Monday, April 16, 2012

You Can't Touch This (Issue #8)

Happily, this issue starts with Cyclops telling Bobby to "refine his ice crystals", leading to a less-lumpy Iceman. This is a welcome change, as he is now drawn less like Cottage Cheese man and more like an Iceman aught.

Chiseled pecks?
We are also introduced to the beginnings of Jean and Scott's rocky relationship - nice to know they got into a complicated relationship right off the bat. So many youngsters these days are waiting to get complicated. It's nice to see that these kids are being traditional.

It's THE Will They/Won't They relationship of all time. Bigger than
Ross/Rachel ... bigger than Kirk/Spock!
I realize that this is probably going to played to the hilt for drama, so I mentally settle in for 50 more years of variations on this theme.

After saving a child's life, Beast is then chased through the streets by a group of bigots. Fed up with protecting a humanity that would rather chase him with pitchforks, Beast - understandably - calls it quits and leaves the X-Men FOREVERuntiltheendoftheissue.

Since he's genius-level smart, it's only natural that Beast decides to join professional wrestling. Sure. Why not?! In one of his matches, Beast is mysteriously defeated by Unus The Untouchable who, despite his name is ... no ... wait... yeah, he's untouchable.

I had a similar power with girls from 1985 through 1999, inclusive! BOOM! NAILED IT! (In a way I wasn't those girls in my adolescence!) BOOM! TWICE TIMES NAILED IT! HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND!

Anyhoo, Turns out, Unus has applied to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (THOSE guys again!), but is informed that his application isn't evil enough and that he will be looked upon more favorably if he defeats an X-Man or two (he also must provide two references (evil references) and his salary requirements (EVIL salary!)).

The X-Men, being unable to touch him, are soon rebuffed and head back to the mansion to think of a better plan than, "GET HIM!". Upon entering, they come across Beast, working on some device. He swears he has a plan that he simply cannot, WILL NOT, tell anyone else about, so he lets the entire team think he's gone evil.

Forty Five years later, this type of writing would form the cornerstone J.J. Abram's ethos: Have your characters say nothing until the misunderstandings pass the "zany" stage of a good "Three's Company" episode and enter a dark, suspicious place where you don't know who your friends are anymore. LOST!

Personal question: Is this how long friendships last in the X-Universe? Are the good times so soon forgotten? "Hey, remember when we kicked Magneto's butt together? Good times ... NOW DIE DIE DIE!" Or am I keeping my real friends around for too long? Should I accuse my best friend of trying to help my enemies more often? I'll try that and tell you how it goes.

OF COURSE, Beast's plan is to zap Unus with a weird ray that enhances his power, leading to comical scenes such as this:

Hey, kids, don't smoke! Or ... do? I dunno, is this an anti-smoking ad?
Just like when the clown in your basement dies, laughter turns to tears as Unus realizes he cannot touch anything - including food - and after an hour of being hungry and not able to smoke, Unus is ready to beg the X-Men to un-super-charge him. Which he does. In the end, he is told in no uncertain terms that they'll zap his ass again if he starts acting all uppity, but, for now, he is allowed to go back to his "rasslin'". So... the punishment fits the crime?

Unus, 'natch.

Want to read along? This story are covered in X-Men Volume 1 (Marvel Masterworks)