Wednesday, April 16, 2014

All Rise For Judge Phoenix! (Issue #101)


It's really hard to get a good synchronized swimming routine going, when one of your members is a POWER FROM SPACE. (And one who likes to launch out to the water shouting, "I AM PHOENIX!" at that.)

Please notice how Storm is looking over her shoulder at Cyclops as if to say, "What are you doing?! Close your mouth, you fool!"

And Cyclops is saying back, "GURRRRGLEACKPTHFF!"

Anyway! Here we go, into the wild world of The Phoenix and her totally necessary hip-sash accessory. Are you ready?

After escaping from The Sentinel's space station in a space shuttle, our band of mutants realizes that they're all going to die in a solar flare. Jean says, "You all hide in this lead-lined box, and I'll pilot us home. Don't worry, my mind-powers will keep me from dying!"

PS - She dies.

OR DOES SHE?! After crash landing the rocket into the ocean, Jean erupts from the water, shouts "I AM PHOENIX!", then passes out. She clearly had time / energy to redesign a costume, though. Women, am I right?! What's up with their priorities ?! "Let's see, I only have several moments before I pass out ... hmmm ... yes! Yes it SHOULD have a hip-sash!" *passes out*

Wolverine, on his way to the hospital to visit a comatose Jean, stops at a news stand to pick up some flowers because, as his mind bubbles reveal, he is sweet on her!

History Lesson: In 1976 (the year this comic was on newstands) the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was formed to investigate JFK and MLK Jr.'s deaths. Conspiracy nuts were now legitimized, as the committee found evidence of a second shooter on the grassy knoll AND a conspiracy ... though they are unclear as to who was conspiring.
WE know it was mutants, right guys? *wink*

'Tis is the beginning of the decades long will they / won't they love triangle for Jean, Wolvie, and Scott. (I learned this last fact by watching Comic Book Men, Mondays at midnight on AMC, after The Talking Dead, which is after The Walking Dead - a show you probably watch!) So, prepare thyselves for some romance stuff in future issues! ("Is this a kissing book?!")

The doctor shows up (several days later - THANKS Obama Care!) and says that Jean will be all right. There is much rejoicing ...

Everyone celebrates in their own way. Banshee hugs, Nightcrawler bounces off things, Colossus picks people up, Wolverine smiles and wears a jean jacket, and Prof. X smells his hand.

Scott, on the other-hand, celebrates by crying:

He cries ruby red tears.

Then Professor Wet Blanket calms them all down and tells them to get lost. Yes, it's time for the X-Men to go on another vacation, like they used to ALL THE TIME, back in the Silver Age.

Now, it just so happens that Banshee has been invited to visit his ancestral home in Ireland. Figuring that six mutants are as easy to take care of as one (or sis that dogs? babies?), he invites them all to be a burden the staff ... off they go! Never one to not turn down a good time, Scott stays behind with ProfEx to look after Jean.

Turns out, Banshee's ancestral home is a for-realsies castle.

As you'd expect, everything seems normal at the castle. OR IS IT?!

SPOILERS: IT'S NOT! First off, some dude named Black Tom (do we know this guy?) is spying on them using one of those "view screens with nobs" that the villains in these comic books seem to prefer:

"Ugh, they've started stunt-casting Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. already?!"

Secondly, Le Thom Noir is being assisted by ... a shadowy figure that they don't reveal. Who is it?! WHO?!

AND NOW, the Chris Claremont Moment Of Prurience, Featuring Storm!
Let's take a break in the action so that we can have a scene of Storm disrobing to take a summer shower. Hottchie Motchie!!

(Right-click and choose "save image as...", you perverts!)

Sigh. This is going to happen more and more, as time goes on, isn't it? What's our rule, Chris? "We can love our work, but we shouldn't LOVE our work!"

Anyway, on their way to dinner, the floor drops away, dumping them all in front of Black Tom. Beside him is the not-so-shadowy-anymore ... JUGGERNAUT! (So I guess he's back from the Cyttorak galaxy-in-a-gem place? Is that where we last saw him? Guess a lot can change in 6 years.) Also, how weird is it that, technically, Juggsy does need to introduce himself to the X-Men because not one of them is from the original group that he fought so many times in the Silver Age! Just goes to show you ... something ...!

Speak softly and carry a big stick ... and have a Juggernaut.

Then Storm starts freaking out because they are now deep in the dungeons of the castle and she has claustrophobia; a condition that possibly stems from her, as a child, being buried alive with her dead mother, after an explosion. Possibly. You'd have to ask a psychologist to be sure.

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