Wednesday, October 21, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 045 - Fallen Angels #6 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Forty-Five

Fallen Angels (vol.2) #6 (March, 2020)
"Conclusion"
Writer - Bryan Hill
Art - Szymon Kudranski
Colors - Frank D'Armata
Letters - VC's Joe Sabino
Design - Tom Muller
Head of X - Hickman
Edits - Robinson, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 29, 2020

What is that blinding light?  It's as though we're at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel!  That's right, friends... today, it ends.  After this episode of X-Lapsed, we never have to (knock on wood) discuss another issue of Fallen Angels... ever again.

Crank up the orchestral soundtrack for your favorite Final Fantasy game, because we're about to see Psylocke battling a bona fide god... for, like a page or two.  Lotsa build-up... for very little payoff, but we'll do our best to have fun talking about it.

Also: A lookback at the entire Fallen Angels miniseries, including taking a peek at its surprisingly solid sales figures... and another X-Tended Mailbag segment, featuring missives from a pair of listeners who just finished HoXPoX for the first time!

--

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 044 - Excalibur #6 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Forty-Four

Excalibur (vol.4) #6 (March, 2020)
"Verse VI: Watch the Throne"
Writer - Tini Howard
Art - Marcus To
Colors - Erick Arciniega
Letters - VC's Cory Petit
Design - Tom Muller
Head of X - Hickman
Edits - Bissa, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 22, 2020

The King is Weird... Long Weird the King!

As Excalibur (hopefully) wraps up its Otherworld arc, the place gets a new ruler... and he's a weirdo pervert.  At least he's a Braddock!  Today we have dueling siblings, crushed nuts, and perhaps the quickest resurrection of the Dawn of X era!

--

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Morituri Mondays, Episode 31 - Strikeforce: Morituri #31 (7/89) w/Brent Anderson!!!

Morituri Mondays, Episode Thirty-One

Strikeforce: Morituri #31 (July, 1989)
"The Bitter End"
Writer - James D. Hudnall
Pencils - John Calimee
Inks - Carlos Garzon
Letters - Phil Felix
Colors - Max Scheele
Edits - Marc McLaurin & Carl Potts
Chief - Tom DeFalco
Cover Price: $1.50 USD / $2 CAN / 50p UK
On-Sale: March 7, 1989


Finally folks... we come to the end of our (regularly-scheduled) run on Morituri Mondays... but, never you fear - we've still got (at least) five thick issues of Strikeforce: Morituri - Electric Undertow on their way in the not-so-distant future.

But, that's a story for another day...

Today, not only do we wrap up the monthly run of Strikeforce: Morituri... but the Chris's had the absolute pleasure and privilege of chatting with Strikeforce: Morituri co-creator and artist - Brent Anderson!!!  Brent was kind enough to join us for nearly two-hours to chat about, not only this franchise that we hold so dear... but to answer some questions from our faithful friends and listeners!

It's a bittersweet episode - and we cannot wait for you all to hear it!

--

Check out Brent's work and upcoming projects at:

http://www.brentandersonart.com/

El Jaguar: Origins:

http://eljaguarorigins.com/

In exchange for a $6 donation to the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco - you can get yourself an awesome Strikeforce: Morituri Insignia sticker - Make your donation through Brent's Contact/Order link at: http://www.brentandersonart.com/contact.asp



To order an email file of this art (see just below) from The Cartoon Art Museum Scrawl-O-Ween Fundraiser go to: https://cartoonart.org/store And make a $5.00 donation to the museum.



Follow Brent on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BrentEA

--

Your July, 1989 Strikeforce: Morituri Roster - Scanner, Revenge, Lifter, Burn, (The Ghost, The Wind, The Tiger)

Alumni - Snapdragon (#4), Vyking (#6), Marathon (#12), Adept (#13), Wildcard (#13), Radian (#15), Scaredycat (#19), Blackthorn (#20), Toxyn (#21), Backhand (#22), Hardcase (#23), Silencer (#23), Scatterbrain (#24), Shear (#25), Brava (#28)

--

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--

For some extra fun, check out Brent having some fun with our faves with a patriotic take - It's Strikeforce: Amerituri!




