Disclaimer Stuff: Characters belong to Marvel; Iím just borrowing them for a while. Iím not making any money, so donít bother to sue me.
They say you can always tell where the X-Men have been just by the damage we leave behind, but thatís not true.
Just yesterday we squared off against some Sentinels downtown Ė a decidedly non-friendly bunch, I might add Ė and today you can hardly tell we were there at all. Especially since the cops stopped doing the chalk outline thing for robot remains.
Okay, so maybe a car or two got toasted. Címon. It was rush hour. There must have been three hundred cars on that one street alone. They probably have more fender benders than that any other day of the week.
Yeah, sure, a few storefront windows got smashed. I know. Big deal. Iím telling you, a hailstorm would do more damage.
And all of our innocent bystanders got away with nothing more severe than a case of nerves and, in some cases, probably some really sore throats from all that screaming they did. Which is really annoying, by the way. Nothing worse than trying to save someone whoís hollering in your ear.
Come to think of it, some of those bystanders didnít look like they were in the best of shape, huffing and puffing as they ran away, so Iíll bet there might be one or two suffering from stiff legs this morning. But thatís it. Thatís the extreme limit of our casualty list. Not too bad, if I do say so myself.
No, Iím not in denial.
No, I am NOT.
What are you talking about? Oh, like the Avengers could do better? I doubt it. Anyway, donít come after us on that one. Why donít you ask the dorks who made the Sentinels why they fuel them with such flammable propellant?
Well, anyway, the streets looked pretty clear to me. If any of that stuff got spilled, the rain washed it away.
Yeah, maybe the Avengers or the FF canít count on the weather always cooperating, but we X-Men have been pretty lucky that way. Itís a trade secret.
Yes, I have met the FF before. No, they seemed okay. Quite polite. Well, really, do you think stretchy-man, see-thru-girl, rock-dude and flaming-boy are gonna be calling us "muties" just because we were born with our abilities, instead of being stupid enough to fly straight into cosmic rays and get some freakish powers that way???
No, you canít quote me on that! I was illustrating a point!
Listen, do you want this interview or not?
Okay, then, ask some half-way intelligent questions.
Wolverine? Not a lot of height, but a hell of a lot of attitude. Pretty tough. Well, I know heís taken on the Hulk several times, I think. To hear him tell it, he kicked his butt each time. You might want to double-check that with the Hulk, though. No, Iím not gonna do that for you. Thatís your job anyway.
Okay, who are you talking about now? Oh, that would be Storm. Is she the reasonÖ? Well, maybe. Canít give away all our secrets. But, like I said, we donít usually have to worry about the weather.
The red-head used to be Marvel Girl Ė what a dumb code name, hey? And Marvel Woman was, like, even dumber, so she didnít bother with that. She was Phoenix for a while, but thatís a long story that we donít even want to go into, except to say that there was some bad karma attached to the name. So for the longest time, she was just The Woman Who Couldnít Think of a New Code Name, and now sheís gone back to using the Phoenix name. "From the ashes of creativity arises the same old name that was there before." No, thatís not her motto. No, donít bother, because Iíll deny saying it.
Well, in her defense, code names are a bit tricky. Theyíve got to be at least sort of descriptive. And most of the good ones are taken. You kind of want to stay away from recycling someone elseís old code name, too. No, not just the bad karma thing, but thereís always someone whoís going to be upset that you pilfered it. And really, the Phoenix name does suit her, cause sheís a hot babe. Heh heh.
Maybe youíd better leave that part out, cause sheís married.
Hey, you ever notice that there seem to be lots of strange hair colours on the mutant women? I mean, you donít see flaming red hair like that very often Ė not outside a comic book anyway. And weíve got a purple-haired woman on the team, and I used to date a green-haired girl, and that white hair is really odd on a black woman. And then thereís that weird migrating white stripe in Rogueís hair, that used to be on both sides, then just one side, and then it went to the middle of her head, just like a skunk stripe, and now instead of migrating again, I think itís expandingó
No, I donít think Iím rambling. Itís just kinda weird is all. Think about it. Most of us X-guys have normal hair. Mostly browns and blacksÖ Well, yes, on him the blond hair does stick out, but itís the blue skin that makes it look odd.
Look, letís forget it, because youíre obviously missing the point. The point isÖ well, donít you think itís weird that the stripe in Rogueís hair doesnít stay put???
Fine. Be that way.
Okay, okay, donít freak out. Letís just get it over with. What do you want to know?
The downside to superheroing? Oh, man. Where to begin? Well, for one, leaping into action at the drop of a hat is a real nice idea, but you canít always be wearing your costume under your clothes. I mean, in winter, the extra layer comes in handy, but itís hard to hide a spandex costume under your shorts in summer. Iíve pushed for summer uniforms Ė you know, cut-offs maybe, and sleeveless outfits Ė but apparently thatís not high on the list of priorities.
The whole costume thing is a little tiring, actually. A big X on your chest?! Youíre just asking for people to use you as target practice. Still, I guess it could be worse. You should see the fear in the teamís eyes once the fashion czars have decided itís time for an image overhaul. Iím actually pretty lucky, I guess Ė Iím always iced over, so I donít have to deal with most of the dumb fads. Like the million little pockets that no one ever used, those big clunky astronaut boots, or capesÖ I mean, no oneís worn capes since the beginning of the last century! Come on. Less is more!
