Sunday, 5 August 2012

X-Men #47: New Adventures of Beast and Iceman

They did it! They actually did it! X-Men has been transformed, by new writer Gary Friedrich, from a team title to an anthology title featuring different X-Men each week. You can see signs of this as far back as #42: each issue has been featuring very large character names on the cover, with the X-Men title relegated to an "The X-Men featuring". Last ish was a bit different, but it's resulted in a new status quo.

The X-Men may have split up, but you can't prise apart Bobby Drake and Hank McCoy so easily. X-Men #47 opens with them double-dating Zelda and Vera. They go see Maha Yogi at the East Village Theatre, who, in one of those Silver Age coincidences turns out to be Warlock/Merlin, back from the terrible fill-in issue #30. His new persona is that of a stage hypnotist and his evil plan is to hypnotise the audience to use as a private army at a later date. The issue looks for a moment like it might have something interesting to say about 1960s counterculture falling for cults dressed in exoticism (the name Maha Yogi didn't come out of nowhere, after all). But then it spoils that by going straight to a fight scene.

Twice in this issue Bobby and Hank skip out on Zelda and Vera. They notice both times, and don't believe their excuses. The game is going to be up soon, right?

There is a curious backup feature, which I shan't treat separately, in which Bobby explains how his powers work. I think this is the first appearance of the "it comes from the moisture in the air" rationale and the first instance of "what holds the ladder up?" question - the answer being imagination. We are left with the open issue of whether or not Iceman's powers would work in space, despite them working perfectly in #5.

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