Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mastaar Blastaar (Issue #53)

Hard to believe that in 1969, after 53 issues and 6 years, the cover price was still 12 cents. A far cry from the $3.99 / $4.99 we see on today's issues. "But what about inflation?", I ask on your behalf, because you just couldn't be bothered. "Surely 12 cents in 1969 money is enough to buy a CAR these days, so it's no savings!", you ask again, in my mind. Nope! In today's money, it's only about 75 cents. Think about THAT the next time you walk into your comic book shop! 60s kids were asked to spend about 75 cents - today's kids are asked to spend around $4. Further, back then, there was only ONE X-title, today, there are (at last count) four million. It's sure harder to be a kid, these days. What I'm saying is: Kids, when your folks tell you how easy you got it, tell 'em to stuff it and throw some MATH in their faces.

The above paragraph highlights how, sometimes, there's just not much I'm going to have to say about the cover, if I'm to be expected to do so for each issue.

While messing around with one of dead ol' Professor X's various mind-machines ("He won't mind me playing with his stuff - he's DEAD!" [famous last words - and famous FIRST words, when you're writing a comic book story!]), Jean grey overloads the widget and causes a rift into the negative zone - or is that "The Negative Zone" (mit kapitals?) - to appear.

Girl Martyr Month is August, silly! Remember? You forgot to get me a card... again?!

Blastaar, a hairy prisoner of this space-outside-of-space is all to eager to take advantage of Jean's inter-dimensional cock-up and is like, "Don't mind if I DO!" and does the Blastaar 2-Step through the hole and into our hearts.

This is how we say hello in The Negative Zone!
(AND goodbye!)
And here you were, thinking he got the name Blastaar by being a blast at parties! Perhaps you thought it was a birth name. Nope! It's cuz he likes to BLAST, as he is all too eager to demonstrate to the X-Men. A Deadly Demonstration. [OOOH! That'd make a good title for Dr. Who Episode from ... 1969, I guess?]

So, as Blastaar begins to tear apart the X-Men, I realize we're back to that old X-Men pattern of "lose/run away/win" that I THOUGHT we'd outgrown, after that wonderful 4-parter that we just all went through.

To add insult to injury, Cyclops then uses his eye beams as some kind of rocket propulsion to make himself fly.

Well I be done seen 'bout everything,
when I see a Cyclops flyyyyyYYYYYY!

Who approved this?! I know that it's weird to nitpick something like a flying Cyclops when I'm willing to swallow a man who can grip walls simply because he has huge feet, but this just strikes a false note. It's a decision that seems outside of the world they've been building. It's like they've broken some contract with their audience. Can I sue?

The only assumption I can make as to why this issue is so terrible is that this story was written years earlier, then sat in a drawer, unused. One day, Stan Lee, reaching for his bottle of whiskey - or his gun (Kirby was coming nosing around again, asking for money) - when he happened upon it and was like, "Hey! True Believers! Take a month off, I've found this old script!"

And then THIS happens:

"Also, why haven't you had any babies, yet?!"

Everything is easily wrapped up when Iceman creates a snowman made of ice ["Why didn't you just say "iceman", then?!" Because, know-it-all, I wrote it that way, first, and it sounded confusing, so I changed it. I can't win with you, can I?!] Marvel Girl then uses her brain-powers to animate it, so it looks like a living snowman made of ice [this time I did it just to annoy you]. The ice golem body-slams Blastaar back through the energy portal he arrived from. The end.

So, it was a monster of the week issue. That shouldn't be that bad. After all, not every issue can be part of a gigantic, earth-shattering epic story line, but this one was handled so inexpertly. It sticks out like a sore thumb. A sore thumb that the X-Men are slowly pushing into your eye sockets.

I didn't read it. Is that me breaking my contract with the audience?! OH! TERRIBLE IRONY!
Sue me.

Follow along by picking up X-Men - Volume 2 Omnibus (Marvel Omnibus)!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Eriks Are Red, Lornas Are Green (Issue #52)

Now, you just tell me - look right in my face and tell me, if you can - that if you removed that guy's costume's cross-pieces, that we're NOT looking at a dude wearing a push-up corset and hot pants combo. GO ON! Just TRY and tell me that's not what we're looking at!

And now I know my cosplay choice for this year's ComiCon: Erik The HOT!

