uncas007's The X-Men #49 - Who Dares Defy The Demi-Men? review

Lorna!

This issue is tough to pin down: it's not great, but it's not nearly as horrible as the last issue. It has some inexplicable goofy moments, to be sure: Jean can make a telepathic conference call of the X-Men when 2 of them are 3,000 miles away, but 2 miles up in the air is too hard for her; Jean can't remember after 10 seconds that Hank is skydiving; Mesmero comes out of nowhere and is apparently some heir-apparent to Magneto, and he has the ability to "activate" countless latent mutants around the globe. The list continues. Why Warren feels compelled to saunter through Xavier Mansion again is confusing, but so is the fact they just left all his equipment there, despite what he said he wanted them to do in his will. Cerebro continues to gain new powers, this time turning itself on when Warren approaches the vicinity. The villains of Mesmero are only a shade less ridiculous than the Computo discharges from the previous issue, but at least Mesmero himself has a touch of interesting-ness about him (completely unlike Computo). Apparently Hank and Bobby have made their move to California, disguising themselves as skydivers ("Coffee, yes, I like coffee") - and of course Hank has his own portable Cerebro, just in case. Has the FBI done anything about them, or has that been dropped faster than Jean from Metro College? The appearance of Lorna Dane saves the issue for me, even though her best years are in front of her. It's impressive they had her green hair figured from her debut. We are getting hints of better things to come, but we aren't really close to them, yet. The whole Bobby/Iceman double identity switcheroo, while straight out of 85% of Doris Day's oeuvre, actually is mildly interesting (perhaps I'll take what I can get at this point). Arnold Drake's ending is likewise interesting: Mesmero is there to worship Lorna, not attack her. Finally, we have an intriguing point to end on. Who are the M-11? I am actually wanting to know.

The "origin of Beast's powers" side-story is a bit unnecessary, since we have already been told about Hank's origin earlier in the series (though it's never too soon for retconning in the X-Universe), and it tells a rather bland story, except Hank's dad's characterization is a bit bizarre. He's like one of those guys who is always happy, but in a 1950s movie sort of way, like at any moment he could break out into a song-and-dance routine. The brief storylet is not a total loss, since it is at least different from the two rather forgettable non-origins of Cyke and Iceman so far, and the tone is not as embarrassing as his "look at my toes" rambling from the previous issue. It's not enough to revivify my hopes for the next 17-some issues, but I'm not pessimistic it will be a total loss just yet (or anymore).

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