Tryout: I Have Issues #1

I Have
Issues (1)
            I have been a fan of comic books for
21 years and have amassed a pretty sizable collection. I have read every Issue
I own once, and in most cases only once. A month ago I was laid off from work
and of course money becomes an issue and I had to cut back from my 20 issues a
month to my current three must buys. Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, and I switched
from Uncanny X-Men to Avengers VS. X-Men because me loves a good fight! So I’m
sitting around and thinking what the hell am I going to read? Duh, I have
around 5,000 comics and close to 75 Graphic Novels. I could literally never buy
another comic again and have plenty to read. So Why not go back and read all of
these issues and give my personal take on them. I enjoy writing and I love the
Blog of Doom, so what better way to add these three great tastes and make them
taste great together! I hope everyone can laugh and have a good time with my
work and if you like reading this half as much as I enjoyed writing it, I will
be happy to write some more.

Giant-Size X-Men # 1 (1975)
First off when you start reading this comic you will see that it is
not written by either Stan Lee or Chris Claremont. Those are probably the two
biggest names associated with the X-Men, and neither wrote what is the most
important comic in the X-Men mythos. Uncanny X-Men #1 that came out in 1963 was
pretty much an expansion comic by Stan Lee. He was told he needed to create one
more monthly comic to go along with his other comics, Spiderman, Fantastic
Four, etc. He basically decided to come up with a comic that was a rip off of
DC’s Doom Patrol with the leader in a wheelchair and everything. He was also
tired of coming up with origin stories and decided it would be much easier to
just say, “Hey these weird people were just born this way!” So you have Uncanny
X-Men #1, a rip off of a third rate DC comic with a lazy premise. Wow, how did
this comic not break sales records and become the most popular comic for a
time? Oh, they did you say? Yeah, but not at first. In fact, in 1970 the comic
stopped featuring original material and merely consisted of reprints until
1975. This brings me back to Giant Size X-Men # 1 written by Len Wein and Dave
Cockrum. Giant Size #1 is the most important comic to the X-Men because it
introduced seven new mutants, some of whom became main characters that even
exist today, but we will get to that later.
We open the comic in Winzeldorf, Germany where Nightcrawler is
running away from an angry mob armed with torches.  I checked Wikipedia and there is no
Winzeldorf, there is, however, a Winseldorf Germany, but I’m not sure if it’s
the same place because they don’t mention that if you have blue skin the
residents of this town will seriously fuck you up. Nightcrawler runs for a bit
and then decides that he will “die like a man”, and dives into the crowd to
fight back, the mob overpowers him and one of the mob yells for someone to get
a stake. Thank God they thought he was a vampire, if they knew he was just a
mutant they might just have shot him! Professor X shows up, freezes everyone
with his mind, and makes Nightcrawler an offer he can’t refuse. The new mutant
accepts and we’re off to Canada. Next, Professor X makes an offer to Weapon X,
better known as Wolverine, to join his team. Fun Fact: Len Wein wanted
Wolverine to be an actual wolverine that was a mutant in that he mutated into a
man. Imagine the conversation the next morning after Logan sleeps with a chick,
“You know how you said you never tried bestiality before?”  Xavier tells Logan he could be a free agent
instead of a secret one and Wolverine agrees to take his talents to South Beach
… er, Westchester and the school for gifted youngsters, even though Wolverine
was in WWII. Ahem. A military official demands the Wolverine stay because they
spent a lot of money on him. Wolverine slices up the man’s presumably expensive
shirt and tells him that if he wants him, he knows where to find him. Yes, we
all know where to find you Wolverine, in every fucking Marvel comic on the
stands. Soon we’re in Nashville Tennessee at the (I shit you not) Grand Ol’
Opry to find Banshee. This is where you find an Irishman with a sonic powered
voice. It’s not like they had a budget here, it’s a comic book. They couldn’t
find him in Ireland? The Professor could have swung by after leaving Germany.
