Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Ihmesarja #8 Cover
Ihmesarja #8 Cover

Last time I wrote about the skipped issues and made a slight mistake. I had misplaced my Ihmesarja #17 which covers the rest of the missing issues #158 onwards, so it seems I have all except one of the skipped issues from The Uncanny X-Men. Yay!

The only issue I thus miss is #144 where Scott Summers/Cyclops and his current girlfriend wannabe Lee Forrester met the Man-Thing. It or some evil presense had somehow caused Lee’s father to commit suicide at the swamp where he lives… or something. Let’s be frank, the plot sounds quite arbitrary and uninteresting.

But in Ihmesarja #8 we get back into more interesting stuff. The comic book holds three individual storylines, which I will go through in their own posts. So let’s begin with the first one, in which Storm experiences some flirty action with the old Dr. Doom himself. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

Don’t worry, I’m just trying to make this sound more exciting as it is, since in the first storyline the X-Men again have to face my favourite enemy, Arcade (“Armoton”). It seems quite unlike Dr. Doom to really lower himself as low as hanging out with Arcade. Well, I suppose if you are planning to dedicate your life to dictatorship and “evilness” you can’t be too picky.

The plot & some unnerving details best left alone

In the beginning Storm and Kitty‘s dance instructor Stevie are kidnapped by Arcade’s assistant, who says she has kidnapped Jean Grey‘s parents, Moira McTaggert, Candy Southers (Angel‘s girlfriend), Amanda Stefton (Nightcrawler‘s girlfriend) and Illyana Rasputin, who is Colossus‘s younger sister and still at this point around five years old. The X-Men are told by the assistant they have to save Arcade, imprisoned by Dr. Doom, and make sure Dr. Doom will no longer bother Arcade if the X-Men want to see their loved ones alive.

Well, instead of trying to free their friends from Arcade’s minion (if they can beat Arcade, how hard can his minion be?), for some reason the X-Men decide to face Dr. Doom instead, who most likely has valid enough reason to hurt Arcade any way he chooses. As a very cunning plan Storm decides to work as a distraction, inviting herself into Dr. Doom’s castle and letting him know she has come in peace to talk with him. The other X-Men, who always like to say they just want to talk, begin an all out attack on Dr. Doom’s castle.  I really don’t understand how they thought Dr. Doom wouldn’t notice a bunch of mutants fighting their way in, but for some reason, Storm seems completely oblivious of that as she dines with Dr. Doom. As an intriguing detail there are some lovely vibes in the air as the two of them dine together.

Ihmesarja #8 Storm ja Doom dining together
Storm and Doom have dinner together.
2nd panel, Storm: “I’m actually… enjoying this. In fact I’m bummed I’m here only to distract Doom while the others free Arcade. I bet they are already at his cell.” “Doom is a fascinating man.”
3rd panel, Dr. Doom: “Interesting, it seems the attraction is mutual. — Two lions, the king and the queen.”

But, alas! Just when things are getting exciting, (SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT!) Storm is told that Arcade was in fact working together with Dr. Doom! 8O

Ihmesarja 8 Wolverine through a wall
The box says: “It takes about a minute for Wolverine to find a wall and rip his way into freedom.” Arcade really knows how to make puzzles…

In the  following story the puzzles Arcade has provided for the now imprisoned X-Men are once again just as easy to escape as in Ryhmä-X 1/1985. They just go through the walls or smash everything, and, well, problem solved.

As for Storm, when she was revealed that Arcade was working together with Doom instead of being his prisoner, Dr. Doom somehow turned her into a chrome statue. In the later panels we see her clothes have been changed to another outfit. How did they do it? Did they first free her, then change her clothes and then turn her into chrome again? It would seem most likely as she is also frozen into another position than before. Also it would seem the new clothes are not chrome, which would mean they turned Storm into a chrome statue when she was naked. That raises some unnerving questions and I’d be very disappointed if no-one has written any slash on the topic… Also notice how Dr. Doom has a Storm robot made to serve him. I mean, I’m starting to see questions forming in my head I might not want to see answered.

Ihmesarja #8 Storm statues
How did they manage to change her clothes?
Ihmesarja #8 Storm-bot
That’s a Storm-bot. If she now wears Storm’s normal outfit, does that mean she used to wear what Storm is wearing now? And why does Dr. Doom have a Storm-bot made for him? I mean – eww, Dr. Doom! Eww!

But nevertheless, as Storm is kept in her chrome jail she starts to stir up a serious storm outside, which in turn will have serious consequences for Scott and Lee. But we’ll return to that story later. Once freed, Storm is pretty aggravated and almost kills everyone in rage. Luckily the others talk her out of it and peace is restored. Hurrah!

What happens to Dr. Doom and Arcade? Well, it does seem Arcade really had done something wrong to Dr. Doom and he really was his prisoner. At this point the X-Men finally are ready to talk things over. The solution? They make Arcade to apologise to Dr. Doom, and everyone is happy and goes home. Seriously?

