants to suggest this man is suffering unbearably for the crime of loving a woman, and we should respect that.

Well, not respect it, obviously, but factor it in. Hell, Byrne wrote that Doug's confession happened in early Spring, and claims this issue that Canada is getting its first taste of winter. We're ignoring this idea because it makes no sense to the wider timeline (ALF #15 would have to stretch over eight months), but it gives you some idea of how ludicrous the Snowbird storyline has become.


Sunday 15th April, 1984.



Contemporary Events

Forty train stations in the Punjab are plundered by extremist Sikhs.

Standout Line

"M-my scrambled eggs...!?!?"

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

NMU #23: "Shadowman"

("Nothing important happened today.")


It's Claremont time again around here, and we all know what that means: subplots!  We have two this issue, but let's put them aside for a little while so we can focus on what's happening with Sunspot and Wolfsbane.

When last we saw Roberto DaCosta, the young man flipped out during a training session and developed inexplicable new powers, which he used to beat Colossus.  In this issue, he develops inexplicable new powers, which he uses to beat Colossus.  Naturally, this does nothing to contradict my earlier argument that NMU #22 was entirely marking time - a pointless fairy story and a brawl repeated here anyway.  At least this time the throw-down happens at Harry's Hideaway, and we get our first glimpse of Harry Morrel himself. The man Wolverine trusts to provide him with booze. That's a dude to respect.

Xavier obviously thinks so, given his promise to repay Harry for the damage incurred when Sunspot breaks loose.  There's more than just broken bar-stools to contend with, though; whatever has affected Roberto has left both him and a thoroughly pummelled Colossus in comas.

Whilst Charles and Moira try to figure out what's happened, Sam and Dani have their own problems.: Rahne has disappeared. Using the mind-link Psyche and Wolfsbane share, the duo track their friend to a swanky hotel. This worries Dani, who dreamed of checking into the very same place last night, only in the dream she was a glamorous redhead with flowing locks.  Now it appears that the dream was a subconscious jack into Rahne's activities, which means their little Scots flower has been sneaking around the night in someone else's body. 

Rescuing a distraught Rahne from her suite and returning her home, the pair find a mysterious necklace in their friend's room; one more piece of a puzzle showing no sign of resolving or even swimming into focus. Luckily, Sam finds another clue just moments after; a police report about two people attacked a few nights earlier, torn to pieces by a wolf only to be completely healed by the time the paramedics arrived.  If that wasn't a big enough link to carrot-top, the paper is kind enough to give them a photo. 

The two people attacked are Smoke and Dagger.

For those who don't recognise the names, these two are teenage runaways and (generally) street-level heroes with a focus on smashing up the drugs trade, having been kidnapped and forcibly injected by an insane criminal chemist with concoction that made them super-powered.

In general, I come down on the side of characters from the wider Marvel universe making cameos in the X-books.  It's a nice reminded that there's a wider world outside the mutant issue, and that not everyone in that world are mutant-loathing dicktrains.  Cloak and Dagger wouldn't necessarily be my first choice, though.  They're not advancing the metaphor here, they're just two other super-powered beings who happen to live in the same city. Yes, this is a sequel to an earlier story, but that wasn't in any of the X-books, so re-heating it seems like an exercise in MU networking rather than a valid story angle.  It won't be for years yet that the pair are retconned into being mutants - and frankly they still don't do anything interesting on that score; they even join the X-Men in the 21st Century and then disappear entirely - but again, that's not necessarily bad.

The real problem here is just how slowly everything is progressing. Two issues into this storyline and it isn't until the final pages here that Cloak and Dagger appear, and once they do it's only to tell Dani they don't intend to help her friends. The issue ups the ante in its final page as whatever Sunspot has become consumes Colossus and apparently kills Xavier, but there's nothing here to justify this snail's pace.  The total absence of Doug, Warlock and (one panel aside) Amara doesn't help either; we're stuck with half the cast crawling through a sedate and uninspired story.

Can we get this over, please?

Meanwhile, in subplot corner: Selene and Roberto's father Emmanuel are officially inducted into the Hellfire Club, with Sebastian Shaw convinced the former will kill him the instant he makes the slightest mistake, and Lee Forrester returns Magneto to his home on Similar-To-But-Legally-Distinct-From-Cthulhu's-Island-Island [1].  Poor old Mags is pretty knackered after falling to Earth and dodging sharks, but there's not a level of exhaustion invented which can stop him being a cocktrumpet to the human who rescued him.  Naturally Lee - last seen dating the emotionally stunted raging paranoiac Cyclops - finds something appealing in this. Holy Jeebus, lady, other species are available.  Or, you know, nice mutants.  Plenty of fish in the sea; you don't need to focus on the crazy mutant ones.

[1] Yes, I know it's Ry'leh. Don't write in.


This story takes place over a single night and creeps into early morning. Colossus mentions his previous altercation with Sunspot took place "the other day", so we'll place this two days after that.


Friday 10th to Saturday 11th May, 1984.

X Date

X+6Y+71 to X+6Y+72.

Contemporary Events

Ezra Klein is born, a name that will be most familiar to US political junkies. Klein will forever be my hero for writing a piece in which he called out then-Senator Joe Lieberman for risking the lives of tens of thousands of American citizens a year simply so he could be a shit to his former party.  Alas, Klein was later forced to ameliorate his stance. He shouldn't have. Joe Lieberman is one of the worst people alive in America today.  Fuck Joe Lieberman.

Standout Line

"I never imagined the master of magnetism, one of the foremost mutants on this planet, getting seasick."