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X-Men #119 (1979, March)

February 5, 2013

My birthday’s tomorrow, and after my busy day of classes, I’ll be getting together with a friend. So I may not be able to get my normal weekly review done tomorrow. Today’s story is “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas . . .”

'Twas the Night Before Christmas . . .

Moses Magnum. Such a lame supervillain.

We start with Storm taking Nightcrawler to Magnum’s volcano lair, so he can teleport down and sneak in. We get a flashback to an earlier briefing. Storm and Banshee create a distraction outside, giving Nightcrawler a clear path to get to the basement, where he sets a homing device for Cyclops to open the tunnel he’d been blasting under the seabed. When they emerge, they’re immediately attacked by Moses. Colossus is punched so hard he almost flies off the island, but he manages to stop himself.

Cyclops sends Sunfire to get Banshee and Storm, and Moses calls in a pair of Mandroids. Colossus makes quick work of them. Moses leaves to activate his machine and destroy Japan. Banshee tells Cyclops to get everyone off the volcano while he chases after Moses. Moses channels his energy to destroy the island, while Banshee uses his sonic scream to counter Moses’s energy. The volcano is destroyed.

A day later, a rescue plane finds the X-Men, alive. But Banshee seems to have burned out his power. 10 days later, he’s out of the hospital, and dropped off at the Yoshida Manor. He’s annoyed that no one came to meet him, and when he walks in, the X-Men welcome him back, and wish him a Merry Christmas. Wolverine chases after Mariko, and Colossus tells Storm that he misses his family. Then we get an epilogue in Edinburgh, where Jean gets off a train to be greeted by Moira, Alex, Lorna and Jamie. Back on Muir, Angus MacWhirter, the guy who had his hovercraft rented by the X-Men months ago, breaks into Moira’s facility. He’s attacked. It’ll be a few more issues before we learn what happened.

This issue is most significant for burning out Banshee’s powers. He’ll stick around for a little while longer before leaving the book, but it’s a long time before he gets his sonic scream back. Beyond that, as with last issue, it’s largely forgettable. Moses Magnum comes across as an utterly typical villain, and rather dull. I really don’t have a lot to say about this issue.

  1. Burning out powers… there’s something you NEVER see anymore.

    • Good point. It does seem like it’s been a while since that’s been done. I suppose it was never really common, but it did happen from time to time.

  2. Even when characters do burn out their powers in the last decade or so, it’ s usually only for a few hours at most. It’s too bad, because the threat of burning out their powers made superheroes feel a little more fallable. These days, most of them are a bit too unstoppable.

    Anyway, Happy Birthday.

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