I'm really feeling it!

Days of Comics Past: X-Men #17 to 24

So quick correction, the sentinels story line that ended with Bolivar Trask sacrificing himself was actually issue #16. That means we’re on #17, not #16.

Issue 17 picks up shortly after the sentinels with a “new menace” that is so secretive they issue this warning.

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This is pretty neat as in fifty years they’re still able to sucker us with this trick. Marvel said essentially the same thing about endgame if anyone remembers:. Don’t spoil endgame!

A letter from the Russos

So, this sets up each member of the X-Men, as usual, getting cleverly captured by a villainous cretin! The villain is only shown in shadow but then at the last page....ZOMG IZ MAGNETO!!!!! *cue audible gasps?*

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I didn’t mention previously (because it’s so astronomically stupid), that magneto had been abducted by aliens. He managed to escape and come back to earth and instead of y’know laying low for awhile, he does the sensible thing and attacks the goddamn X-Men. Bruh.

So Professor X , again, rescues these idiots by getting on the horn to alientown or something and being all, “Hey, Are you missing a Magneto?”

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Sigh. Seriously this batch is worse than the initial 16 by far.

Next up we have a promising development in a cover that promises to tell us how Charles lost his legs.

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As with everything in this crop, it’s horribly disappointing but we’ll get to that. The story starts with the kids going on vacation. No, I’m kidding, I think. It’s just they go on vacation so often that I can’t keep track of which ones start with them going on vacation...

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...and which ones start with a 10 page training montage.

wHaT oF tHe DaNgEr
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At any rate, two mutants claiming to be X-Men go rob a bank. I should add that Scott has dramatically claimed that he’s going to leave the X-Men (forever!) and so is outside the bank when the robbery occurs.

**BEGIN RANT**

Scott is tired of being a danger to everyone so instead of holing himself up in a school with an old man and four other people, he decides to integrate into society. Ok I’m being a little unfair. Scott is going to find a Doctor who can fix his eyes. This is somehow even stupider. What doctor could POSSIBLY fix a genetic mutation that makes his eyes shoot deadly lasers? How would that procedure go in his head? They can’t operate on his eyes because if they try they’ll die. If professor X is posited as having Jesus like powers, can’t he just manipulate the part of Scott’s brain that is controlling the release of the pink goo from his eyes, and turn it off? Alternatively.....he HAS GLASSES. Put them on a lanyard or something so they stop falling off. Yes, kissing Jean Grey with glasses might be more awkward than NOT having glasses on, but like, she’s also a mutant and she’d understand? Your power makes you way less of a tragic figure than someone like Rogue who can’t touch anyone. Or put your glasses on like Lavar Burton in Star Wars Trek. Or hell, you know that Scott’s power is limited since in every single issue so far he’s had one good “POWER SHOT” (which is so ineffectual that I wonder why he even wonders he could hurt someone) before he has to recharge, so go out into the woods and just stare at the sky until you’ve completely exhauseted it and then walk around like a normal person. ANYWAY!

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**END RANT**

Scott isn’t the first to leave the X-Men. Hank left the X-Men and came back and you’ll never guess who leaves the X-Men next! Click here to find out. Hank left during Unus’ tenure because he was mad that people didn’t like the X-Men and left in a fit of rage.

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So Scott suits up and tries to take on Unus and the Blob. The crowd is so dull they buy it when Unus is all “oh man why are you attacking us we’re friends!” They throw bottles at the X-Men when they arrive as backup.

I’m getting bored here so I’m gonna just smash cut to the good part here. X-Men manage to defeat bad guys who were controlled by Lucifer because Lucifer is an alien. He still has no powers apparently but he does have a machine that can control people’s minds. He calls some fancy robits from outer space to help him operate a machine which will let him control the minds of everyone on earth. The X-Men get captured (seriously).

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Professor X reveals that back in the day he found some Arab nation that was under Lucifer’s sway. When he confronted Lucifer, Lucifer triggered a trap where a stone fell from the ceiling. Prof X rolled a zero on his Dex roll and that was that for his legs. Pretty boring in terms of origin stories for a maiming. Lucifer looks at him all pathetic on the ground and is like, “Oh I know you’re the only one who could ever stop me but you look so cute down there leaking your life fluid all over my carefully upholstered floor that I can’t bring myself to kill you” and then takes off.

Falling rocks
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X-Men break free, kill robots. Supreme leader is very angry with Lucifer and zaps him into space jail. Fin.

There’s an entire 2 parter about how this band of Z-list villains team up and capture the X-Men (seriously). They force them to ransom WASHINGTON DC for 100 million dollars. It’s so bad I just can’t.

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Somehow, the X-Men managed to get captured by the fx guy from birdemic 2

Also I’m in a rush to jump to the most insane story of all. The story of....THE LOCUST.

