Monday, April 30, 2012

The Sincerest Form Of Easy Jokes To Make, Here (Issue #19)


Don't forget, THIS was the issue that was teased as featuring a "NEW type of foe, a NEW type of story, and a NEW type of action"! Get your mind ready to be blown! (By clearing out all the people? By setting up a safe-zone / perimeter? How does one prepare for the safe demolition of one's mind?!) This mind-destructing menace is known as The Mimic, and I will tell you all about him .... NOW:

Once again the X-Men are given a vacation ... though it's more like a day off.

Without pioneers like Marvel Girl, the women's movement
would have happened a LOT sooner.

Now, is this really, REALLY what men thought women would say back then? I mean, I KNOW that "women be shoppin'", but don't we all only use that as a genderist joke to point out the foibles of being a sexist pig? Is Stan Lee doing that here, too? Am I simply assuming that there is nothing tongue in cheek about this panel, because I'm sitting here in 2012 and just assume everyone was sexist in the past? (As is taught to me by the documentary "Mad Men".) What do you think, True Believers? Was Mr Lee really being, sexist, or making a joke? [Write your thoughts in an email that you fully intend, but never get around to, sending.]

Speaking of marginalizing swaths of the populace, in this issue, the term "mutie" is bandied about quite a bit. Personally, I might have have chosen "muto" as an epithet against those who are "differently mutated", though I can see it being mis-read as "mutt-oh". But that's what puts Stan Lee above me when it comes to cmic book writing, I suppose! But, as I have expressed in the past, I really like it. So much so I wish that people with mutant powers were real, just so I could tell some guy, "HEY! It's "mutantly abled", jerk!" to the applause of those around me ion the movie I am staring in about mutant rights.

It's vacation time and while Bobby and Hank are out and about, they run afoul of a loudmouth jerk who they get into a tussle with. The jerk, Calvin Rankin, can mimic their powers! Like some kind of mimic. Or some kind of THE Mimic! But he gets away only to run into Marvel Girl, who he mimics ("Ooh, look at MEEEEE, I'm Marvel Girl!" he says in a falsetto voice. [But, seriously kids, bullying isn't "cool". Don't bully]) then follows back to the X mansion. The twist to his power? He can only mimic when his friends are around to encourage him when he is in proximity to another mutant.

As this is a book for hyperactive boys with punching fetishes, fighting ensues! But before anything is declared final, The Mimic makes his escape - with a captive Marvel Girl - only to lead The X-Men back to his cave-home. It is here, underground, where Calvin "The Mimic" Rankin has a machine that his dead father said would allow him to keep his mimic-ed powers permanently.

At what point in the building of this machine did Dr. Rankin
think, "MUST put a giant blue "M" on there!"

Horrible twist: His father hated Calvin and created the machine to take his mimicking power away permanently. Then the Prof does what he always does and wipes the guy's mind of recent events. (Maybe he's on some kind of rewards card system where it's, like, "Free sundae with every tenth mind-wipe".)

Status, you've been QUO'D!

Since we've started seeing Lee introducing arcs and developing the characters a bit more, these single-shot stories now feel like those old, non-alien-colonization-plots from the later seasons of "The X-Files". You know, the ones that would be dropped in the middle of the season to screams of, "But what about the BLACK OIL, Chris Carter?!" as my mom nervously stares at me over the TV Guide's crossword while fearing that I'm finally losing my mind.

To make up for this issue, we are promised the return of Unus, The Blob, and Lucifer. Hooray? I am interested in about 1/3 of that list. But remember, all three of those guys were villains that the X-Men let go on their own recognizance and told to do no more harm. Oh, you liberals and your revolving-mutant policies! You KNOW evil mutants are going to re-offend, why do you treat them so softly?!

Want to read along? This story are covered in X-Men Volume 2 (Marvel Masterworks)