Thursday, May 15, 2014

(The X-Men R) Good Enough (Issue #102)


If you fall, I will catch you, I will be waiting! Juggernaut after Juggernaut...
(quieter) Juggernaut after Juggernaut...
(quieter, still) Juggernaut after Juggernaut....

Wait ... can you even see that the cover text says, "IF COLOSSUS SHOULD FALL... WHO SHALL STOP THE JUGGERNAUT?"

You probably can't. So my Cyndi Lauper moment was pretty lost on you, huh? Still, it's always good to remember just how great Cyndi Lauper is.

She really DOES bop. *Ahem*

But, in all seriousness: What's with the cowering damsel act, Storm? Is it because you were paralyzed with crippling claustrophobia at the end of the last issue*? *[Yes. See Last Issue --Ed]

We start mid-fight with the X-Mans fighting Juggernaut and some guy called Black Tom. Luckily, this is not a racist name. (1976 Marvel, I feel, could have gone either way. We're lucky.) Amidst the fighting, Wolverine and Colossus manage to get into a sub-fight of their own about whether or not Colossus should be concerned about the clearly-losing-her-sh!t-Storm.

I really want to start using "mad on" in my everyday conversation, but I can't figure
out how to say it that doesn't make me sound like I'm saying something lewd.
"Man, that politician gives me SUCH a MAD ON!" Hot.

Interrupting the interrupting fight interruption, Storm has a flashback to when she was six months old, and she and her parents were moving from Harlem to Kenya.

FUN FACT: Baby Ororo is horrifying.

This turns into a full-blown origin story, involving time spent on the street, then as part of a sneak-thief gang of street urchins, then walking to Africa to become a goddess. You know ... THAT old story you've heard a thousand times before.

Back in the real world of Ireland (Real World: Ireland - Puck sticks his finger into someone else's Guinness Butter. (Guinness Butter being butter, made of Guinness. Slogan: "Eats like a meal!")), the Men Of X continue to get pummeled.

Back in 'Murcah, Professor X hears their loser-cries over his mental-powers-phone and tells Scott to go help them. (Because help is helpful, when it has to fly 3,000 miles to get there.) I guess Scott knows it's useless to care, too, because he tells the Prof to "get stuffed" (not in so many words, of course). This gives Mr. X a REAL Mad On (SAY!) and he starts to flip out. But then Profex gets a glimpse of his own fizz (face, in 30s slang) in the mirror and sees NOT his OWN face, but the FACE that's been HAUNTING his DREAMS / nightmares. It's the FACE FROM OUTER SPACE! (Ok, I'm done using CAPS for EMPHASIS!)

Professor X's startin' with the man in the mirror
He's askin' him to change his waaaays
And no message could've been any clearer
If you wnna make the world, a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a ...

While Scott and Xavier are out of the room, staring into a mirror, Jean, back in her hospital room (where she is recovering from dying aboard a space shuttle and turning into The Phoenix (boy did YOU miss a great last issue, huh?)), lays some pretty heavy sh!t on her roommate who just came by to pay a friendly visit:

"um ... hungry? Angry? Gry? Did you know those are
the only three words to end with 'gry'?
Am I babbling? I do that when I'm nervous. Well, gotta go!"

Back in Ireland, Nightcrawler gets punched so hard by Juggernaut that part of him goes invisible!

A Nightcrawler so comfortable, you won't even know he's there.

Now, question. Was he always invisible in the shadows? I thought the idea was that he was just good at sneaking IN shadows, because his fur is black? Or is that skin? Actually, it must be his costume, right, otherwise he is creepily wearing one of those Borat mankinis and white gogo boots.

Then some Irish "people under the stairs" drag him into a secret passageway.

During the rest of the fight, the following is learned:
1 - Someone unknown released Black Tom and Juggernaut from prison.
2 - Someone unknown bankrolled Black Tom sos he could kill the X-Men.
3 - These X-Men are more like the previous team than hithertofore guessed, as they carry on the grand tradition of having their asses handed to them by the villains during the initial "getting to know you" fight.

What does "have your ass handed to you" even mean? Did they hit you so hard your ass fell off?! Would Nightcrawler's ass fall off AND turn invisible?

I like this new series of X-Men. A lot. They embrace multi-story threading and clues to the next story are introduced before the current story is over. And that's not only good for sales (since you have to keep reading or you'll never know who that guy hiding in the shadows is and you'll stay up all night worrying and then you'll come to loathe yourself for opting to save 30 cents, rather than follow your heroes and you'll drift into depression or perhaps a fugue state in which you think you are an X-Man and then you're put away for

but it makes for a more complex and engaging story. Thumbs up, Chris Claremont*!

Shortly after reading this issue, I had the opportunity to meet Chris Claremont at his booth at Comic Con NYC. There was no one at the booth, so I (after walking past, nervously, several times) got up the courage to walk up to him and say, "I don't have anything for you to sign, but I just wanted to thank you for writing so many great X-Men stories!"

In a nut shell, here's what he said back: Yeah. I'm pretty great. Everything that came before me was crap. I really turned that book around, huh! Yay me!

I mean ... YES, he does have a point, but....
Never meet your heroes. (That goes for hero sandwiches, too.)

I can be followed on Twitter @sommerjam or on Google+. Your choice!