Monday, January 26, 2015

When Comes The Snowpocalypse!

There's not much I can do to help those of you in the northeast battening down the hatches right now in preparation for a massive winter storm headed your way.

But since you're already in a shivery frame of mind:

How'd you like to see how the X-Men did against Alpha Flight in similar conditions?

It was the first meeting between the two super-teams, and the pleasantries were definitely skipped. Alpha Flight, determined to take custody of their rogue Canadian agent, Wolverine, forced the X-Men's plane to land in Canada and immediately attacked. Yet they reckoned without the resourcefulness of Storm:

Whoops, sorry for using the word "storm"--you folks in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are probably a bit touchy about that right now. And you certainly aren't fond of the idea of anyone pulling the weather down on you. Anyway, St-- er, Ororo also uses her power to track down where Alpha Flight is holding Wolverine and Nightcrawler captive. Alpha only wants Wolverine, of course, so the team's leader, Vindicator, is using the hostages as leverage in order to get Cyclops to cooperate. But when the rest of the X-Men arrive at the rendezvous, Cyclops is feeling the exact opposite of cooperative:

It doesn't take long for Alpha Flight to confront the X-Men in force, in a full-page portrait which serves to introduce us to these Canadian heroes:

Hostilities soon erupt--partly due to Vindicator's unwillingness to budge from his terms for releasing the hostages, and partly because of a rash move by Colossus that brings the "negotiations" to a screeching halt.

The abilities of the members of Alpha are impressive. The speedsters Northstar and Aurora; the shaman called, well, Shaman; the super-strong Sasquatch (with a super-ego to match); Snowbird, the shape-shifter; and of course Vindicator, with a technologically-advanced battle suit. Indeed, their opening moves have done just what Cyclops feared--separating the X-Men and overwhelming them one by one.

Good grief, now Storm has to tangle with a giant Hedwig. Odds are that Storm isn't packing a wand.

But like yourselves, the X-Men find they have to deal with incredibly harsh weather conditions--thanks to Shaman, who isn't nearly as adept as Storm in manipulating winds and temperature. And not only the X-Men, but also the rest of Alpha Flight as well as the entire region will pay the price:

Just as the tide turns for the X-Men, the battle becomes untenable as the storm roars out of control. Shaman is clearly unable to deal with the problem, but luckily there's an X-Man who's available. As soon as she deals with Hedwig, that is:

Storm makes the supreme effort and reins in the deadly blizzard. But when she lands, all Alpha Flight sees is an opportunity to end this fight on their terms. Too bad for them that Cyclops decides to weigh in, as well:

With Wolverine surrendering and being taken into custody, you might think that this fight isn't really a notch in the X-Men's "win" column. But their feistiest member knows that you can carve that notch as long as you come out on top:

So the X-Men are heading back to New York, and probably looking at more accommodating weather than the "snowpocalypse" that's due to slice its way through that area this date.  If it makes you feel any better, I doubt even Wolverine would act so blasé if Annie tried to land that jet in today's conditions.

If you're in the mood for more cold-natured super-being encounters, don't forget our special polar vortex post! Brrrrr!


Anonymous said...

This is X-Men #120-121, right ? X-Men #120 was the first issue I bought of that title. At this time Marvel UK were printing the earlier Dave Cockrum stories and apparently they tried to block imports of the U.S. X-Men comic-book so it wouldn't compete. If that's true X-Men 120 got through okay 'cause I bought it and all attempts to block imports must have been abandoned by 1980 as I got hold of the Hellfire Club/Dark Phoenix run with no problems (except the double-sized #137 as there was still a problem with the distribution of double-sized issues but even that was solved by mid '81).

dbutler16 said...

I'd somehow missed these when they came out, and had to buy them as not-too-cheap back issues later, though I had started collecting X-Men with #117.

Yes, Colin, this is X-Men #120-121. I know what you mean about imports being blocked, though. It's recently been announced that British chocolates will not be imported to the states. No more British Cadbury bars!! :-(

By the way, I hope you were able to somehow get a hold of #137. A true classic that was burned into my brain permanently, especially the classic cover, ugly banner across the top and all.

Anonymous said...

dbutler 16, yes I bought a copy of X-Men #137 a couple of years later by mail order. When I think about it I don't know if Marvel UK could actually stop any imports but they could have tried to make distribution difficult (assuming it's even true that they tried). Sorry you won't be getting any more Cadbury's chocolate - I hadn't heard about that !!

Comicsfan said...

Colin, X-Men #121 had a Cockrum cover, so maybe that was enough for it to slip through the import Doombots? :)

Gosh, I don't think I've ever had a Cadbury bar. I take it my taste buds are missing something spectacular?

Anonymous said...

CF, I bought X-Men #120 but didn't see another X-Men till #132 exactly a year later. Cadbury makes all kinds of different chocolate bars so dbutler might mean various ones :)

dbutler16 said...

Cadbury is pretty much my favorite chocolate- creamier than most Americvan chocolates. I think we will still be getting Cadbury in the US of A, but it'll be made in USA Cadbury, not made in the UK. There is a difference to the discerning palette.
The chocolate almond is my favorite, but I believe that any type of Cadbury bar will no longer be imported.

And Colin, I'm glad that you could eventually get the classic, life changing (for me #137). It's a shame that distribution was so shoddy there, because X-Mens were not cheap to buy as back issues! Even back then, I paid a pretty penny to get #120-121 as back issues.