What? Ö Okay, thatís not what I meant by Ďlessí. Yes, so I did once run around in a swimming-trunk kind of outfit. What can I say? I was young and confusedÖ But you couldnít tell once I iced up, I swear!
Yeah, yeah, okay, back on topicÖ
Another job-related peril is that if you gain an ounce, the whole world knows. The camera is merciless. Itís also truly amazing how many unflattering photos end up in the paper. They miss all my graceful, supremely photogenic moments of heroism and zoom in on the instant that I get my foot caught in a sewer grate or something and Iím screaming for backup. I swear, they do it on purpose.
Plus, "superheroing" isnít really a recognized profession, so we always end up having to list ourselves as mostly unemployed on tax returns. That kind of sucks. Most of us sort of get an allowance from our founder-guy, and thatís a little hard to take when youíre an adult. Sure, you can work part-time to top it up, but itís hard to buy a car with your savings from working at the gas station. And to top it off, most of us live in the same house together. Just like boarding school or something. Is it any wonder I act like an eternal teenager??
And then, of course, thereís always the possibility that one of us is going to get maimed, tortured, blinded, paralyzed, killed, kidnapped and/or brainwashed. I guess those things would definitely be in the "downside" column.
Donít even get me started on the whole "mutie" thing. I mean, please. Letís get over that and move on. Itís getting tiresome. You know who I blame for that? That Claremont columnist who works at the Daily Bugle. I swear he coined the whole "mutant menace" term. Ever since he started writing columns, it seems like our lives have got more and more difficult.
Well, yes, maybe he is a very nice person at heart. Maybe. But from where Iím sitting, heís a big fat pain in theÖ posterior.
Yeah, well, Beast is always trying to get me to improve my vocabulary. Sometimes, a few words actually wear off on me.
Biggest, baddest supervillain? Um, well, I guess it depends on who you ask. We all have our own axes to grind. But, personally, I really canít take a guy named "Mr. Sinister" seriously. Heís just trying too hard. The Brood mostly showed up when I wasnít around, and they always struck me as Alien-ripoffs anyway.
Dark Phoenix Ė well, sheís a pretty heavy duty baddie, but we donít often talk about that. Thereís that whole "bad karma" thing I mentioned earlier, and quite a body count. Honestly, though, her background and motivation are kind of convoluted. Good stage presence, though Ė Iíll give her that. Very dramatic.
And the Goblin Queen? I donít think goblins are scary Ė theyíre just weird. Nice outfit, though.
Apocalypse has a pretty good name, and a good track record for villainy, plus heís got the four horsemen thing going, which is a nice touch. The giant "A" on his belt is kind of dorky, though. Like we wouldnít know who you are without the big clue on your belt buckle?
Magneto is also a pretty big heavyweight in the "villain" area. In recent years, heís really worked hard on his credibility, you know with the EMP stuff and the whole Genosha thing. But I still gotta say, he loses marks for all those stupid magnet thingamabobbies he was using way back when we first went up against him. If you want people to take you seriously, donít stick a giant magnet on your spaceship.
No, I guess a lot of people donít remember that.
Yeah, okay, so we were lightweights back then too. At least we were just teenagers!
No, Iím not saying that youíre a lightweight just cause youíre a teenager. Iím just sayingÖ
How old are we now? Uh, letís not go there. Every now and again, Iíve tried doing the math, and it never quite seems to work out. It could be some kind of time-spatial disorder that we havenít quite tracked down, but the less we talk about it, the better.
Anything Iíd like to say in closing?
Canít think of anything in particular. Letís just add something about the awesome Iceman being an awesome nice man Ė hee hee!! Ė and maybe have a flattering photo of me for once. That way I can send a copy home to my folks and maybe they wonít think Iíve completely wasted my life.
Yeah, I know this article is for a school paper. I figure Iíll work my way up.
Oh, hey, wait, I know what I want to say. Did I mention that I have a degree in Accounting? Well, I do. So, in closing, Iíd like to say: Stay in school, kids. Youíll never regret a good education. Just look at me. Mild-mannered accountant by day, and a superhero byĖ well, usually by day, actually. Contrary to popular belief, most supervillains Ė and bad guys in general Ė still tend to keep daylight hours. HOWEVER, if you were to be maimed or incapacitated or just generally disliked by your superheroing coworkers and asked to leave, you will be able to fall back on your degree, which will hopefully somehow cushion the blow.
Inspiring words, arenít they? Well, hopefully thatís enough for your article.
Where can you send a copy? Just how dumb do you think I am? Donít answer that. Iím not giving you the address to our super-secret impenetrable hideout. Letís see, I suppose I could have you mail it to a post-office box. Why donít youó
"Ah simply cannot believe youíre still hogginí the phone!"
Hold on just a minute (muffling phone receiver with hand) Ė Look, can you keep your voice down just the smallest bit? Iím kind of just wrapping things up hereó
"Ah donít care! Ah want to make a call, aní youíve been tyiní it up long enough, Bobbyó"
NO! Donít use my name!!!
"Oh, fír goodness sakeó"
Okay, okay, just give me a second. And be quiet! (uncovering phone receiver) ErrÖ a very important situation has developed. Iím afraid I have to go. Immediately. No, no, Iím not in any danger. Itís justÖ duty calls, and all that. Iíll be in touch, and thanks for the opportunityó