Saturday, December 19, 2015

Psylocke Psaturday: Genosha swings like a human rights-violating Amnesty International-condemned pendulum do

Previously, on The X-Tinction Agenda:

Panel from Uncanny X-Men #271 (December 1990), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski and L. Lois Buhalis

Eh, that's enough of a recap. Let's get right to the Psylockin' action!

The X-Tinction Agenda was the X-titles' thinly disguised anti-apartheid fable, told via Genosha, the fictional Marvel country where humans ruled mutants, emigration was at a strict zero per cent, and cats were living with dogs. Sounds pretty nasty, huh? Well, imagine that country being manipulated behind the scenes by X-Factopr's arch-enemy, Cameron Hodge, a guy so evil they put his head on the body of a mechanical spider-worm (Spider-Worm! Spider-Worm! He should be doing a prison term!), and they didn't even bother to give him a cool codename! Genosha: it makes Latveria look like Denmark. Still, we were all pretty sick of it by the twenty-first century and I'm not ashamed to admit that I didn't disapprove when Grant Morrison pretty much took it off the table as a world power in New X-Men. Marvel Comics: wiping mutants out by the millions since 1963!

Enter: Wolverine, Jubilee, and Psylocke — pretty much the closest thing we had to an X-Men team following the splitting of the group and their transmorfrigationing after entering the Siege Perilous. Wolvie, Jubes, and Psyke are all falling down out of the sky, apparently, rather than entering the country through customs the way normal folks do. Wolverine: the best there is at what he does, and what he does best is give piggy-back rides!

Whereas you and I would probably take in the sights, check into our hotel, maybe head out for a quick meal of local Genoshan cuisine (their fritter cakes are to die for), Psylocke just starts kicking people. With "power and grace." I'm pretty sure she buys souvenirs the same way.

Are you keeping track of the number of times the phrase "focused totality of my telepathic powers" is used? Chalk up another one! And in case you're tracking Psylocke's powers for that new edition of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Post-Secret Wars Universe, What Are We Calling This One, Earth-616-8?, please note that not only does her psychic knife cause you to say "Glxgkyl' (which is a compound verb in the world of Sugar and Spike), but it also makes you weep vanilla pudding.

Hey, it's Rictor and Boom-Boom! Hi, Rictor and boom-Boom! (sets off klaxon) We have a crossover! We have a crossover! Also, please note that the kids are less scared of known berserker killer Wolverine than they are of the Asian supermodel. Mmmm, that's good Mary-Suein'!

Confused? Don't be! Here's a handy recap panel in the form of a Psylocke mind meld! Not onbly so Jim Lee can draw this impressive scene, but so that you dont' actually have to buy X-Factor or New Mutants to figure out what's going on. Remember, Jim Shooter sez, every issue is someone's first!

Somehow yet once again they manage to fall into Genosha out of the sky a second time. Is Genosha built on a layer cake model, like Minas Tirith, so that those on the top can just toss their garbage over the ledge onto the level below? And where'd they get those planes? And more important, where'd they get the quarters to run them? Also: a special appearance by Betsy in Genoshan Flight Suit™! Aw, it was nice of Jim Lee to be thinking of variant action figures already.

Wolverine Down! ("What do you stuff a wolverine pillow with?") Luckily Logan and Betsy are picked up by the only Genoshan poilice who have never read the story of the Trojan Horse. And Chris Claremont...stop trying to make "psishot" happen.

Cheese it, Psylocke! It's Cameron Hodge, and he's doing H.R. Giger cosplay!

And that's two "focused totality of my telepathic powers" in this comic. Seriously, try saying that aloud (and with a straight face) and you'll begin to see why it never achieved the catchphrase popularity level of "It's clobberin' time!" or "My Spidey-Sense is tingling!" or "Do you know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning?"

So, that's pretty much how Wolverine and Psylocke died. Or...did they? Buy two other comic books to find out (sort of) and then join us back here next time for another Psylocke Psaturday, same purple-haired time, same purple-haired channel!


Blam said...

(A) The only good thing about these posts going on hiatus for so long — and it's purely a subjective one on my part — is that my friend Austin's comprehensive X-Men review series, which I've been reading along with*, pulled back ahead of the point you'd reached, so (having dropped out in 1985 and only checking in haltingly over the years) I'm not getting spoiled or confused here as had happened when you passed him awhile back. [*Dangling prepositions are the focused totality of my editorial prerogative.]

(2b) I don't disapprove of your coinage of "transmorfrigationing".

(iii) As I commented in the aforementioned review series, however, Claremont's "literal poetry in motion" makes no sense. While “poetry in motion” is a familiar and lovely metaphor, “literal poetry in motion” should only apply to some weird species invented by Alan Moore or Grant Morrison which communicates in speech that visibly flutters out of the characters' mouths when spoken or be used sarcastically when you throw a Maya Angelou or Emily Dickenson collection across the room.

(616-8) This post is quintessential, grade-A, nonfat yet crème de la crème Bully-writin'.

(867-5309) Jenny!

SallyP said...

Oh god. When this all first came out, I was just thrilled to pieces. Now of course, I am just embarrassed.