Next panel the Professor is talking to Banshee in what is described as his
“shabby apartment”. So he wasn’t just in Nashville on tour, he was living
there? Something tells me there is more to this backstory that I care nothing
about. Next were in Africa where a topless Storm is treated as a goddess and
creates rain to help the crops of her worshipers. The Professor extends his
offer to join his school, and he has a blanket over his lap in the panel so I’m
guessing that’s not all he was extending. Then we’re in Japan where Sunfire
agrees to join, not because Xavier wants him to, but because he wants to show
off how badass he is. Next were off to Siberia where Peter Rasputin toils in
the fields when a runaway tractor is seen speeding towards a little girl. In
one panel the little girl is right in front of the tractor and still playing
with a smile on her face. If this kid lives they may need to check her hearing
out. Spoiler alert: she does live thanks to Peter and his convenient metallic
alter ego, Colossus who bashes the tractor to pieces. Professor shows up and
with some plodding and Peter’s parents blessing he decides yes he would like to
go and punch more than just runaway tractors. Finally, our world tour brings us
to Arizona where we meet John Proudstar who will be known as Thunderbird for
those keeping score. The Apache warrior brings down a bison cause y’know why
stop with stereotypes at this point in the comic. Xavier approaches Thunderbird
and John wonders “How a cripple got way out here?” I’m kind of wondering this
myself. I’m picturing him taking over people’s minds and having them carry his
wheelchair all the way out to these locations. John tells Xavier “To stuff a
cactus Custer!” It was his sterotypical way of basically telling whitey to beat
it. Xavier insults the Apache tribe and then Thunderbird agrees to prove him
wrong. So our new X-Men are assembled in New York where the Professor has used
his considerable mutant abilities to basically train everyone to speak English so
they can understand each other and gives them the uniforms that were made by
Mr. Fantastic with unstable molecules that adjust to whoever wears them. We
need to give major props to Mr. Cockrum here, his design for these X-Men have
for the most part stood the test of time.
So Sunfire is being a dipshit as usual and demanding to know why
they were brought together and Xavier introduces the newbies to Cyclops the
only remaining original member of the team. He then regales the group with a
story of the original X-Men plus reserve members Havoc and Polaris minus the
Beast (I believe the Beast was in the Avengers at this point). Xavier detected
a powerful mutant on the Island of Krakoa – you know, the third most hostile
island after Cuba and that one on Lost. They land in the Strato Jet – a
precursor to the blackbird – and Iceman says, “I think we took a wrong bus
gang. This place doesen’t look like Cleveland. All the insect in the air– the
overgrown jungle–! On second thought maybe this is Cleveland.” Oh that Iceman,
what a card. Cyclops the funsucker yelled at Iceman to shelve the snappy
banter, proving that Scott has no clue what snappy banter is or that we have
made big advancements in banter since 1975.The original team was attacked by
something Cyclops did not see and he woke up in the jet not sure what happened
to the other X-Men. The jet was on automatic pilot back to Westchester and
Cyclops couldn’t steer it back to the island. Also his powers were not working
so he could open his eyes without blowing 
holes in everyone and everything he looked at. I call bullshit on this
story. He wakes up on the plane and could not stop an automatic pilot, whatever
Scott!. When Cyclops got back to the mansion and is talking to the Professor
his powers miraculously came back and he secured that shit with a spare visor.
This brings us back to the present with the new X-Men that need to go back to
Krakoa and find out what the hell happened to the original team. Sunfire being
a dipshit as usual says he will not join the team and the rest leave in the
jet. Then Sunfire is seen following them and Thunderbird tells Cyclops that he
see’s someone. Cyclops responds, “I see it Geronimo it’s– the Jap!” Damn!
White people are pricks! So Sunfire rejoins the team citing that he has his own
reasons. They reach the island and, Scott ,revealing that he has never watched
a horror movie, splits the team up in twos to look for the missing X-Men.
