Archive for the ‘Iceman’ Category

The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

March 5, 2015

Sentry-X-Men 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Mark Texiera
February 2001
****

Kirby & Lee’s original mutants help this mini’s Superman surrogate fight a loony ’60s-style foe in a pitch-perfect flashback. The art—here M-Tex, painterly yet dynamic—makes or breaks these Sentry one-shots. This one also shows off the protag’s simple, golden heroism better by showing less of him.

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued in The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1

Advertisements

X-Men: Omega #1 of 1

February 18, 2015

X-Men Omega 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
June 1995
****

Magneto sends a time-tossed hero into a cosmic crystal to restore the true X-universe. Waid’s tense, dramatic script masks Cruz’s errors (an unoriginal Ameri-manga artist, he’s the weak link here). Lobdell, the crossover’s mastermind, has done commendable work. Tho’ individual minis may’ve faltered, his cumulative plot & vision makes AoA  the pinnacle of mutant mags between Claremont and Morrison.

continued from The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from Factor X #4 of 4
continued from Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
continued from Generation Next #4 of 4
continued from Weapon X #4 of 4
continued from X-Calibre #4 of 4
continued from X-Man #4 of 4
continued from X-Universe #4 of 4
continued in X-Men Prime #1 of 1

X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

February 15, 2015

X-Man Chronicles 2 of 2Howard Mackie // Ian Churchill
June 1995
*

Generally, Age of Apocalypse is best when it implies a backstory as intricate as the actual X-books; X-M:C negates that feature by filling those gaps. #2 plays out the love triangle of Gambit, Rogue, & Magneto while their team fights a brute with ill-defined powers. The hammy script makes it impossible to care about these emotional adolescents; the era-standard art is awful settings and hypertrophied bodies with tribal tattoos & bad hair. This low point for the AoA doesn’t justify its existence.

last issue: X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

February 14, 2015

X-Men Chronicles 1 of 2Howard Mackie // Terry Dodson
March 1995
**

Chronicles replaces the quarterly X-mag for the Age of Apocalypse, a sort of What If…? riff on Days of Future Past, w/ a remit to provide backstory. The first mission of Magneto’s team: to prevent an evil mutant, Apocalypse, from stealing US nukes. Mackie, a hack, writes flat characterization & generic bombast. He fumbles the death of Scarlet Witch, meant to be a pivotal sacrifice & the end of innocence. Dodson, however, draws in a buoyant style that owes a quite a bit to ‘good girl’ art.

next issue: X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1

The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4

January 20, 2015

Amazing X-Men 4 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
June 1995
**

Read all the other issues first: the penultimate issue of AoA ties the various minis’ plots together. The ish also takes the time to moot a few moral choices. Unlike last ish, however, the noble sacrifices (Banshee & Madrox both kamikaze) are over-melodramatic & executed by supporting characters.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4

January 19, 2015

Amazing X-Men 3 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
May 1995
**

Magneto gets thumped by Apocalypse, fascist overlord of a eugenics America; his son Quicksilver, this mini’s protagonist & the Cyclops in its alt X-Men, rescues the time-tossed Bishop instead. That tough choice shows real heroism, demoing the stakes better than the grimacing art & florid prose.

last issue: The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Factor X #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Universe #1 of 2

The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4

January 18, 2015

Amazing X-Men 2 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
April 1995
***

Nicieza uses the What If…? scenario to debut a visually snazzy baddie. Abyss coils an inky 2D body to create a 3D dimensional fold! His “wicked” personality is more old-hat, quipping cruelly & kidnapping kids. The mini implies X-soap & sketches a dour atmo well, tho’ its fights are muddled.

last issue: The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Factor X #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4

January 17, 2015

Amazing X-Men 1 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
March 1995
***

The pinnacle of ’90s X-overs. The X-Men of a dystopian parallel universe must help Sentinels airlift human refugees out of mutant-controlled America. Nicieza’s sub-Claremont prose offers solid exposition under the purple, while Kubert’s post-Image pencils fit snuggly into the mini’s glum atmosphere.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4

January 16, 2015

Astonishing X-Men 4 of 4Scott Lobdell // Joe Maduriera
June 1995
**

Following its video game plot, AoA mini #1 ends w/ a defeat of its Boss, a generic nihilist baddie w/ undefined powers. A teen teleporter, on the other hand, shows chutzpah in facing him down. But Sabretooth shouldn’t be alive: his survival is a failure of nerve by Lobdell, too fond of his heroes.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4

