Giant-Size X-Men #1 with Kate (and Dan)

  ::Kate has her fingers pressed to her temples, while staring at The Dog with a terrible intensity::

D: Don’t make me ask.

K: ::stares at dog, squints eyes::

D: C’mon. Just tell me.

K: ::stares at Dog, squints eyes, starts to sweat::

D: WHAT IN HELL ARE YOU DOING???

K: Well, with C2E2 coming up at the end of the month (plug, plug), I like to do a little prep work. I dug up this reprint of GIANT SIZE X-MEN written by Len Wein. This issue came out a long, long time ago. I think it says 1975. Man, that’s old. Like really, really old. Say, weren’t you born in ’75?

D: Shut up. So what’s up with the staring contest?

K: ::points to page with the redheaded Jean Grey:: Jean Grey is a redhead. She has mental powers. I am a redhead. Therefore, I MUST HAVE MENTAL POWERS, TOO!

D: She also wears a green miniskirt and large yellow mask with sharp points.

K: ::points right hand at Dan, with left finger pressed to temple::

D: Now what are you doing?

K: Trying to mentally throw you out a window.

D: ::edges away from the window:: Uh, huh. Good call with reading GIANT SIZE X-MEN! I’m a huge fan of Len Wein. Dude created Swamp Thing and Wolverine!

K: Really? That IS pretty cool.

D: This book is the perfect example of how comics from the 70’s created new readers. The story telling is action packed and draws you in. We’ve talked about this before, but this single comic would take at least 2 years to tell today. Every panel moves the plot forward.

K: No kidding it moves quickly! The book starts with a cold open. Professor Xavier is recruiting new X-Men, because Heaven knows there are only a billion in the universe and he needs all of them. You know, he’s kind of like a mutant hoarder. He just goes out and gets new ones. I think they’re starting to pile up at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. There have to be rooms he can’t use any more because they are filled with mutants. Wings closed off to the world because the doors won’t open on account of all of the mutants inside…

D: :: points right hand at Kate, with left finger pressed to temple::

K: You’re not a redhead, so you don’t have super-brain-powers. Why are you doing that?

D: I’m trying to make you GET TO THE POINT!!

K: Oh, right. The fast paced plot. So Professor X is adding to his collection of mutants. He goes to the Grand Ol’ Opry to recruit Banshee. And he’s like “You wanna work with me?” and Banshee’s like, “Of course! I was hoping someone would ask me to do mutant-y, superhero stuff because I just happen to be wearing my spandex costume while I sit here and listen to country music.” As you do when you go to the Grand Ol’ Opry.

D: You’re right, I think, about the pacing. The story goes from recruiting the new X-Men to the crux of the story: The original X-Men have been kidnapped on the island of Krakoa and the new X-Men need to save them. Cyclops was able to escape from the island and he’s the one to lead the new recruits on the mission.

“We have to go back!” ::crickets:: ::tumbleweeds:: ::more crickets::

K: That joke is so old if it were milk it would kill you.

Cyclops is kind of a dick. He’s all bossy and doesn’t like snappy patter or banter. I don’t think he’d like us.

D: Probably not.

K: I guess having lasers shooting out of your eyes all of time makes a guy cranky. But I still think he’s kind of a dick.

D: That’s who he is. Every team needs one all-business guy, and that’s Cyclops.

K: ::puts on glasses:: Let’s look at this rescue team a bit closer, shall we? So we already talked about the country music loving Irish-born Banshee, but the rest of Prof. X’s recruits are a veritable United Nations.

D: Uh-huh. Go on.

K: So the Prof shows up in his wheelchair all over the world. (Which reminds me, how did he get his chair to all of these remote locations?) USSR for Colossus. Africa for Storm. American West for Thunderbird. Germany for Nightcrawler. Canada for Wolverine. Japan for Sunfire.

D: It turned the X-Mansion into a 1970’s REAL WORLD episode!

K: Anyhoo, Cyclops leads the Legion of Substitute X-Men to the island…

D: THEY HAVE TO GO BACK!

K: Knock it off, dummy! So they go back. Len Wein has laid out this huge issue with lightning-fast pacing, and the fight scenes on the island are no different. The action is fast and furious. And with art by the legendary Dave Cockrum, it’s all just so good to look at.

D: Knowing you’ve been kind of “meh” on the X-Men books in the past, how does this landmark comic rate on your Kate-O-Scale?

K: Fast moving story + great looking art – weirdo time stuff= an X-Men book I can get into.

Kate not trying to throw Dan out the window.

Kate not trying to throw Dan out the window.

D: Hey, you’re making that face again…

K: ::takes of glasses, presses fingers to temples, and stares out window::

D: Your trying to throw me out the window… again!

K: No, no… it’s cool. But if you could move a few feet to the left that would be appreciated.