Cyclops keeps the jet, you know, in case he needs to accidentally wake up in it
with an autopilot that can’t stop until it takes him home where he can get
another group of newbies to try this again if need be. Scott and Thunderbird
exit the jet where the island swallows it up. Guess you’re not gonna be able to
pussy out this time huh Scotty? The two see a temple in the distance and as
they start to travel to it, they are attacked by vines. They make short work of
the attack because they have powers and they are fighting vines after all and
then make it to the temple. Next we see Wolverine and Banshee taking down a
giant lobster and mention they are making their way to the temple as well.
Storm and Colossus double team a landslide that seems to have a mind of its
own. Sunfire and Nightcrawler fight off birds that attack them, Sunfire just
burns the shit out of them, sending flaming birds to the ground like kamikaze–
oh sorry all the rampant racism in this comic has compelled me to take part as
well. The team meets up at the temple where they blow the door away and find
the captured X-Men with green tubes feeding them to something. They free the
X-Men and the island begins to shake like crazy and Angel tells the group that
it was the island’s plan to get more X-Men to come to it, because the island is
the mutant they were searching for. Krakoa shows its ugly ass and puts the
images in the X-Men’s minds of his whole plan. Like a James Bond villain of the
highest order, Krokoa shows them that he was bombarded by radiation from an
atomic blast that fused every living and nonliving thing on the island into one
organism. Now it’s hungry and it needs X-Men to feed its hunger, and that’s why
it freed Cyclops to bring more X-Men to its maw. Really Scott? Now you have an
island lying for you? So now the shit is on as Wolverine starts a knife party
all over Krakoa. All thirteen X-Men go apeshit with their abilities and it’s
all to zero effect on Krakoa. Professor X finally decides to help and attacks
the collective minds of the living lsland. Storm uses lightning to strike
Polaris who in turn uses that to amplify her magnetic powers. Krakoa knocks
Xavier out with its minds as the rest of the X-Men continue the assault.
Cyclops and Havoc focus their energy powers onto Polaris and with all of this
power she fires a magnetic pulse into the earth’s molten core. This act makes
Krakoa lose its form and the island begins to shake. Polaris is knocked out
from the amount of power that she channeled through her body. Havoc mentions
that Polaris (his long-time girlfriend) can’t run and is surprised to find
Iceman carrying her. Iceman says, “The lady doesn’t need your help hotshot
she’s in good hands for a change!” All this happens while the island is
destroying itself and every one of his friends and teammates are about to die.
Oh that Iceman, what a card. Iceman then creates an ice platform for all of the
X-Men to stand on while Havoc and Cyclops use their powers to propel them on
the ocean away from the island. Krakoa then severs from the earth and flies
into the sky as it is revealed that Polaris cut the gravity holding the island
in its place and launches it into space. I’m 99% sure that this has no backing
in any kind of real science. But for comic book science, that’s kind of cool
actually. Krakoa free from gravity takes off into space, but the land mass
disappearing from the ocean creates a vortex – think the end of Titanic in
reverse. Iceman creates an ice dome around everyone and the dome is pulled to
the bottom of the ocean. It bobs back to the surface and Cyclops blasts a hole
to free everyone. They come out right next to the Strato Jet which is floating
in the ocean. What amazing luck! They paddle the ice float over to the jet and
fly away wondering what are they going to do with thirteen X-Men. And that is
the end of the most important X-Men comic ever. After this issue Giant Size
X-Men was canceled so they could continue the story in the regular Uncanny
X-Men title. From there Chris Claremont would take this team from a generic
Stan Lee idea into a comic about mutants fighting for equality in a world that
hates and fears them. Under his guidance the comic would transition from
standard bad guy shows up and gets beaten up, to stories that would examine
social issues with equal parts action and soap opera. But those are stories
from issues for another time.
J. Ryan (Lostscribe)