Furthermore: TWILIGHT?!?! SQUEEEEE! Is this the issue we learn that mutants sparkle ... and have boring, chaste relationships?!

Wait a second!. Oh no! It just occurs to me that Scott and Jean are the That Vampire Guy and That Girl Who Looks Like She Smells Something Bad from those Mormon vampire movies that I hate ... but from the late 60s! They have a boring love life and just mope about. Aw, man. Either this revelation is going to ruin the X-Men for me, or make me like Twilight.

Perhaps suicide is a third option?

Mesmero and his (Magneto's?) army of mutants try to capture this newcomer, Erik The Red, but he turns their advances - and attacks - aside. Then, to show he's a good guest, he brings Mesmero's (Magneto's?) palace down on top of all their heads ... which is exactly what the X-Men did at the end of the last issue. How did they rebuild so fast? Maybe one of the mutants in Mesmero's (Magneto's?) mutant army has the power of "mutant rebuilding". The Builder! He wields the bricks of justice and the mortar of liberty (but can't come out any earlier than Thursday, but will bill you for the entire week).

She extrapolated this from seeing him defeat some of Mesmero's army.
By that logic, every time I kill a spider in my house, I'm gunning for the
spot of "King Spider". Yech.

Well, even though Lorna has no solid proof, I'm willing to believe her when she says that Erik The Red is up to no good. But next time, remember to show all work in the space provided.

Should she even care if Erik The Red takes over?! After all, she has - and continues to - say that she is torn over her allegiance to Magneto. On one hand, he's her father. Sure he's been kinda absent for, oh, her entire life ... plus, he's a megalomaniac nut-job. But on the ''other'' hand, he ''did'' just come back and start ordering her around and treating her poorly. So you can see why she is so torn.

Lorna decides to intercept Red Erik, but the mutant viking reveals to her that he has come NOT to destroy Magneto (Mesmero?), but to JOIN him. You get half-credit, Lorna, but please have a parent or guardian sign you paper and bring it back to me.

Erik the Viking's conditions: That he leads the Mutant Army until Magneto's well again. (Yeah, forgot to mention that Magneto got a bit "Xaviered" - falling debris from the X-Men's last "bring the roof down" escape have left him incapacitated and weak.) In a very un-Magneto moment, the master of magnetism accepts the offer. Mesmero is all like, "No, that's fine! I give the best years of my life to this cause and THIS is how you treat me!" Magneto shrugs and says, "I'm a stinker!" The duo then get spun off into a mutant version of The Lockhorns.

With her new-found telepathic powers, Jean Grey is now the X-Men 's switch board, routing the call-to-action to all parties. [And I can't believe that I've already used up my "You're not dealing with AT&T; Well I am NOW!" joke in a previous blog post!]

Side note: I think this panel (taken from the "let's meet-up" sequence) illustrates that even though the writing has gotten better, we should not forget that these issues were written in a time when things were much, much different than they are now:

NOT because it's illegal (it was) ... but because he would SEE THINGS!

So. Beast, Angel, and Marvel Girl all meet up for an attack on Mutant City, but are immediately spotted by Erik The Red ... but that's okay because Erik The Red is actually ... Cyclops! I certainly didn't see that coming! Did you see that coming?! [Could we have seen that coming? No. So I won't feel bad. If you want to feel bad, that's up to you. I won't tell you what to do. I'm not the boss of you! Lockhorns.]

Together, all of the good guys lay a trap for Mesmero (Magneto?) and his army. The trap consists of electrified copper tape. At least it's not a giant cage that would slam down...? E for "effort", X-Men! (Now have your parents sign this grade and bring it back to me.) However, Bobby Iceman, who the writers are slowly turning into a hot-headed idiot, arrives on the scene and promptly steps on the tape-trap. Zap. Mesmero was on-hand to see the trap sprung, so he uses the confused moment to start a fight.

Meanwhile, this post is going on WAY too long.

Meanwhile, Magneto convinces Lorna Dane to join the fight against the X-Men cuz, you know, Daddy wants her to. "Good enough!", thinks Lorna, and she's off to join the fray!

I think I could find a court of law that would differ
with you on  this point. Like all of them.

