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X-Men and the Micronauts #4 (1984, April)

August 31, 2014

And now we finish off this mini, by Claremont, Mantlo and Guice, with “Doppelganger!”


What an odd expression Xavier’s got.

We start with yet another really, really, really creepy scene. Dani – in short shorts and a tied-up shirt, so right off she’s a bit uncomfortably sexualized for a teenager (I don’t think her age has ever been given, but it’s not likely to be older than 16) – is sleeping at her desk, when Evil Xavier comes in and subjects her to intense psychic pleasure. Basically, he made her orgasm. Holy hell. What the hell was wrong with Claremont at this point? Seriously. I feel like I’m going to wind up a watchlist just for reading this.

In the Microverse, the heroes are making their way through some tunnels, and Karza in Kitty’s body is watching them with a gun. Wolverine spots the glint of the gun, and alerts the others, so Colossus can take the blast, then Nightcrawler teleports up to punch him. He slips away, then the cave starts shaking, as Kitty-in-Karza bombs the planet. Degrayde still thinks something weird is going on with Karza. Kitty gets a flash from Xavier, and orders the bombing stopped, then teleports down. Degrayde doesn’t stop the bombing. Karza returns to the Entity’s body, and runs into Kitty, who attacks him, just in time for the heroes to bust in. Xavier stops the fight, now that he’s in the Entity’s body. He explains the swap between Kitty and Karza, and between himself and the Entity. Who, on Earth, is putting on Cerebro, and planning to destroy the entire Microverse.

The bombing’s still going on, so Rann gets the Bioship to pick them all up. That’s when the Entity’s attack on the Microverse begins. Karza’s fleet is destroyed, and Degrayde dies. Fireflyte sings them through the Spacewall, and Bioship crashes, badly injured. Fireflyte is also close to death. Then Bioship’s hit from behind by Cannonball, as the New Mutants attack in the Entity’s service. Bioship can’t restore the X-Men to their normal sizes without dying, so that complicates things.

Xavier sneaks into the school, and enters his own body, and his own mind. Outside, Lockheed attacks Kitty’s body, sensing Karza’s presence inside it. The Entity senses it happen, and realizes what’s happened, and takes over Karza’s body. Fireflyte helps them both by getting Karza to phase. This reverses the previous swap. They’re back in their own bodies, with Karza having teleported away. The Bioship is dying from the lava it’s sitting in, care of Magma. The Entity senses Xavier, and enters the astral plane for battle. Xavier uses his control of his own bodily functions to give himself a stroke. The Entity flees.

The Bioship’s dying, and he uses his final act to restore the X-Men to their proper size. Fireflyte sings the Micronauts back to the Microverse, and Xavier wakes up.

Not bad. That beginning is just messed up, but the rest of the story is less sleazy. Xavier’s method for defeating the Entity was pretty neat. The fighting was pretty fun. The art was good. There was some nice characterization all throughout. A good finale, to a mediocre mini. This mini has absolutely no effect on the X-Men at all, and doesn’t even get referenced again for a long time. It has huge consequences for the Micronauts title, but who cares about that.

I should mention another comic that came out in April 1984: Phoenix: The Untold Story. It reprints  Uncanny X-Men #137 – the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga. Some of the dialogue is a bit different from what was originally published – in particular, the scenes where the X-Men are resting up the night before the fight has a few differences. The big difference, of course, is the last 5 pages. In this original version, Jean doesnt flip out when Scott’s shot down. Instead, she’s defeated. She’s strapped down, and given a psychic lobotomy – her powers are stripped from her. It’s nowhere near as poignant and powerful as what was published. It was changed, of course, because Jim Shooter felt the consequences for genocide should be a bit harsher than living life as a normal person. He was right, frankly.

In addition to the reprint, the comic also features a conversation between Jim Shooter, Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Terry Austin, Jim Salicrup (the editor during the Dark Phoenix Saga) and Louise Jones (who took over as editor immediately after). They talk about exactly what happened, why, and what would’ve been planned if the original story had been kept. It’s interesting stuff. If you really want, I can go into detail about it, but I don’t see much point.

Song of the day: Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells.

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