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X-Men discussion thread

Started by bgmnts, May 17, 2022, 12:03:04 PM

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bgmnts

I get the feeling Stan Lee takes credit for a lot of things to be quite honest.

Dayraven

QuoteYes, at that time, everyone who died, stayed dead. Jean Grey was maybe the first to return from the dead, and since then being dead has been a minor inconvenience and nobody believes if a character dies they are gone forever.
I'd say it's been a more gradual process than that. Stories ending with villains apparently dying followed by an explanation of how they survived in their next appearance was common long before Jean Grey's return. It just gets extended to heroes and treated more and more casually over time.

There's an example of a hero coming back later from an apparent death in these first 66 issues, in fact.

Dayraven

QuoteI get the feeling Stan Lee takes credit for a lot of things to be quite honest.
Same here.

The introduction of the Sentinels in a couple of issues' time sets up the mutants as persecuted minority a bit, but a lot of that stuff comes later. It's only partway through Claremont's run that Magneto starts to get any sympathetic portrayal.

bgmnts

Yeah, just to reiterate this point, there is a letter which ends with basically "I hope Marvel makes bank and you all retire rich!" and Stan replies with
QuoteThat last phrase of your sentence really grabbed us... those last half dozen words contain a magnificent sentiment which no right thinking soul would ever dispute
When you consider Steve Ditko died penniless, it's a bit of a kick in the teeth really. I wonder how much money Stan got.

Magnum Valentino

If I remember correctly he wasn't as well off as you might think. Stan Lee himself was kinda fucked over by Marvel towards the end, I think.

Dr Rock

Yes, he never owned Marvel, never owned any characters, only worked for it and got a salary. I think it's complex, as all the time he tried to spread the word about Marvel, he would say 'we at Marvel do it like this' but was invariably introduced as 'the man who created Spider-Man, Hulk etc.' By people who wouldn't understand that the writer wasn't the sole creator anyway. He could've done better, but he mostly did a lot to explain it was a collaborative medium.

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on May 19, 2022, 08:21:45 PMIf I remember correctly he wasn't as well off as you might think. Stan Lee himself was kinda fucked over by Marvel towards the end, I think.

I certainly don't think he was hard up for money, but he did have some hard times after his wife died, as he was being ripped off and exploited by a lot of shady people around him, which was pretty sad to hear about.

Dr Rock

Quote from: Dayraven on May 19, 2022, 04:18:11 PMI'd say it's been a more gradual process than that. Stories ending with villains apparently dying followed by an explanation of how they survived in their next appearance was common long before Jean Grey's return. It just gets extended to heroes and treated more and more casually over time.

There's an example of a hero coming back later from an apparent death in these first 66 issues, in fact.

Prof X?

Yes I mean to say it happened to super-villains often, particularly Dr Doom, I guess there was some expectation that the villains could cheat death if there was some wacky explanation for it. Funny how they never bought back Green Goblin in those early days, nobody would've minded.

bgmnts

#13: Juggernaut Bitch pt.2

Okay so Juggers is in and X-Men are screwed now. Xavier instantly tries his mindfuck power but Jugs' special helmet makes him impervious to mindfucks. The gang wheel Xavier off to get him his power magnifier thing and he goes to work charging up his mental energy, venting off what I can only call discharge over NYC. Cyclops and Angel take turns slowing Angel down but get mullered. Scenes of Xavier's mental energy castoff having an effect on the people - including a one panel cameo of Daredevil in court. Xavier accidentally contacts Johnny Storm a.k.a The Human Torch and he is reluctant to respond as he thinks its a Dr Doom or Wizard (who?) trap. Eventually he says fuck it and comes in to help save the day.

Before he arrives, it's Beast's turns to delay Jugs and while fighting FINALLY Xavier has his brainwave and says "REMOVE HIS SPECIAL HELMET". Fucksake. Beast gets caned and then Torch shows up and does a massive blinding light of fire, incapacitating Juggers and Angel swoops in and takes his helmet off, leaving Juggernaut at the mercy of one of Xaviers more potent mindrapes. Xavier then thanks Storm and gives him a little mindrape and sends him on his way.

