Thursday, September 12, 2013

Breakin' Through Walls (Issue #98)

April 1976
JUDGE THE COVER!

Still only 25 cents?! Don't undervalue yourself, X-Men. No one else will value you, until YOU do.

Also, a quick update in pricing: What cost $0.25 in 1976 would cost $0.99 in 2012. Who KNOWS how much it'd cost today?!

I wish comics still cost 25 cents! "OK! You have two wishes left, Mr. Somogyi." Crap. This is worse than a monkey's paw.

Yet comics cost $3.99 today. How did they make it work, back then, for a fraction of the cost?

This cover is depressing me.




SUMMARY!

This issue hit comic shops (if such a thing even existed back then [I'll bet it was just newstands and cigar stores ... and little kids played with wooden hoops and sticks]) in April of 1976: Just in time for ... an X-Mas special?!

*Sings* Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. So must we, to others be, this -- HOLY CRAP SENTINELS!!! And they're huge! (I saw it! It's alive! It's huge!)

But wait, go back a couple of panels to THIS:



Unrequited love becomes requited. This portends ill things for these two. Why would the writers allow anyone happiness, if not to CRUSH that happiness under the cold heel of death-boots?! [Got that, comic book readers? Never be happy, because it just gives the bad guys something to take away from you. Learn to be miserable, like Scott ... or the bat mens!]

Whoa. Wait. Rewind AGAIN! Something just occurred to me: Where did Jean come from? Didn't she just wander off, with the rest of the X-Men, when this new class was put together? Does she think she can just walk back in here and kiss Scott?!

Let's put that aside, for now, because we have more pressing concerns. Namely:

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby make a cameo.
But will they pay to fix that Fourth Wall that they just broke?

What. The. Eff.
Let's put that aside, for now, because we have more pressing concerns. Namely:

Purple: A bold color choice for the modern death-bot.

One of these all-new, all-not-different-at-all Sentinels blasts Scott, then hand-gasses Jean:

"PRIME DIRECTIVE: ALL MUTANTS MUST TRY DIAMONDS BY EMPORIO ARMANI!"

Having knocked her out, the Sentinel rockets off, presumably back to its base, but it's not ruled out a quick stop at Arby's - mutant hunting builds a powerful hunger that only curly fries can slake. Elsewhere, other mutants fight other Sentinels to varying degrees of success: Storm destroys the one sent to get her, but Banshee and Wolverine managed to get themselves captured off-screen. We have to take Storm's word for this.

We now join Professor X who is relaxing and trying to get away from his horrible space-visions by fishing them away:

Comic nerds were nerds, even back then!
Dejah Thoris, indeed!

But the trip is not just good for his SOLE (Fishing High Five?!), turns out the captain is an old friend who knows a thing or two about stars. The heavenly kind, not the "they're just like us" kind. I guess some would call him an Astrologer, if they wanted to be fancy about it, Mr. Fancy-words! Xavier is using this down-time to pick his brain about the binary star system that X has been seeing in his nightmares ... It's like when your company sends the top executives to a corporate retreat in Vegas. They're there for work, but they're not turning down the gambling and the freaky circus shows.

And then:

"The guys back home are NEVER gonna believe what I caught!"
OR
"I once caught a Sentinel *this big*!"

Well, Prof is captured.

Now on to sentinel headquarters! The head honcho behind all this madness is, of course, Dr. Steven Lang. "Of course". Surely I mentioned him to you, right? He of the crazy "Armageddon Project"? Ok, good.

So, he has all the mutants strapped to the walls of his base and is poking and prodding them. This is starting to sound hot, but, no, he's just another madman. In his mad-man-ing, it is mentioned that Sentinels can not operate while there are solar flares going on. Just like modern day GPS devices! "In 30 yards, make a left, then continue straight ... to your death, filthy mutant! You have arrived safely at your DEATH-tination!" This information certainly won't be relevant, later on, so I don't even know why I brought it up!

Then Jean mouths off to crazy Dr. Lang and gets a face full of his backhand.

And Banshee is all, "No. I'd rather they didn't dump on me, Wolverine, but thanks."

Showing that someone finally respects women in these comics, Wolverine gets all mad about it and tears himself free from his bonds, using his mutant power of Super Affronted Male Protectiveness. He quickly guts everyone nearby and destroys a Sentinel, too. All the other "scientists" studying the mutants - including Dr. Lang - run away.

AD BREAK!


Hostess: Replacing human companionship and real love since 1976.

SUMMARY CONTINUES!

More Sentinels attack, so Banshee decides to grab Jean and Wolverine (if they ever got together, would they be JeanVerine or WolverJean?) and make an escape. This means they are leaving Prof X behind. Mutants: We leave people behind(tm). To effect their escape, the mutants start busting through walls and ...



TWIST! THEY ARE IN SPACE!!! Whoops!


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