Tag Archives: Magneto

The X-Men #18, Mar. 1966

xmen018The X-Men #18, Mar. 1966

A fair story by: Stan Lee
Adequate art by: Jay Gavin
Tolerable inking by: Dick Ayers
The world’s greatest lettering by: Artie Simek (Marvel’s birthday boy of the month!)

three-stars

It’s cute that they reversed the credits for Artie Simek because it’s his birthday, instead of ragging on the letterer all the time. I like these little credits things they do, it’s just a little peek into the interoffice politics in Marvel, or at least those which they’re willing to be transparent about.

So last issue, Magneto put all the X-Men except for Iceman into a lead balloon shooting upwards into space. Iceman, if you’ll recall, was still in the hospital. Having full reign over the X-Mansion, Magneto hypnotizes Angel’s visiting parents and constructs a machine that will use their DNA to create an army of mutants at his command (since they had a mutant kid, this apparently means he can do that). Iceman wakes up and stalls Magneto long enough for the rest of the X-Men to get down. They finally beat him when Professor X talks to the Stranger, the stupidly powerful alien being who took Magneto from Earth in the first place, and they both run away together. It’s so sweet.

Magneto has some pretty stupid powers in this issue. He hypnotizes Angel’s parents using “magnetic attraction”, which is just a terrible, terrible thing. He also uses his magnetism as just a sort of all-purpose ray that can seal up an igloo and make people freeze in place and all sorts of other convenient things that aren’t even all that necessary for the plot. It’s kinda dumb that they have to bring back the Stranger again for the cop out ending, especially since the X-Men never really had all that much trouble defeating Magneto on the other dozen occasions they fought him. Still, he makes for an entertaining villain for these guys.

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The X-Men #17, Feb. 1966

The X-Men #17, Feb. 1966

Story: Stan Lee
Layouts: J. Kirby
Pencils: Jay Gavin
Inks: Dick Ayers
Lettering: A. Simek

Finally, it’s the return of… well, maybe I shouldn’t say! It is a surprise until the very last panel of the comic, I should at least try to maintain that same sense of mystery and tension! Mostly because that’s really all this issue has going for it! Exclamatory remarks!

The X-Men are rushed to the hospital after their fight with the Sentinels. They mostly have minor scratches and bruises, except for Iceman who is in critical condition. Unfortunately, medical science doesn’t really know how to deal with a dude made out of ice, and there isn’t much the doctors can do for him. Meanwhile, the healthy students go back to Xavier’s school one by one… and are individually incapacitated and captured as they do so. Who is this mysterious villain who seems to know all their powers and is able to knock everybody out, including Professor X?! It’s Magneto!

That’s the surprise! Magneto’s back after being taken away by that incredibly stupid “Stranger” character who just stepped in so Stan Lee would stop writing every single X-Men comic about them fighting Magneto! I guess we can get back to doing that now. Yay.


The X-Men #11, May 1965

The X-Men #11, May 1965

X-traordinary script by: Stan Lee
X-travagant art by: Jack Kirby
X-ceptional inking by: Chic Stone
X-emplory lettering by: Artie Simek

This is a pretty lame issue. You can tell that there’s still a lot of the influence of earlier, pre-superhero sci-fi comics in Stan Lee’s writing with stuff like this. I mean, you can’t blame the guy or anything, it’s just interesting to see the slight differences between the two styles. One always had goofy twist endings about aliens, and the other had mutants who can read people’s minds. Very, very different styles of writing.

Cerebro detects a new mutant… one so powerful it blows it up before it can show his picture! The X-Men blindly take to the streets in search of anything weird, but by pure chance Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants finds him first. He’s a weird, white-haired guy who just calls himself “a stranger”, but his powers appear to be many and far more powerful than even Magneto’s. A fight takes place between the two mutant groups, but the Stranger absconds with Magneto and Toad (after turning Mastermind into stone) back to where he came from… OUTER SPACE! Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch decide they’re done with this shit, and go join the Avengers.

Obviously this issue comes before The Avengers #16, where Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch join the Avengers. I guess I should explain my system for reading these comics in “more or less” chronological order. See, I just start with the first comic, that has an issue (with superheroes, or in the case of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, characters which would eventually get folded into the main Marvel superhero continuity), then put that in a column on my big ol’ Excel spreadsheet. As new comics come in, they get added in as new columns, and I just go across horizontally by publication date. Now, this isn’t a perfect system because publication dates are only on a month by month situation, and they come out at different points during the month. Also, half the time, they actually come out the month BEFORE the date on the issue, because of some weird publication thing I don’t understand and probably never will. Anyway, I just wanted to explain why sometimes these comics aren’t going to be inĀ strictly chronological order, but it’s good enough for me.