January 13, 2015

Astonishing X-Men 1 of 4Scott Lobdell // Joe Maduriera
March 1995
***

In a clever editorial fillip, this mini replaces Uncanny for a few months. A mutant has altered history; now Prof Xavier’s premat death sparked a eugenics war, w/ the X-Men as an underdog guerrilla force led by Magneto. Lobdell adroitly implies a rich backstory for his revised characters.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

January 12, 2015

X-Men Alpha 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz & Steve Epting
February 1995
****

Think What If… Magneto formed the X-Men? The dystopian alt timeline is fun, & the era’s portentous prose & posturing panels lend themselves well to the sturm und drang (even if the project labors in Claremont’s shadow). Magneto, a glowering man of action, looks unhappy to be stuck into the Rogue/Gambit soap opera; Cyclops is a mutant princeling who awakens to the genocide & misery under Apocalypse.

continued from X-Men #41
continued from Cable #20
continued in The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in Factor X #1 of 4
continued in Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
continued in Generation Next #1 of 4
continued in Weapon X #1 of 4
continued in X-Calibre #1 of 4
continued in X-Man #1 of 4
continued in X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men #41

X-Men #41

January 10, 2015

X-Men 041Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert & Ron Garney
February 1995
***

Finale to an X-over that kills off a young Professor X to create an alternate future. Writer Lobdell & editor Harras deserve a story credit for #41, & so does Chris Claremont, who created (a) the Prof-Magneto friendship, (b) Xavier’s son Legion, & (c) the cosmic crystal that threatens the multiverse.

continued from The Uncanny X-Men #321
continued in X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
see also Cable #20
last issue: X-Men #40
next issue: X-Men #42

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

The Uncanny X-Men #321

January 9, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 321Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Ron Garney
February 1995
***

The illegit son of Professor X seduces his mother while psychically disguised as his father! It’s a provocative moment in a routine Terminator-type ’90s X-comic. Lobdell contrasts the arc’s Oedipal theme w/ his beloved Cyclops/Jean Grey/Cable triangle—his namby-pamby notion of a proper X-family.

continued from X-Men #40
continued in X-Men #41
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #320
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #322

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
X-Men #41
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

X-Men #40

January 8, 2015

X-Men 040Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
January 1995
**

Time-traveling amnesiac X-Men putz around post-war Israel as their modern comrades learn that mission failure means universal collapse. Nicieza artificially inflates the stakes via a chorus of Watchers, while the better Kubert son does mainline ’90s X-art (his Legion is unrecognizably off-model).

continued from The Uncanny X-Men #320
continued in The Uncanny X-Men #321
last issue: X-Men #39
next issue: X-Men #41

also indexed for Jan. ’95
The Uncanny X-Men #320

The Uncanny X-Men #320

January 7, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 320Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
January 1995
**

A true 4-part crossover, w/ even #’ed issues in adjectiveless X-Men. Professor X’s love-child aims to rewrite history in a bid for paternal validation. Originally a schizoid psychic in New Mutants, Legion is now just a ranting loon w/ the innate ability to time-travel—a random & convenient addition!

continued in X-Men #40
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #319
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #321

also indexed for Jan. ’95
X-Men #40

The Uncanny X-Men #319

January 6, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 319Scott Lobdell // Steve Epting
December 1993
***

Lobdell’s strongest (relatively speaking) when he avoids super-action to concentrate on soap. In #319, he continues his curious rehab of normcore X-Man Bobby Drake, w/ a visit to his bigoted family. In parallel (!), Xavier converses w/ his comatose son on the astral plane, setting up the next X-over.

last issue: The Uncanny X-men #318
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #320

also indexed for Dec. ’93
X-Factor #109

FF #11

December 10, 2013

FF 11Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
late December 2011
****

Two alt-Reeds serve as biomass for a rebooted Kree Intelligence, who mounts an invasion of Earth—concurrent w/ an incursion from the Negative Zone! Luckily, the real Mr F calls his pals, incl. the Avengers, to prep for battle. Kitson only pencils breakdowns; the loose art keeps #11 from *****.

continued in The Fantastic Four #600
last issue: FF #10
next issue: FF #12

also indexed for Dec. ’11
FF #10

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

November 5, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 9Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2011
****

A:TCC‘s strongest issue, prob’ly cuz it plays to Heinb’s strengths: character & dialog, and his core team of Young Avs. Some closure as Iron Lad, by killing Vision 2.0, accepts his destiny as Kang the Conqueror. The catastrophe gets treated w/ emotional weight, as the team drifts apart over months.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for May ’11
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

November 4, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 8Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
March 2012
****

