The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin: Monday Morning Master Mold (Pt 2)

Last time on the MMQB, I reviewed Uncanny X-Men 246, detailing how the previously anti-hero-inclined Nimrod touched a piece of the Master Mold and became a big giant amalgamated robot, facing off against the Ms. Marvel-uniform-clad Rogue, with Robert Kelly’s wife, Sharon, injured in the initial blast.

From Marvel.Wikia

First off, I love the magenta-hued cover, which plays off of what is to come in the issue, as well as Nimrod/Master Mold’s fuchsia-face. We open with a big ol’ splash page of Havok, Dazzler, and Storm blasting Master Mold. Excellent, this is comics. We get a POV from Master Mold, all digitized, telling us he is having trouble identifying the X-Men. Of note, we get forgettable X-Man Gateway telling Robert Kelly she can’t save his injured wife. I’m sure that’ll go over well with his anti-mutant agenda.

More battling with the giant Master Mold ensues, including a nice panel “looking through dust” at the encroaching robot. The X-Men think they have it beat with some good ol’ fashioned butt-whooping, but it couldn’t be that easy, right?

Cut to Jubilee (pre-90s Jubilee, so no April O’Neil jacket) in Dazzler’s Australian bungalow? I’m not sure, and I don’t feel like researching this plot thread.

The Master Mold reassembles! Drawing from the construction site where Nimrod touched to the piece of Master Mold, the big giant robot reconstitutes itself, bigger, stronger, and better able to adapt to the mutant powers of the X-Men. This cause Dazzler to be knocked into a hole, prompting the ever caring Rogue to remark “Can’t worry about her now, Spunky. Got probs of our own.”

Soon Colossus rips off one of Master Mold’s legs, but it does little, and he knocks Colossus out. Knowing a death knell is needed, Rogue absorbs Colussus’ power (just a bit) and we get this amazing image:

download

A tri-amalgamation of Colossus, Rogue, and Ms. Marvel?! Absolutely!! Ms. Roguelossus flies up to space for an orbital fastball special, crashing down into Master Mold from on high (how she didn’t create such a shock as to collapse at least the surrounding city block is another of those comic physics mysteries).

Its severed head now down in the hole containing Dazzler, Dazz attempts to use the Siege Perilous on Moldy, but it takes Rogue with him! Somewhere in this, the anti-hero side of Nimrod takes over again, telling the Master Mold to destroy itself because it’s “mutated” by amalgamating with ‘Rod (Master Mold’s “Prime Directive”, kill all mutants, itself mutates to a Futurama-like “kill all humans” after it realizes humans are the progenitors of mutants, and because Mold itself has mutated, it must destroy itself as well).

Is Rogue still alive somewhere? How will Robert Kelly be affected by the death of his wife in a mutant-related skirmish? Who is this egg-person on the last page? Alas, I’ll probably dip out of the late 80s X-Men timestream for now, so those will have to wait for some other time.

Much like the last issue, this is a “buy it if you can find it cheap” recommend on my part. Big giant robots, stealing powers, and more big giant robots make this a fun issue to read, and the team of Claremont and Silvestri add a sense of credibility to what are ostensibly utterly ridiculous premises.

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin: Monday Morning Master Mold (Pt 1)

For some reason, I’ve always been a fan of the Sentinel overlord, Master Mold. Maybe it’s because he looks like a cross between Galactus and a Sentinel, or maybe it’s because he’s a walking factory that somehow produces raw materials to make Sentinels within his person, but the bigger, more menacing look of the monolithic Master Mold has always made me take pause and go, “Cool.” That being said, his first appearance is wrapped up with early Sentinel tales and in the early days of the silver age X-Men, so that’s out of my price range for the time being. However, I did track down a two issue story with him recently at the Boston Comic Con for a scant buck apiece.

From Marvel.Wikia

Uncanny X-Men #246 has a bold (inaccurate) color scheme for the Master Mold, looking something like a leftover redesign of Megatron or Iron Man. Written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Mark Silvestri, it opens with the Dazzler looking into the Siege Perilous  (ironic because the Boston Comic Con already introduced plenty of Dazzler into my life) and seeing her own death. We also see Nimrod acting as a sort of anti-hero(?) taking out some crack dealers (remember guys, this is the 80s), as well as Wolverine talking about going to do his own thing because that’s what Wolverine does about half of the time in team books.

Another key subplot to this is Rouge dealing with the inner struggle of the absorbed memories of Carol Danvers taking over her body from time to time, including a seemingly out of nowhere salute to veterans plopped into the middle of the book. Meanwhile, Senator Robert Kelly is making deals with Sebastian Shaw (the cad!) while his trampy wife plays provocateur.

To get back to the Master Mold portion of the story, Nicholas Hunter, the anti-hero Nimrod’s alter ego (something I never knew existed until this point in my life), is working at a construction site and accidentally touches a buried piece of the Master Mold, which is enough to cause him to revert to being full Sentinel and become some sort of Master Mold/Nimrod amalgamation, a super-Sentinel, if you would. We close with Master Mold looking giant size, Rogue rocking Carol Danvers’ Ms. Marvel outfit (the lightning bolt one), and Robert Kelly’s wife (Mitzy? Wait, Sharon, it’s Sharon) getting squashed in a limo.

This issue’s a nice setup to what’s to come. We get some characters moving forward (Wolverine), as well as some characters struggling (Dazzler, Longshot having a crisis of confidence, and Rouge wrestling with the specter of Carol Danvers). Throw in some big giant robot, and the character mash-ups of Master Mold/Nimrod and Rogue/Ms. Marvel (mash-ups are something I always like) and you get a solid issue. One last note, Mark Silvestri’s art in this is amazing. Not for any huge splash pages or “redefining the genre” or any somesuch, but for drawing realistic looking characters with realistic hair, in my opinion. With so much hair going on (remember guys, this is the 80s, so the volume’s turned up to 11), it helps you get invested in the characters when it seems like they could actually be real people (right down a quick reference to Wolverine starting to use hair gel). If you can find this one cheap, give it a read.

This is the first part of my multi-part look at Master Mold, in the same vein as my fascination with Venom 2099.

Master Mold Colored Pencil #fanartfriday

img009

As part of my series of posts about Master Mold, I did a little colored pencil sketch of Master Mold circa Uncanny X-Men 246-247, complete with amalgamated Nimrod purple face. Throw in Dazzler as Fay Wray and the requisite “Wolverine getting blasted to pieces” shot and we get a little piece of giant robot monster mash fun.