Wednesday, April 26, 2017

X-Men Issue 20 - I, Lucifer...

This issue:  The tragic tale of how Professor X ended up in a wheelchair.

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We open on a bank where two men in X-Men uniforms are attempting to rob it.  They look unfamiliar to us, but to the general public these X-Men suddenly begin to shape a newer view on the misunderstood mutants.  After some banter between the two mutants and the owner of the bank, the larger X-Man rips the door off the safe, and starts pulling money out.

A security guard musters his bravery and fires several rounds at the larger mutant...but the bullets merely bounce off the big mutant's body as if they were rubber.  A stray bullet comes close to the skinnier mutant, but before it can come close enough to touch him, it diverts its course, as if there was some sort of force field around the man.

Something isn't right, these powers seem familiar, but when they are disguised as X-Men who can know who these impostors really are?

Outside of the bank the police swarm the two mutants, but all their advances are thwarted, and the pair escape.

Back at the mansion, away from the chaos of the city, Scott Summers packs a bag, leaves a note on his dresser, and walks out the mansion door.  The turmoil his powers bring to his daily life have finally broken him, he wants nothing more in life than to be with Jean Grey, but he's too afraid of harming her with his optic blasts to get close to her, so he's off to find someone who can fix his eyes.

The rest of the team has no idea this is all happening because they are engrossed in the news report about the bank robbery, and appalled to hear that someone was dressed in costume tarnishing their reputation.

Xavier, who has been mentally monitoring the broadcast has finally finished his rebuild of Cerebro, and is about to use it to pinpoint who these mutants could be posing as them.  He flips on a new feature, the radar image beam, and like magic the image of two familiar, yet forgotten mutants appears on the wall.

The Blob and Unus are the phony X-Men!

  Upon this realization, the X-Men all realize that Scott Summers is not with them to share in their frustration that two mutants, whom they thought they had discouraged from doing evil deeds, are back up to their old tricks.  Professor X says he knew about Scott leaving, but he doesn't have time to care.

Dick move Professor, dick move.

Xaiver also senses that there is a third entity who is helping Blob and Unus, but as he searches his memory to find the names of other villains that they have stopped in the past, he realizes that there is a mental screen over one particular mutant.  Now you would think common sense would dictate that if you couldn't think of one mutant's name, you would ask the group and see if they could remember...but instead Professor X decides to build a machine to remove the mental block.

We as readers find out immediately who this nefarious villain is - Lucifer, the bad guy who crippled Professor X many years ago!  He mentally suggested that Blob go fight Unus in the wrestling ring, and hoped that they would realize that as besties they would have so much free time for evil activities!  You know what, that's exactly what happened.  Blob and Unus had a Step-Brother's moment where they realized they both hate the X-Men and love doing wrestling (or 'rasslin) in the garage.  So they team up, dress up as X-Men and go rob banks.

As Blob and Unus load up the cash from their second bank robbery, a plain clothed dressed Scott Summers walks the streets and sees what they are doing.  Rather than jump into the fray he convinces himself it isn't his problem since he quit the X-Men.  After a moment though, his conscience gets the better of him and he suits up!

Blob and Unus try and act like Cyclops is their buddy, hoping the public buys it, but Cyclops won't stand for that.  Using his optic blast he destroys a bag of money and knocks over a light pole in hopes that the public would see that he doesn't like them very much.

In fact, this backfires for Cyclops, and for like the eighth time in this series, Cylcops runs away from an angry mob.

Just as Cyclops leaves in fear the rest of the X-men show up, but little do they know that Lucifer is watching them from 2,000 miles away!  Beast arrives on the scene with the ray they used against Unus the last time they met him, and he opens fire on Unus.  Unus takes the beam like a champ this time, just walks it off like it's no big deal.  They never knew that Lucifer was responsible for Unus' immunity for the ray.  They just think it's broken.

A fight ensues, an old lady hits Beast with an umbrella, and when Cyclops returns, he blasts a hole so deep underneath Blob and Unus, they fall onto a moving subway and vanish underground.

Lucifer is mad as beans now, and he senses that Professor X has penetrated his mental screen.  So Lucifer has this big telescope rise out of a mountain area (which still can't be seen because of opalescent gas surrounding it)  and a canon emerges from its insides.  It fires a beam of energy that follows Professor X's mental waves leaving Professor X paralyzed...again.

Professor X can now only communicate with Marvel Girl mentally, though even that communication is fading fast.  Professor X tells Marvel Girl that she needs to wear a mental wave amplifier so that she can hear him better.  Then he proceeds to tell the story about the time he first met Lucifer...which really doesn't seem like an ideal time.  "Help me, I'm fading quickly, here's like a 6 page story about why I'm paralyzed."  "But Professor, I don't think this is the right ti-"  "It was long ago in the desert..."

Long story short (Xavier is dying and all), Professor X drives in the desert until he finds a small town under a powerful dictatorship aka Lucifer.  Xavier leads a small rebellion against him, and they foil all of Lucifers traps into his castle, then Lucifer drops a big stone slab on Xavier's legs and back.  Voila, he's paralyzed.

In present time, Lucifer is communicating with his Supreme One, letting him know of his success in paralyzing Xavier for a second time.  The Supreme One orders the coming of something called Dominus.

The X-Men return to school and find that Xavier is paralyzed again and he needs a machine to keep him alive.  So now Beast will build a machine.  Rattle, rattle, thunder, clatter, boom boom boom, Beast now has built a beam distorter.  Essentially it's a fishbowl with some wires on it that Professor X will wear on his head.

If you can believe it - the X-Men think they might be about to fight their biggest threat!  So they load up the plane and fly off to the Southwest Desert.

Lucifer kinda seems like a dick, just keeps paralyzing Professor X.  I mean once is rough, but to make that your only move against the guy?  I mean that's just wrong.

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