Uncanny X-Men #30
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #30
Considering the short lead time on this story and the fact that Golden Ager Jack Sparling is drawing instead of regular artist Werner Roth, this issue was likely a fill-in. Also supporting that is that it's a bit of a hot mess from a plotting perspective. We start with Merlin (now calling himself Warlock; the question of whether this guy really is the Merlin of legend is its own confused thread that is not addressed in this story) just grabbing the X-Men out of nowhere...
...trapping most of them in another dimension while bringing Marvel Girl, Professor X, and, accidentally, Angel, to Warlock's underground fortress.
Warlock has blocked Xavier's mental powers and taken control of Jean Grey, who he of course wants as a bride.
Warlock's got a plan to make everyone as dumb as they were in the Middle Ages (really, that's his plan) and then take over the world using modern technology.
The sight of armored knights wielding (sort of) modern weapons...
...is an interesting prelude to Professor Power era Secret Empire, and Sparling's art works well enough for the unusual setting. But the story is sloppy (e.g., the other X-Men return with little drama...
...and are then, of course, forced to fight in an arena) and doesn't address the subject of a centuries-old mutant (e.g., were there really mutants that long ago? If so, how many others? And why so many suddenly appearing now? And why didn't Cerebro detect this guy previously?), which is really what anyone would be interested in.
We don't even learn what will happen to Warlock after he is defeated. The X-Men wrap him up like a mummy after defeating him, and i guess they put him back in his coffin like Thor did last time, although that obviously didn't hold him last time.
One thing's for sure: Xavier should have kept that scooter.
Merlin/Warlock will eventually be called Maha Yogi and that's the name i use to tag him.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 3
This issue, especially that third example you use, has some of the worst art I've ever seen in a Marvel book. Jean is drawn so badly you'd think a grade school kid did it.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 17, 2015 8:48 AM
careful Erik you may get a lecture and people quitting bc u don't like the old fashioned art LOL
I have to say I am kinda fascinated by these old X-Men because, for ME, the "old" X-Men were the 1977 version I discovered in "CLASSIC X-MEN". I knew of course about the Silver Age stuff but it's just... weird. They look like old timey circus acrobats in those uniforms or something. I think I gotta repay closer attention to Dave Cockrum for redesigning them when I see this stuff...
Posted by: BRIMSTONE | February 13, 2016 6:27 AM
Haha. I just came to write how I really liked the art (compared to other X-Men books at the time) and how Jean Grey looked sssexxxy.
We don't agree with Eric!
Posted by: Karel | June 18, 2016 9:06 PM
It was later clarified that this was a caveman mutated by the same crystalline meteor that made Ulysses Bloodstone immortal. He impersonated Merlin when the wizard was temporarily imprisoned by Nimue. Merlin, once he was freed, joined forces with the eternal Sersi to defeat the Warlock and seal him into the tomb. Maha Yogi was an alias he assumed in his next appearance when he pretended to be an Indian guru.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 11, 2016 4:23 PM
Merlin / Warlock / Baba OJ / whoever is a helluva lot funnier when you imagine everything he says in the voice of Orpheus from Venture Bros. :)
Posted by: Flying Tiger Comics | March 10, 2017 7:06 AM
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