In a nutshell: The X-Men try to raise money and fight Mekano.
Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Ross Andru
Inker: George Bell
Letterer: Sam Rosen
With the help of Banshee and Cerebro, the X-Men have located Professor X inside Factor Three's secret European base. Unfortunately, with the X-Jet low on fuel and Angel's wealthy parents on a cruise and unavailable, they have no way to get to Europe. So the team heads into New York City to try and raise the necessary funds. After Warren and Jean fail to acquire a welfare loan, the team splits up. Cyclops, Angel and Marvel Girl try to get work at a construction site but are unable to do so because they aren't members of the union.
Meanwhile, Beast and Iceman entertain a crowd in Central Park using their powers in the hopes of receiving donations. The other X-Men arrive on the scene, driven there by a young man named Tom Regal. Seeing the crowd distracted by Beast and Iceman, Tom dons an experimental exoskeleton and announces himself as Mekano, stating that Beast and Iceman are his accomplices. With the police's efforts thus divided, Mekano begins destroying the nearby library. The X-Men try to stop him, eventually bringing his rampage to a halt after Marvel Girl saves his life. Tom's father, a wealthy philanthropist who paid to build the library, arrives on the scene as Mekano is unmasked. Tom was determined to destroy the library because his dad paid more attention to it than to him, but realizes now how foolish he was. Tom's dad realizes he's been neglecting his son, and vows to make amends. In gratitude, he loans the X-Men the money they need to fly to Europe.
Firsts and Other Notables
Needless to say, Mekano, spoiled rich kid Tom Regal, who dons an exoskeleton to trash his dad's big philanthropy project in order to get his attention, appears for the last time as well as the first in this issue. We're not exactly dealing with a Magneto or a Juggernaut here.
Ross Andru debuts as the new regular artist, though he'll only stick around for two issues. He's most known for a lengthy run on Amazing Spider-Man, during which he co-created the Punisher. He was also the penciller of the first Marvel/DC crossover comic, the tabloid-sized Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man. His greatest contribution to X-Men is designing their new uniforms, which will debut in a few issues (after he's left the book).
A Work in Progress
Marvel Girl is much more powerful, able to telekinetically lift steel girders (though she still feels the strain). Roy Thomas pulls Stan Lee's old trick of referring to her telekinetic power as teleportation.
Cyclops is somehow able to use his optic blast to stop a reading machine from hitting the floor by suspending it in mid-air. I'm not quite sure how that works...
Professor X may be captured, but his spirit lives on: the X-Men use Cerebro to wipe the memories of two burglars who attempted to rob the mansion and to plant hypnotic suggestions that they turn themselves over to the police.
Ah, the Silver Age
The whole plot involving the X-Men trying to drum up some cash is very "Marvel in the 60s".
Apparently back in the day you could just stroll into a welfare office and apply for a loan on the grounds of "I'm poor and need money" (which Angel and Marvel Girl do in this issue, but are turned away because the loan officer spies the Professor's Rolls Royce parked outside).
The resolution to Mekano's "rampage" is downright laughable, with his father tripping over himself to take the blame for his son becoming a wannabe super-villain.
Build up your Vocabulary with Beast: Vicissitudes
\və-ˈsi-sə-ˌtüd, vī-, -ˌtyüd\ Noun. A favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance; a fluctuation of state or conditions
Throughout the issue, much is made of the public's general fear and distrust of mutants. The construction site foreman has heard bad things about mutants, but is willing to see what they can do, while the cops in Central Park are generally anxious about Beast and Iceman's antics.
Is being short keeping YOU from meeting the girl of your dreams?
Well, this is downright absurd. While Professor X is in the clutches of an evil international organization, the X-Men busk for cash. Thomas falls back on his second favorite narrative device, a less than inspired villain, in Mekano, whose motivation for villainy is on par with Lex Luthor's one-time "Superboy made me bald!" rationale. It's all ridiculous in classic Silver Age fashion, and while tonally dissident from the looming menace of Factor Three, not without its charms. It's certainly the kind of story you'd never see nowadays, and there's something fun in that.