X-Men: First Class Finals #4

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X-Men: First Class Finals #4

Post by metaldragon » Fri May 08, 2009 7:49 pm

X-Men: First Class Finals #4 (July, 2009)
Story: "The Mind of Jean Grey"

Characters
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X

Other Characters
none (every other past character shown here is just Jean's dream, not actual appearances)

Flashback: The first four pages of story take place before the "present moment" version of events in X:FCF 3 and right after the end of the "flashback" version of events. They must have moved Jean from the infirmary to a couch in the living room between the end of the previous issue and the beginning of this one. This means the infirmary scenes in the previous issue must still be part of the flashback sequence and the telepathic versions of the X-Men must then be BTS off panel.

Synopsys: Scott explains what he means when he says Juggernaut was actually Jean using her powers. Professor X decides to take the X-Men into her mind to find out what's going on. They enter Jean's mind and Professor X leads them into her last memory, of their talk before the "Juggernaut" hit. An Editor's Note says: "You saw this memory last issue! Remember?" (which was the entire "present" version of the flashback sequence until the end of X:FCF 3). They discuss why she chose Juggernaut to defeat Frederick, and the Magneto shaped junkpile, when suddenly the Hulk falls out of the sky nearly hitting Angel. Cyclops' attack goes right through the Hulk without affecting him and Jean suddenly appears to lift the Hulk, spin him around and fling him away with her powers.
Suddenly Dr. Strange appears and they remember their fight in Cyttorak's realm. Cyttorak him(it?)-self suddenly surges up out of the ground only to be squashed down again by Jean's powers. She suddenly flies off and they follow her to... Monster Island.
They manage to dodge a group of monsters only to see Jean subdue Mastermind in the same way Professor X did. She goes flying off again to save mental versions of Angel and Beast from the Lizard.
Then suddenly she's lifting hippos out of the river to save a mental version of Bobby. Professor X tries to get her attention but she doesn't seem to hear him. He worries that she is burning up mental energies and isn't able to wake herself up. Scott steps in and kisses her which finally makes her aware of them. They explain what is happening with her and behind them a car appears. When Jean hears it and turns to look, it changes into the Juggernaut. Scott tells her she can stop him but she panics and yells, "He's not alone!" A great crowd of foes and threats from the pages of the X:FC series (and UX) suddenly appear in a huge splash page. Scott tells her they are just fear and she has to face it. Jean realizes he's right and confronts them. They halt and vanish but suddenly the car reappears behind her and crashes into her.
Jean is unharmed but realizes this is her memory of when she was 10, where her best friend was killed and her telepathy first manifested.
Professor X tells her he can help her work on keeping the fears from taking shape this way again if she stays on at the school for a while. Scott agrees to stay as well.

Some time later they dress up in graduation caps and gowns and hold their own little graduation ceremony. Jean ask when they'll hold the real ceremony and Scott comments "Next month. We had to schedule around Warren's parents." Warren says, "Sorry." and Hank says as far as he was concerned, that was the real thing and they'll always be X-Men.

"One hour later..." Professor X sends them on a mission to Krakoa.

Notes: The last two pages appear to have taken this mini-series out of continuity. Unless this entire mini takes place between UX 40 & 41 it cannot take place before Warren's parents' deaths. This is not the case, as the last page places it right before the Krakoa mission in Giant-Size X-Men #1. There are a few problems with that placement as Beast was no longer part of the group (blue, furry and in the Avengers) by then and Lorna and Havok were. The ONLY way to make this fit into continuity is if the ENTIRE mini-series, except the last page of X:FCF 4 (and the secondary story), was Jean's (shared?) dream the night before they leave on the Krakoa mission and NONE of it was real. (Dreams within dreams within dreams...)
With that conclusion, I'd place the secondary stories in the first 3 issues the night before their real graduation, which would probably have been sometime after X:HY 22 and before Hank leaves in AA2 11.
OK, the confusing series of flashback, memories, and events seems to be:
X:FCF 3- first half (of first story).
X:FCF 3- "flashback" section events (which now must include the infirmary scenes).
[They move Jean from infirmary to a living room couch.]
X:FCF 4- flashback of X-Men entering Jean's mind (pages 1-4).
X:FCF 3- "present moment" versions of the X-Men watching the memory "flashback" events.
X:FCF 4- (page 5-on)

*Phew!* Hope that makes sense. I WISH they would mark page numbers again. I can't figure out if ad pages are included in a page count or story only and are info pages...? Me confused.
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Re: X-Men: First Class Finals #4

Post by Russ Chappell » Fri May 08, 2009 8:18 pm

Ignore ad pages.


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Re: X-Men: First Class Finals #4

Post by Somebody » Mon May 11, 2009 11:26 am

So, basically, there are two points of "failure" here, yes? A reference to Warren's parents being alive when they should be dead, and an "One Hour Later" caption that can't possibly stand.

