Two guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Pages

Thursday, July 8, 2010

X-amining X-Men #45

"When Mutants Clash!"
June 1968

In a nutshell: Cyclops fights Quicksilver

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Gary Friedrich
Layouts: Don Heck
Penciller: Werner Roth, George Tuska (2nd Story)
Inker: John Tartigalone, John Verpoorten (2nd Story)
Lettering: Sam Rosen, Irving Watanabe (2nd Story)

Plot
Worried that Angel has been gone too long and may have been recaptured, Cyclops strains his power against his bonds and manages to break free. He comes across the imprisoned Marvel Girl, but is unable to wake her from unconsciousness. Knowing he can't face Magneto alone, Cyclops moves on, hoping to locate and free Beast and Iceman. Meanwhile, Angel arrives in New York City and proceeds to Avengers Mansion.


Back at Magneto's island, Toad discovers the escaped Cyclops and alerts Magneto, who sends Quicksilver to deal with him while Magneto disciplines Toad. At first, Quicksilver talks with Cyclops, trying to convince him that Magneto has the best interests of mutants in mind. Unable to sway him, Quicksilver attacks, and the two mutants battle one another before Cyclops gains the upper hand and knocks out Quicksilver. Just then, the Avengers arrive and see Cyclops standing over their former teammate...

2nd Story: And the Mob Cried Vengeance!
Bobby refuses to leave the jail with Cyclops, believing he will receive a fair trial and be exonerated for acting in self-defense. Cyclops tries to convince him that the mob outside has no interest in giving him a fair trial, and when Bobby stays put, Cyclops blasts him out of the cell. Bobby reflexively covers himself in ice, and the pair proceed to fight their way across town. Eventually, they collapse from exhaustion, just as the sheriff catches up to them. 


Firsts and Other Notables
The main story continues and concludes in Avengers #53, making this the first true X-Men crossover, something the X-Men will become synonymous with by the nineties. Avengers #53 details Angel's encounter with the Avengers who, after discovering an electronic bug hidden on Angel, become suspicious of the X-Men. When the Avengers arrive on Magneto's island, he turns his mind control device, intended in issue #43 to enslave humanity, on the X-Men, and the two teams square off. Eventually, everything gets sorted out (the Avengers never suspected Angel, and played along to draw out Magneto) and the Brotherhood, including Toad (who is sick of the abuse he suffers despite being Magneto's most loyal servant), turn on Magneto, who plummets to his apparent death. 

A Work in Progress
Cyclops' power is a bit dodgy in this issue, as he escapes by somehow using his optic blast to open his visor, and then puts as much energy as he can into blasting off the lead Magneto placed over his eyes. Except he shouldn't be able to blast through his visor, made of the one material that stops his power, and he shouldn't have any trouble blasting off the lead, considering lead is NOT the one material that stops his power.


Ah, the Silver Age
Instead of, I dunno, doing something villainous (maybe working on that mind control machine...) Magneto is apparently just chilling on his throne when Toad arrives with news of Cyclops' escape. 


It's the Might Marvel Age of Hyperbole (and corner cutting)! 


Human/Mutant Relations
More of the fun you've come to expect with the lynch mob in the backup.


For Sale
Before there was fantasy baseball...


Teebore's Take
Cyclops is the headliner in what amounts to an issue-long fight scene intended to kill time before the story gets resolved in Avengers #53. That said, it's a rather good fight scene backed by art that, aside from in a few places, is also quite good. The abbreviated page count (because of the space allotted to the backup story) also helps keep it from feeling too padded. Of course, I'm not going to complain too much about an issue that showcases Cyclops. The backup story, meanwhile, is downright awful. Instead of a lame villain like Jack O'Diamonds, we've got Cyclops indiscriminately blasting Iceman when he refuses to leave jail and proceeding to fight him across town for no apparent reason.

12 comments:

Joan Crawford said...

Fantastic as always, Teebore! I know you have dumbed these down as much as possible but I am starting to get even more confused with this Avengers business. So...did all of these people live in the same world? The Superman people and the X-Men and the Fantastic 4 and what have you? Are they aware of each other, in the stories I mean? Do the Avengers rule the East Side and stick to their own turf?


