On a lark, I’m live-blogging my reading of artist Neal Adam’s latest work, “The First X-Men”. Adams is an artistic legend in the comic book community, but lately some of his work has been seen as… odd. By some. Yes, that’s a reasonable assessment. So! I’m reading it, and commenting as I go, and my friend Patrick is replying to my descriptions of what’s happening with no further context, just for laughs. Last time went better than I expected, really. The plot was pretty thin, but mostly not awful. So let’s see what this week’s issue has in store!
Previously on the Neal Adams X-Men Vanity Project Adventure Hour, Wolverine and his pal Sabertooth decide to save all the mutants. Good times. They met some girl named Holo who we’ve never heard of before, and then got told to piss off from a douche Professor Xaiver. Now they’re off to find Magneto to get him to join their rag tag group!
me: Alright, First X-Men #2
Wolverine has decided to save all mutants.
Sabertooth decided to help him, because he's got nothing better to do.
Random dude who's dad knew Wolverine died, but sort of didn't, after he exploded
Girl named Holo has joined their team
... And will probably die by series end because we've never heard of her
Professor X is marrying Moira MacTaggert
And just generally being a dick
Where do they come up with these names
me: And the W-Men, as you so aptly put it last time are off to find Magneto and ask him to join them
Patrick: Is she a living hologram?
me: She projects hologram like images in people's minds, I guess?
Patrick: That's just lazy naming
me: Well, yes
So, we ready to do this?
Because I have questions, just with the cover alone.
First off, there are no bad guys on it
Patrick: I'm guessing that's Magneto?
Behind Wolverine throw a car at him
With flowing grey hair
But everyone is fighting.... someone?
Which begs the question
me: What is up with his hair?
me: It's like a mullet hybrid with Wolverine's hair helmet
Patrick: Yeah I'm not sure what's going on
me: They're fighting "someone"
And “Someone” just threw a car door at Sabertooth's face
Which is funny, but I'm really confused with what this image is saying
Patrick: I'm guessing that car door is just magneto multitasking
me: But aren't Sabertooth and Magneto on the same side?
(Who can tell, anymore?)
me: The Page 1 Recap has the most amazing sentence I've read all this week in it, though. “Logan is surprised when the boy he has just found explodes."
That sentence is hilariously deadpanned.
Patrick: That's a Joker's boner if I've ever read one
Patrick: But honestly... would Logan be surprised?
me: People doing crazy shit around Wolverine is pretty much just a Tuesday afternoon, yeah
We open in Colorado, where some dudes are hunting down a Wendingo.
And a delightful conversation on the differences between Bigfoot and yetis ensues.
Know your cryptozoology, kids!
Patrick: I thought Wendigo lived in Canada
What is he doing all the way down in Colorado
Or is this a different one
me: Apparently I was wrong to assume the big, white, scary Wendingo-looking dude was Wendingo.
I guess his name is really "Yeti".
Can you check Wikipedia to see if this is an obscure X-Man/Alpha Flighter/whatever, or if Neal Adams is making up more characters to kkill later?
Patrick: once again getting real creative with names
“The second Yeti was a member of Weapon P.R.I.M.E., a covert Canadian superhuman team working for Department K, the agency responsible for the Weapon X project that created the X-Men character Wolverine.
Both are depicted as huge white beasts that resemble the Wendigo”
this sounds like our guy?
me: Sounds like
Holy shit, the creature from the black lagoon just popped out of nowhere with no explanation!
Patrick: Again, though, why isn't this comic just set in Canada?
If we're going to use all these Canadians?
me: Oh, Holo just created the black lagoon monster to scare off the Colorado rednecks. Got it.
Patrick: Good old Holo with her pop culture references
me: Canada is America's hat, Patrick. We can use it as we like.
Patrick: and Colorado is America's little Canada?
me: Sure, why not?
Oh man, Holo is even actually calling out references in dialogue
Is that a real movie?
Patrick: no but it is a character from Marvel comics
Based on the Black Lagoon creature
Patrick: Of course in Marvel, it's an alien that arrived on Earth 1000 years ago.,..
And so SHIELD needs to capture it
me: Right, naturally
Patrick: But whatever, moving right along!
me: Holo inexplicably strikes Sabertooth
I mention this only because there's no real reason, and the dialogue doesn't really help to clarify
Yeti is looking for his brother, and Wolverine and crew opt to help him
No mention is made of Operation: Get Magneto.
me: Yeti's brother is named "Ben Goldendawn", which doesn't ring any bells for me, but my X-trivia is good only up through, like, 1982, then it gets muddled
We're suddenly in Virginia!
Where, um, I guess Wolverine's tracking nose found Yeti's bro, maybe?
But the comic says we're in Quantico now
Stuff explodes, and we find the kid that Wolverine thought was dead, but wasn't.
I'm still very confused on how we got here from the Rockys.
Patrick: Quantico? What the hell?
me: Says so on the top of the page, yep.
Patrick: Boom tubes?
me: Sure, why not
Patrick: This sounds like a series of random events
And not a story but alright
me: Slpopdin' Kid is joining them too now, obviously. And now the team's eating sandwiches in Upstate New York!
Patrick: On the road again!
Patrick: We all know that Magneto likes to hang out in central park playing chess
So I was just hoping...
me: Apparently Logan's got a cozy little place up there
Patrick: He has a place everywhere
Just not in Virginia
Patrick: Because why would anyone want to live there
me: The closest safe house he had was in Upstate New York, clearly
(Well, that's a good point...)
Suddenly, Wolvie leaps to murder Holo!