Sunday, October 18, 2020

Firestar #1 (1986)

Firestar #1 (March, 1986)
"Mark of the Mutant!"
Writer - Tom DeFalco
Pencils - Mary Wilshire
Inks - Steve Leialoha
Letters - Tom Orzechowski & Lois Buhalis
Colors - Daina Graziunas
Edits - Ann Nocenti
Chief - Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.75

Today we're going to take a look at one of the first (comic book) appearances of Angelica Jones - Firestar!  While she's gone on to be featured in a whole lot of comics over the years, perhaps most notably the New Warriors and a stint with the Avengers... I gotta figure a lot of folks reading this probably associate her more with the media she actually first appeared in - as one of Spider-Man's Amazing Friends in, well... Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends.

I never really watched that cartoon growing up... but, I certainly remember my first time ever seeing it.  It was at Brooklyn Hospital in 1984... and my mother had just given birth to my younger sister.  Naturally, I already knew who Spider-Man was... but, hadn't the first clue who his Amazing Friends were.  I couldn't tell you which episode is was... but I know it opened with, if I'm remembering right... a pan over a swamp, with Stan Lee's narration introducing the story.

It's been a long while since I'd last read this... probably over a quarter century.  Let's give it a goo, and see what we see.

--


We open with our titular character, Angelica Jones having her palm read by her beloved Nana.  The lines on her left hand converge to form the letter "M"... which, according to Nana means she's special.  My hand also has an "M" on it, and I'd contend that Nana, beloved or not, might just be full of it!  Ehh, at least she means well.  Anyhoo, it's time for Angelica to leave for her first day at a brand-new school.  Her father, Bartholomew
 gets shuffled around quite a bit due to his job, and so... this "first day of school" isn't an altogether new sensation for our young Ms. Jones.


Once they're left alone, Dad and Nana chat a bit.  Dad thinks Nana should maybe lay off suggesting that Angelica is in any way "special".  Wow, father of the year, ova hea'.  While trying to do some dishes, Nana has herself a little scare.  Bart offers to take her to the doctor, but she refuses... citing that they can't afford it.  I wonder if
this'll come up again... ehh, prob'ly not.


We next follow Angelica to school, where she immediately runs afoul of some... rather foul-looking "mean girls".  They don't cotton to the new redhead on campus... and whisper mean nothings about her to one another... just loud enough for our gal to hear 'em.


Suddenly... a wild hunk appears!  The leader of the "mean girls", Cassie decides to head over to him... and he kind of looks like a stoner version of Prince Adam from
He-Man.  First thing he does is... ask about the cute new redhead.  Cassie ain't diggin' this one bit... even still, Chuck the Hunk saunters over to see if the new girl needs any help.


We shift scenes over to Xavier's School, where... shock of shocks... Cerebro is on the fritz.  Seems like they're always trying to fix that, doesn't it?  Oh well, at least this helps expedite the Jim Shooter demandment of filling in any potential new readers on the finer points of the issue in hand.  Kitty Pryde fetches what looks like a soldering iron, but is actually a "continuity pulse tester" (which I feel like Marvel can use a box of nowadays), for Professor X and Nightcrawler to continue tinkering.  We get a glimpse of the New Mutants having themselves a volleyball game on the school grounds as an example of the sort of young people Cerebro might help the X-Men track down.


Here's the thing though... they're not the only ones looking for fresh young mutants.  From here we jump over to the "famed" Massachusetts Academy... where one Ms. Emma Frost has the same sort of mission in mind.  We watch as the conservatively-dressed Headmistress enters a hidden elevator... and lowers down to a more Hellfirey floor below.


She sees that one of the Hellfire Goons she has posted are kind of being lax in their duties.  Ya see, nobody is manning the "Mutavac", which I suppose is the anti-Cerebro.  Emma flips out a bit and psychically assaults her underlings... because this lapse in surveillance very well may have cost them a new mutant.