X-Men are all fucked except Jean who is a "girl" so cannot fight the Juggernaut obviously and is nursing them back to health. Xavier insists they all clean up the mess after, the prick.

Quite liked this issue, a new, scary villain driven by pure hatred - a portion of it rightfully - to Xavier. It's personal with him and barely anything can stop him. I wished it played out a bit better though, ideally it would be "gang work on teamwork in danger room, fight juggernaut, realise they need his helmet off, work as team to take helmet off" setup payoff stuff, but I guess Lee wanted Johnny Storm in this issue for some reason. It would have been better to see the image of four x-men holding each of Juggers limbs in place whilst one takes off his helmet, that is what I was expecting.

Still, definitely one of the best issues so far. I really like Juggernaut he rules. It is interesting to wonder how much of that is Cain Marko and how much is it the influence of the Cyttorak. Is that a thing in other marvel comics? Is it an evil force? Or does it just give you powers. Cain was always a massive prick but as Juggernaut here he feels possessed almost.

Letters were overwhelmingly positive for The Stranger and issue 11, fair enough. They also gave us the information that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are now members of the Avengers, which I sort of knew but still what a step up. I'm assume FF, Spidey and The Avengers are the flagship marvel books at this point right? So fucking hell their popularity was astounding.

Next up: Sentinels! We are cooking with gas now.

elliszeroed

I was enjoying the new Hickman run until Swords of X crossover where they take part in a huge tournament against fairies and other dimensions because Krakatoa had a lover, or something, I couldn't follow it and dropped it.

bgmnts

Yeah if there are any good new books out there let's talk about them, spoilers if possibl. I'm always going to be playing catch up though as it's taken me ages just to get to:

Issue 14: The Sentinels.

Another big name and debut. It starts with a much needed... VACATION! Angel goes back to his folks, giving Jean a lift, Cyclops broods and just goes off alone because he's crap, but Jean and Scott fancy the pants off each other, and readers are gagging for romance . Angel is getting some backstory here, and some development. The past few issues we've gotten the impression his wings are as limbs and that flying is pleasurable; he loves getting them out of his restraints. Iceman asks him (the same one asked to Stan in the last letter page hmmmm*) how his parents didnt notice his wings as a baby and he clarifies he sprouted them later on as a teenager I think is the usual story for most mutants..

Bobby and Hank are still a double act and go to the Cafe A Go-Go to flirt with Zelda and watch Bernard the Poet. Cyclops is frightened of his power again changing into his civvies and shudders to think what would happen if his protective glasses fell off (this happened literally two issues ago ffs).

Meanwhile, a Dr Trask decided mutants are a threat and starts a mutant panic in the press, which pretty much decides their fate to the public. Still no civil rights stuff, it feels more akin to McCarthyism witch-hunts to me but ho hum.

Xavier debates Trask on telly and Trask decides to showcase his mutant fighting creations... The Sentinels. Laughably, they sneak up on Xavier (they're by no means the giant monoliths yet but still huge pink robots).

Comically, they instantly turn on Trask and kidnap him and Xavier mentally calls out to the gang. Cyclops is in a cab which turns sharply, causing his greatest fear since a few issues ago: his glasses come off and he shoots a mega laser ray. People chase him but bottle it soon after. The gang fight the lone sentinel left in the studio and it falls over and dies, Xavier getting the words Master Mold out of it's 'mind'.

They go to their base was and the end of the issue has a large, innocent field terraform into a bunker fortress!

Letters were good:

One complaint over Kirby not being the full artist anymore, he is now just "designing" or doing the "layouts". Comic artists tell me what this means, is this like a description of how the scene should look for the penciller to draw or rough sketches or what? The guy isnt happy though he wants Kirby.

Couple of people hate their conceited nature.

A few readers want individual costumes and fucking hell they're spot on, it would be so much better.

Holy fuck YES! Peter of Freeport N.Y. asks: "how did the Cerebro machine react to him [Juggernaut] - I thought it was only designed to react to a mutant's brainwaves." They have no response.

Decent issue, I'm loving that these are becoming more serialised and that things are holding over from previous issues (for example, this issue sees the first panel showing us the gang still rehabilitating from Jugs. Good stuff) and they are setting up things next issue. No villain of the week stuff.