On the way she is intercepted by Iceman who reveals that he did some research in her home town and found out that Magneto is lying about being her father. Feeling hurt and betrayed she, again, goes all FERROcious [yes, I know I made that same joke last issue, but I needed a joke here, and got lazy] on Mesmero and his army, wiping them out. Again.

By the time she and the X-Men battle their way back to Magneto's room, the villain is gone. But he's left them a parting gift: A self destruct command, that is going to destroy all of Mutant City. Of course, the X-Men escape, so stop worrying.

So, all's well that ends well! And it looks like a happy ending for Bobby, too:

Firstly: Friskoteque?! That's almost pornographic.
Secondly: What about ZELDA, you cad?!

In this, the THIRD part of this story, El Conquistador, having captured Hank's parents, makes him steal some kind of energy device for him.

To be continued?! Ugh. You have GOT to be kidding!

Mesmero. Which is weird, because I'd been talking about him in the past couple of issues. Guess I finally decided that he was going to stay around long enough to warrant added to my permanent dictionary. Boy, I'm gonna feel foolish when this turns out to be his last appearance ever!

Follow along by picking up X-Men - Volume 2 Omnibus (Marvel Omnibus)!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Daddy Issues (Issue #51)

After last issue's reveal that Magneto is still alive and that Lorna Dane is his daughter, one would think that the cover of the follow-up issue would make some allusion to Magneto coming back. Or anything related to the issue at all!

Look over there --->

Would you get the impression that we're going to be treated to something even more awesome? Something with flames! And a bearded guy who can shoot lava from his finger-holes, wears a horned hat, and casts a CAT SHADOW!

Nope! Having read this issue from cover to cover, there is no mention of such an awesome dude. It's really, really bizarre. Maybe they just had an extra cover sitting around? Or maybe the office boy delivered the wrong cover to the printer? That kid is such a mess-up, why don't they fire him?

Fight fight fight! This story is 90% fight, and that is awesome. Sample scene:

In the ultimate upset, Magneto edges out "rats", for the number 1 spot.

I'll point out the small "story" bits and leave out most of the play-by play. [Trust me, there is nothing less interesting than some mid-thirties blogger typing a description of a comic book fight ... unless it's your friend trying to describe why a scene in a sitcom that he saw was so funny. [So...So...So, THEN, Balki picks up the sheep and is like, 'Don't be ridiculous!' why aren't you laughing?]]

What you need to know is this:
Bobby saves Lorna from being caught in the middle of the battle, because he is sweet on her. Well... one would hope that he'd save anyone who is about to be caught between two highly destructive mutant forces ... but we'll never know. Naturally, as is the law with any group of guys, when one of them is making progress with a lady, the others have to give him crap for it:

Icicle Blocked!
Not cool, Beast. NOT COOL!

In the end, Magneto, Mesmero, Mesmero's army, and all the other mutants who have been called to Mutant City[TM] by Mesmero's Mutant-Calling Ray (NOT kidding!) are just too much for our plucky band of heroes. To get away and live to fight another day, they do what all of us do when in a difficult situation: They bring the building down on everyone.

Raze high the roof-beam, Cyclopentor.

With every bad person in the world trapped in that building, the Men d'X steal one of Magneto's rockets and fly home. The twist ending is that Magneto reports it as stolen and the X-Men are pulled over and arrested for Grand Theft Rocket.

Lorna stays behind to see if she can help Magneto out from under the rubble because she is confused about who to ally herself with. Does she choose the good guys or her dad?! [I wish I'd ever had to make this decision. Thanks, Dad, for not being an international jewel thief! Though, HE should be thanking ME, because I'll rat him out in a heartbeat. My dad is #1 on MY Rat List!{Just kidding, dad! Please keep sending me money!}]

Back at the temporary base in California [oh, yeah ... the X-Men have a temporary base in California! Why? To be near the BEACH, duh!], Cyke tells Bobby that he has to take a break from the X-Men because "He's too close to this one!" Crossing Jordan then shows up an is all, "You think you're too close?! Look at this!" and then proceeds to get too close to something.

Gentlemen! There's no FIGHTING in the X-Men!

See, Scott is worried that, during a fight, Bobby might hesitate and put everyone in danger because of his feelings for Lorna. (His in-the-pants feelings.) Bobby tells Scott to get stuffed and walks out on the group never to returnuntilnextissue.