Let's head back to West Morris High School.  Angelica is being questioned by her teacher about the Treaty of Versailles... which, she admits she never learned about at her last school.  This prick of a teacher doesn't wanna hear any excuses... and tells her she needs to keep up with the rest of the class.  Okay, jerk.  Whatever the case, it gives the Mean Girls the opportunity to make fun of her for not knowin'.


Then, it's lunch time... and poor Angelica can't find anyone to sit with.  She attempts to make nice with the Mean Girls, but they ain't feelin' it.  This really upsets our gal... who, at this very moment id beginning to manifest her mutant power.  Unfortunately her manifestation "climaxes" while she's opening her little carton of chocolate milk... and so, she winds up climaxing all over her teacher's face.  Um... I really ought to say some of these things out loud before committing them to the blog.


This "climax" manages to ping on the White Queens Mutavac or whatever... but, as quickly as it comes, it goes.  We jump ahead a few months... and it's December.  Angelica and Chuck the Hunk are palling around, and we learn that our gal is something of an artist.  She's going to be in an ice-sculpture competition.  Ice sculptures?  What kind of high school is this?  Does Zack Morris go here?  Turns out Angelica is quite good at this... much to the annoyance of Cassie the B*tch.  Cassie also ain't pleased at how close Chuck is getting to Angie.


The next day, our gal prepares to head to school... and her dad leaves for work.  Once all alone, Nana decides to die.  Well, she really doesn't have much choice in her expiration... but, she does pass.


Angelica arrives at school, to find that the Mean Girls destroyed her ice-angel.  The Mean Girls don't even bother to deny it!  Angelica goes back to staring at her hand... which, I don't know if I've mentioned it... but, she keeps staring at her hand, because of the "M" on it.  One of the Mean Girls notices this, and asks why she keeps doing it.  Angie tells them that... she does so because her Nana told her it made her special.  Oh, honey... don't do that.


She's none too pleased that Nana lied to her, and so, after the Mean Girls scatter, we get another instance of her powers manifesting.  This time she climaxes in the direction of all the other ice sculptures.


Chuck the Hunk then hunks on over to see if everything is okay... but Angelica runs away before they can talk.  She goes over to a payphone to call her Nana... and give her the business for lying to her, but... she's in such a panicked state that she winds up melting the receiver.  This exhibition of power is enough of a "ping" for Emma Frost to deduce our heroine's location.


From here, Angelica decides to rush home... only to be greeted by a whole bunch of police, an ambulance, and her dad.  She learns here that her grandmother had passed.


We jump ahead to Nana's funeral, where Angelica brings up the notion that she is "special".  Daddy Bart doesn't wanna hear none of this spoo... but then, our gal demonstrates her specialness, by melting all the snow around her.  This... isn't very well received.  Her father laments the fact that his kid is a "blasted mutie".


That evening, the Jones' have a surprise visitor... someone who calls themselves "a friend"... who can help them with their new situation.  It's... duh... Emma Frost.  She offers to take Angelica back with her to her special school.  Welp, all our gal needed to hear was the word "special", and she was all about it!


We wrap up with Professor X and Nightcrawler pulling up to the Jones house... and upon seeing their rival already there, figure all hope is lost in recruiting young Angelica Jones.


--

This was really good!

I really enjoyed this story.  I wasn't prepared to feel quite as bad for Angelica as I wound up being.  This poor girl didn't stand a chance.  I felt legitimate sadness when she told the Mean Girls why she stares at her palm.  That's... that's just rough.  It kinda hits you where it hurts.

I was something of an outsider myself during my schooling years... I didn't stare at my hands or anything, but I wasn't especially well-loved by any of the popular groups.  I guess I can kind of relate to those feelings of isolation and solitude.  It was really well done... though, perhaps a bit tropey in the "hunk with a heart of gold" aspect.

