Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Flashback, Jack! (Issue #106)

August 1977

STOP SQUINTING, because I have transcribed the cover text, here:

"The angel is back! And he's come to murder the new X-Men with their own leader's deadly eye blasts!

That's a very specific way to kill the new X-Men. Was this Angel's plan, all along - the ONLY way he wanted to defeat the new X-Men - or was this the result of improvising?

Because, I gotta say, limiting oneself to taking out a group of mutants using one of their member's special powers that you've managed to turn upon them... that sounds pretty tricky and super specific. Like Angel is trying to unlock an achievement in a stupid video game.

If this is what he was going for, I award him 10 gamer points.

According to the end of the last issue, this issue was supposed to be titled "Where no X-Man has gone before" and continue the story. HOWEVER, no X-Man WILL go there - at least not today - because this is, instead, a flashback (brought on by Xavier's separation anxiety over space-lady Lilandra having been dragged back to her home planet) run-on sentence. They don't say exactly when the story takes place, but I get the suspicion that some nerd (some other nerd, that is - we can smell our own) has written a very in-depth Livejournal article about where it fits into X-Men chronology. The Internet is wonderful.

This is how I feel about Girl Scouts, when they come around selling cookies, Chuck.

In THIS issue, despite what the cover says, it's not just Angel that's back, but all of the old X-Men. It's like when the '86 Mets showed up to Citi Field, last year, and challenged the current line-up to a game, to see who was supreme of all time! And, because the '86 Mets were totes coked-up, the new Mets would easily... well, actually... even with the old team being high, it's pretty even odds, isn't it?

NOTE TO FOREIGNERS AND NON SPORTS PEOPLE: The "joke", here, is that the Mets are usually a terrible sports team, except for that year, when they won the World Series (and they really were all on cocaine, at the time).

NOTE TO FOREIGNER: I want to know what love is. Urgent!

FULL DISCLOSURE: The joke is on ME, because the Mets are actually doing really well, this year, so far.

FULLER DISCLOSURE: I follow sports! Some nerd I am, right?!

Anyhoo... is it REALLY the old team come back to wreck-mansion on the newbs, or are they nothing more than figments of Professor Xs fevered mind? I see, now, that by phrasing it that way, I've given away the answer with the asking. Easiest pop-quiz you've ever taken? WRONG! It is not the easiest pop-quiz you've ever taken! That honor goes to the one you took in 3rd grade, where they brought you all down to the principal's office to check for lice!

Anyway, it's true, these evil X-Men are just figments of the professor's imagination, given life by his "dark side" - you know, the side of Xavier that wants to kill everyone and take over the world! What?!

Once he realizes that they're projections from inside his own head, he shuts them down and explains that he's"usually good at keeping that part under control", so nothing more to worry about, ever. Wait... USUALLY?! No one seems phased that this dude is a ticking time bomb.

PS, according to the last page, the next issue is supposed to be the continuation of the main story... but we've been lied to before! Once bitten, shame on me. TWICE bitten, shame on... the lax leash laws in this terrible town?

It should have been fun to watch the two Xes-Men teams fight, but it wasn't. Probably because it was clear from the get-go that the "old team" was super-duper powered, so the outcome was a given. I do wanna see the two real ("real") teams go at it! Gimme some hot mutant-on-mutant action!

Now follow me on Twitter: @Sommerjam