Then some dude named Erik The Red appears in the desert.

Someone must've accidentally dropped a white
sock in his red wash!
More like "Erik The  PINK"!

Hank and his parents are captured by El Conquistador (heh). Meanwhile, Professor X uses Cerebro to track down Beast ... which is weird because I was there (at least, I was reading the comic) when the prof introduced Cerebro to the group, and it was way after these events. Maybe they mean Cyberno?! (Which was the predecessor for Cerebro, natch!)

Wow. I think I have out-nerded this comic book.
Get a life!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Magnetrix (Issue #50)

A milestone issue! (Did they even care about such things, back then? Will I be disappointed at the lack of awesome in this issue? I must say, last issue was quite snappy, with a good blend of story and action, so I am expecting something good. But am I expecting too much?)

YES! Though (like a stern father who refuses to acknowledge how proud he is of his children) I didn't mention it in the write-up for the last issue, I thought #49 was the best story in a long while. Further, such a story could not have come at a better time, as I was starting to get a little tired of the pattern these books have been taking: X-Men meet villain; X-Men get defeated; X-Men win.

Issue 49 was like a breath of fresh air. (Or, since I know the book gets canceled in about 16 issues, I guess it's a last gasp? Death rattle? (Though, 16 issues is more than a year in real time, so I guess not a death rattle, to be fair.)))(parentheticals!)))

Most notably the title logo is different. Pretty sure this is how the logo looks for the next... 150 years.

Immediately, one notices that artist Jim Steranko BRINGS IT. I mean just look at these first two pages:

Looks like SOMEONE hired an artist with ambition.

More excited about this 2-page spread than the kind in Playboy.

Dynamic framing of the shots and a two-page splash! It's unlike any X-Men art that's come before. Even though its still mostly confined to boxes and those boxes are all orthogonal to each other, the characters protrude, word bubbles spill out. The layouts are modern in a way that you can only tell is modern after subjecting yourself to 49 old, stodgy issues. I just hope the story holds up.

So, Lorna (who you should remember was, last we saw, being worshiped by Mesmero and his minions) is put into a coffin and transported to a city of evil mutants, naturally, called Mutant City. [Where do you go when you want factory-direct mutants at a fraction of retail cost?!] There, Lorna is put into a machine that will "probe each cell" of her body to unlock latent mutant powers. It is as sexy as it sounds.

Back when science was done with Kirby Dots!

Meanwhile, the Men of X have tracked down Mesmero's hideout/city and start a fight with his henchman. During the fracas, Jean receives a mental IM from Bobby: "Hey J. I M captured EMOJI FROWNY FACE. EMOJI POOP. EMOJI HEART." But, since Bobby doesn't know where he is being kept, he suggests that the rest of the X-Men let themselves get captured, too, so they can have a reuniting in a prison cell. It's a good enough idea and the X-Men are JUST about to do it when ... they actually get captured. Ha! That's some good writing! [I'm actually really enjoying this, that was not meant to sound ironic. So hard to tell, these days, isn't it?]

This writer, Arnold Drake (who wrote the last installment, too (though that issue was not drawn by the same guy)), has the best grasp of the X-Men 's powers, yet. He uses them effortlessly and flawlessly in combinations that don't feel forced and without feeling like they are being forced down out throats with unnecessary, cumbersome explanation.

Now Lorna, stepping from the prober-machine which probed her good (thus unlocking latent, mutant powers), is told that she is ... Magneto's daughter! SQUEE! WHAT?! [Again, not ironic. Looks, guys, I just really like this issue, OK? LET ME HAVE THIS!]

The daughter of Magneto throws
the heavy METAL sign?! Awesome.

The captured X-Men are brought before Mesmero ... but why are they not immediately handing his ass to him with their fists? Because Mesmero has attached Bobby Iceman to a bomb that will go off if he so much as moves. Marvel Girl users her mind and interrupts its functioning. Bobby realizes this and breaks free. It plays out like a well-oiled concert and it feels natural and believable.

Mesmero is not having any of this, so he orders Lorna Dane to attack. She certainly does, but just because she is Magneto's daughter doesn't mean she's as bats-hit crazy as he is. No, she does what any one of us would do, having been captured by bad guys, tortured, and given super-powers: She lashes out at her captors! [Have I mentioned I love the writing in this issue?]