I appreciated watching the manifestation of Angelica's powers... "climax" gag and all.  I thought this was a great way to depict her abilities making their presence known.  It also drives home the point that, Angelica is potentially dangerous... especially around a tiny cartons of chocolate milk.  I will admit that I wasn't all that keen on her being able to control her powers following her Nana's funeral.  That seemed a bit too convenient... and almost makes it so she doesn't actually need all that much in the way of training.

Speaking of training... having Emma Frost and Professor X in a race to recruit the new mutant was really cool.  Reminded me of how things went when Kitty Pryde first made the scene... which, I'm guessing was probably the intention.

Coming into the comics when I did, in the early 1990's, I missed out on this weird, almost cold-war-esque rivalry between the New Mutants and the Hellions.  They were rivals, yes... but... maybe not actual "enemies"?  By the time I became an X-Fan, things were a bit more black and white.  Good guys were good... bad guys were bad.  It wasn't quite as nebulous nor as deep as the Frost v Xavier deal.

The art here was wonderful.  Mary Wilshire is great with facials, and makes Angelica actually look like a thirteen year old girl.  This felt very high in quality... in a way that plenty of miniseries' don't.  Really good stuff!

I'd definitely say this one's worth tracking down... it isn't likely to break the bank if you're out hunting in the cheapo bins... you'll probably find all four issues in the dusty recesses of the store where very few brave souls (like us) bother to dwell.  For the less ink-and-pulp dependent among us (oh, how I envy you!), you can find this in digital format both at Comixology... as well as part of Marvel Unlimited.

--

Interesting Ads:


Major X-Lapsed, Episode 1 - Major X #1 (2019)

Major X-Lapsed, Episode One

Major X #1 (June, 2019)
Words and Pencils - Rob Liefeld
Inks - Liefeld, Adelso Corona, Dan Fraga
Colors - Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Letters - VC's Joe Sabino
Edits - Bissa, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $4.99
On-Sale: April 3, 2019


Who's ready to party like it's 1991?

Welcome, friends to the first spinoff program to X-Lapsed - Major X-Lapsed!  That's right, today we're going to be covering the somewhat divisive little ditty from the somewhat divisive Rob Liefeld.  I'll probably be doing one of these a week for the next several.  If you're expecting this to be a half-hour of me bashing this first issue of Major X... well, you're probably going to be a little bit disappointed.

As someone who came into the comics fandom in the early nineties... this comic is more comfort food to me than anything.  "Popcorn Comics", which is sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered...

--

Chris' "Rob Leefield, Maaaaaan" story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce_D4F4m4cc

--

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 043 - Marauders #6 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Forty-Three

Marauders #6 (March, 2020)
"A Time to Reap"
Writer - Gerry Duggan
Art - Matteo Lolli & Mario Del Pennino
Colors - Erick Arciniega & Federico Blee
Letters - VC's Cory Petit
Head of X - Hickman
Edits - Robinson, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 22, 2020

Business just picked up!  Today, faithful friends and listeners... we're talking about one heck of an issue of Marauders.  Join me as we look at one of the strongest issues of the Dawn of X era yet!

Also: An X-Tended Listener Mail segment chatting pretty much everything from HoXPoX through to DoX... with a little EcksOfTens for good measure!

--

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Friday, October 16, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 042 - X-Men #5 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Forty-Two

X-Men (vol.5) #5 (March, 2020)
"Into the Vault"
Writer - Jonathan Hickman
Art - R.B. Silva
Colors - Marte Gracia
Letters - VC's Clayton Cowles
Design - Tom Muller
Edits - Bissa, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 15, 2020


Fallen Angels isn't even over yet, and X-23 is already joining another team?  Well, I guess that's just a sign of the times.  Today we join her, Synch, and Darwin as they attempt to infiltrate the Children of the Vault's... well, vault.

It's another strange one-off issue of X-Men (vol.5)... listen to me try not to complain that it's not everything I wanted it to be!