Phrases I Found Interesting:

Cyclops strains his power against his bonds

while Magneto disciplines Toad

he turns his mind control device

...on his throne


Hmm, there are a few BDSM type scenarios in this issue. What do you have to say about that, Mr.Gary Friedrich? *slaps palm of hand with riding crop*


So, I once saw this documentary about people into S&M (people in the ...lifestyle? call it just SM. Because they like being extra creepy) and anyway this one chick had a...teeheeheehee..Master but he was Master Number 2 as Master Number One used to make her stay in a dog-crate all day (I shouldn't laugh but HAHAHAHA) and then there was a fire! I know! She almost died. Yeah, and like most people her thought wasn't "never again" it was "let's try it with less dog cages this time!"

Anne said...

LMFAO @ Joan
I would like to know the name of this documentary, as i like learning about people with crazy lifestyles.

@ Joan- that's the AWESOMENESS of comic books- a bunch of them are in the same Universe. There's 2 main universes- the DC Universe (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman etc) and then the Marvel Universe (Xmen, Spiderman, Avengers, Daredevil etc). So if the comics are in the same universe, then the characters can bump into each other (Spiderman and Daredevil run in the same circles, for example)
AWESOME!

@Teebore- i gotta say...i think Quicksilver would win in a fight again Cyke- but i think Quicksilver would win in a fight against most people. Can't beat speed

Teebore said...

@Joan: Yeah, and like most people her thought wasn't "never again" it was "let's try it with less dog cages this time!"

Bwahaha! I swear, Joan, sometimes I want to climb inside your brain and just hang out there for awhile. In a non-creepy way...

Anne answered your question about the interactions of various comic book characters; I'll just add a few things:

The Avengers, who are part of the Marvel Universe along with the X-Men are "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" and are considered, in the Marvel Universe, to be the A-List team, comprised of the best of the best, whereas the X-Men, being dirty stinking mutants, are viewed as outcasts and freaks by the general population of the Marvel Universe, which causes some issues when the two teams encounter one another, especially in these early years.

The Marvel Universe is very hypocritical in that way. They LOVE masked hero Captain America, but distrust and fear masked hero Spider-Man. They love the Avengers, but the X-Men give them the willies (apparently, accidentally getting super-powers is okay, but being a mutant born with them just ain't right).

Also, on occasion (mainly whenever the two comic book companies, Marvel and DC, can get along for awhile) characters from their respective universes will crossover, and you'll get a special issue in which Superman and Spider-Man meet, or the Justice League and the Avengers (each company's preeminent team of heroes). Invariably, two companies' heroes battle each other over some misunderstanding before uniting against a common threat.

@Anne: i think Quicksilver would win in a fight again Cyke- but i think Quicksilver would win in a fight against most people. Can't beat speed

To be fair, in this fight, Cyke lucked out and Quicksilver basically ran into a wildly-fired optic blast.

That said, it's important to remember that, comic book-wise, Quicksilver isn't that fast; he tops out at about the speed of sound, which is still fast, but nothing like the Flash, who can, on occasion, run faster than light. Thus Quicksilver not automatically winning every fight is a little easier to swallow than, say, Flash not single-handedly ridding the DC Universe of crime in an afternoon.

Falen (Sarah) said...

hahaha! I love me some flash.
and quicksilver. ESPECIALLY ultimate quicksilver.
holy hell i LOVE the ultimate verse.

Also Joan, i too want to know the name of that show if you know it.


And how the hell does the master of magnetism plummet to his death? The dude can float

Teebore said...

@Falen: ESPECIALLY ultimate quicksilver.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you haven't read Ultimates 3. You know, the one where Quicksilver knocks boots with his sister, and Wasp acts like Captain America is a kooky man-out-of-time for having a problem with that?

Cuz that dropped my esteem for Ultimate Quicksilver pretty quick (well, really, it just dropped my esteem for Jeph Loeb, but that was already pretty low...).

And how the hell does the master of magnetism plummet to his death?

...magnetically...?

Joan Crawford said...

Hahah! I know I love hearing about Weirdos too! It was such a good series - yes, series! It was in French with subtitles and I will have to research it and find out the title but it was all about Weirdos and Their Freaky Sex. One episode was about Vampire Sex! There was this guy who was a "vampire" (except he was morbidly obese and had a receding hairline - as I imagine most men are who claim to drink blood) and he would bite this girl in public at this weird bar and people would watch (How awkward, what do you do after? Clap? Hoot? Hiss in approval?) Really bite her - drew blood and everything and then after, it shows their conversation (which was, amazingly, even creepier than the biting business) and he was all "Thank you for giving me your pain." Ewww! And she should have said "Thank you for taking my Hep C - that's how this works, right?"
And then another one was about Food Sex and Balloon Sex. There are a multitude of porn videos of balloons popping and naked ladies in bathtubs full of Honey Smacks and whatnot (which I just find wasteful and it must be a horrific mess to clean up).
BUT the best one was the Pony Play episode! Have you heard of this? People (mostly women) dress up - well, naked-dress-up, as horses and like pull people around in carts! They spend thousands of dollars on Pony Gear - pony hoof shoes, bridles, the works. There is even a training-farm they can go to somewhere in the states. The series aired liked 3 years ago at 2 am...