There’s no good way to retcon a bad story, so A:TCC provides multiple ones for Wanda M’s haywire episodes, incl. the possibility that Doom was behind it all. Now he’s got cosmic powers, unluckily for Cassie Lang. The storytellers play fairly, trading her life for her father’s resurrection.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

also indexed for Mar. ’12
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

November 2, 2013

Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
Avengers Children's Crusade 6August 2011
****

The Scarlet Witch confirms that, yes, she is Wiccan’s mother, metaphysically at least. It’s earnest comic sturm und drang that makes A:TCC the best “essential” Marvel U. tale of the terrible Bendis Era. To underscore this mini’s central status, X-teams (incl. David’s X-Fac) make strong cameos.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

also indexed for Aug. ’11
FF #5

Avengers Annual 1999

August 10, 2013

Avengers Annual 1999Kurt Busiek & John Francis Moore // Leonardo Manco
July 1999
**

This action-adventure pits the Avengers against a squad of Sentinels repurposed to replace the once-MIA superheroes. The concept has Busiek’s fingerprints: adoration for the title team & its inspiring effect on everyday citizens. For it’s Jarvis who shuts the robots down, & a support technician who’d programmed them. Standard annual fare, tho’ Manco does good cyber-horror a la Barry Windsor-Smith.

last issue: Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998
next issue: Avengers Annual 2000

also indexed for Jul. ’99
Avengers #18
Avengers #0
Avengers Forever #8 of 12

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1

January 4, 2013

Astonishing X-Men Giant SizeJoss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2008
***
A double-sized ish caps the space adventure, but the extra pages merely add scope, not clarity. While a guest cast of Marvelites gets mind-zapped, Kitty Pryde sacrifices her life by somehow bonding herself to a space bullet fired at the Earth. With that, Joss & Cass wrap their X-run, a solid set of comics. But in this arc as in the previous ones, poor pacing drags on the snazzy art & peppy script.
[continued from Astonishing X-Men #24]
[continued in Astonishing X-Men #25]

The Avengers #3

June 4, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1964
*****
In a Marvel irony, the teams’ foe in #3 used to be a teammate. The Hulk’s antisocial demeanor earns him attn from the original antihero, Namor—who defeats the surly monster in an underwater wrestling match! But the duo can’t cooperate when they challenge the Avengers to a battle royale under Gibraltar.
[see also Journey into Mystery #112]
[last issue: The Avengers #2]
[next issue: The Avengers #4]

Civil War #1 of 7

June 5, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
July 2006
***
Two sides face off in Civil War: 1) a comix riff on Bush’s America, from the PATRIOT Act to grassroots rage to reality TV; 2) an inane plot w/ cliche dialogue, in which every person & group is devoid of common sense. A villain blows a suburb up, see, so superheroes must register w/ the US govt.
[next issue: Civil War #2 of 7]

The Mighty Thor #379

April 26, 2011

Walt Simonson // Sal Buscema
May 1987
****
If only Walt S provided art, this would be a superlative issue! As it is, he delivers an A+ script, leaving his pal Sal to do classical three-tier layouts. Thor converses civilly with a wily dragon who’s disguised as the Kirby monster Fin Fang Foom. But it’s the Midgard Serpent, fated to slay Thor!
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #378]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #380]

The Mighty Thor #378

April 25, 2011

Walt Simonson // Sal Buscema
April 1987
***
At four issues & counting, this ongoing plot wouldn’t be out of place in Lee/Kirby’s ’60s run, but it hints at an epic turn. Clad in mystic armor, Thor rescues Loki & an X-Man from a posse of supercharged frost giants. Meanwhile, the gods of Asgard are seizing up, stricken by a mysterious malady.
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #377]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #379]

The Mighty Thor #377

April 24, 2011

Walt Simonson // Sal Buscema
March 1987
***
Simonson’s Thor has run low on vision since adopting Buscema for its, art, tho’ the action remains fun. Elves batter & nearly best our hero as he forges new armor in a Pittsburgh factory. Lucky for Thor, Loki kidnaps him as well as X-veteran Iceman in a plan to restore the strength of frost giants.
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #376]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #378]

X-Factor #86

August 25, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
January 1993
**
The crossover continues to crawl (tho’ it can only spare a page or two for X-Factor‘s regulars): the all-action force of Bishop, Cable & Wolvie literally sit around doing nothing! The only plot point is that Apocalypse cures Prof X of the technovirus using a bit of Kirbytech. I’ll miss Lee’s art.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #286]
[continued in X-Men #16]
[last issue: X-Factor #85]
[next issue: X-Factor #87]

