Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Grotesk To The Max! (Issue #41)

This issue features a Sub-Human named Grotesk. Don't you just HATE when people use "alternative" spelling for their kid's names?! Speaking of names, he's not a "sub-human" in the way you think. He's "sub" because he lives underground ... and might be slightly stupid, too. And violent. Ok, so it is a bit of what you think.

Anyway, Grotesque is an underground dweller that is the sole survivor of underground nuclear testing by our aboveground government. His entire civilization has either been wiped out in the blast or by the radiation. Tough break. Now, G-tesk is alone and possibly driven mad by it all ... so he attacks a subway car. Luckily, Hank and Bobby (Beast and Iceman, respectively, if you're just joining us) are with their dates (Zelda and Vera, irrespectively) on that very train! Talk about coincidence! Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction.

Lets talk about Zelda and Vera. They've been around for ages, but I rarely mention them. This is because the marginalization of women in these comics is starting to rub off on me. Female readers: Go make me a sandwich, would you, doll? Whoa. Sorry. I'll shake it off. Sorry, toots!

Vera, Zelda. Zelda, Vera. There will be a test.

But back to Grow-teck and his revenge-quest against those who nuclear-ized his under-home: Is this supposed to be some kind of moral story for the kiddies? Like, "Hey! Maybe you should tell your dad to stop nuclear testing, lest a ... THING from underground comes up and kills him!" If that's the case, then that's pretty two-faced of the writers of the X-Men, don't you think? You can't have it both days, oh tellers of story. On one hand, you're feeding us a line that awesome nuclear power is responsible for eye-beams and foot-hands, but on the other, you're saying it can lead to catastrophic sub-human attacks. Do I ban the bomb or not?! I await your answer, comic writers from the late 60s. You know where to reach me.

So, compounding the Groddie-esque problem is that some egghead professor over at Archer College (go Fighting Arrows!) has invented an earthquake machine. It creates earthquakes. And these are making Grossy even more annoyed than when his entire race was destroyed.

My life was terrible, until my house was destroyed by an
earthquake! Thanks,  Dr. Hunt! Your earthquakes are a benefit to humanity!

In what will be dubbed his biggest "Manson Moment", Grotesk assumes that these tremors are aimed at him! Whoopsie! So he's off to destroy the earthquakes. Yes, he's not sure there is a machine, so his plan is to destroy the earthquakes. Sub-human ... INTELLIGENCE, AMIRIGHT?! [sub-high-five? Whoops, too slow!]

Though, on the way to smash-town, he has a change of heart. When he finds the machine, he decides to NOT smash it, but use it to destroy all above-dwellers in revenge for us killing all of his cave people, including his cave dad the king, cave sweetheart, his cave puppy (one assumes), and all his Nick Cave albums. Turn about is fair play, right? Not if the X-Men have anything to say about it!

And where are they now? Well, the X-gang are in the subway tunnels [which, as a native New Yorker look NOTHING like the real tunnels! (could you hate me more, at this very instant? No. You could hate me none more.)] trying to track down this sub-menace. Actually... all but Marvel Girl are on the Grotesk-finding mission, as she stayed behind to - ahem - "help Professor X with some 'experiments'". This has been the seed idea for many a fan-fic story, methinks.

And since it's been a while since I showed you a picture, here:


Asking Slake to step aside, so they can crash through his limbo, the X-Men find Growth-x's cave... but wait, it's not just a cave, it's an entire city! Just sitting there, behind a subway tunnel, for all these years. Strange that, what with all the construction that would have to go on for the subway to be built, that it wasn't discovered before. Again: Truth is stranger than fiction! [That's called a "call-back", it's what humorists use, when they can't come up with a new joke.]

To report their find, Angel and Bobby return to the mansion in person, since they can't seem to raise him on the wrist radios [remember, they all wear wrist radios? You do?! Then you've been paying too much attention to my blog. Please go outside and play for a bit ... but come back. Yes. Always come back, my preciouses .. What?!] Marvel Girl starts acting all squirrely and tells them that the professor "went out". Is she hiding something?! We'll never know, because that is the end of the issue.

Well, it SHOULD be, except that there is that damn, ongoing "Scott Origin Story" - or "Scorigins", as I have never called it until I just made it up, this instant.

SUMMARY: Scott is dragged along by this guy and does next to nothing as the guy turns himself into a living diamond man. 'Nuff said!

Wanna read the source materials? Have fun with THAT! They're in here:
Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men - Volume 4