--

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 041 - Fallen Angels #5 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Forty-One

Fallen Angels (vol.2) #5 (March, 2020)
"Sensei"
Writer - Bryan Hill
Art - Szymon Kudranski
Colors - Frank D'Armata
Letters - VC's Joe Sabino
Design - Tom Muller
Head of X - Hickman
Edits - Robinson, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 15, 2020

It's the penultimate issue of Fallen Angels... so, what's say we actually start-and-finish rounding out our team, yeah?

Today I talk about how unpleasant a character Kwannon is, and question how anyone ever thought she could carry her own back-up feature in a random issue of X-Men Unlimited much less an actual miniseries.  At least there's only one to go...

--

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 040 - X-Force #5

X-Lapsed, Episode Forty

X-Force (vol.6) #5 (March, 2020)
"Necessary Force"
Writer - Benjamin Percy
Art - Joshua Cassara
Colors - Dean White & Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters - VC's Joe Caramagna
Design - Tom Muller
Head of X - Hickman
Edits - Robinson, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 8, 2020


Whatever happened to Wolverine's bottom half?  For that matter, whattabout Quentin Quire from the shoulders down?  Prepare to find out, my friends...

Today our (makeshift) X-Treme Team takes on a group of MERCs who maybe aren't completely ready for prime-time.  They make plenty of mistakes... but, the sort that kinda have to happen for the story to work out the way it does.  That's just the row we hoe with X-Force(d).

Also: Some great listener mail... featuring thoughts on the new take on Bobby Drake, the "shoe-drop" issue of HoXPoX, and the hottest take of them all... somebody liked the New Mutants "Farm" story???

--

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 039 - New Mutants #5 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Thirty-Nine

New Mutants (vol.4) #5 (March, 2020)
"Endangered Birds"
Writer - Jonathan Hickman
Art - Rod Reis
Letters - VC's Travis Lanham
Design - Tom Muller
Edits - Bissa, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 8, 2020


I never thought I'd be so happy to see Deathbird!

Welcome back to Shi'ar Space, fellow NewMu's... it's time for one heck of a fun (farm-less) issue of New Mutants!  Join me as I talk all about how much I enjoy these characters... while at the same time, am growing a bit weary of the tricks of the current DoX landscape.  We've got nothin' happenin' bad guys, and a cliffhanger that threatens with some mutant deaths.  We're just a power-dampening collar away from the "hat trick"!

Also: Great listener feedback... and some more of me rattling off about my reviewing process for far too long!

--

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Monday, October 12, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 038 - Excalibur #5 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Thirty-Eight

Excalibur (vol.4) #5 (March, 2020)
"Verse V: Panic on the Streets of London"
Writer - Tini Howard
Art - Marcus To
Colors - Erick Arciniega
Letters - VC's Cory Petit
Design - Tom Muller
Head of X - Hickman
Edits - Bissa, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 8, 2020

Today's issue of Excalibur is... well, kind of all over the place.  Lotta stuff happens... nebulously.  We even get yet another mutant "death"!

Also: Your humble host learns a bit more about Britishness... just enough to realize he still hasn't the foggiest idea what he's talking about!  Join in for all the fun!

--

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Sunday, October 11, 2020

X-Lapsed, Episode 037 - Marauders #5 (2020)

X-Lapsed, Episode Thirty-Seven

Marauders #5 (March, 2020)
"A Time to Sow"
Writer - Gerry Duggan
Art - Matteo Lolli & Lucas Werneck
Colors - Federico Blee
Letters - VC's Cory Petit
Design - Tom Muller
Head of X - Hickman
Edits - Robinson, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 1, 2020

Today we kick off the Dawn of X Wave One #5s with Marauders!  We get some great callbacks to the long ago... and your humble host uncomfortably talks about the new(ish) take on Bobby Drake.  I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the post-2016 Iceman!

Also: I am questioned as to what my "review process" looks like... and I do my best to answer.  All'at and much, much more!

