Wednesday, 18 July 2012

X-Men #36: should have tried a bake sale

X-Men #36 is insane in all the right ways. It starts with the team tracking down Xavier's exact location, in the Alps, but being interrupted by some burglars, who have had the misfortune to target the mutant's mansion, quite unaware. They mindwipe them with Cerebro before sending them on their way.

The X-Men then get back to business, trying to figure out how to get to Europe. The Blackbird has run out of fuel, and Warren's parents have just departed on a cruise, so are uncontactable (apparently Warren doesn't have access to cash himself, despite being 18 - which is vaguely plausible in 1967). They get the Rolls-Royce out of the garage and then... drive it to New York City to try and fund-raise for plane tickets.

First up, they try getting an emergency loan from a welfare centre, but are told no. They split into two groups: Hank and Bobby busk outside the new Memorial Library, while Jean, Scott and Warren try to get a job at a building site, in costume as the X-Men. They pass their audition, but are defeated by the menace of the closed shop (slightly puzzlingly, that Wikipedia link claims the closed shop was banned in the U.S. in 1946, but I suppose it might not have been enforced everywhere). Rather than try to join the union, they give up. Back to the Rolls, they find that it has been towed away by the city trucks, for parking alongside a fire hydrant.

Lamenting their fate, they are given a lift to the library by a passing stranger, Tom Regal, who, awkwardly, turns out to the supervillain Mekano, planning on attacking the same library. This sort of superhero/supervillain carpooling makes strong environmental sense given a city as congested as New York, and I think it's a shame that more metahumans do not do this.

There's a well-thought out superhero fight, and after defeating Mekano, the X-Men are offered a reward, and decline it, but instead ask for a $1,500 loan. They are happily able to buy the tickets, and have enough change left over to bail out the car. As we finish, they board the plane... I wonder if they ever did return that loan.

This issue is a real stand-out in Thomas's run so far. It mercilessly milks the innate humour of the X-Men's living situation, while furthering the ongoing plot.


  1. This is my favorite issue by Thomas (who I'm not generally a fan of). The sight of the X-Men trying to raise a buck any way they can still makes me giggle.

    1. They should just have sold the Rolls to a dodgy second hand car dealer.

      This one takes some serious squinting to work out how it works in 2000. I suppose we have to assume Warren maxed out his credit card that month already? I hope the Professor left emergency cash for them later.