X-Factor #85

August 24, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
December 1992
**
The title team gets ignored by a hugger-mugger crossover, & PAD’s talent is wasted in dialoguing chaotic fights. At least Jae Lee’s shadowy, splattery style fits the subject matter. Razor-winged Archangel decapitates one evil mutant; another hamstrings Quicksilver; Wolvie steps btw. Bishop & Cable.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #285]
[continued in X-Men #15]
[last issue: X-Factor #84]
[next issue: X-Factor #86]

The X-Men #19

May 31, 2010

Stan Lee // Werner Roth
April 1966
**
This one-off hangs entirely upon a villain who mimics the X-Men’s superpowers. The result makes for a good visual (esp. his kooky cubist visor) but a pedestrian plot that never gains energy. Roth, the new regular penciller, lacks a discernible personality & doesn’t diverge from the path Kirby’s laid.
[last issue: X-Men #18]
[next issue: X-Men #20]

The X-Men #18

May 30, 2010

Stan Lee // Werner Roth
March 1966
*
Exit Kirby, & w/ him go any wisps of the team’s personality. Magneto’s back, a lame villain w/ vague motivation (“mutant supremacy”), ill-defined powers, & a silly plan involving sci-fi mutant zombie slaves. Once again, Prof X saves the day, not the teens, thru a particularly bald deux ex machina.
[last issue: The X-Men #17]
[next issue: The X-Men #19]

The X-Men #17

May 29, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
February 1966
**
Who is the Mystery Villain? The art contorts itself to hide his ID (it’s Magneto) as he ambushes the team one by one. Aside from a lovely splash of a soaring Angel, this ish meanders towards its death-trap cliffhanger (why slit the team’s throats when you can asphyxiate them in a weather balloon?).
[last issue: X-Men #16]
[next issue: X-Men #18]

The X-Men #16

May 28, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
January 1966
****
The grand finale to the excellent Sentinels arc. Tho’ predictable, the action is explosive & breathless and the stakes are dire.  Prof X jams the robots’ radio control, which allows their creator (in a fit of conscience) to destroy the commander center. Oddly, the teen heroes mostly just skirmish.
[last issue: The X-Men #15]
[next issue: The X-Men #17]

The X-Men #15

May 27, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
December 1965
****
W/o the social content, this arc turns into a robots-run-amuck B-movie plot. But who cares, w/ Kirby concepts like the Master Mold, a titanic cyber-commander who will protect humanity thru tyranny! There’s also goofy Silver-Age action as the team storms the Sentinel HQ & the Beast gets mind-probed.
[last issue: The X-Men #14]
[next issue: The X-Men #16]

The X-Men #14

May 26, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
November 1965
****
Maybe inspired by the new monthly status, the mag has its strongest ish. Lee finds a strong plot-engine in Cold War paranoia. There’s social tension—even political commetary—in the contrast btw. our team’s ordinary lives & the mob’s hysteria, fanned by large racist robots (Sentinels) & the media.
[last issue: The X-Men #13]
[next issue: The X-Men #15]

The X-Men #13

May 25, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
September 1965
***
Having provided exposition last ish, #13 is entirely given over to a rumble btw. Juggernaut & the teens, w/ an assist from Johnny Storm. It builds Juggy as a real threat! Plus using a classic 2×3 panel-grid allows for more action than most ’90s comics w/ a similar content-to-story ratio.
[last issue: The X-Men #12]
[next issue: The X-Men #14]

The X-Men #12

May 24, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Alex Toth
July 1965
***
#12 benefits from Toth’s shadows, as Kirby provides only layouts for the book. Prof X describes his service in Korea (it was like an Indiana Jones movie), where he & evil step-brother (inauspiciously named Cain) stumbled upon a mystical gem. Now the bro holds a grudge as the unstoppable Juggernaut.
[last issue: The X-Men #11]
[next issue: The X-Men #13]

The X-Men #11

May 23, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
May 1965
**
Five of the first 10 issues had the X-Men competing w/ the Brotherhood to recruit mutants, a formula that’s quickly become rote (neither team added 1 member). So Stan & Jack jettison the plot-engine in this perfunctory encounter w/ a god-like alien who grabs Magneto for scientific study off-planet.
[last issue: The X-Men #10]
[next issue: The X-Men #12]

The X-Men #10

May 22, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
March 1965
***
The X-Men discover a Land That Time Forgot under Antarctica, giving Kirby the opportunity to draw dinosaurs, sabretooth tigers, jungle flora & barbarian hordes. It’s sensational to look at but pretty derivative, esp. the Tarzan rip-off, Ka-Zar (whose comic debut, FYI, was Marvel #1 back in ’39!).
[last issue: The X-Men #9]
[next issue: The X-Men #11]