I miss it :D

Teebore said...

@Joan: The series aired liked 3 years ago at 2 am...

Was it on HBO? Or whatever the crazy Canadian equivalent of HBO is? Cuz it's starting to sound kinda like Real Sex, which was a series HBO aired late at night/early in the morning and, I think, dealt with people's weird sex habits.

I also realized that in all the talk of sexy house fires and whatnot I failed to speak to your initial comment regarding the quasi BDSM phrases in this issue.

One can definitely find an undercurrent of S&M in some super hero comics, something that, back in the 50s, psychologist Frederic Wertham latched onto in his well-intentioned but poorly-researched and (nowadays) widely-reviled book Seduction of the Innocent.

The most egregious examples are early Wonder Woman stories, in which Wonder Woman frequently wrestles with her Amazonian compatriots and loses her super powers whenever she is bound by a man (and boy howdy, does she end up getting bound by a man A LOT).

Incidentally, Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, a feminist theorist who also wrote those early Wonder Woman stories, invented the lie detector, and had a relatively unique relationship (especially for the 40s) in which he lived in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and his mistress.

And with that, Joan, I thank you for essentially doubling our Google hits with one comment thread.

Falen (Sarah) said...

Teebore - Ha!

And i don't know where we left off on Ultimates, so i don't know if i've read the knocking boots issue. HOWEVER, for whatever reason, i tend to read a lot of novels that have brother/sister incest (both twin and otherwise) so i don't even blink at it any more. ESPECIALLY after anne and i watched that documentary on GSA (genetic sexual attraction) (which i think we've talked about on your blog before). Ever since then, i have a lot more sympathy for sibling who want to get it on.

Joan - that series sounds even MORE awesome now!
I was aware of pony play, but not aware that it was mostly women.

Have you seen the documentary regarding men who have real dolls? Like Lars and the real girl, but creepy and deviant. I can't remember the name off the top of my head...

close actual quote from one of the more crazy crazies:
"At first it was just sex sex sex all the time. But now we have conversations and enjoy our relationship"

dude. It's a sex doll...

Blam said...


The panel you ran of Cyclops running up the steps is like a poster child — or, I guess, just a poster — for the old Marvel-style scripting dilemma: "Uh-oh... Nice drawing, but we gots to explain what's going on in it!"

Magneto, who plummets to his apparent death

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

"Master! Master! The one called Cyclops is free!"

One! That is one called Cyclops! Ah ah ah!

... Sorry... I've been doing my Count impression for my nephew...

VW: reamp — Plug back in.

Teebore said...

@Blam "Uh-oh... Nice drawing, but we gots to explain what's going on in it!"


Haha! Well said. You have to wonder how different Marvel might have been in the 60s if they had used the traditional method: would we have lost out on some of Kirby's bombastic-ness in favor of less-explanatory scripting? Would Kirby have pushed through regardless? Would the quality of the entire line have dropped when Stan was unable to crank out as many books as he did?

The world will never know...

Matt said...

Was Magneto able to fly at this time? When he shows up in issue #104, he flies and there is an editor's note explaining that he's able to do so the same way Polaris did in issue #97. This always implied to me that it was a new trick and he had never flown before (just as Polaris had never flown before issue 97). But having never read any of the pre-Adams Magneto apperances, I could be wrong.

Teebore said...

@Matt: Was Magneto able to fly at this time? When he shows up in issue #104, he flies and there is an editor's note explaining that he's able to do so the same way Polaris did in issue #97. This always implied to me that it was a new trick and he had never flown before (just as Polaris had never flown before issue 97). But having never read any of the pre-Adams Magneto apperances, I could be wrong.

No, you're absolutely right: Magneto wasn't shown to fly until issue #104.

I didn't even think of it at the time of this post (Magneto having been able to fly for as long as I've been reading comics), but issue #104 (which, coincidentally, is the next issue I'll be posting about) definitely makes it clear that Magneto's ability to fly is new (and, if we wanted to play continuity cop, could be chalked up to his being re-aged to a younger age than he was in the Silver Age, as we'll learn eventually, and thus, more powerful).