--

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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Be X-Tra Safe With the X-Men #1 (1996)

Be X-Tra Safe With the X-Men #1 (1996)
"Safety Net"
Writer - Mariano Nicieza
Pencils - David Boller
Inks - Greg Adams
Letters - Chris Eliopoulos
Colors - Paul Becton
Edits - Glenn Herdling
Chief - Bob Harras
In Conjunction with Blockbuster Video Kidprint

Oh boy... we've got an interesting little piece of X-Ephemera today.  Now, I don't wanna outright dismiss what we're about to discuss as being a silly PSA (though, it very much is)... because it's in the interests of a very important cause.

The story we're about to read together was approved by the National Center of Missing & Exploited Children... a very important organization, and a wildly important cause.  That said... this is going to be a weird one.  I'll try not and take the story beats too lightly... but, no promises.  This was released in conjunction with Blockbuster Video's Kidprint identification program.  Here's a piece written by Josh Schafer about it.

Now, I won't waste anybody's time waxing nostalgic for Blockbuster Video... mostly because it's been done to death... and, also for the fact that I never... despite my best efforts... had a membership to the place!  Anytime I'd try, I'd be told that I needed to bring an electric bill or something with me.  By the time I moved out on my own, and had an electric bill with my name on it... renting videos was no longer something I cared to do.  Oh well.

Blockbuster seems to be a place kind of like Toys R Us... where people talk about how much they miss it... however, if it were to come back... they would continue not to shop there (just as they did before), and they'd be out of business again pretty quick.  Oh well.

Worth noting, this is written by Mariano Nicieza (credited only as Mariano in the book).  He is the brother of veteran X-Men scribe, Fabian Nicieza.

Let's do this!

--



We open on the playground in a sunny suburb.  There, a young boy is approached by... well, a creepy pervert in a superhero costume.  He introduces himself as one of the X-Men... and, what's more... he's got him a very special mutant power that he'd really like to show the kid.



Lucky for the kiddo that... the actual X-Men just so happened to be hanging out in this very same suburban playground... in full costume!  I'd have loved to see the scene before this, with Wolverine going down a slide, and Beast hanging from the jungle gym.  Anyhoo, they swoop in and nab the pervert.  Worth noting, Cyclops' optic-beams are literally dripping from his visor here... as though he was just about to let loose with all his might amid all of these tots!



After the pervert is dealt with (off-panel... we should probably assume that Wolverine killed him)... Jubilee starts chatting up the kid.  We learn that his name is Terrance, and he thought the fat, stubbly, stinky-looking creeper looked enough like an X-Man that he could be trusted.  I wonder if he put X-Men decals on his windowless brown van too?  Anyhoo, the X-Men tell him he needs to be careful around any new people he meets... themselves included.  It's here that we get X-Tra Safe Rule #1: Trust Your Feelings!



Jubilee then goes on to tell Terrance about a time where she nearly found herself in a pickle with strangers.  It was around the time she joined up with the X-Men... and she was feeling sort of homesick, so she decided to sneak out and explore Salem Center.  It wasn't long before she found herself lost... I mean, Salem Center might only have one street in it... but, it's a long one.  Anyhoo, an elderly couple pulled up beside her to ask if she needed a ride.  She declined and said she was going to find a Police Officer instead.  Here's where we get X-Tra Safe Rule #2: Always Bring a Buddy!



Well, all these old creeps needed to hear was that the gaudily-dressed teen was looking for a cop for them to put pedal to metal and get outta dodge.  I feel like we don't know enough about these old folks to assume they were sex perverts... but, when in doubt... it's your safest bet.  Anyhoo, Jubilee finds an Officer (who was conveniently right next to the perv-mobile), and is escorted back to the Institute.  Worth noting, we get the phone number to Xavier's here!  It's 914-555-1111.  914 is the area code for Westchester County... so, I have little doubt this is legit!  This is where Jubilee learned X-Tra Safe Rule #3: Check First!



