Saturday, September 28, 2013

To Snare The X-Men!


Shortly after the X-Men's first battle with the mutant-hunting Sentinels, the team was in a pretty poor state--particularly the Beast and Iceman, who had to be checked out at the hospital. Iceman, unfortunately, was soon listed in critical condition, with his icy form making it nearly impossible to administer treatment to him or even to assess vital signs.

Of course, if you think the X-Men are going to catch a break just because they're laid up in the hospital, I have some condominium properties in the Everglades I'd like to sell you. It doesn't take long for a new crisis to arise--though in the form of the Angel's parents, who are on the way to Prof. Xavier's school for an unscheduled visit. And so the Prof sends Warren flying back to the school, but for an unexpected reason--to investigate a feeling of danger he's been sensing from there recently. I guess it wouldn't do for Warren's parents to drive into a trap.

So, instead, let's watch as the Angel flies into one:



Annnnnd... one down.


Having lost contact with the Angel, Xavier takes Cyclops and heads back to the school, where the Prof encounters a mental barrier that prevents him from probing further--which means that these two have to take the old-fashioned approach. And there's nothing a hidden villain likes better than for their targets to walk right in through the front door:




Cyclops finds that the shield has been specially treated to repel his optic blasts, so the Prof is out for the count. I'm also embarrassed to add that one need only deal with Cyclops by flipping the light switch:



Three down.


It seems clear that our hidden foe has planned well, turning the X-Men's school into a deadly trap. And what should one do when you don't hear from three of your team members and you suspect a trap awaiting you? Why, you charge right in, that's what:



And when the Beast hurtles into a waiting cell, Marvel Girl doesn't have long to wait before their attacker turns his attention to her:



Five down. And with Iceman out of commission, our villain prepares to send his current captives to their doom inside a steel gondola:



This villain doesn't read many comic books, does he? Because by sending his victims off in an elaborate death trap, he all but guarantees their eventual return, the ninny. I'm sure you and I are asking the same question here: since the goal is their deaths, why doesn't he just off them right there? I guess you and I are a little more bloodthirsty than your typical villain; I choose to look at it as being more efficient. Anyway, let's get to the question we really want the answer to:




Please, like I had to tell you:



Magneto, of course--having escaped from his imprisonment by the Stranger. With not even the Toad by his side this time, we're finally seeing Magneto go after the X-Men without his little Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in tow (issue #1 notwithstanding)--and doing a pretty good job of it, too. I'm not sure how much Magneto needed a plan to take them down, given that his power is at its peak here; but you have to admit that turning their school into a trap and taking them out individually worked like a charm. But he decides to hold off on razing the school, since he realizes the irony of using it as his new headquarters:




As luck would have it, Magneto also makes use of the arrival of the Worthingtons, who are mindlessly sent off to their room to sleep:




Meanwhile, high above the Earth, Professor X and his students revive, and the Prof realizes the danger the Worthingtons are in. With his options limited, Xavier turns to the only X-Man he can, and a bed-ridden one at that:



Yet, even though the rest of the X-Men have their doubts as to Iceman's chances, at the school he proves resourceful in foiling Magneto's experiment on the Worthingtons. And when Magneto confronts him, it seems the tables are turned when the madman finds himself the victim of an X-Man's trap, instead:



No, I don't know how magnetism can seal a hole in ice, either. Still, it looks like curtains for the weakened Iceman. But the rest of the X-Men have already begun to act to free themselves of Magneto's trap, and Cyclops adds the finishing touch:



And when the cavalry arrives, the battle is on!




But when it seems the team is unable to penetrate Magneto's defenses, much less overcome him, Xavier reveals he's been working behind the scenes to bring about his defeat:



I'm sure we're all more than a little curious as to what a "magna-car" is, and why Magneto thinks it can outrace the Stranger. To make a long story short, it doesn't--and Magneto is once again captured by the alien and returned to imprisonment, which we only discover in a later story in The Avengers. Anyway, the Worthingtons awake none the wiser--and we find out that, while Jean as Marvel Girl can't do squat against villains, writer Stan Lee thinks she's perfectly suited to cook the X-Men's meals:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I kinda feel bad for Magneto. How would you like a weird floating head from outer space coming after you? Yikes.

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