Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Grotesk Marvel: Part 3

Finally, the third installment in the Grotesk blogging journey is here (see parts one and two). Following on from the last post, the final chapter of this particular story unfolds in X-Men #42 (1963). Quite a famous issue, this one.

I should have mentioned the names of the authors and artists previously. Crucial information! My excuse is that I got carried away with all the grotesqueness.

I love Stan. Especially his interjections about things that happened "last ish!" (Meaning: in a previous issue/series.)

The story resumes with more biffo between Grotesk and the X-Men.

Grotesk goes through a variety of hairstyles in this issue. I call this one the 'Carol Brady.'

Meanwhile, mutant patriarch Professor X is acting strangely. After sending Cyclops and Beast to wrangle with Grotesk, he forbids any of the others from helping and retreats into his study.

It makes no sense. Things get messy as poor faithful Jean Grey is left to hold off the angry hoards.

Meanwhile, Grotesk has a helpful vision.

After unleashing a mysterious gas to befuddle his attackers...

Grotesk hurries off to the nuclear plant to destroy the world.

It is interesting to note how often Grotesk makes reference to his name and its origins. He is constantly mulling over his grotesqueness when alone, and announcing it when encountering others. 'Grotesk' does double duty as name and adjective - a fact that understandably plays on the antagonist's mind.

In a face-off with the nuclear technician, Grotesk discovers a shocking truth.

Thus unmasked, Professor X sends a mental call for help and everyone boofs and paffs each other again. Then one hearty fool makes a terrible mistake:


Enraged beyond reason, Grotesk applies his limited technical skills to the nuclear device, with explosive results.

Is this the end of Grotesk? The X-Men certainly believe so. Strangely unaffected by the (nuclear?) explosion, they are quick to forget our gross friend.

Not so for Professor X, who has been the recipient of one too many biffs from Grotesk. He dedicates his final words to explaining his killer's motives. Which is odd, because this backstory has been repeated many times before.

Honestly, I'm surprised that Grotesk is not a more well-known character given his influential role in such a famous event. The Marvel comics time-line wouldn't be the same without him. Of course (spoiler) Professor X isn't actually dead. But he could have been, and that was a big deal in 1963.

As it turns out (spoiler again), Grotesk isn't dead either. He returns to battle Ms Marvel in 1977. I have those comics, obviously, so you will be seeing him again soon.

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