Uncanny X-Men #25-26
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #25, Uncanny X-Men #26
El Tigre finds a magic pendant and gains some mental powers...
...but his powers also guide him to the second half of the amulet and once they are joined, he becomes Kukulcan, a Mayan god.
The X-Men fight him at all steps along the way and eventually defeat him, of course.
In Thomas' defense, i think maybe if Jack Kirby were drawing this instead of Werner Roth, it might have been a few degrees more awesome. Especially when El Tigre becomes Kukulcan and revives the ancient Mayan temple grounds, there's certainly some concepts that might have been cool.
The plot isn't all that interesting, in any event.
Jean Grey is out of the action for these issues, since she is away at college. Ted Roberts is finding his way into Jean's heart, partially by insulting women.
Jean also learns that Calvin Rankin, formerly the Mimic, is at the college as well, and Xavier's mind-wipe doesn't seem to be holding.
The situation over Jean has both Angel and Cyclops in bad spirits. It causes Angel to condemn himself for "sounding like a poor man's Hawkeye". I guess Hawkeye's assholery during the Kooky Quartet period was legendary even in the Marvel Universe.
During the end battle, Cyclops accidentally zaps Angel with his eyebeam...
...and everyone wonders if he did it on purpose. Well, Cyclops worries that he did it subconsciously, Angel directly accuses him of it, and Beast and Iceman "don't speak. And their very silence accuses me!".
There's two related things that i've latched onto here. First, the fact that Cerebro detects El Tigre, even though he's not a mutant. And second, the fact that the X-Men are the only ones immune to Kukulcan's mental control. Both are probably just basic plot contrivances, but i like how they sort of support the early idea that mutants were all about mental powers. I'm talking about things like the Tad Carter story in Amazing Adult Fantasy #14, the fact that Magneto had telepathic powers in his earliest appearances, and the fact that Xavier had to "train" the X-Men to receive his mental communications. It was like being a mutant really meant having a mind capable of ESP and related mental abilities and the super-powers were an added bonus. So the fact that Cerebro detects El Tigre when he develops mental powers, and the fact that the X-Men's mutant brains are unaffected by Kukulcan's mental domination, kind of fit in that undeveloped category.
Cyclops briefly loses his glasses while on the hunt for El Tigre at one point, and he is unable to contain his eyeblasts. I get needing to reinforce that Scott's powers are a curse, but this seems a bit over the top. I mean, he can't just close his eyes? Does he sleep with his glasses on. Hmmm, maybe he'd have to, now that i think about it.
Later, Kukulcan directs one of Cyclops' eyeblasts back at him, and it does knock Cyclops out but not critically and he later says that he has a "certain degree of immunity" to his own blasts.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: I've placed this after Thor #134 thanks to the gratuitous footnote below.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 3
Inbound References (3): showAngel, Beast, Cyclops, El Tigre, Iceman, Jean Grey, Kukulcan, Mimic, Professor X, Ted Roberts
The weird thing is that on later occasions when Scott loses his glasses, he can just block the beams by covering them with his hands and/or closing his eyes.
Posted by: Michael | December 15, 2012 2:28 PM
I'm guessing Scott didn't just close his eyes because he didn't want to risk stomping his glasses while searching for them.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 15, 2012 5:29 PM
The early danger room...the spelunking tank-chair...the giant robot...mechanical leg braces... and now mechanical coils in the walls...
Is it possible Xavier knew Forge before Forge went off to [Vietnam/insert-condensed-timeline-appropriate-conflict-here]? Even if Forge later seems to be ignorant of Xavier & the X-mansion, we know that Xavier at this time is not reluctant to mind-wipe people.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | July 2, 2013 2:04 PM
@Erik: So how did Xavier come to learn of Forge?
Now recall that Charles became blood brothers with William Lonestar (Danielle Moonstar's father), when they were both in the Korean War?
It was due to this bond that Charles was welcomed into Black Eagle's home when returning from Korea with William.
So was Forge Black Eagle's younger son (i.e. William's younger brother/ Dani's uncle) and did Xavier learn of his knack when staying with the family, and when later returning from the East crippled engages him to create his leg braces, wall coils, etc. so he can stay in the family home and then when prepping the X-Mansion for his young team gets him in to create the first Danger Room, etc.
Think about it, who's going to outfit his home as a compound and keep quiet about it but someone who knows him really well!
Posted by: Nathan Adler | July 5, 2013 9:08 AM
"The situation over Jean has both Angel and Cyclops in bad spirits. It causes Angel to condemn himself for "sounding like a poor man's Hawkeye". I guess Hawkeye's assholery during the Kooky Quartet period was legendary even in the Marvel Universe."
fnord12, I read that as Roy Thomas being subconsciously self-conscious about stealing character ideas from other comics. Sure 'n' he was doing that, and even being self-effacing about it was sort of just another way of copying Lee's style... it's what Marvel/Lee was paying him to do, but Thomas wasn't altogether comfortable about doing it nevertheless, especially in his early days.
True enough still though, about Hawkeye's assholery being legendary xD
Posted by: James Holt | September 4, 2016 7:02 PM
I've always thought that Roy had a thing for Doc Savage just like Lee did. The villain in the first Doc Savage novel was called the Son of the Feathered Serpent and involved a lost Mayan city. Now in this story El Tigre turns into a version of Kukulcan another name for Quetzalcoatl or the feathered serpent. He unearths a lost Mayan city. When Roy wrote All-Star Squadron, he had a villain named the Feathered Serpent who causes a lost Mayan temple to emerge from the ground under Mexico City.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 8, 2016 9:21 PM
Is the above panel with Cyclops losing his glasses the first use of the term "mutie" as a Marvel Universe slur? If so, that's pretty significant. I'm surprised to see it show up that early.
Posted by: JP | December 7, 2016 3:44 AM
I didn't track it, but i did a quick review now and i've found it used in issue #14, in the anti-mutant hysteria whipped up by Bolivar Trask. I've added a scan there.
I also checked issue #8, where the Beast is attacked by a mob, but they just call him a "mutant" there.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 7, 2016 9:45 AM
Roy Thomas would later do a very similar story in All-Star Squadron though the writing would be considerably better (as would, to me, the art).
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 26, 2018 4:37 PM
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