Friday, 7 September 2012

X-Men #105: These Are The Voyages

X-Men #105 opens with our team arriving back at the Mansion in a hurry, to find Erik the Red, who has come for Xavier. He's out, though, and he didn't even leave a note. Now, I'm not sure what's happening here. They've realised Erik is after Xavier, so they flew back on the Blackbird... without phoning ahead?

In space we finally meet the Shi'ar properly. Lilandra, who was formerly Grand Admiral, is fleeing in her ship from an Imperial Cruiser. It is weird quite how Star Trek it is. The bridge and transporters are a ringer for the Enterprise's, they report to each other in Star Trek ways (Earth is a "Class M" planet, which is Starfleet jargon for Earth-like, there's a "ship's log", an "imperial date"), and a science officer called "Mr. S'lar". Weirdly, there's talk of a Shi'ar Prime Directive, as if a galactic empire can have some kind of doctrine of non-interference (given later information I'd suspect the Shi'ar's real prime directive would be "destroy all people manifesting powers associated with fiery birds"). The Shi'ar ship shoots its "photon torpodoes" at Lilandra's ship, destroying it, and then skidaddles off, having excreted bricks when they've looked at the "Encounters with Galactus" section on Earth's Wikipedia article.

So, Lilandra beams down to Xavier's location. He's visiting Jean and Misty. We just got the backstory as to how they moved in together: they said it's utter coincidence, they were both attending the same viewing. But that might not be reliable, as Jean's parents are there, too. Anyway, Xavier telepathically flash-teaches Lilandra English (in a relatively unusual acknowledgement that aliens are unlikely to speak English), which is the first time this has been used in quite that way (Jean, of course, sucked m4d p1l0t1ng sk1llz out of Corbeau's head in #100). Thinking about it, I wonder if he did the same thing for Colossus? How likely is a young lad who has never left the collective farm to speak good enough English to quickly join an assault force?

Anyway, Erik the Red and Firelord, turn up. Jean manifests as Phoenix and attacks Firelord, while Erik the Red explains his backstory - he's really Shakari, and has been exiled to Earth by Lilandra. Erik sets up his portable stargate (which he didn't use to escape his exile because I don't know), grabs Lilandra, and goes. Jean then clumsily explains Lilandra's backstory by telling Xavier something he already knows because he dumped it into her brain off-panel earlier that issue. Her brother is going to destroy the universe, and she wants help. Phoenix powers open the gate, and the X-Men depart, leaving Firelord for Xavier and Misty to deal with.

One of the nicer touches of the issue is Jean's parents, who are continually boggling at the crazy shit going on around them, in exactly the way real people would. It can be read as them not knowing about any superhero stuff, or just as them being surprised at the manifestation as Phoenix.

The oddest thing is the way that Alex and Lorna were casually killed in a flashback, by Firelord. At least that's what Erik thinks... Say it ain't so...


  1. "How likely is a young lad who has never left the collective farm to speak good enough English to quickly join an assault force?"

    IIRC a telepathic crash course in English is mentioned in Second Genesis, so that the team can communicate with each other whilst punching sentient islands.

    1. Point. I'd forgotten about that.

      It becomes routine later on: by Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, Kitty's been flash-taught both Japanese and Russian.