(Cuz, like, magnetism works on ferrous materials?)

And just when the X-Men are about to punch Mesmero's ticket, who steps out from the shadows but Back From The Dead Again (Again) Magneto! [I've passed out.]

Take a knee, mutants.


And, as expected, this bonus story is a total let down.

After that issue - that GLORIOUS issue - why would you try to follow it up with a bonus story like this? It's like, having finished the most delicious chocolate cake you've ever eaten, the waiter comes over and says, "Would sir care for a second dessert? The chef has sent one out for free!" "YOU BETCHA!", you say (because you are an extra in an old black and white film) and the waiter presents you with a bowl of salted lard.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lorna Doone -OR- That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles (Issue #49)

Bruce Willis! Ashton Kutcher! Demi's men! Who dares defy Demi's men? Well, Demi, I guess, as she has divorced them.

Look. I'm not to keen on that joke, either, but I needed some copy to beef up the post, otherwise I'll have to start the "Summary!" section of the article while the text is still aligned next to the cover image ... and if I want to add a second image, from inside the book, it looks all weird and I have to spend some time formatting the post and messing around with HTML. So I'll just keep blathering on.




Angel, while visiting the old boarded up x-mansion, hears a weird ticking coming from Cerebro. (Remember, the X-Men have disbanded and sprinkled across the country, like jimmies on an ice cream nation.) It looks like the mutant-finding machine is picking up a mutant gathering of huge proportions somewhere in California. Angel is like, "Lets get the band back together!"

I make the same face whenever
I have to be on a conference call.
Spoilers: Mesmero - a disciple (of sorts?) of Magneto - is the force that Cerebro was detecting. He looks like this:

And he's created a machine that will 1) enhance his own brain waves which he will then use to 2) unlock / awaken all the latent mutants in the country and then 3) force those new mutants to blindly come to him. It's a multi-purpose machine. Most mutant villains would need THREE machines to do all this.

One of these awokeneds is Lorna Dane. She looks like this:

On Her Majesty's Secret Mutant

The name rings a bell, so I think I remember her from future comics, which I read in the past [confusing!] I just can't picture who she is. WAIT A SECOND! Later in the book she showers (not shown) and then looks like this:

"Only my mutant hair dresser
knows for sure!" *wink*
Errrr.... NOPE! Green hair or not, I can't place her yet. I know I remember green hair in later issues of the x-men, but with only so many colors to choose from in a 4-color world, chances are there was more than one be-green'd mutant. Or maybe I'm thinking of Lorna Doones? Those are the cookies covered in green hair, right? Secret Addictions: Eating Hair Cookies.

Further though, I was thinking: With so many artists taking a pass at these character's faces, its not like the faces will ever ring a bell, right? It's amazing we can even tell one person from another at all! And it's all down to colors and costumes, not faces. This is why I'm so bad at remembering people I met: Because they don't wear capes and cowls.

Anyway. Bobby saves Lorna from being creamed by a truck while under Mesmero's mesmer, so he takes her home. "Mom! I found a GIRL, can I keep her?!" Meanwhile beast whips together a portable Cerebro so the "I'm x-ey and I know it!" men can go and pinpoint where this new mutant menace resides.

But they've been fooled, duped, and hornswaggled because while they are out looking for Mesmero, Mesmero breaks into their apartment. He paralyzes Bobby (who was the only one left behind to guard Lorna) but, TWISTY TWIST!, instead of attacking the green -haired beauty ... they start worshiping her!

Thou shalt have no other Danes before me!


As a bonus, we get the origins of The Beast. His dad saved a bunch of people from dying in a nuclear reactor meltdown, then he had sex with his wife, resulting in a mutated baby. That baby's name? The Beast.
'Nuff said!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bikini Jeanie And The Mad Computo (Issue #48)

Due to popular demand (the tweet of one individual) I'm back!

Looks like Cyclops and Jean are finally teaming up! But, alas, not in the sexy way we've all been hoping and praying for. (You HAVE all been petitioning your god for a Jean/Scott "intimate" book, right?! One sold under a plain brown cover to no one under 18? [judging from a quick Google search, yes, a lot of people have exactly those fantasies])

Professor X was dead: to begin with. The X-Men have been scattered to the winds. (This is a more literal observation when related to Angel. BECAUSE HE CAN FLY, YOU SEE?!)