Oh yeah X-MEN ARE MONTHLY NOW!

*I am very much wondering how much the readers are legitimately writing this book half the time.

Quote from: bgmnts on May 21, 2022, 11:59:08 PMOne complaint over Kirby not being the full artist anymore, he is now just "designing" or doing the "layouts". Comic artists tell me what this means, is this like a description of how the scene should look for the penciller to draw or rough sketches or what? The guy isnt happy though he wants Kirby.



Yeah, layouts are the roughs most artists create when they're trying to figure out where everything should be in a panel, before they start drawing it for real. So this is basically an indication that Kirby's winding down his work on the title and he'll be gone from it entirely in a couple of issues time, and Stan soon will be too (although he gets a "plotted by" credit for a while).

bgmnts

Quote from: Ron Maels Moustache on May 22, 2022, 12:53:03 AMYeah, layouts are the roughs most artists create when they're trying to figure out where everything should be in a panel, before they start drawing it for real. So this is basically an indication that Kirby's winding down his work on the title and he'll be gone from it entirely in a couple of issues time, and Stan soon will be too (although he gets a "plotted by" credit for a while).

Ah right okay then makes sense.

Stan at least ending his run on a positive note with Juggernaut and Sentinels, credit where it's due.

Willing to accept he's got some real dog shit to drop just before he leaves though.

bgmnts

#15 Master Mold!

So the team get ambushed by the fortress but escape, and they formulate a plan to enter the base using some weird ice disc and Scott's mega beam. An aside on Cyclops' power: in an earlier issue his eye beams leak and vent through his closed eyes but now he is able to close his eyes when opening his visor no bother. I'll just say he can control it better, although he cannot control his power because he banged his head right? God knows.
Anyway, he launches them but it fails and Bobby and Hank are captured. Beast is taken for interrogation with Master Mold. Mold is a giant fat Sentinel created by Trask who wants him to create more sentinels. Beast is subjected to the "psycho probe" to spill beans and we get our first origin story!

Beast's dad was a scientists, so potential radiation as a cause. His power manifests after a bully almost gets him run over. He excels scholastically and at sports but gets carried away scoring a touchdown and hangs upside down from the sticks by his feet and so Xavier invites him to the school. His parents are aware of him being a mutant and are loving and supportive it seems. So there we are, dull Beast.

Before Beast can reveal the X-Men hideout, Xavier projects himself and sends "thought particles" (the fuck?) to Beast to stop the psycho probe. He then goes and tries to mindrape Master Mold but he senses him and attacks his astral form - apparently being composed of "electrical thought waves" (the fuck?). He retreats but cannot reach his body, which turns out would leave him in a trance fugue state.

Sentinels use a heavy gravity ray and the X-Men are defeated. Trask is dragged off kicking and screaming to create sentinels, realising the error of his ways.

Another good issue, we're starting to pick up speed and I really want to learn more about these characters. Sadly, we've had FUCK ALL on Jean Grey besides the fact she's a laaaady and her power seems to be growing pretty quickly (unsure if deliberate but i've noticed it).

Some interesting letters here: a fan accusing Stan of bungling Juggernauts and Xavier's origin: by making it clear Xavier can mindread and having him be an insufferable arsehole, he should have known Cain's feelings, and he does come off bad really. Interesting opinion and I don't disagree.

Mostly letters asking marvel questions and saying how these mutants aren't true mutants in the evolutionary sense (I assume this will be addressed later, as they do treat it as they are a new species - Homo Superior).

Part 3 of the Sentinel Saga coming next!

letsgobrian

You've a long wait for any more origin stories. Roy Thomas eventually starts doing Cyclops's origin as a back up strip in issue 38.

And get ready for more plot holes regarding eyebeams there too! One of which was only resolved in the 21st century (who gave him ruby quartz glasses before he met Xavier?)

bgmnts

Well that is a shame but I have to admit the quality is improving a bit.

And yeah that plot holes are sort of part of the fun a little bit, and it's always good to know i'm not alone when pointing these out, the readers from the past always seem to have my back.