Ihmesarja #8 Apology
No, I wasn’t kidding. They literally make him to apologise to Dr. Doom.
Also notice how Dr. Doom says in the 2nd panel exactly what I am thinking: “I’d like to apologise, too.” “I am a slave to my habits. The X-Men attacked my home without clear cause so I retaliated.” I think Dr. Doom was very generous here. If someone came barging my home and broke my stuff I’d sure be more upset than he is. I’m quite impressed that he even offers to apologise to the X-Men. Surprising, considering how little upset he seems to be when Arcade owes him an apology.

The X-Mummies Advent Calendar! #24

24/24

Who is the secret Santa?! If you can’t guess, continue reading…

Santa Xavier

I promised to teach you how to write your name in Hieroglyphs, so here goes. As I said no-one knows for sure how ancient Egyptian languages were pronounced. The sounds we’ve attributed to them are more like educated guesses than certain knowledge. But for foreign people’s and place’s names we have quite a good understanding of the written form, if we know how the names were pronouced in the original languages. For example, even before Champollion some Egyptologists had noticed that they could read Ptolemaic king’s names from cartouches. Of course, Ptolemaic kings were the very last pharaohs to rule egypt and by that time the written system had developed and received new letters like L [lion] and some of the sound values of letters had changes, like for A [eagle] which might have at some point had a sound value or R. And even though some of the letters have been given vowel soundvalues, it’s still uncertain if they really were vowels, because the Egyptians usually just wrote down consonants.

Ancient Egyptian AlphabetsBut none of that matters as we are really not trying to impress any mummies (= dead people, not female parents) into marrying us so let’s just do the best we can with these letters.

On the right side I have written Finnish letters and their Egyptian counterparts, but you can just as well use them for writing English names. The basic rule for writing in Egyptian is to try to fit all the letters into neat squares to make the text as harmonius as possible. And these letters are to be read from left to right. If you write them the wrong way around they might harm you, so be careful!

As for A you have two options. I’d go with the eagle, but with another sideways letter you can choose the arm. B is leg. For C you can choose from three options. If the C is pronounced as <k> you choose the cup, if it’s pronouced like <z> (f. ex. Charles) you could use the knots, and for <s> like “celcius” you chooce the folded cloth. D is hand. The Egyptians didn’t have sound for <e> but it’s usually substituted with a feather. F is a snake with “eyebrows”. G is a pot with something in it. There are actually more than one variant of H-sounds in Egyptian, but for the western H like in “hot” you choose this sign. I as the feather. J pronounced the Finnish way (“Yule”) is written with a feather, but if pronounced the English way it’s written with knots for <z> (see C). K is a basket with handle. L is a Greek addition to the alphabet and it’s written with a lion sign. M is an owl. N is wavy water. O is a foreign sound and substituted with U-sign, a chick. P is square. Q is a hill slope. R is mouth. S is a folded cloth. You can also write it with the knots for <z> for a more harmonious look. T is bread. U, V and W are all marked with a chick sign. X is not part of the Egyptian alpahabet, but if pronounsed as <ks> like in taxi, you can write it as such: basket and folded cloth. Y can be written with either two feathers like <ii> or with two strokes. Z is also a foreign letter and if pronounced like <t>+<s> use bread + cloth, but if it’s pronounced like Z in “Genghis Khan” I might choose to write it with knots. Å is substituted with a chick. Since Ä and Ö are foreign sounds they are usually substituted with A and O.

You should also notice that only royal names are written inside a cartouche. For us commoners you should use a determinative sign to mark a name. For a male name you use a sitting male sign and for a female a sitting female sign.

If you want to write your pet’s name, you should use an according animal sign, for example a dog determinative for dog names, etc. Just draw the animal to your best abilities, since the Egyptians had no set “font” to write stuff – they just drew. So for example if you draw an owl, you should keep it in that position, but it’s totally up to you to decide which owl it is and how to colour it. And as for the lion, you can always draw a better one than I did. These are just the type of Hieroglyphs I use to write down my notes. And that’s also the reason I chose to explain what those signs represent, so you can do them better.

You might have noticed there were a few occasions where I have used some Hieroglyphs not listed in the alphabet. That’s correct. On some occasions I have written stuff in Egyptian. For example in Xavier’s case above I pondered about the “Professor X”. Since professor is not a name but a title, I chose to write him down as <haty-a ks> where the haty-a means a leader or the foremost, which pretty much sums up his position in the X-Men. In Lilandra’s case I wrote her down as the queen (or literally Wife of the Ruler, there was no word for queen in Egyptian) of the Shi’ar and after her name in the cartouche I used <ankh wda snb> which is always written behind royal names to wish them long life, prosperity, and health. And in Mariko’s case I gave her the title Wolverine’s loved one <mry n Wolverine>.

Merry X-mas to you all! <3