Monolithic Robotics

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Did you think we were done with the Living Pharaoh? Didn’t I warn you not to be fooled? He isn’t done giving the X-Men trouble, and he still has it in for Alex. What seemed like another short encounter with another forgettable villain has instead turned out to be a much greater plot that connects directly into the nest story arc. This tale will lead through the next four issues, and here we’ll talk about the first two, 56 and 57. We get some nasty new villains and the return of another old favorite.

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With the Living Pharaoh taken captive, the X-Men are looking for the proper authorities to deliver him to. They find an ancient abandoned city in the middle of the desert and figure it’s a good place to stop and look for some help. How does this seem like a good idea?

The Pharaoh is being very dramatic and villainy. He calls them infidels, he talks about power, and he threatens their life. Alex is too busy being freaking out about his powers, and Scott tries to calm him. Alex feels that he is a danger to everyone around him, and he has a point.

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They look around a bit for other people, as if the place isn’t obviously deserted, and are somehow caught off guard when a trap is sprung. A group of the Living Pharaoh’s henchman are ready for them, and the X-Men are caught completely off guard. How in the hell did these henchman get there? How could they have had any idea that they would be needed? How long have they been hiding in there? Does the Living Pharaoh just hide people in anything that looks Egyptian, anywhere in the world? How many of these people have died of starvation or suffocation and we had no idea? Thank god the X-Men showed up, huh?

Unfortunately, they aren’t appreciative and the X-Men are knocked around pretty hard. In the last two issues, the team consistently made short work of the Living Pharaoh’s goons, but they sure get their asses wooded in this scene. Jean is taken out first, which really pisses Scott off. Scott is knocked out and Beast is flung around like a shot down. Bobby is distracted by his poor sense of humor, telling the Living Pharaoh that he’ll make him “holler ankhle”. Get it? Ankhle? Hysterical. Angel is left to take matters into his own hands, and so when the Living Pharaoh makes his escape Warren takes to the sky. The Pharaoh has Alex, which means his life is in danger.

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Once Jean is revived we get this wonderful panel showcasing her bizarre powers. She’s trying to telepathically link to Warren, which isn’t a problem for her. Go Jean.IMG_1547

Warren has tracked the Pharaoh to a new hideout. It’s yet another deserted city, the third visited so far. It’s getting a little nuts. How many deserted cities are there within such a short radius? How many hideouts does this guy have? Angel creeps inside and doesn’t have much trouble not being seen by anyone. So I guess this happens to be the one Egyptian place where the Pharaoh doesn’t have henchman hiding all over the place? Convenient.

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Meanwhile, the Living Pharaoh has placed Alex into some sort of science fiction capsule, seemingly in another tempt to sacrifice him to Ra. He explains that Alex is getting stronger while he is weakening, and that killing him will reverse the process. We’re never told why he has reason to believe this, so just go with it. I’m really at a loss as to why he needs to place Alex into this complicated capsule in this laboratory. Just a few issues ago he seemed happy to plunge a knife into his chest. Each time he tries to sacrifice Alex the process is getting more and more complicated. I don’t even see why he would have built this equipment if he was planning on killing him back in New York. Regardless, Alex is placed in the chamber and the Living Pharaoh finally wins a round.

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The X-Men weren’t able to stop the Pharaoh and how he has turned into a giant rock monster that resembles the robot on the cover of Queen’s News of the World. Yes, the one Stewie Griffon was so afraid of. He has gained some sort of ultimate power, and now calls himself the Living Monolith. He’s basically a Golem. He grabs Angel from the sky, withstands Scott’s optic blast, and barely notices Hank and Bobby. Jean, however, is able to slow him down. It takes all of her concentration, but she creates a diversion.

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It’s just long enough for Alex to make his move. Not even knowing what he’s doing, his stress and anger take over. He breaks free and right away the Living Monolith begins to feel his power wain. So perhaps he really is linked to Alex. Yet another ancient city is destroyed, and yet again the Living Pharaoh, sorry, the Living Monolith is captured.

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Alex wanders out of the rubble, terrified and confused. He has no idea what is happening to him and he tells no one to come near him. Alex is 100% freaking out at this point.

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The story cuts back to New York, where Lorna Dane is alone at home. She has a new costume and a new Manhattan apartment. However, her powers are diminished. She’s having trouble focusing them. Just then there is a rumbling, which turns out to be… Sentinels! Awesome! Fuck yeah Sentinels! We haven’t seen Sentinels since issue 16. With Bolivar Trask dead, how are they back? Is Mastermold still alive? Lorna Dane doesn’t have time to ask these questions as she is immediately kidnapped.

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Meanwhile, the authorities finally show up and the X-Men are ready to hand over the Living Monolith. However, they recognize him as the famous archeologist Professor Abdol. They are far more trusting of him than these strange costumed mutants, and they begin to believe his story. They actually want to arrest Alex for destroying the ancient ruins. This just makes Alex freak out even more, and his powers manifest again. The authorities are blasted and Alex makes a run for it, alone, into the desert.

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Alex is now acting as mopey and shitty as his brother, wallowing in a cave like Gollum. He feels like he is threat to anyone around him, and that no one could possible understand how if could feel to be that alone. He’s so upset that he doesn’t notice the giant lumbering robot sneaking up on him. Alex is taken by Sentinels. Maybe he shouldn’t have been acting like such a party pooper. If only he had listened to his brother, they could have talked this out. Of course Scott knows exactly how his brother feels…

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Scott certainly knows the feeling that he is a threat to everyone around him.

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Also, running away from everyone and having little pity parties is sort of his signature M.O. Alex takes after his broth so much, and if he only knew it maybe he wouldn’t have been taken by god damn Sentinels. (I’m so psyched the Sentinels are back.)

The team decides that Cerebro is their best bet for finding Alex. They call home to Lorna, only to find that she is gone and her apartment destroyed. How and why do they have a video feed of her apartment. I blame Bobby. He’s obviously still hung up in the girl because he completely flips his shit. Bobby and Hank return to New York to find her. Scott, Jean, and Warren stay in Egypt to find Alex. All the while, we’re shown that some menace, some green robotic type of character is watching their every move.

Back in New York, Hank and Bobby burst into Lorna’s apartment. They’re greeted by cops who try and arrest them, just like Scott in the last issue. And just like Scott, they disarm the cops and make a run for it. I enjoy how their reputation with the public is slowly eroding, as they repeatedly have suspicious run-ins with cops and have to resist arrest. It can’t be too hard to sell the idea that these mutants are a menace.

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In fact, that exact story is being sold on national television right at that moment, and looks who’s selling it! It’s Larry Trask, the son of Bolivar Trask, inventor of the Sentinels! Holy crap! This must explain the recent Sentinel attacks. Back at the mansion, Hank and Bobby have turned on their television to find him spouting off all the same anti-mutant rhetoric that his father used to. Larry has no idea that his father had a drastic change of hear in the final moments of his life. He has no idea that the Sentinels turned on his father, turned on mankind, and that the X-Men saved the day. He thinks the X-Men killed his father, and he has no idea that he is about to repeat his father’s mistakes.

Now three of the X-Men are busy in Egypt, two of their allies have been taken prisoner, and a Sentinel is seen in the last panel, waiting right outside their window. What’s to come? You’ll have to stay tuned as we chronicle the conclusion of this epic tale. What we do know is that the Sentinels are back and shit is about to get real.

 

 

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Posted on September 7, 2014, in Ed Posts, First Appearances, Sentinels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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