Just realised a lot of these letters page readers are probably dead.

Dr Rock

Really enjoying this bgmnts

bgmnts

Cheers! I'm very much enjoying reading these and recapping/reviewing them. Excited to see where everything goes.

bgmnts

16, Sentinels part 3: A life is lost... a battle is won!

Xavier just about makes it back into his body! He watches the fortress sink into the ground and states he cannot help the X-Men now. Considering he can send his projection and mental abilities to the bottom of the ocean to watch Namor,it strikes me as odd but whatever.

He mindrapes some guys into giving him a lift back to the city and persuades the coppers to let him have a gander at the dead sentinel in the studio. He realises there is a giant crystal on top of a building opposite and has a eureka moment: it blocks the sentinel signal!

The gang are in a 'heavy grav globe', an egg shap where they cannot move. Iceman tries his best to prove himself a valued part of the team , creating an icy ram, but fucks it. Still, Cyclops says well done and refers to him as a man, making Iceman happy. Little bit of Iceman characterisation there.

Trask is ordered by Master Mold to create new sentinels and takes him to the sentinel making room. 

As Beast is sent back to the heavy grav globe the gang strike and catch the dumb sentinels by surprise. They start to fight their way around and make for the sentinel  making room. Xavier apears in a helicopter with the huge crystal dangling from it and this causes the dumb sentinels to keel over and die.

Trask umms and ahhs about what he's doing and has been regretful the whole issue really about hating mutants, reflecting that his solution is worse than the problem. In a mega face turn, he smashes up the sentinel making machine and causes an absolute massive explosion.

The heat from the explosion causes Iceman to pass out and Beast carries him on his legs out the base, where they just about escape the explosion!

The penultimate panel shows a dead seeming master mold and a dead seeming trask on top of him buried under rubble and the last panel shows a 'shadow of menace' against presumably the mansion wall.

Fun issue, wrapped everything up really quickly, maybe a bit too quickly but ho hum. Bit of development for Bobby here and he looks like he could be on death's door or severely weakened at the end of this issue. Good setup for next issue.

Milestone moment also: first use of the word crippled to describe Professor X. Bad old days.

Letters page is a bit bland today, beyond a letter slagging off the misuse of homo sapiens as a plural form, and a letter which compares Cyclops' eye beam to a pool cue! Everyone loved the Juggers issue fair play and a lot of people liking the new artists Alex Toth and 'Jay Gavin' (nom de plume of a Werner Roth). I myself like the art, despite not really having an eye for comic book art beyond 'if it's incredibly stylised and shit i'll probably hate it'.  It's nice and clean and not a huge difference from Kirby proper. Iceman looks much better now and has sharper outlines which looks good in his ice form.

Dayraven

QuoteIt's nice and clean and not a huge difference from Kirby proper.
Toth isn't so well known to comics fans (partly because a lot of his work was scattered issues instead of long runs), but has a "cartoonist's cartoonist" reputation.

letsgobrian

Quote from: bgmnts on May 24, 2022, 09:34:07 PMEveryone loved the Juggers issue fair play and a lot of people liking the new artists Alex Toth and 'Jay Gavin' (nom de plume of a Werner Roth). I myself like the art, despite not really having an eye for comic book art beyond 'if it's incredibly stylised and shit i'll probably hate it'.  It's nice and clean and not a huge difference from Kirby proper. Iceman looks much better now and has sharper outlines which looks good in his ice form.

Werner Roth is a good artist, but as you will discover as the series goes on, he is also a racist artist.

bgmnts

Oh Jesus, well i'm looking forward to that.

So far the series has been mercifully free of anything too dodgy, a bit of casual misogyny towards Jean calling her honey and that shit but no outward racist or sexist shit from my immediate memory so well done Stan.


bgmnts

Oh for anyone interested in going back and reading these, then I am going to be using these reading lists to keep track of what I should be reading and when, all the way up to the Marvel Now! era.

And to any experts, is this selection of reading lists a good guide?

bgmnts

Issue 17: None shall survive!

