Wednesday, 20 May 2015

NGT #4:"The Wizard Of Oops!"

(Like Sliders... on acid!)


This shouldn't take too long to wrap up. since all the problems of the last issue are still present here: Claremont's "Boggie World" didn't really work as an exploration of Kitty's whimsy in any case, but it's even more unsuccessful as the primary location in the second half of a four-art mini, unless you have a much stronger tolerance for silliness than I do.

Actually, I don't think it's silliness that's the problem per se, it's silliness that doesn't show much in the way of invention. The basic building blocks are borrowed, and the structure Cockrum builds with them entirely unsurprising. It's not entirely without charm, I confess; every now and again something surfaces here that I really quite like. The giant lumbering Dark Bamf is lots of fun - his dismissal of our own dimension as being "weird... all straight lines!" is such a nice little artist's joke - and Nightcrawler trying to get home by taking a cue from Mr Mxyzptlk is a nice nod to the Distinguished Competition. And defeating a living wall of grasping tentacles by discovering it is ticklish is exactly the sort of silliness I adore, which if nothing else suggests my aesthetics as regards this kind of romp are all over the map and shouldn't in any way be trusted.

Still, though, the not-X-Men fight Shagreen for a while, then defeat him, and nothing else happens beyond a parade of individual slices of nonsense. These don't have a high enough hit rate for me, though YMMV. The one thing here that seems to move beyond personal taste into something genuinely unfortunate is the inclusion of the female Bamfs, who are just as horny as their male counterparts, but look like teenage girls rather than stuffed toys.

The problem here is a stuffed toy with omnidirectional horniness is funny (or at least, it's funny to a point, in small doses and not pushed too far).  A young woman with the same drive is something rather different.

Anway, as I say, fight fight fight, win. Nightcrawler gets sucked into a vortex as a result of breaking Shagreen's staff though, and ends up in yet another dimension. And then all of a sudden, a cowboy dinosaur appears, and everything is briefly wonderful. Let's just take a moment to process that. A Cowboy. Dinosaur.

Don't deny mammals, Kurt! Mammals are your mother!
 If only it all could've been like this. I mean, I highly doubt a Tombstonasaurus tale would keep up the momentum through a whole issue, let alone a four-part mini, but it's an indication of how much more interesting and fun this title could have been had Cockrum had more interest in exploring his own whimsy instead of borrowing Claremont's.

A little more reality hopping, a thoroughly unconvincing (though commendably brief) bit of hand-waving about how all this came about in the first place, and Nightcrawler is back where he belongs. And same as he ever was, of course. No changes to body, mind or soul. Hell, even the clocks haven't shifted all that much, what with the Narnia effect in play. The whole story, in effect, might as well never have happened.  Which is about as appropriate a conclusion to this minseries as you could ask for, really.


This story seems to take place over a few hours max in the "real" world. Kitty and Illyana are in the same clothes as the previous issue, suggesting it takes place on the same day.


Tuesday 25th December, 1984



Contemporary Events

Standout Line

"Dark Bamf only pawn in game of life".

Poor Dark Bamf. All he wants is love. And to smash people. That most of all.