Are either insurmountable?

For the first, Warren's parents don't appear on-panel, and any number of reasons could supplant that as a reason to delay the graduation-proper (including Hank or Bobby's parents being unable to attend), and we don't need to pick one. We've dismissed bigger glitches in any number of other comics.

And the "One Hour Later" caption could simply be deleted and replaced by an indeterminate amount of time - look at the unintended-by-Teh-Lobe holes Fury was forced to punch in W3 50-55 in his analysis of that arc for a far more egregious example. True, we don't see Havok or Polaris on that last page - but we don't see Angel either, and we know he's there OP.

This only "needs" to be between X:HY 22 (...I don't see the FB the MCP cites in UX 297. Events involving Warren & Hank are referenced, including a "celebration bash when [Beast] took that job with the Brand Corporation", but not shown...) and AA2 11-FB, where the X-Men see Beast off to his new job.

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Re: X-Men: First Class Finals #4

Post by metaldragon » Mon May 11, 2009 4:12 pm

I have a bit of a problem with the dialogue between Cyclops, Jean and Angel about the uniforms. It implies that Iceman and Beast wore those outfits regularly, when this is actually the first time post-UX 40 they've been shown wearing them EVER. Iceman has NEVER worn an outfit that looks exactly like Cyclops' (without the hood and googles) and Beast hadn't worn that outfit since UX 39.

OK this can be dismissed even easier than the other two points but taken as a whole, the story just seems "off"- like they never knew what happened to Magneto after seeing him last in the Savage Land, Warren's parents never died, Lorna & Havok never joined the team, and Hank never left for Brand, before they went to fight Krakoa "one hour later". To me, it just feels like all of it except the last page (where Angel, Lorna & Havok have to be OP) was a dream. I suppose you could say that the events may have happened but not in the way they're presented in the story.
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Re: X-Men: First Class Finals #4

Post by Somebody » Mon May 11, 2009 4:27 pm

Beast's costume is actually a colouring error, if you look closely - the belt and a couple of other details match his blue and red costume, not the pre-UX 39 costume. Presumably Jeff Parker didn't know that would happen when he wrote the series (and it wasn't corrected for #2-onward because it would have been more jarring than keeping it "wrong" all the way through).

And Iceman... do we know he DIDN'T wear that costume? In GSX 1 (since it's referenced here) he spends all of his time on-panel iced-up, so that you can't tell what he's wearing. (It's not actually identical to Cyke's either, FTR - the boots are skintight, unlike Cyke's. I suspect that it wasn't meant to be coloured as Cyclops' costume too, since that actually undercuts something Cyke says in #1).

And really, all the glitches are pretty minor when you compare them to most contemporary comics. Pick a random Bendis issue up and he'll contradict an issue he wrote himself two months earlier more seriously than the mistakes here.

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Re: X-Men: First Class Finals #4

Post by metaldragon » Tue May 12, 2009 4:37 pm

Somebody wrote:Beast's costume is actually a colouring error, if you look closely - the belt and a couple of other details match his blue and red costume, not the pre-UX 39 costume. Presumably Jeff Parker didn't know that would happen when he wrote the series (and it wasn't corrected for #2-onward because it would have been more jarring than keeping it "wrong" all the way through).

And Iceman... do we know he DIDN'T wear that costume? In GSX 1 (since it's referenced here) he spends all of his time on-panel iced-up, so that you can't tell what he's wearing. (It's not actually identical to Cyke's either, FTR - the boots are skintight, unlike Cyke's. I suspect that it wasn't meant to be coloured as Cyclops' costume too, since that actually undercuts something Cyke says in #1).

And really, all the glitches are pretty minor when you compare them to most contemporary comics. Pick a random Bendis issue up and he'll contradict an issue he wrote himself two months earlier more seriously than the mistakes here.
Actually, I pointed out the belt/colour error in Beast's costume in my analysis of the first issue of this mini. Still, if Beast's outfit HAD been coloured correctly (red), it makes Cyclops comment that he and Beast look like they're wearing team uniforms and everyone else isn't make even less sense. The only thing Cyclops's and Beast's costumes have in common are the arms and legs are blue and they're wearing hoods. Everything else is different. (Cyclops wears gloves, boots and no tabard, Beast has bare hands, feet, and tabard.)

Whenever Iceman wears a full body costume you can see it through the ice. (see: The Champions issues 11-on, X-Factor, and Uncanny post-X-Factor issues.) All his costume was, between UX 40 & The Champions 11, was white shorts, a belt with X buckle, and boots (except for the "First Class" issues of course). [Now some industrious soul with photographic memory can prove me wrong! lol!] So this is a unique costume, never before seen on Iceman and never since.

Well, let's not open the Bendis can of worms here. I still stand by my theory that all 4 issues except for the last page of #4 and the secondary story in the first 3 issues are one big dream sequence and may represent events that happened, but not necessarily in the manner shown.
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