What's this?! Jean has a job as a model? Guess it turns out that we are going to be treated to some prurient panels:

For many kids, this issue would be kept next to the Sears catalog, under the bed.
(Remember: These were the days before the internet.)

As a bonus, along with the near-nude Jean, we get sexist talk! Hooray! Thanks for not letting me down, the past, with your misogyny. It's not even well written. I mean, "That's the tastiest package of goodies we've opened around here in months!" Clearly the writer had just opened a new bag of Oreos and was like, "I'll bet men feel about women the way I feel about these cookies. [type]

But, I guess, open comments about your physique (disparaging or lauding) is just part of the modeling world, am I right Tyra Banks? SMILE WITH YOUR EYES, EVEN THOUGH YOUR SOUL MAY BE DYING!

As much as all you horn-dogs would like me to continue talking about Jean in a bikini, we should really move on to the main story of robots! Computers!

Ok. So Jean is a high-profile bikini model. Shockingly, Scott, delicious though he is, has a cover identity as a mere radio broadcaster! Scott and Todd with the wack-jobs Zoo Crew in the morning, only on WXMN! HONK HONK! SLIDEWHISTLE. "Next up, Scott will make one of his famous, or should I say INfamous, prank phone calls." *Ring ring* "Hello?" "Yes. Is your refrigerator running?" "Who is this?!" "This is Scott from WXMN ... I mean ... damn. Never mind. I am sorry for bothering you, citizen." *Click*


Luckily, he's showing Jean the booth (calm down, you guys, it's not a euphemism)  when robots (called "Cybertrons" - no relation) pull up in a van. In case you missed that, let me stress something: ROBOTS PULL UP IN A VAN!!!1. Under the direction of some other robot dude (OR IS HE?!) named Computo, they attempt to steal the station's new transmitter!

Each of these robots have been built with a special power. One is ultrasonic. One can whip up wind. And the third can ... make his hands hot:

No date of his has ever survived third base.


Refreshingly, unlike the series of "worst threats we've ever faced!" that the X-Men used to face off against in every issue, these guys are easy-peasy to blast to bits. The only problem is that Scott and Jean are too slow, and one starts scampering back to headquarters. The X-Duo cleverly follow it back to its lair where they then immediately start tearing the entire robot "hive" to shreds. Guess the X-Men have adopted some kinda "one-strike policy" for bad guys? Penalty for your first offense of theft? Termination of every living robot. Balanced.

Now, since they're so easy to kill, the only threat these "Cybertons" pose is that their sheer volume could overcome our heroes before they can finish destroying all of these, possibly sentient, robots. ["Scott? Will I dream?" "Who cares?!" *unplug*] As an illustration, think of ants eating a chee-to. The Chee-to can't fight back because there are just to many ants. Also: Chee-tos can't fight at all, so I've just made you think of a Chee-to for no good reason, and the analogy fails. Now I want Chee-tos. Also: I don't know why I'm hyphenating it. Probably to avoid a lawsuit over trademark?

To head-off this ant/Chee-to situation, Scott uses his brains and targets Computo, the head robot. After a few zaps it explodes and all the other robots collapse. Simple!

BUT! Rising from the ashes of Computo is ... Quasimodo! Some kind of ugly cyborg who, it is hinted at, we are supposed to remember from somewhere other than a past X-Men comic. Boy, Marvel really had faith that we were all, always reading every one of their titles ever, huh?

Nope, can't say the name RINGS ANY BELLS!

Quasimodo then escapes with no explanation given for what he was trying to do or how he built all these robots, or what his plans were. [Though, since he was stealing a radio station's transmitter, my best guess is that his plans included "transmitting" something.]

This series continues to tread water.

Last week, the issue promised us an origin story of Angel ... but instead we are shown a description of The Beast's powers! What the heck?! I can't believe Stan Lee LIED to us at the end of the last issue! If he can lie about that, what else has he lied about! Did he not really invent Spider-Man?! Is he NOT a true believer?! It's like I just don't know who he is anymore! And, by extension, I don't know who I am anymore, either!


Move over, Barefoot Contessa!

To sum up The Beast's powers: Big feet. Super smarts. That is all. [They took FIVE pages to say that.]