...To, uh, teach her to fight. I guess.
(While she's trying to enjoy a chicken leg.)
Patrick: Maybe he just wants her chicken?
me: Who knows, she spanks his ass with her psychic powers
Because it is time for a TRAINING MONTAGE!
Patrick: We need a montage!
Just like in First Class!
me: During which, everyone's face looks like monkeys!
Oh, wait, that's just this comic, not the movie
Jesus, this comic really is just vamping on First Class pretty hard
Patrick: Maybe THIS is what Wolverine was doing the whole time!
me: Seriously, there's a seen with Wolverine and Kid Napalm, and it's just like the one with Havok and Professor X
Complete with fire extinguishers putting out the explosions remains
Oh, and he finally gets a codename!
You thought the first two were bad, but are you ready for this?
It's WAAAAY worse
Patrick: You mean it's not Kid Napalm?
Patrick: Because I kind of like that
Is that just what you nicknamed him?
me: I'm pretty clever sometimes, and his real name is not
No, his name, which an editor had to okay, is....
Patrick: Stop the suspense!
Can we back up
And just pretend this never happened
me: Oh thank evil jesus, Magneto's finally in this comic
Patrick: This stuff is starting to make Batman odyssey look sane
me: Well, no giant pterosaurs yet, but here's hoping
Magneto's still in Argentina, presumably killin' 'Natzis.
Patrick: There's always a chance for a savage land field trip!
Patrick: Oh, so once again Magneto is in South America
Chasing down those Nazi fugitives
Patrick: Just like in that movie!
Although to be fair... he might have been in Central America in the movie?
me: No, I'm pretty sure it was Argentina...
Patrick: how does Neal Adams get work!
me: So, Wolverine and Sabertooth, to get Magneto's attention and try to get him to join them, decide the best way is to kill the Nazi that Mags is looking for off camera, and announce it to him from a helicopter hovering above him
...That's.... Okay, let's just keep moving
After everyone's threatened everyone else, they meet on the ground, and Magneto refers to all mutants as "freaks" more than once
This is kind of off-putting
Patrick: Magneto is a self-hating mutant
Sounds completely out of character
me: Oh boy, I'll touch on that in a sec
But can we go back to your question about all these Canucks in America?
Patrick: Well now they seem to be in Argentina..
me: Wolverine's talking about the feds cracking down on mutants
and Magneto immediately knows it's the USA he's talking about here
And everyone's agreeing that "American feds taking out all us mutants" is bad
But yeah, they're in Argentina
Wolverine and Sabertooth are Canadians
And Magneto is Eastern European
(his nationality varies slightly depending on the writer)
So... what's the deal?
Patrick: Yeah but before you know it, America will be invading other countries, killing mutants
Like they ALWAYS do
Wolverine knows this, because he's being written by someone from the future
me: ... Well, it IS an X-book
I guess that makes as much sense as anything
Patrick: Is Wolverine going to run into the Hulk sometime soon?
I feel like that should be happening around then
me: We can dream
But now, it is time for a FIGHT SCENE
Magneto won't join them, and he won't let them leave until they "agree to abandon your suicidal mission!"
Patrick: So he'll kill them instead!
me: That seems reasonable
And this fight scene is in a scrap yard
But Holo makes him see scenes of being a 90 year old man in a Concentration Camp
Patrick: Has it ever occurred to Magneto that he could just control Wolverine to kill all the X-Men?
me: Well, he can't yet
No metal bones
Patrick: Oh, pre Weapon X... right
Patrick: So Holo knows Magneto’s back story?
me: I guess?
Patrick: She's seen First Class too, I can assume
me: Magneto is all like "Well, uh, I was like 7 then, so clearly that was an illusion, and not really me"
And he goes back to knocking the shit out of all of them
Then Magneto just kind of leaves
Because he's too good for them
And now, an Undisclosed Location!
It's an evil government one, too!
Hey look, it's a young Bolivar Trask!
His superior is all like "giant robots? That's stupid!"
Patrick: Well... to be honest...
me: You said it, not me
Patrick: Giant purple robots designed to kill mutants
me: No, we get another maybe cameo?
Patrick: Gotta love X-Men books, always full of those cameos
me: a full page spread of some gross dude, controlling what I assume is Yeti's brother
The gross dude is named "Lyle Doorne"
(No idea if he's new or not)
And, uh... that's the end
Last time wasn't great, but... oy
Patrick: Looks like he's new from as far as I can tell
Which means he'll die too
me: He's on the cover for next issue too. Great
This book needs stronger editing
Patrick: I feel like Neal Adams just does whatever he wants
Someone should check him into a nursing home already
Or he should just go back to drawing
For the record, blog readers, Patrick said put Neil Adams in a nursing home, not me
Please, rabid fans, blame him
Patrick: Hey at least I can appreciate his artwork
me: .... That being said, way back in X-Men # early 100s or whenever, when the "New X-Men" first encounter Magneto, shouldn't he have been "Don't I know you?" to Wolverine?
I mean, I know Logan won't remember any of this because, hey, mindwipe
Same for Sabertooth
Patrick: I'm just assuming this is all non canon
me: I suppose that's the sane way to deal with all this
Anyway, I guess that just about wraps this up
First X-Men #2: Not a very good comic.
Patrick: no not at all
but when you're rewriting X-Men history by making Wolverine the star...
me: Also, Mr. Adams, could you please slow down just a little? Your are should be much, much prettier than this
I know you can do it, I've seen it
Patrick: Is he doing the artwork?
And I don't think it's simply a matter of needing an inker
Until next issue!