Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Classic X-Men #2: First Friends

As noted previously, in X-Men #94-#95, we saw the team become less diverse ethnically. We also saw it become more male. There were 2 female X-Men in the pre-Giant Size #1 team, but both Lorna and Jean leave, leaving only Ororo. She could therefore be seen as doing double duty as the token woman and the token non-white character; and it means that it's not going to idly pass the Bechdel test without trying...

The backup feature in Classic X-Men #2 sorts this out by giving Jean and Ororo some interaction. Ororo visits Jean's new apartment (which she's sharing with Misty Knight, who by a strange coincidence is also a superhero - we'll come to that later).

Jean immediately takes Storm shopping. Because of course she didn't think to bring any civilian clothes, only her superhero costume (?).

Among the things that Storm does not properly understand are large metropolitan areas and the nudity taboo. I'm not sure I buy much of these, given her later backstory. You don't grow up in Cairo and then be massively astonished at the size of New York City. Not even Cairo in 1975. The wealth of it all, perhaps... And the clothes thing, just honestly...

We get a nice comparison between Jean's telepathy and how she can feel with all those voices, versus Ororo's claustrophobia. But I'm not sure it makes sense to dump that to us several issues early... Obviously there's a limit to what they can do in these backup strips, but still, it's a bit of a waste of a dramatic revelation later. Having said that, it looks like it's structured to assume you already know? Neither one thing nor another, these.

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