Okay so sentinels have left Iceman in a coma (still able to keep his ice form somehow) and Beast and Jean a bit worse for. Xavier is on the scene and is thanked by the leader of the army there, who confesses that he also feared the power of mutants but doesn't now that they risked their lives. Incredibly Xavier thinks "That's why I decided to release my mental hold over your mind - so the x-men would get due credit". The huge irony and contradiction here is that X is the perfect example of a mutant to be terrified of. He's benevolent but his constant mindraping and intrusive entering of people's heads is staggeringly unethical and he's just a twat. Maybe me being too harsh but it's so glaring.

Cunt Xavier visits all the X-Men and mentally reinforces in them to keep their costumes on and DONT REVEAL YOUR IDENTITIES, to which he immediately answers Beast's queries about Iceman's condition with - out loud mind - "No, McCoy [my bold]! He is still on the critical list..." Fucking hell.

Then Angel gets a call from his parents saying they want to visit him at the school so he rushes back to the mansion and gets wrecked with a pane of glass (no joke, the daft cunt flies right into it) by a mysterious villain.

Rest of the issue turns into a slasher film, wirh Xavier and Cyke getting taking out and then Jean and Beast getting taken out too. The villain is never shown but has a seeming history with the X-Men, knows their powers and they all recognise him. I WONDER WHO IT COULD BE!

The villain puts the gang in a hot air sphere thing and his plan is for them to get so high they run out of air.

At this very moment Angel's parents knock on the door only to be greeted by the one and only... Toad Magneto!

Iceman is still in a coma by the way, but he is the wwakest of the x-men! How could he save them? Find out next issue.

Some frustrating shite here i've already whinged about. I will say the cover is amazing! The four x-men and xavier lying on the floor with a shadow coming out of the door frame, all red colouring with the black contrast. Definitely gripped me with that. So fair play artist. We've also gotten the first full page panel I think, of Angel flying. I quite like the art overall it's good.

Letters page bit boring, one guy hates the art in #14 but a few like it so who knows.

Magnum Valentino

Quote from: bgmnts on May 25, 2022, 10:21:57 PMI will say the cover is amazing! The four x-men and xavier lying on the floor with a shadow coming out of the door frame, all red colouring with the black contrast. Definitely gripped me with that. So fair play artist. We've also gotten the first full page panel I think, of Angel flying. I quite like the art overall it's good.

Kirby. Worth sharing, this one.



Can't believe you revealed the incredible ending to a living soul though.

I've just read that apparently they 'fixed' the McCoy gaff in later printings. Still can't compare with Spider-Man busting in on Dr Octopus and the daft cunt exclaiming SUPERMAN in one of the earlier issues of ASM.


bgmnts

#18: Iceman is the WEAKEST.

So Magneto goes nuts and takes over the school, using his power of 'magnetic attraction' to control Angel's parents and use them as a catalyst for his mutant making machine. Oh yeah his plan is to create millions of mutants to take over the world. Really getting the Malcolm X/MLK vibes here. By the way, Magneto can: astral project, shoot beams out his hands, has telekinesis and can now manipulate people with magnetic attraction.

Gang sans Bobby are in the ball floating up and Xavier contacts Iceman and gets him to come to the school, whilst preparing for the most difficult thought projection ever!

Flashback, Magneto was teleported to an empty planet with Toad. Stranger leaves them, Magneto makes ladder to get into ship, leaves Toad behind, comes home. That's the explanation we get for Magneto coming back from oblivion. Poor Toadie.

Iceman tries to fight Magneto and sabotage his plans despite being the WEAKEST of the X-Men. The gang use their powers to safely descend in the sphere and join the fight. Halfway through X gets the to stand down and tells Mags to look behind him... it's The Stranger! Turns out X projected his thoughts into the infinite and contacted Stranger I guess. Magneto pegs it and the gang wake up with Angel's parents being none the wiser at the breakfast and all wrapped up in a nice bow.

Utter shite.

An absolutely bonkers letter from a bloke whow doesn't like Iceman's art because he has features when iced up, and that if Jean doesnt stop insulting Beast, he shoild give her a 'dearly needed spanking'. He also says Jean looked 'as feminine as The Hulk' so this lad has issues. As an aside, Beast is a bit of an incel in these issues, with his pomposity and referring to Jean as 'female'.

