Mo Monsters, Mo Problems
The next foe that the X-Men have to face is Grotesk, and sadly he’s another tall, lumbering, dimwitted brute. This time he’s dressed like He-Man. He’s also from beneath the Earth, and he’s the last of his race. Grotesk is on a mission to destroy the planet and taste his revenge. Will the X-Men stop him in time? Will there still be moments of senseless, self-important teenage drama? Yes and Yes!
Hank and Bobby are on the subway beneath Manhattan, on a double date with the ever faithful Vera and Zelda. The entire train is suddenly stopped when it collides with some huge creature. It’s sort of like Bizarro He-Man, if there was such a thing. Hank and Bobby have to ditch their dates and get into costume, jumping out to find out what happened. They find Grotesk and get into a brawl.
Bobby learns how to throw an ice boomerang, which is pretty neat. I wish he did stuff like that more often. Soon all three of them are conveniently thrown off their footing. Grotesk makes his escape before Iceman and Beast can get it together.
Crisis averted, Hank and Bobby can get back to their dates. Vera and Zelda seem almost too forgiving, but they sure do have a thing for those two mutants. They’ve been a part of these comics for so long that at this point I’m really starting to wonder what will come of them. They might be the most interesting sub-plot the series has going right now. Will they have to pay for this date? Will Bernard recite another masterpiece? Will the beats start worshipping Hank’s feet again? Will Vera and Zelda finally dump the boys? It’s all far more exciting than Professor X being kidnapped.
Underground, Grotesk is thinking back to what got him in this predicament. We see a back story about a mysterious race that existed long ago. Grotesk was a prince, but his father ruled with an iron fist. These guys were total assholes, and wanted only to conquer. They got what’s coming to them when a major earthquake destroyed all but one of their race. Grotesk somehow survived the earthquake and the radiation that followed, now existing only to see his revenge. He plots to destroy the entire world, and himself with it.
Meanwhile, the gang is in the danger room. I love it that the issues are starting to go back to this often again. The Professor is really pushing them hard, and then he starts acting like a complete jerk, waving his fist and shouting. All of a sudden nothing is good enough for him. If he can do better, I’d like to see him stand up and try. He doesn’t need to be such an insufferable little shit.
By the end of it, we also see that he and Jean are keeping some sort of secret. In earlier issues, it’s been mentioned that the two of them are working on some sort of top secret science experiment. The last time Charles had a science experiment it turned out to be Juggernaut chained to a chair. I question his methods.
The Professor is worried about this strange creature, and what it could do, so he orders his team to track it down in the subway tunnels. He tells Marvel Girl to stay behind to work on some… extracurricular activities. Wink, wink. If you think that sounds ridiculous, know that Scott took it very seriously. This guy is such an insecure mopey bastard that he thinks Charles Xavier is stealing his teenage girlfriend. Get a grip, Scott. If he wasn’t so distracted he would have slapped Hank for using the word ‘trice’. Now we’re probably going to hear him use that word again. Thanks, Scott.
Scott’s concern can be attributed to his secret burning passion for Jean Grey, but Warren Worthington is just plane paranoid. He confronts Jean before they leave, accusing her of having an ulterior motive. He thinks she no longer cares about what happens to any of them. Oh boo hoo Warren. The girl doesn’t want to go out with you guys this one time and obviously it’s because she no longer cares about any of your lives, not even one bit. It’s the only possible explanation. These kids are so damn touchy it’s like they haven’t had a vacation in hours.
Over in Manhattan, a bunch of scientist guys are standing around a bunch of science things talking about a bunch of science. One of them has built a machine that creates earthquakes, and he believes that this will create a world of good. Since that is absolutely insane and I can’t think of one good use for an earthquake machine, his buddies try to talk some sense into him. They warn him of the machine being weaponized, but its creator thinks that is just nutty. Of course. They call this machine a nuclear oscillotron, which is pretty neat I guess. It’s also apparently not a real word since I can see a little dotted red line underneath it at the moment.
This is where the writing gets a little questionable. Grotesk’s back story gave me the impression that his race and it’s destruction are things that happened a long time ago, and that he has been roaming the underground ever since, waiting for this moment. Then this device is mentioned and it seems as if it was responsible for his suffering. And yet, it seems the device was first tested fairly recently. Was his race just recently destroyed?
As these bozos argue, Beast and Cyclops have gone underground in search of this mysterious monster. They bust through the collapsed passage that he escaped from when they first met and track him down to his lair.
Before long, the two of them are about to square off with this mad monster. This will continue in the next issue, one that promises nothing less than the death of Professor X! Lets hope it’s exciting because issue 41 was just more of the same. We’re not done with Grotesk just yet, but he’s already so forgettable that the team isn’t even focused on him. They’re too busy taking out their abandonment issues out on each other.