Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lucifer In The Sky With Diamonds (Issue #20 and #21)

ISSUE #20

Holy Hannah! It's the first issue not penned by Stan Lee! It's the end of an era! Of course, Lee will continue to act as editor, so his dirty little alliterative fingerprints will probably still be all over the rest of these issues (at least the ones in the Silver Age).

Stan lets someone else take over and mistakes are immediately made:

Blake, Drake, who cares? The readers'll never know, right?

SUMMARY!
The Blob, Unus the untouchable (as opposed to all the other Unuses who litter this comic which makes that clarification necessary), and Lucifer - all villains, need I remind you, that the X-Men previously fought, caught, then let go on their own recognizances - are back. See, I TOLD YOU, Xavier, that your "catch and release" policy for evil mutants would come back to bite you on that big, shiny head of yours. I formally submit a proposal for the X-Men to adopt a 1-strike policy. Penalty: Death.


But what about the ray that Beast invented that neutralizes Unus' powers?! Oh, that? Yeah, it doesn't work anymore. That's some gooooood writing, boys!

Plot hole? SOLVED!

Lucifer manipulates The Blob and Unus into dressing up like X-Men to go on a robbery spree and since regular homo sapiens are so stupid, they fall for the ruse and blame the X-Men for everything.


Meanwhile, this month is Cyclops's turn to leave the team FOREVERuntilpageslater until he happens upon one of the fauX-Men and attempts to stop them. Of course the stupid humans think it's all a trick to convince them that the X-Men are good, while allowing them room to rob banks and run off with their daughters. Look: If the Homo Sapiens in these books really are this stupid, I think I might swing my allegiance behind the BOEM. I mean, it's as if the X-Men saving the world from that Sentinel mess has already been forgotten! NY POST HEADLINE: Humans to X-Men: What have you done for us lately?

In his attempt to locate who is orchestrating The Blob and Unus's plan (assuming, very correctly, that these two idiots couldn't plan a wedding (which is actually very hard, so I should have chosen something easier to make my point, I guess - oh well)), the prof's brain receives feedback and he becomes paralyzed. He then uses what little time and strength he has left to tell Jean the SHOCKING story of how he lost the use of his legs at the hands of Lucifer.

So Lucifer is an alien, who, when confronted by Xavier, drops a slab of stone on him, crushing his legs.

ORIGIN STORY'D!

Xavier winds up his story by saying that it's also because Lucifer got away that he knew he would have to form a group of super humans to fight him at some point in the future. He then adds, "But you guys'll have to do for now!" Jean thinks it cruel of him to say but knows that, as a woman, it's not her place to argue with a man - even if he is a cripple. (It says something about the tone of this series, to date, that even though I made that last bit up, you were willing to believe it really happened.) Oh, social mores! Will you ever stop changing?!

Silly Science:

His brainwaves dressed up as a roadie
and snuck in. Fresh maker!



ISSUE #21


SUMMARY!
The X-Men track down Lucifer's "signal" and fly out to the desert to mount a raid on his lair, which looks like the same place Close was Encountered, that 3rd time:

Aliens like to do it in the butte.
(T-shirt worn by a lot of alien frat boys)

'Natch, the X-Men follow their pattern of instantly being captured. This time, they are held in a "cosmic crystalline cube" which looks a lot like a glass terrarium in which one would keep an exotic pet. [For instance a frog that does nothing but sit there all day. Exotic sitting.] Thinking back, these guys sure do spend a lot of time in glass boxes. Some joke about not throwing stones.

Marvel Girl uses her telekinesis to flip a switch to open the man-quarium and the X-Men quickly escape and breach Lucifer's inner sanctum. Instantly, Prof X mentally warns them NOT to break the Dominus machine, which is a huge computer that, once activated, will control and enslave the minds of every living being on the Earth [you know, just like the INTERNET would do in about 30 years?! SOCIAL COMMENTARY!] But was the mental memo from X nothing more than a trick of Lucifer's? The X-Men are unsure because the professor says nothing more. Things get suspicious enough that the group starts to fight amongst themselves as time begins to run out before Dominus is activated.

What? It's a COMPLIMENT!

REVEAL: Prof X was so silent because he was mentally distracting Lucifer into sending his robots on the attack, recklessly, so that they could be easily defeated by the X-Men. And, of course, without the giant robots, the Dominus machine can't work. Sure!

Then Lucifer's space-boss appears on-screen to tell him that he's fired. And when you are space-fired, it means that you get banished to some hell dimension.

"What's that, Lucifer? Sorry, I can't hear you over my
permanently crippled legs!" --Xavier

Hooray! And that's that. Do you guys feel like that's a fitting end to the guy who crippled Prof X and, basically, wrote Xavier's origin story?

Further: Way to tie up loose ends ... what happened to The Blob and Unus? Are they still terrorizing the city? No matter, let's all have a laugh and freeze-frame on a high-five.




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