Thursday, June 04, 2009

Evolution in comics, how old is Kitty Pryde, and what does 'statutory' mean?

Right up front: I didn't like Chris Claremont's return to the X-books. I thought Alan Davis had been doing a decent job, and the books were enjoyable reads, if not reinventing the wheel. And, this one has elements predating House of M and Secret Invasion!

Uncanny X-Men #379, "What Dreams May Come..." Story by Alan Davis, pencils by Tom Raney, inks by Scott Hanna. This issue opens with the aftermath of the Apocalypse: the Twelve storyline, where Cyclops sacrificed himself to defeat the Big A. Mulling over a "Shi'ar Holempathic Matrix Crystal" of Cyke, Professor X leaves earth with the Skrull mutants.

OK, even if the X-Men had a bunch of blank holempathic matrix crystals, and a holempathic surround recording studio; when would Cyclops have made that thing? Do all the X-Men make them, in case of their untimely demise? Or is that a special, favorite student thing? I still don't know how the Professor returned from space this time (he previously spent yeeeeears in space starting in UXM #200) or if the mutant Skrulls were ever brought up again, even in Secret Invasion where it would've made sense.

Way more after the bump!

That's either wrong, or wrong...
As she complains about Professor X abandoning them, and having her own hopes and dreams, Kitty says she's barely sixteen. Wha--? Really? Kitty first appeared in UXM #129 as a thirteen-year-old (in 1980), so the last two-hundred and fifty-one issues worth of Uncanny took place in a three year period? That would also include a hundred and twenty five or so issues of Excalibur, and her relationship with Peter Wisdom, which would be just wrong then...

At any rate, having lost two of the team's strongest leaders, it's time for space out during a game of baseball. Logan saves her from a baseball to the noggin, and Storm admits she's already worrying about the next crisis; that the X-Men are "a fire brigade" and there's always another fire.

Meanwhile, tons of other mutants are going about their business: in Genosha, Polaris is shoring up Magneto's failing powers, in an attempt to bring peace to the region. Mystique is sneaking into the NSA to try to see how several of her cover identities have been blown. Phoenix sits on a mountaintop, and has a brief chat with X-Man. (The young version of Cable from the Age of Apocalypse, and that's as much as I'm going to get into that, although I know I liked the first issues of that book...) The current Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, a total sausage-fest with Blob, Toad, the somehow not-dead Mimic, and Post; plans a heist. And the Beast gets Iceman to give him a ride to Genosha to research the Legacy Virus.
I imagine anytime anything is lost or goes missing now, Gambit comes to mind.
The X-Men themselves are having a picnic, when the story starts moving: a hologram of the High Evolutionary appears, and promptly denounces mutants as a danger to the genetic potential of the world and its people. The High Evolutionary is probably one of the nicer, more well-meaning mad scientists in comics, but has rarely accomplished anything helpful. I think I've lost more comics than I have with him: those Evolutionary War annuals, a couple batches of Thor, Ka-Zar of all places. After a brief debate, what gives you the right, blah blah blah; H.E. declares he has an energy field that will neutralize their mutant genomes, and make them human. And just like that, every mutant on the planet is shut down.

The ones we care about--Jean, X-Man, Cannonball--are shown falling, but not too far. Someone off panel, still debating with the Evolutionary, points out the Avengers have several mutant members and won't take this lying down...which they totally do, since this storyline didn't cross over with even the other X-books, to say nothing of the larger Marvel U. (This, and Kurt Busiek's big Kang story in Avengers, are the best examples of the fragmented nature of Marvel at the time...there wasn't even a handwave explanation as to why no one else noticed.)
Watch the hands, bub!
Magneto falls, in a weird position with Polaris, and realizes old scores are going to be coming for him. Mystique turns blue, then powerless, mid-heist and is captured. The Brotherhood loses their powers, to varying effects:
So...the Toad's power was being an uggo?
Hey, isn't the Mimic a mutate, not strictly a mutant? Well, maybe he lost powers absorbed from mutants.
That would have to be more traumatic than Storm losing her powers, but you wouldn't know it to listen to her...
Beast and Iceman are stuck on Genosha, in their trunks, since that's all they wore as costumes. Mutants like Angel and Nightcrawler transform into ordinary humans--do not ask how that would work. The High Evolutionary feels bad for them, but points out all that silly human vs. mutant stuff is at least over.

Next week, next chapter: X-Men #99, "Oh, the Humanity!"


Siskoid said...

No way. Kitty was at least 18 by the time she joined Excalibur.

grifter said...

time compression creates jailbait possibilities.

CalvinPitt said...

I remember the High Evolutionary pulling that. He was being manipualted by - ugh - Mr. Sinister, wasn't he?

It was probably in one of the following issues, Wolverine saves Jubilee from some, um, guys, and we see he's dying of blood poisoning from the Adamantium he just got back, so he's gonna go try and find Sabretooth and finish things before he kicks it.

googum said...

See, I don't know if she was 18 when Excalibur started (Kitty was sent to girl's school in there somewhere, right?) but she definitely was by the time Wisdom shows's a muddle.

Yeah, I got that one! Although I'm at a loss as to why Wolvie's pantsless on the plane. Even as the big end battle with Apocalypse was going down, Wolvie and his crew were fighting Exodus and X-51, Machine Man. Kinda the scenic route through there.

You are correct, sir. We'll see the next one Thursday. I don't know about Wolvie's self-diagnosis of "adamantium poisoning," though...also, great plan: even though he's never been able to settle things with Sabretooth, hey, why not give it a shot with no healing factor and bits of him falling off?

Seangreyson said...

Kitty was around 14-15 when Excalibur started (her 16th birthday was in issue 30-something). She was definately at least 18 by the time the series ended as she was in a long term relationship with Wisdom, and the team was generally ok with it.