A letter from Japan! So we've Japan, Jordan and somewhere else I cant remember.

A woman writes in saying they should take these comics more seriously, and I think she has a point. She gets a silly response.

Oh and also, Jack Kirby is officially gone now. This issue was just Jay Gavin.

bgmnts

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on May 25, 2022, 10:54:24 PMKirby. Worth sharing, this one.



Can't believe you revealed the incredible ending to a living soul though.

I've just read that apparently they 'fixed' the McCoy gaff in later printings. Still can't compare with Spider-Man busting in on Dr Octopus and the daft cunt exclaiming SUPERMAN in one of the earlier issues of ASM.



Yeah it is a good cover. Unsure who was doing what at that point but yeah credit to Kirby it's an inspired cover. We havent had anything like that yet, they've all been generic action covers with the gang about to fight the villain. So that little bit of style stuck out.

Honestly I didnt even think it was a mistake. I mean, it IS a mistake but it's an excusable mistake: I thought it was just Xavier being shit.

Just googled the Spiderman gaff and fucking hell I laughed for five minutes. Amaaaazing.


Magnum Valentino

Peter also accidentally had the surname Palmer in one of those early issues. Just didn't give a fuck.

I've read those early issues in so many formats, from reprints in UK comics to the paperback Masterworks, Omnibus, the massive Ditko Is Amazing hardcover... I think it's about 50/50 on how often it's corrected.

bgmnts

Yeah I can definitely see these 60s issues have an air of slapdash about them. So messy. I wont lie, i'm only a third of the way through, but i'm looking forward to getting to actually good X-Men I know.

#19: Mimicry is the shitest form of flattery.

Vacation time! Jean is off shopping (ugh) Cyclops is angsty (ughhh) and Beast and Iceman shoot off to the library to see Zelda the coffee waitress and a blind date for Hank. The blind date is named Vera and on the way home they get accosted by an admirer of hers, an absolute arsehole named Calvin Rankin. He gets into fisticuffs with Hank and Bobby and is able to move like the Beast and make ice shit like Iceman. Enter The Mimic! It's explained quickly that he can mimicry anyone's ability or superpower by being near them, but it diminishes as they get further away. He later bumps into Jean Grey and so now knows three identities of the X-Men.

He shows up at the school appearing to join them but the gang see through it immediately. He goes upstairs and changes into his Mimic costume. Fight happens and he kidnaps Jean and takes her to a mineshaft. We get backstory:

Rankin's dad was a scientist working on bad shit and he went out one day and boom Calvin got gas in the face and woke up able to do anything the person near him could do. This led him to be the best at everything academically and in sport, which drew the ire of his peers (weird how that didnt happen to Xavier eh?). He's gutted his powers arent permanent so his dad moves them into a mineshaft to keep away from authorities and create a machine to make powers permanent.

The machine short circuits the entire county and an angry mob show up to get them, only for Rankin's dad to blow up explosives at the mouth of the mine to stop them, getting caught in the blast. Rankin swears vengeance after digging out of the mineshaft. This is why he needs the x-men to follow him so he can use his powers to get to the machine buried under rubble. Although if he was able to dog himself out without powers surely there is a way back inside? Fuck it maybe it collapsed or something who cares.

They fight and Mimic just about gets in the machine with Xavier but collapses. Xavier causes the machine to short circuit with his mental powers (yes he can affect non minds with his mind powers has been for a while fuck knows how), and they escape the blast.

Turns out the machine actually removed Calvin's powers, as his dad was afraid of what society would do to him if they found out. Calvin is one of Xavier's many mindrape victims and walks off to start a new life.

I like Mimic and hope he comes back somehow.

Next issue: return of Anus, Blob AND Lucifer! Get fucking in!

Letters page is boring but one does write in saying how stupid Iceman looked on the cover of issue 16. Absolutely love when someone writes in ripping piss out of Stan and co.

Magnum Valentino

Have you seen any letters from future famous people yet? The Spider-Man letters pages have quite a few from future Spider-Man writers as young lads, and I know George RR Martin and Paul Gambaccini were regular writers to Fantastic Four.