Sunday, 1 July 2012

X-Men #32-#33: "what ever happened to weak villains, like Magneto and the Sentinels"

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the long gap in posts. As I stated earlier, this has been due to poor health. I'm building up a small backlog now, and will be posting at the more sustainable rate of weekly.

X-Men #32 spends a long time at Bobby's 18th birthday party at the Coffee A-Go-Go, intercut with Professor X trying to revive the Juggernaut, who he has been keeping in a coma for several issues, while having told his students that the government had him. Naughty Xavier! In a well-designed set piece, the coffee shop is attacked by a completely non-mutant related threat (a biker gang led by Rocky Rhodes, who, as far as I can make out, has never made an appearance in a comic ever again), and the X-Men have to secretly use their mutant powers to defend themselves and their friends.

Meanwhile, back at the mansion, you'll be shocked to learn that things don't quite work out as Xavier plans. Instead, Marko manages to mentally overpower him due to a third mind in there. He prepares for the arrival of the X-Men, and then when they arrive incompletely defeats them, being summoned away by the mysterious "Factor Three" organisation.

In #33, the X-Men are forced to act independently from Xavier in confronting the Juggernaut. Upon the advice of Stephen Strange, Scott and Jean go to the "communist zone set up by the truce" to the Temple of Cyttorak, where Marko's transformation took place, while Bobby, Hank and Warren try and slow him (as, you see, nothing can stop the Juggernaut).

The Juggernaut is a magical problem, and while science kicked off the problem (of Marko not being in a coma), magic provides the solution. Scott and Jean defeat the Outsider, who has turned up at the temple, by forcing him to experience the passage of time through Jean's watch (amusingly, Jean wearing a watch had been well set up by the rest of the story); they then use a second, prototype, Crimson Gem to defeat the Juggernaut, again by exposure. Marko is banished to the "Crimson Cosmos", which we are told is a sort of pocket dimension within the gem.

But what of Factor Three? Turns out they staged this entire thing as a diversion, and have kidnapped Xavier. We therefore get a decent resolution to this story, but a lead in to the next issue...

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