Wednesday, June 3, 2015

X-Men: First Class by Jeff Parker issue #4

My sole connection to understand the in's and out's of the storylines featured in the Stan Lee sixties version of the X-Men starring the Original Core Five is by subscribing to the Danger Room podcast where two nerdy dudes painstakingly take the time to talk about each silver-age issue offered in that roster. I managed to reach their twenty-eighth episode before I took a break so I can begin my official X-Men comics diet this year. I highly recommend you listen to said podcast if you have the time because it did help me in my readings of this title after all, since Jeff Parker's series serves as a re-vamp, modernized version of the Stan Lee X-Men era in a lot of sense and this fourth issue clearly shows that he borrowed certain plot elements from it.

I've been giving a consistent 8 out of 10 stars for the issues so far but I think I'm taking out one star from this one because I frankly didn't care much for the main story itself even if the comedic moments and entertaining fight scenes more than made up for the lack of my interest in whatever the fuck is happening. It has something to do with the ruby gems and the Cytorak assholes whom I believe bestowed powers on Cain Marko as the Juggernaut in the first place. So fuck those guys. Also, we got a rogue sentinel here. Fuck that bastard too. While fighting the lone sentinel, however, Cyclops gets freaked out by a creepy-ass demon popping out of nowhere and he's the only one who can see it so everyone treats him like a nutcase which only pissed him off. Fortunately, the professor thinks there may be more to this so he asked permission to look through Scott's mind to see for himself what the guy saw. Thinking it must be magic, Xavier consults a certain well-known master of the arts. 

We also get a callback explanation to Cyclops' ruby-gem visor which was a nice touch, as well as seeing the rest of the team wear them so they can see what he sees. Beast eloquently points out that he had always wondered how Scott literally sees the world (in a shocking shades of red, apparently) and perhaps this should give his friends some insight on what makes Scott such a damaged, emo fool sometimes. But who cares, Jean loves him for it and I certainly love him for it too.

To help them in their mission, Charles Xavier employs the assistance of his fabulous magician friend, Dr. Strange, who was generous enough to chaperone but leaves midway through the actual crisis to resolve another subplot somewhere in this issue, leaving the kids to fend off for themselves. What the hell is up with the supposed adults in this series? But it doesn't matter because X-Men: First Class is all about the fun and the cool so nothing terrible or long-term deadly is going to happen to any of our heroes anyway. Xavier does keep in touch telepathically and helped Jean channel her mental powers stronger, enabling her to literally rip a huge hole from the ground to save her boyfriend from the demon monster that's attacking him. With lot of team effort and wise cracks along the way, the Original Core Five all managed to throw back the piece of shit to whatever swamp he lives in and make sure he stays stuck there for good.

Dr. Strange chooses to come back right after the cavalry ends, much to his embarrassment. 
"Don't talk back to me, boy! I'm the adult here, dammit!" replies Strange to whom I assume is Bobby Drake.

Next time I hope Bobby says "YAYBO!" because that expression has become criminally underused. 


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