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In certain circumstances The Locust could be a badass villain name. The end times speak of locusts and maybe you could do something with that. Maybe he could be made entirely of nanites and so he’s like a swarm.

Or, maybe you have an entymologist dress up like a giant locust and fight with giant insects because he wants to be famous.

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Wait...what?

I’m getting ahead of myself though. First off, we have a superhero team of magical mutants who are finally gelling as a team enough to get captured every single issue so what could go wrong.

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Oh. Right.

It’s time for the somehow overused within 20 issue trope of: One of the X-Men is leaving! To their credit, this time it doesn’t get resolved within one issue. See, Jean’s parents have figured out that when you graduate from a school, as all the X-Men did several months ago, you typically don’t CONTINUE TO GO THERE. Apparently Professor X forgot to provide continuing education. Oops. So they’ve managed to somehow (*cough* white priv *cough*) get Jean into an ivy league school so she can do something with her life.

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Cut to this guy watching a swarm of giant locusts eating his crops. I can’t help but read this as Don Knotts for some reason. You can tell because I made a notation on the screenshot for myself where I misspelled his name

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Not Knots Don Knotts Not in this X-Men comic

Thusly are we introduced to the locust. With writing so lazy they can’t be assed to actually be consistent with character names... what could go wrong!?

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Good ole Bobby blake

The Locust, in a bizzare twist of fate just happens to be a professor of entymology at Jean’s college. What a small world. When she goes to visit the X-Men, everyone puts two and two together. Except Scott. He’s kind of clueless really.

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Doctor Hopper Doctor Hopper Doing the things a Doctor Harper can

At the very least, no one manages to get captured this issue.

Professor X goes to visit the dude’s office on campus where he wisely notices the map on the wall with detailed locations of where The Locust will attack. Oh, his name is Dr. Hopper. Good job. So the X-Men and Jean go fight Doc Hop and pretty easily beat him but I want to mention a few things about it before I finish up.

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The professor, who has so far shown no remorse over mentally violating people to erase memories or see their innermost thoughts, decides now is the time to dress up like a wandering vagrant (their words) and try to reason with a man dressed like a giant bug. He has a machine that lets him walk for short distances too because obviously wandering vagrants can’t be in wheelchairs... The plan, unsurprisingly, doesn’t work. The X-Men save The Locust from his own creations. Then he feels sorry and turns himself in because the vagrant reappears and tells him he should? The villains have gone from having no motivation to having asinine nonsensical half motivation. At least the Z list villains from earlier were doing it for money. Why didn’t Professor X just mentally zap him as usual, why did he have to dress up like a wandering vagrant, why did he invent technology that could help millions and use it as a gimmick to stop a sort of bad guy when it was completely unnecessary, why did any of this get written......

You what now?
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Running totals:

X-Men who have left the X-Men:

3

Times captured in 4 story arcs:

3

Verdict: Skip it

There’s literally nothing here that is memorable or important to overall X-Men lore except maybe that Jean leaves. I can’t remember how long until she comes back but odds are good she doesn’t stay away.

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Random asides:

  • It’s kind of cool that even back then they REALLY tried to have a cohesive universe. The Human Torch has been in an issue but they had to make him forget everything so as to not break continuity later when they may meet “for the first time”. But there are little things like the above panel every now and again, or references to other heroes that show Marvel has always had a knack for intertwining their many franchises.
  • Something that bothers me in movies is when the “science guy” says something and then everyone goes LOL IN ENGLISH. Like, please stop. IF you’re hiring a scientist for ten trillion dollars a year then he should know how to Dumb it Down (TM) without having to be told, or even, just has learned to speak plainly. Anyway Beast talks like this and in Every. Single. Issue. They make mention of how he speaks. I don’t know if Stan really just thought this was so goddamn clever that it couldn’t go without mentioning it every time. I would not be friends with the Beast. He’s that guy we all knew growing up who had a huge vocabulary and then thought he was smart because of it. Like buddy, I am going to work at McDonald’s for 5.75$/hr. Who’s the genius now!!!?!?!?
  • Scott Summers was the first “Nice Guy”
  • Honestly Scott is not that bad but I wish they’d emphasize his leadership more instead of his moping. It’s weird because overall I”d love more gravitas but in this, I’d actually like them to lighten up.
  • I don’t remember how many issues I have to read until I get to.....a level up. I know eventually the art gets a little better and the stories improve as well although there’s always that sort of reluctance to show anything too dark. It’s light which for cold war era is probably what people were interested in reading? Although, funny story they started printing fan mail in the back and a lot of the complaints I’ve raised have also been raised in those letters so I dunno....
  • I’ll try to keep a few running tallys of things like times characters get retconned or times someone has their name misspelled...
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Is there anything else anyone would like to see in these to make them more fun to read?

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