Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DEMONstrably Thin Plot (Issue #96)

December 1975

Is that monster busting through a wall? He must be, otherwise why else would there be rock / wall bits flying around? But, if he is busting through a wall, why is it such a large wall and why is it painted yellow?

Had it been clearer that that was a wall, I could have been confident in making an "OH YEAH!" joke ... but I just can't take the chance.

Other than that, I have nothing to say about this cover.


We open on Cyclops crying in the woods. Not over Jean, not over his un-turn-off-able eyes, but over Thunderbird, the mutant who died in the last issue. Sure, Thunderbird died while simultaneously killing someone else, making him a cold blooded murderer, but yes, please Cyclops, cry over him.

Crying turns to zappy anger and Scott unleashes an eye-bolt that destroys a nearby mysterious obelisk.

Back in the 70s, everyone had a weird,
rune-covered obelisk in their yard. Kitch.

Cyclops doesn't even seem to notice it's there or that he destroyed it, proving that outside of his force-beams, there is nothing impressive about Scott's eyesight. 20/20. But because swirling pink smoke starts to emanate from the Scott-caused hole, I'm thinking it's an important obelisk. 20/20 foresight.

Meanwhile, the other X-Men are training in the Danger Room. Apparently, Scott, as team leader, doesn't need to be there to lead the team.

FunGame, X-Men Style!
FunGame, X-Men Style!
(Too-old-to-be-topical, too-soon-to-be-retro Gangnam joke!)

Nothing is really revealed in the Danger Room scene, other than these guys are mutants who have powers. It's probably just there to catch all the new readers up on who's who ... OR, because the main story-plot of this comic-book was way too thin and they needed a couple extra pages to fill it out. I wish that when I came up short, at work, that I could just fill in with a Danger Room scene. "SOMOGYI! You are five pieces short of your quota, again!" "Um... Danger Room?" "SOMOGYI! You're ... PROMOTED! Now get in that Danger Room and clean up!" *Gulp*! <END SCENE>

Professor X says he's "going away" for a while, but he hired a babysitter  to look after the X-Kids. Her name is Moira MacTaggart, and she has Banshee besotted.

"Moira In Charge"
(Of our days and our nights, etc.)

Her name rings a bell, but I can't place it. Probably some vague memory I have of a future issue, but I can't put my finger on it. Hmmm.

Elsewhere: Some dude named Dr. Lang is being told that the government is cancelling his "Project Armageddon". TIP ONE: Don't name your project "Project Armageddon" if you want continued government funding. Pretty hard for bureaucrats to look past the use of the word ARMAGEDDON. Also: When they tell you it's over, don't froth at the mouth, it makes you look batty-batty cray-cray:

This is the sane, calm face of Dr. Lang, the
man in charge of non-threatening-sounding
"Project Armageddon"

TIP TWO: Don't try to create new sentinels. (It's hinted that Project Affleck/Willis Vehicle Picture is about resurrecting those very mutant-killing robots. Ugh, great, now I have that Aerosmith power ballad stuck in my head ... AND I want to eat Animal Crackers.)

Back at the X-Mansions, Scott finally joins the rest of the team in the study ... when he is thrown through the wall by a demon.

Don't let my looks fool you, I'm way evil.

Fight fight fight.

Xavier tries to probe the demon's mind and gets a brain full of demon thoughts. Demon thoughts are never good for you. VERY high in trans fats. (Twenty three grams of trans fats per serving ... 23 PENTAgrams of trans fats per serving! [Yes, it was a long way to get there, but we did it, people!])

Storm has an idea, and goes off to finish destroying the obelisk - you know, the one that Scott partially destroyed with his beam-tears of cry-shame? That one. She gets magically pulled into the monument and we learn that she suffers from claustrophobia. Using her mutant power of super-freaking-out-over-tight-spaces, she busts free, destroying the obelisk in the process. Coincidentally, Kierrok disappears. Poof.

Who was he? What did he want? Why did he disappear? Why did he appear? Well, according to Prof X, we'll never know. So that's a huge steaming pile of cop-out ending!

Booooo! Boooo!