Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Macaulay Kulkulcan (Issue #25 and #26)

ISSUE #25


SUMMARY!
Jean (Marvel Girl) had "tests" at school, so she's out for the issue. Yeah right. I, too, have "tests at school" after a night of hard partying and drinking. In retrospect, it's not the best excuse to give my boss for my absence from work. But I don't think he suspects anything. Is this blog public?

So, Cerebro detects something, which sends all the X-Men running to see who it is. Thanks to his mechanical legs, Professor X can run, too, but he forgets how to use stairs and starts to Father Karras:

"My Pet Cthulhu" is filmed in front of a live studio audience!

Whoops! Luckily he built mind-activated saver-tentacles into the walls to catch him. NO FOOLIN'! That's why they are there. Of course, if you want to use wall-tentacles in the third act, you have to show them in the first act ... or not use them in the third act at all, which [spoilers] is what the writer chooses, in this instance. So, yes, we are shown these ridiculous tentacles for no future plot reasons. Forget you even saw them. ZIISH!

I dunno, whatever, it's SOMETHING, ok?
Look, what do you kids WANT from me?!
Who Cerebro is really detecting is an explorer who likes to be called "El Tigre" [which translates to "shirts I wanted to wear in the 80's but were too poor to buy, so I wore store-brand rip-offs, instead, to try and be cool, if even for just that single moment before the person I'm hoping to impress notices that the tiny patch is not a tiger, but a octopus or something"].

So this polo shirt guy found half of a mysterious Mayan stone which is now granting him powers of telekinesis and the ability to read Mayan writing. One of these abilities will come in WAY more handy than the other, am I right? (Especially when he peruses that degree in advanced Myanology that he always wanted to, because then he can levitate the heavy books to and from class!) This piece of the amulet, hoping to be reunited with it's estranged half, despite it not returning his calls, ignoring his clever Facebook posts, and even changing it's telephone number, compels der Tiger to journey to Fun City, New York City. [Historical note: It is around this time that NYC WAS using "Fun City" as a motto / advertising slogan "New York City is a Fun City". This blog has officially edu-tained you.] It is here that the X-Men, who, in plain clothes, are scouring the city for this new "whatever" threat. They all see him, but think he's just a regular, henchman-having, serape-wearing tourista.

Then Cyclops bumps into someone and his eye beams go nuts.

Sadly, Croakies would not be invented for another 11 years.
[Yes, I looked this fact up. They were invented in 1977.
DOUBLE EDU-TAINED!]

Regrouping at the hotel that the X-Men are using for their temporary base of operations (because Westchester is SO far away from the city that they can't commute) the gang sees a news report about a riot in a night club. Some of the on-scene footage shows a man and his two cohorts which each of the X-Men instantly recognizes as having seen earlier in the day. Assuming this is not a coincidence, that night they track η τίγρη to the museum ... where he's the new night watchman tasked to look after exhibits that magically turn into celebrity cameos after dark. It turns into box office gold.

Breaking the first rule of "Hands Across America", the X-Men divide ... and fall. One by one they are picked off by тигр and his hench-buddies. (Except for Cyclops, but I'll get to him in a second.)

Angel was defeated by his racism.

Meanwhile, The Tygr locates the other piece of amulet and turns into:

Historically accurate and not at all offensive to the Maya.

But what can Cyclops do?! He's being held at gunpoint by an elderly night watchman (played by the lovable, inimitable Dick Van Dyke) who is under the spell of El Tigre's amulet.

Cliffhanger Buster: The guard has a gun, but Cyke has eye beams!
I think we all see where this is headed!

ISSUE #26

SUMMARY!
Cliffhanger buster busted: Instead of using his eyes, Cyke talks the guard into ... nope, psych! He uses his eye beams. But too late! Because Kukulan has already rocketed off back to Mayanisport in a sun sphere. What? It's a sphere made of sun - or solar - energy.

If you're havin' girl problems,
I feel bad for you, Sun.
I got 99 problems,
a sun sphere ain't one.

The next day Jean is in her schools library looking up Mayans for Professor X when Cal Rankin walks in! Cal! Rankin! (Yeah, that's the Mimic's real name. I forgot at first, too. No points will be deducted for missing this one.) Does this chance meeting mean something? Not in this story, it doesn't! MOVE ON!


Jean brings the books to the Prof and, as luck would have it, they have exactly the info he needs! Libraries: We're still useful, despite what Amazon and Wikipedia might say about us behind our backs(TM)Having fulfilled her role as book-getter (couldn't get them yourself, Professor X? What're your LEGS BR- er ... *cough*) and Cal-recognizer, Jean exits the story.


The remaining, higher-learning-eschewing X-Men pile into a plane and fly to Latin America where Kukulcan is building an ancient Mayan city anew using mind-controlled Mayans. (Mayan-d control! Ha! WORDPLAY!)


On their way to confront Kukulcan, their boat is attacked by a jaguar. 


Their boat tour included the
Jack Bauer's Daughter Big Cat Experience add-on package.


Somewhere along the way, Cyclops decides once and for all that he is definitely, certainly, 100% going to tell Jean how he feels about her. AND, somehow, Angel knows it [did he read Scott's thought bubbles?], so he gets all snippy since he also has feelings for Jean. Looks like it's a love triangle, folks! Thankfully, the triangle is one of the strongest forms in all of geometry! So, bad analogy, then? How about: It's one of the easiest instruments to play. What, again? 


Eventually we get past river boat cruises ["See that, up there? That's what we call a ... paradox. Pair-of-docks? Thanks for visiting Disney, we hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation with us!"], cougar attacks, introspection, love triangles, and library scenes and arrive at a battle with Kukulcan. During this melee, Beast realizes that a giant, nearby stone is channeling the suns power to Kuku [great, now I'll have The Breeder's "Cannonball" stuck in my head -  AH-OOOOOOooo! AH-OOOOOOooo!]. Always thinking, Beast directs Bobby to cover it with ice (which, being translucent, should block out the sun's rays nicely...) while the rest if the X-Men attack. This two-front attack works, draining the villain of his powers AND preventing him from converting new power from the sun. 


Right before the final victory for our heroes, Cyke tries to zap him with one last eye beam at the same time that Angel tries to ... swoop him with one last swoopy-swoop. Result: Kuku ducks and Cyclops' beam takes out Angel. VZAAAP! Other than THAT, the plan is successful and the X-Men capture the now-ex-god-ed El Tigre. 


Stunner: Angel wakes up briefly from his Cyclops-induced unconsciousness, only to accuse Cyclops of deliberately shooting him in jealousy over Jean! TRIANGLES! [That would totally be the name of the unproduced teen drama pilot for the CW that I scripted, had I scripted an unproduced teen drama pilot for the CW.]



Want to read along? These stories are contained in:
Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Volume 3