Journey Into Mystery #109, Oct. 1964

Journey Into Mystery #109, Oct. 1964

Written by: Stan Lee, the monarch of the Marvel Age, at the pinnacle of his power!
Illustrated by: Jack Kirby, the prince of pagentry, at the height of his titanic talent!
Inked by: Chic Stone, the dean of line design, at the peak of his prowess!
Lettered by: S. Rosen, the sultan of spelling, at the little table in his studio!

Stan Lee, Author
Jack Kirby, Illustrator
Vince Colletta, Delineator
Sam Rosen, Letterer

I hadn’t thought about it before, but Thor is the perfect guy for Magneto to fight. Magneto’s whole deal is that he thinks that mutants, Homo Superior as he calls them, are the next evolution of humanity, and that they’re the greatest thing on the planet. It’s gotta be a humbling and annoying revelation to fight an actual god.

Magneto and his Evil Mutants are out to catch the X-Men yet again. Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Mastermind and Toad take off to find the X-Men while Magneto stays behind in their submarine to… just hang out, I guess. When you’re the leader of a group, sometimes you just gotta have some alone time to yourself, so you can sit in your big magnet chair and relax. Anyway, Thor manages to see through the clever disguise of the submarine (it has a tree growing out the top of it) and tussles with Magneto once inside. Magneto eventually flees when the X-Men find him (off-panel) and Thor is left to wonder just what the hell that was all about.

In Tales of Asgard, Odin has exiled Thor yet again. A cousin of Loki named Arkin the Weak (yes, I think it actually is Alan Arkin) decides to use this information to get on the good side of the queen of the mountain giants, Knorda. Knorda and her giants attack Thor as he’s riding alone, and chase him into a box canyon, which turns out to be a trap Odin set for them! The exile was fake, a ruse to lure out the spy in the midst of Asgard. That Odin guy, what a wise fella.

There’s a weird part in this issue where Magneto tries to recruit Thor to join his Evil Mutants. He sees that he’s strong and in a costume, and therefore must be a mutant, and Thor just keeps trying to tell him that he’s neither a mutant nor evil, and he has no interest in joining up with his team. Does Magneto not know about the Avengers? Like, he hasn’t read any newspapers or seen the news on TV? I guess they probably don’t get very good reception on Asteroid M.


The X-Men #7, Sept. 1964

The X-Men #7, Sept. 1964

Written with all the spellbinding skill of: Stan Lee
Drawn with all the titanic talent of: Jack Kirby
Inked with all the vibrant verve of: Chic Stone
Lettered with all the words spelled right by: Art Simek

The X-Men are, yet again, fighting Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Of these first seven issues, only two of them didn’t have Magneto, and one of those was just about the Blob, whom Magneto tries to recruit in this one. I guess I can’t blame Stan too much for recycling characters, but this is getting a little silly.

It’s graduation day! Not only have the X-Men all completed their training, but I guess they have their high school equivalency diplomas too! Yay… Anyway, Professor X, his job done, is going on vacation, and he puts Cyclops in charge of the X-Men while he’s away. Meanwhile, Magneto has found out about the Blob, the circus sideshow freak who’s mutant ability allows him to remain planted on the ground no matter what. In their first encounter, Professor X wiped his brain to make him forget he was a mutant and about the X-Men, but during a struggle with Magneto this information comes back, and he agrees to help the master of magnetism.

Scott discovers this thanks to Cerebro, a machine the Professor made to act as a massive convenience device. The X-Men rush out to an abandoned factory that Magneto owns and engage in a big ol’ fight. In the end, Magneto turns against the Blob and he ironically saves them from a bunch of exploding torpedoes. The Blob decides to go back to the circus, not wanting to be involved in any of this stupid shit anymore, and the Brotherhood get away yet again.

I gotta expect that it’s going to be any issue now when Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch leave Magneto’s employ. They’re not bad guys at all, and it’s pretty obvious that they’re half-assing their fighting. Plus, somebody’s gotta go join the Avengers once all the heavy hitters leave. Oops, did I spoil something? No? Because it was written fifty years ago? Oh, good.