Wed, 6 October 2010
This is going to be a very brief post about a very brief appearance, but you can't accuse me of not being a completist.
We discussed this book in depth and at length on episode 12 of Amazing Spider-Man Classics with Michael Bailey. It's one of my favorite Spider-Man books of this era, and the episode was a lot of fun. But here are the salient points for our X-Men discussion.
Peter Parker's aunt May and girlfriend Betty Brant have been kidnapped by six of Spider-Man's chief villains, referring to themselves collectively as the Sinister Six, hence the name of the story "The Sinister Six!" This was done because Spider-Man had rescued Betty Brant a couple times in recent history, and when Betty was captured, May was in her company, so May got to go along for the ride.
The Vulture is one of these baddies. He goes to the Daily Bugle and orders publisher J. Jonah Jameson to print a notice on where to meet up and rescue the women. Jonah agrees to print the notice but, knowing the edition won't hit for several hours, also makes a phone call to the Fantastic Four to see if they can help find Spider-Man. They don't know so they call the Avengers. When there's no luck there, the Human Torch writes a fiery message in the sky to get Spider-Man's attention.
And that's where we come in. Essentially, these phone calls are all excuses to get Marvel's various superheroes some page time, to get readers over to their books. And next up in the line of advertisements is the X-Men. Johnny's fiery message is visible from Xavier's school. During a training session in the Danger Room, the Angel notices the message out the window. Professor Xavier says it doesn't concern the X-Men and to continue training. And that's basically it.
Now, there's not a whole lot to be done with this, but there are just a couple things that jump out at me. First, I had always been under the impression that the mansion is quite a distance from the City. It's always described as being "in Westchester County", but in my head, I always translated that as upstate somewhere. And I was rather gobsmacked that they'd be able to see this message from so far away. Not being a native to New York, I had to look that up, and turns out that Westchester County does also include New York City. To say they're in Westchester County, to me, is basically saying they're near the City to the north, but not in it. So I guess it's not that far away, and they could conceivably see the message, though it'd be much smaller and closer to the horizon than it appears in the art here.
Also, later in the series, the question of whether Spider-Man is a mutant will become kinda important to a couple issues of The X-Men. We'll be talking about those on the show and here, as we hit them. But I just want to point out that Xavier doesn't give the notion a thought at this point. Seeing as how we just moved heaven and earth to contact Namor, I think Xavier might have done something if someone had given him cause to think about Spider-Man, and he had suspected Spider-Man of being a mutant.
But anyway, not much else to say. Later in the issue, the X-Men appear again, but they turn out to just be robots built by Mysterio, so I'm not gonna worry about that. Next up is The X-Men 7, where the Blob returns and we see the (wait for it) BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL MUTANTS!!! ....AGAIN!!! So we'll see you next time. As always, please leave comments below, or send an email if you'd like to receive a response in an email segment on Amazing Spider-Man Classics.
Category:X-Men blog -- posted at: 12:06pm EDT