Thursday, January 7, 2010
X-amining X-Men #29
Editor: Stan Lee
Scripter: Roy Thomas
Artist: Werner Roth
Inker: John Tartaglione
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Skating Instructor: Irving Forbush
Plot: The X-Men are enjoying an afternoon of ice skating when Cyclops accidentally and unknowingly revives the Super Adaptoid android, who is hibernating in a hidden cave. The Super Adaptoid remembers a secondary command programmed into him by his creators, A.I.M: to create other adaptoids and use them to rule the world. He follows the X-Men back to the mansion to determine if they will make fitting subjects for his first transformations.
Meanwhile, fed up with his insolence and constant bickering with the other X-Men, Xavier expels Mimic from the team, deciding to face Factor Three without him. After the Mimic departs, the Super Adaptoid attacks, and with the powers of the Avengers at his disposal, easily defeats the X-Men. Mimic, returning to tell off the X-Men, engages the Super Adaptoid, convincing the villain to try and copy Mimic's power. In the process, the two mimicking abilities cancel each other out. Powerless, the Super Adaptoid reverts to his original form and escapes. Mimic, who saw in the emotionless Super Adaptoid the ending of the path Mimic was taking, leaves the team, happy despite the loss of his power, having finally learned the true meaning of friendship.
Firsts and Other Notables: A depowered Mimic leaves the team, once and for all, two issues after joining. He'll pop up again years later, with his power restored, but aside from an alternate version of the character's starring role in "Exiles", this is pretty much the zenith of the character.
The Super Adaptoid is a robot created by Marvel's resident group of evil mad scientists, A.I.M (or Advanced Idea Mechanics) that rebelled against his creators and set off on his own to turn the world into robots (seriously). Like Mimic, he can absorb and utilize the powers of people around him (though he retains those powers, unlike Mimic who must remain in range of his subjects). The Super Adaptoid was principally a Captain America/Avengers villain at this point, which is why he has their powers while fighting the X-Men.
A Work in Progress: The mystery of the door continues; last issue, Cyclops spent a panel observing it. Here, we get Professor X musing on how it hides his "greatest secret" and "most tragic failure".
The still-looming menace of Factor Three gets name checked again, and it's revealed they are based in Europe (something Banshee apparently told the team between last issue and this one).
Ah, the Silver Age: Here's some more swinging Sixties dialogue:
Also, Jean is wearing an unseasonably (yet, I must say, delightfully) short skirt while ice skating.
The moral of the story (just in case you missed it):
Young Love: Despite his earlier decision to move on from Jean a few issues back, Warren spends most of this one glued to her.
The Awesome and Terrible Power of Cyclops: Believing that Angel is still alive because he must have subconsciously held back his optic blast when he accidentally hit Angel a few issues ago, Cyclops tries to consciously control his power in the woods away from everyone else. When the blast emerges more powerful and uncontrollable than ever, he collapses...in a mighty fit...of angst!
For Sale: Who wants an electronic computer brain? It's fun at parties! You can train it do your bidding!
Teebore's Take: Mimic's tenure as an X-Man comes to a close, only a few issues after joining. By today's standards, this seems like a short and abrupt end to the storyline, but I suppose this was actually a fairly long running plot in the days when almost every story was "done in one".
The Super Adaptoid, a Marvel Universe mainstay, is another one of those villains that doesn't really "feel" like an X-Men villain, but at least in this case, he works thematically for the story of Mimic's redemption. Of course, Mimic has been such an intolerable ass up to this point that we don't really cares that he redeemed himself at the cost of his power.
Still, this is a satisfactory conclusion to a quirky and often overlooked era in the X-Men's history: the first time they recruited a new team member, and he turned out to be so annoying even Xavier got fed up and kicked him off the team. And he wasn't even a mutant.