Next, Beast decides to share a story of his own... and, woof... it is pretty creepy.  Check it out, there's this kid named Jimmy who is home alone, right?  While he's watching TV, the phone rings...



Half awake, he goes to answer it, and on the other end is... well, probably a sex pervert.  He asks if Jimmy's parents are home... and upon learning that they're not, asks where li'l Jimmy lives.  Now... as luck would have it, this was exactly when Beast was testing a "holographic projector", which somehow placed him INSIDE of li'l Jimmy's television set.  Hank then pops OUT of the TV set to warn Jimmy not to tell strangers that he's home alone.  Uhhh... what?  So really... who's the sex pervert here... this dude on the phone, or Beast watching people through their TVs?



So, it's here that we wrap up with our fourth and final X-Tra Safe Rule: Trust Your Feelings!  What that has to do with a creepy blue mutant crawling out of your television set is beyond me... but, what do I know?  All that matters is that the day is saved... and, Beast is drawn here as being about three-and-a-half feet tall.




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Well, I don't know about y'all... but I feel safer already!  X-Tra safer, even!

This was weird... right?  I mean, very very bizarre stuff... it's almost hard to believe it's a thing that exists.  It's unusual when I come across something "with an X on it" in the wild that causes me to do a double-take.  Mostly because, after 30 years of digging in the bins, most of the things I see "with an X on it", I already own.  But... this?  This was new to me... and I love it for that fact.

Here we saw three dangerous situations.  First, with the piggish slob in a leotard trying to abduct poor Terrance.  Well, all we know for sure is that he wanted to show li'l Terry his "mutant power".  I'm sure he did want that.  But, I can't help but to laugh at the sheer bat-spit craziness of a big fat dude trawling a playground in a get-up like that.  What's more, the kid... while tentative... really thought this goof was an X-Man?!

Speaking of which... I'm guessing Terrance didn't get the memo that the X-Men are to be feared and hated by the world they're sworn to protect.  He was wearing an X-Men logo hat too... I wonder who gets those royalties?  Maybe it's outta one of Professor Xavier's "shell companies" that'll wind up paying off in Dawn of X?  Nah, nothing outta this comic will ever be referenced again (foreshadowing...).

Also, Wolverine totally killed this guy, right?  Fair enough.

Let's talk about that scene with weirdo phone pervert calling li'l Jimmy.  I hate to say that this is where this issue went "off the rails", because... it was insane to begin with... buuuuuut, what in the hell happened here?!

Beast was working on a holographic projector... that just so happened to be in this kid's (who's home alone) house?!  What the hell kinda creepy racket is ol' Hank McCoy working here?  I struggle to think of a single way this scene makes any sense at all... while not suggesting that McCoy is a voyeuristic pervert... but, I can't!  We'll just move on...

Finally, let's talk about that sweet elderly couple who offered to help Jubilee find her way home.  I mean, why we gonna just assume these old folks are sex perverts?  It's not like we'll ever see them again... why besmirch their reputations in such a way?  It's not like... they'll be revealed as being child abductors a quarter-century later in something called Scream: Curse of Carnage #6 (August, 2020) or anything, right?  C'mon...

Scream: Curse of Carnage #6 (August, 2020)
Clay Chapman (W) / Chris Mooneyham (A)

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh... wow.  My mind's kinda blown here, folks.  First, by the fact that... before yesterday I had zero knowledge of this Blockbuster Video "Special Edition" comic... and, now finding out that it's in continuity?!  Dang... I love it!  Worth noting that "The Creeps" as they're lovingly identified as on the Marvel Wiki, meet their end in their second (and only other) appearance.

Overall... while this is a very sobering topic, I can't say I didn't have a good time with this issue.  It was endearingly silly... and done in earnest.  If you happen across this oddity in the wild, I'd recommend grabbing it just so you can have it in your library.  Heck, maybe slab it for when "The Creeps" make their inevitable big-screen debut in Marvel Wave 24 or whatever.

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Letters (to Jubilee) Page:


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Et-Cetera:


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Wraparound Cover:

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