The X-Men #9

May 21, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1965
**
A limp story despite a gallery of guest stars (all 5 Avengers, fought to a draw). Last ish teased a subterranean showdown btw. Prof. X & Lucifer. But the villain’s no demon, he’s just a generic Marvel megalomaniac whose clever plan involves hooking up a cataclysmic bomb to his beating heart.
[last issue: The X-Men #8]
[next issue: The X-Men #10]

The X-Men #8

May 20, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
November 1964
***
Good: Cyclops displays Spidey-like angst due to the stress of leadership & an unspoken crush on Marvel Girl. Better: the Beast, ticked at humanity’s ingratitude, goes rogue till—like a brawny Reed Richards—he uses his smarts to invent Kirbytech & triumph over an untouchable mutant wrestler/criminal.
[last issue: The X-Men #7]
[last issue: The X-Men #9]

The X-Men #7

May 19, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1964
***
After running bi-monthly for a year, The X-Men celebrates by presenting its teens w/ diplomas. Prof X bows out, leaving behind a marvelous piece of  Kirbytech: Cerebro, a mutant detector. And happily, before yet another brawl w/ Magneto & the Blob, the gang visits a kooky coffeeshop in the Village.
[last issue: The X-Men #6]
[next issue: The X-Men #8]

The X-Men #6

May 18, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
July 1964
**
Lee indulges his hobby of cross-title fertilization w/ The X-Men‘s first guest-star: Namor, the original anti-hero. He’s the focus of the mutant recruitment competition btw. Prof X & Magneto. Buoying a lackluster issue, he characteristically thrashes both sides before stalking back to Atlantis.
[last issue: The X-Men #5]
[next issue: The X-Men #7]

The X-Men #5

May 17, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
May 1964
***
Thrilling comic-book action at a rollicking pace. The teen team once again face Magneto & his Evil Mutants, first in Grand Central Terminal & then on an asteroid pitted w/ deathtraps! Stan & Jack are smoothing out a formula as Kirb offers robust fight sequences & some trippy sights of outer space.
[last issue: The X-Men #4]
[next issue: The X-Men #6]

The X-Men #4

May 16, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
March 1964
****
Stan’n’Jack finally find a peg to hang this book on: the kids clash w/ a rival team, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. It’s led by Magneto, but the real draw is a pair of morally ambiguous siblings who follow Mags cuz he rescued them from an anti-mutant mob in Europe (a coded nod to the Holocaust?).
[last issue: The X-Men #3]
[next issue: The X-Men #5]

The X-Men #3

May 15, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1964
**
The issue duplicates #2 but at a circus. The X-Men fight a mutant whose defensive power—morbid obesity!—require a Prof X mindwipe. But Lee finally supplies the teens w/ 2-D attributes: stoic leader, playboy, teen (ie Johnny Storm redux), girl (oy), &, w/ a touch of irony, a brainy bruiser.
[last issue: The X-Men #2]
[next issue: The X-Men #4]

The X-Men #2

May 14, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
November 1963
**
This team of rambunctious teens hurl themselves everywhere: they don’t walk if they can run. But they’re also rookies who can’t touch their foe, a teleporting criminal in a silly Silver Age costume. So Prof. X steps in, casually wiping the baddy’s mind! It’s the old lesson that brains trump brawn.
[last issue: The X-Men #1]
[next issue: The X-Men #3]

The X-Men #1

May 13, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1963
***
A super-teen strikeforce trains at a private school & foils the plot of a ranting Dr. Doom ripoff. The Big Idea is, they’re all mutants: shorthand for “born with superpowers” & an elegant plot device for generating new chars w/o backstory. Jack dashes off exuberant art but Lee phones in his script.
[next issue: The X-Men #2]

Tales of Suspense #49: Iron Man

May 11, 2010

Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
January 1964
A-story: ***
#49 guests X-Man Angel, turned “evil” by an A-bomb test. Ditko spins the contrived conflict into a drama by making Stark’s Achilles Heel the key to the issue’s climax. Some lovely aerial combat exhausts the Iron Man suit’s batteries, a near-fatal design failure that shocks Angel back to goodness.
[last issue: Tales of Suspense #48]
[next issue: Tales of Suspense #50]

The Fantastic Four #28

April 26, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
July 1964
***

The mag hosts another guest app: a gimmick w/ diminishing returns after 4 issues. In the Marvel style, the FF butt heads w/ the X-Men before allying against the true villains. The team-up of two Silver-Age foes doesn’t inspire, while the mutants can’t match the home team’s flair.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #27
next issue: The Fantastic Four #29

also indexed for Jul. ’64
The Amazing Spider-Man #14
The Avengers #6
Journey into Mystery #106
Strange Tales #122: Dr. Strange
The X-Men #6