Thursday, June 18, 2009

Re-evolution, killer shrews in space, and can I get a ride home?

Sinister had a goatee last issue, and now he looks too Tim Curry-like.

Last time: the High Evolutionary had turned all the mutants on earth into normal humans, but the procedure was going to cause wild mutation in all life on earth, thanks to the involvement of Mr. Sinister. The powerless X-Men have less than a week to stop him. (Since they figure the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Power Pack, etc. will have their own problems and don't need to be bothered with every little thing.)

Fortunately, the X-Men have big piles of stolen alien crap from the Skrulls, the Shi'ar, etc. (Which begs the question, every time the Sentinels attack, why don't the X-Men whip out some of the ray guns and whatnot?) While they get ready, Mr. Sinister makes his own preparations: he wants to use the High Evolutionary's tech to make an army of New Men, evolved animals. H.E. tells M.S. to suck it, but Sinister just says he'll figure it out. How hard could it be?

More after the bump!

I know you're falling apart, Wolvie, but you could change into a uniform that isn't full of blood...
Rogue calls the jailed Mystique, who gets steamed that her foster daughter is siding with the X-Men over her. As the team works on a ship, most are anxious to get their powers back, when Wolverine arrives. Or most of him, anyway. Still dying of "adamantium poisoning," Logan had been willing to take one for the team if it meant other mutants like Marrow would be happy, but he's also ready to die fighting.

'Oh, I'm sorry, Kitty: who here has multiple doctorates? Hmm?'
The ex-X-Men launch into space, and note that mutants apparently cope better with G-force nausea than normos do. Since the High Evolutionary is ostensibly peaceful, his satellite didn't have the weaponry to shoot them down, and Sinister is looking forward to comparing their powerless performance to previous records.
'Ha! What did the five fingers say to the face! I finally get that one!'
His New Men are supposedly mutated normal animals, but seem to include Gloop (or Gleep) from the Herculoids, Tweak from the classic Judge Dredd story "the Cursed Earth," and a snake-lizard guy in bright yellow pants and a big-S belt buckle. As everyone fights, Storm, Wolverine, and Kitty break away to try and find the station's power core; but Wolvie gets Sinister's scent--wait, did that still work?--and they decide to try to take him and the station's controls.
That's a puppy with a carpet remnant on it's back!
Sinister is pretty well prepared, though: he's got a Killer Shrew for Wolvie! (Or maybe a giant rat, but it's more fun to figure Sinister is an MST3K fan.) Wolvie fights his way to Sinister, who tries to burn him down with his nondescript ray-hands. Kitty realizes those blasts should've killed Wolvie outright, and deduces that nausea they all felt earlier wasn't g-forces, it was their powers starting back up. It dawns on Sinister that his powers still work there, maybe everyone else's would too...even scorched bald, Wolverine still has a prodigious amount of arm hair, and slices up an explody console.

The X-Men regroup to watch Logan heal slowly up, and the freed High Evolutionary says he's regressed all the New Men back into animals, Mr. Sinister just escaped in the X-Men's ship, and Wolverine didn't destroy the anti-mutation satellites: Wolvie just broke the Evolutionary out, and he destroyed his misused life's work. Back on earth, old mutants repower up: awkward for some like Jean Grey or the Blob, but awesome for others like Magneto or the now-incredibly pissed Mystique. And in space, the X-Men themselves return to normal, presumably as they wait to get a ride home.
If this had been a big crossover thing, Blob would've gotten a three-issue mini out of that...
It doesn't seem like the X-Men gave some of their depowered friends a heads-up: the sudden return of her powers could've very easily killed Jean, and it's likely Warren was in a public place when his powers came back. I like to think the Toad turned back into the Toad, in a scene reminiscent of the end of They Live...
My finger fell off, help me find it for my scrapbook!
Marrow sprouts horns from her forehead pretty quickly, and Nightcrawler looks like he's going to molt off his extra fingers, which is kind of gross. Did his tail just fall off when he lost his powers? This happens every once in a while at Marvel, like when Spidey grows or loses extra arms, and it's never quite clear.

Not a bad little yarn: entertaining, and relatively quick, even with a cast of dozens. Nowadays, a plot like this would be spun out into every book Marvel could, and then some miniseries tie-ins to boot; and while admittedly that might add some depth, or get to some characters and plots that got shortchanged (the Moonstar/Cable one is barely an afterthought) there is something to be said for the cheap, bare-bones and done story. If you can find it, all three issues were reprinted in X-Men Universe #8.

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