Wednesday, December 1, 2010
X-amining X-Men #63
In a nutshell
The X-Men and Ka-Zar fight Magneto in the Savage Land.
Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Sam Rosen
As Angel flies off to battle the X-Men, Magneto enjoys the irony before informing his followers that soon his ultimate mutant creation will be complete. Angel meets up with the X-Men and Ka-Zar, but Ka-Zar simply bats him aside and continues towards the Creator's headquarters. Magneto's Mutates and the Swamp Men emerge, engaging the X-Men in battle. Angel, realizing he's been duped, flies back to Magneto and overhears him gloating about creating the Mutates. Magneto explains to Angel how he survived their last encounter just as his latest creation emerges.
The X-Men storm the compound and are confronted by an entranced Angel, Magneto, and the newly-created Lorelei, a mutant whose song paralyzes all men. Magneto boasts that his mutant-creating machine, working with the local magnetic fields, can create enough mutants to takeover the world. But Marvel Girl is unaffected by Lorelei's song, and fights off Magneto before telekinetically opening Cyclops' visor and destroying Magneto's machine. Explosions breakout and Magneto is crushed underneath the wreckage of his machine. The X-Men flee, believing Magneto to be dead.
Firsts and Other Notables
This is the first appearance of Lorelei, a Savage Land mutate who can entrance men with her song.
More notably, this is technically the final Roy Thomas/Neal Adams collaboration. Both creators stick around (Thomas writes the next issue and #66, while Adams draws issue #65), but this is the last time they work together on the book.
A Work in Progress
The Savage Land Mutates are here called Neo Mutants. It is revealed that they are mutants Magneto artificially created. When his headquarters is destroyed (and Magneto seemingly killed) the Mutates begin to revert to normal; later stories continue to show them in their mutated form.
Magneto gives more details about his escape from the X-Men and Avengers in his last appearance. Apparently he used his power to burrow underground and discovered massive underground caverns which eventually led him to the Savage Land.
Magneto uses armor complete with a jet pack and some kind of ray guns against the X-Men in order to prevent his magnetic powers from interfering with his machinery.
Ah, the Silver Age
According to Ka-Zar, "the law of the jungle says he who waits for the cobra to speak, shall never hear the babbling brook!" Okay...
Ka-Zar's sabretooth tiger Zabu is compared to a super-charged XKE, which the internets tell me is a type of car (a Jaguar) that was discontinued in 1975.
Marvel Girl gets a nice, Eowyn-esque, girl power moment.
There's gold in them thar hills!
Thomas/Adams take on Magneto is...less than spectacular (in particular, his whole plan centering around Lorelei is pretty lame) but it's fun, and Adams is given plenty of opportunities to draw cool stuff like dinosaurs. There's also something to be said for having Marvel Girl not only hold her own against Magneto, but essentially defeat him single-handedly. As the sixties draw to a close (this issue is dated December 1969, though it more likely saw print a few months later) it's perhaps well past time that Marvel Girl came into her own, but better late than never. Showcasing how powerful Marvel Girl has become even makes for a nifty bit of unintentional foreshadowing, as it won't be long after the debut of the new X-Men in 1975 that Marvel Girl becomes the most powerful member of that team.