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Thursday, November 18, 2010

X-amining X-Men #61

"Monsters Also Weep"
October 1969

In a nutshell
The X-Men fight Sauron (the pterodactyl man, not the Lord of the Rings villain).

Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Neal Adams
Inker: Tom Palmer 
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Hypnotized by Sauron, Angel believes that three monsters are attacking him.He quickly realizes they are illusions, and proceeds after Sauron. The X-Men arrive and join in the fight. As the X-Men and Sauron battle, back in Dr. Lyko's office Alex is stirred awake by a ringing phone. Sauron begins transforming back to Lykos and quickly hypnotizes Angel into flying him back to his office. There, he discovers Tanya waiting, who has disobeyed her father to be with him. The X-Men, in their civilian identities, arrive at the office to pickup Alex and enter the office just as Tanya's father arrives and angrily denounces her relationship with Lykos.

The X-Men return to the mansion and find an entranced Angel. When he freaks out upon hearing Lykos' name, the X-Men decide to search for the doctor, leaving Alex and Lorna behind to read through Professor X's notes on Project: Mutant. But Lykos, craving more mutant energy, has come to the mansion, and drains Lorna, transforming back into Sauron. He proceeds to drain both Alex and Angel and travels to the home of Tanya's father to kill him. The X-Men, suspecting Lykos might have gone there, arrive in time to stop him.  Sauron, realizing that Tanya wouldn't forgive him for killing her father, flees in an attack of conscience. He flies to his father's old cabin in Tierra Del Fuego in order to slowly die from a lack of energy. Several days later, Tanya, suspecting where he had gone, arrives. Lykos, knowing he'd kill her in his weakened, hungry state, leaps off a cliff in order to spare her. The X-Men, who followed Tanya, prevent her from following Lykos, but arrive too late to save him.   

Firsts and Other Notables
Sauron dies (but not really; his next appearance will explain how he survives).  

There's a great double page spread where Adams sets the panels retelling Sauron's origin within one of his wings.

Click to embiggen

A Work in Progress
Lorna discovers in Professor X's notes that Sauron is technically a "non-mutant variant", which I think is just a fancy term for someone with weird powers who's not a mutant (so I suppose according to Professor X, Spider-Man is also a non-mutant variant).

Despite the fact that Sauron is a man-shaped Pteranodon, he apparently sounds just like the human Dr. Lykos, as both Tanya and her father recognize Lykos' voice when he attacks them as Sauron.

The letters column in this issue is only one page, not two as had previously been the case. If memory serves, this is the first time a one page column was run instead of two (though one page letter columns will quickly become the norm, before getting phased out entirely in the last several years).  

Ah, the Silver Age
Lorna narrates out loud some information that comes in handy to an overhearing Sauron.

"Monsters Also Weep" is a great Silver Age title.

Build up your Vocabulary with Beast
Loquacious: adj. Full of excessive talk; wordy. 

As in, "That has all the earmarks of one of my loquacious lines!  

Young Love
The Alex/Lorna/Iceman triangle deepens as Lorna once again declares she's nobody's property.

Lorna later admits she's falling for Alex.

Tanya's father is a real charmer.

For Sale
Saturday morning fun!

Teebore's Take
While the main idea behind the story works (man embraces his dark side, then overcomes it in the name of love and sacrifices himself to keep his evil in check) there's some dodgy plotting going on to get there. Tanya and her father are more plot devices than characters in their own right, and Karl traveling to Tierra Del Fuego to slowly commit suicide in order to end the menace of Sauron (instead of, you know, jumping off a building in Manhattan or something) is done mainly to setup the next story (hint: Tierra Del Fuego is close to Antarctica). Still, great art can go a long ways towards smoothing over rough story edges, and Neal Adams continues to turn in impressive work.


  1. Monster's Also Weep is an AWESOME title!

    Also Alex is a much better catch than Bobby, straight up.

  2. Also Alex is a much better catch than Bobby, straight up.

    Yeah, I want to rag on you and argue against Alex, but I really can't. Well, except for the fact that he has to wear a full body condom or else run the risk of blasting Lorna to smithereens. And even whilst wearing said condom, he still can't get too excited for fear of the same.

  3. i'll take full body condom over snowman any day.

    It's like that ad i saw for the 'Twilight Dildo' that not only sparkles in the sun, but can be frozen for that 'authentic vampire feel'
    Who the fuck thinks that sounds even remotely good? And who is using one of those in the sun?!

    But i digress

    I miss saturday morning awesomeness.
    Also, i've always like Sauron, because he always came up when Savage Land happenings were going on, and for some reason i love me some Savage Land

    Also, how is this guy not just some form of a lyncanthrope?

  4. @Anne: i'll take full body condom over snowman any day.

    Though to be far, Alex ALWAYS has to wear the suit or run the risk of blasting people; Iceman can ice up and down at will.

    or some reason i love me some Savage Land

    Then you will be enjoying the next couple issues.

    Also, how is this guy not just some form of a lyncanthrope?

    Yeah, Adams has said Sauron was created as a workaround for the code restrictions against vampires, but there's just as much (if not more) werewolf in his schtick as there is vampire.

  5. Anne! Aaaahahahah! Is that real? A Twilight Dildo?

    Who the fuck thinks that sounds even remotely good? And who is using one of those in the sun?!

    HAhaha tears in my eyes! I had always wondered about vampire, um... dingdongs. They need blood to work and yet vampires don't pump blood. I am glad True Blood has explained the Mechanics of Vampire Dongs*.

    *(You know that could be a course at some college in San Fransisco)

  6. @Joan: I had always wondered about vampire, um... dingdongs.

    Hi Joan! And thanks (and Anne as well) for helping jack up our Google hits!

    Welcome, Vampire Fetishists!

  7. Ha! it's totally true. I can't remember where i saw it, but i totally had to look at it because i couldn't believe my eyes.

    Interesting tidbit- in the Anita Blake Books (which used to be good but now are just porn disguised as crap) she makes note that vampires need to feed before they can have sex. well, i guess 'traditional sex'

  8. i think we saw it on Jezebel. I'll look through and see if i can find a link

  9. All right. Here's the link for the short article on Jezebel and here's the link to the actual sex toy


    Sparkly Schlong

  10. here's the link to the actual sex toy

    Somedays, I just love our world.

  11. I love your X-Men breakdowns here and the 90s stuff over at Not Blog X is great, too. I'm going to try to do something similar and analyze Amazing Spider-Man (and review current stuff at the same time.) I just posted my first current review and I'd love to hear some thoughts or suggestions. Thanks!

  12. @Jeff: Thanks! I'll come over and check it out.


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