This Day in Horror

07 August 2011

How X-Men Number 88 Saved My Life


We have a cool little guest blog by master monster mask maker Matt Patterson (say that five times fast). You totally just tried it didn't you?? Not only that but he is also a writer for Horrornews.net AND the author of Wolff's Run (Zombie Ink Comics) "Monstermatt's Bad Monster Jokes Vol.1". Show him some love and check out his fantabulous little diddy about how the X-Men saved his life!!

The Mark of the Monster!
Or
How The X-Men Saved My Life!

Ghoul Mourning Maniacs!

The "pretzel" like fiends here at Twisted Central...
See? Twisted?Pretzel? Oh,that was awful! I couldn't stop myself! But,I should have.

Anyways, they've asked me to share something with you. Of Corpse,I agreed. This is a telling of the strange time The X-Men and a Monster saved my life!

Is that possible? How? What? Yes, you'll see for yourself. But,I'll ask you to ultimately decide, at the end. First,let's look at X-Men number 88, 1974. That would put me around four or five years old. This is a reprint of X-Men number 40. It's mutant superhero teenagers vs. Frankenstein (the monster part of this tale), in "The Mark of the Monster"!

Let's start with the cover. It's a great Frankie image, with the muties in the background,in some type of doorway? The cover is by Marie Severin, George Tuska, and Sam Rosen. Interior pencils by Don Heck. Story-Roy Thomas. For me,the reprint cover works better than the first run. It's got a darker color block,and better tone.





















The breakdown:
The X-Men are called away from their infamous Danger Room, by Professor X. He stumbled onto a nearby mental image of Frankenstein's Monster, encased in ice! He tells the group, that he firmly believes the monster to be an android, made by a mutant. Therefore, he wishes to contact the monster, and find out if they can connect with the mutant monster maker! Maybe a text would've been sufficient?!

Text.
Prof X: Mnstr R U Mutnt?
Monster: Rarrgh!!

They travel to the nearby museum, where the monster is being kept. The scientist in charge, decides to thaw out old Frankie, endangering everyone, and that's when the smashing starts!!Look out,The monster is alive!

The X-Men get there, but have to knockout the guard, courtesy of Marvel Girl. They find that fink, Frankenstein, and are amazed-at how bad he smells after 150 on ice? That nobody stole his wallet? Afterall, it is N.Y.C. No, that he's the real deal!

The fight has some snappy banter and some surprises.
Frankenstein can produce energy beams from his eyes, just like Cyclops! This pretty much confirms Prof. X's theory about an android.

Well, round 1 went to Frankenstein, he mopped up the joint with the X-Men. He kept referring to "those costumed ones". This left the X-Men scratching their heads. This leads to a monster sized manhunt!

Angel takes to the skies, and the rest follow in a helicopter they borrow. Prof. X mentally urges the police to lend their chopper. Hey Prof. -Why don't you mentally urge the cast of Jersey Shore to read a book?!

They find Frankenstein's trail and one panel shows Angel's sky high viewpoint, looking at a pile of cars, tossed by Franky. He refers to it as looking like Aurora Models.

They catch up to Franky on a cargo hauling sea freighter. They have to fight the crew, in order to come aboard. That doesn't last long.

The Beast is the first lucky contestant to run into Franky, in a cargo hold. The rest of the mutant teens come running and it's here that the cover image makes sense. Franky was looking through the ship's door to the cargo hold. Aha!

Well, more dynamic fighting breaks out. Franky has more powers, like magnetism in his feet! This holds him to the ship, while they try a maneuver with the helicopter and a rope.

Finally, Prof. X joins in, assaulting Franky with mental blasts! Now, he plays his trump card-Iceman, who blasts the android/monster and blasts him with ice until he explodes!!

The X-Men ask the Prof. about Franky and find out through a mental sweeping of his synthetic brain,(a little too Rupert Murdoch,i think), that he indeed was an android!

Frankenstein was made by aliens (the costumed ones), and was meant to be an ambassador to earth. He malfunctioned(do ya think?!), and that's how the stories came out. What the group are left to wonder, is how much Mary Shelly actually knew about this android before writing her story. Ok, so how do the X-Men and the Frankenstein android monster, save my life?

In 1974, we had our own huge metal monster. A Ford Country Squire station wagon. Red, with faux wood side panels. It had fold out seats, in the very back. They opened from the floor and it was like a compartment of sorts. That was my spot! I'd lay out my comics and just soak up the four color goodness!

My mother, my father and I were at my father's business. We went out to the car, parked in the road, next to the curb. My father stayed in to take some calls
and check on his employees. Mom and I were staying in the car.

It turned into a long wait so mom went in to check on my father. I was told to stay put. I did. But,I realized, after some time, that I didn't have X-Men 88. It must've been left in the business! At that time, I couldn't bear the thought of not having that comic with me!

I got out of the car after being told to stay and started up the sidewalk to the business. I figured my mom probably had it in her purse.

I was halfway to the door when I heard the loudest, sickening crash ever! My parents came flying out of the business, as did some customers!

A drunk driver smashed into the back of the station wagon! He hit it so hard he crumpled the back seat compartment (my spot) like a tin can! My parents were aghast, I was too! But not for the same reason. I could see X-Men 88 in the wreckage! It must've been under or in between the seats!

I remember the drunk driver talking to my parents and the police. It was strange. I remember him apologizing over and over.

I couldn't get all of X-Men 88 out of the car. Even after taking it to the garage with my father. What I did get, was the cover and roughly half of the comic.

The station wagon got replaced with another one(woohoo?) but it would be years before I got another X-Men 88. But, at least I was around to get one.

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