Uncanny X-Men #32-33
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #32, Uncanny X-Men #33
For the past several issues we've been teased with a mysterious door in Professor Xavier's lab and here's where we learn what's behind it. Xavier has recovered his step-brother's comatose body, thankfully putting him in some long pants, and has been working to drain him of his Cyttorak-based power and then wake him up.
But Factor Three interferes with Xavier's attempt to cure his step-brother, leaving Xavier unconscious and Juggernaut free to go on a rampage. Juggernaut also winds up with Xavier's mental powers as part of this exchange.
The first fight with the X-Men is a bit weird. The team arrives at the Mansion to find Cerebro sounding an alarm calling them a threat...
...and then they head down a flight of stairs which suddenly collapse.
I'm not sure why Xavier would have built collapsing stairs into his mansion.
Juggernaut then reveals himself...
...and proceeds to trounce the X-Men but is contacted by the mysterious Factor Three (who manage to reach him telepathically even though he's wearing his helmet, although that could be due to the fact that he's currently got Xavier's powers) before he finishes them off.
He's invited to join them, so he heads to the nearest airport to catch a flight to Europe.
It's also interesting how at this point the Juggernaut's powers weren't really settled, so we see him with an actual forcefield.
The X-Men use a device to read Professor X's unconscious mind, and learn about the Cttorak gem.
Inside the gem is a creature called Xorak. Xorak was the guardian of the Cyttorak crystal, but he was a bit unreasonable in his defense of it, so when a young Ancient One showed up at the temple one day, they got into a fight even though the Ancient One had no intention of taking the crystal.
The Ancient One trapped Xorak in the crystal, leaving it undefended so that when Cain Marko eventually found it no one was there to stop him from becoming the Juggernaut.
To get help against the Juggernaut now, the X-Men attempt to contact the Ancient One (oddly, via Cerebro), but find that they've contacted Doctor Strange instead. Strange is in the middle of a major epic of his own at this time, so he only sends his astral form.
But he's able to cast a spell that allows two of the X-Men to travel into the gem of Cyttorak. Cyclops chooses Marvel Girl for his second, and he's not sure if he did so thanks to her abilities or because he wants a chance to be alone with her. We've seen Scott and Jean's relationship growing now that Angel decided not to pursue Jean, but they're still not really "together".
Scott might try being a little less patronizing ("Good girl." Sheesh.).
Inside the gem, they fight Xorak...
...and defeat him with a wristwatch...
...gaining a prototype of the gem.
While Cyclops and Marvel Girl are in the gem, the other X-Men attack Juggernaut, delaying his travel to Europe. The X-Men apparently have a helicopter.
Even a wind tunnel at the air base doesn't do much to phase the Juggernaut...
...but when Scott and Jean show up with the prototype gem, he's sent back to the Crimson Cosmos.
When the X-Men return to their school, they find that Professor X has been kidnapped.
These issues start with the X-Men and their girlfriends celebrating Bobby's 18th birthday at Cafe A Go-Go.
They're bizarrely attacked by "Rocky Rhodes" and his Satan's Saints biker gang...
...and they're forced to fend off the attack without letting on about their powers. It's a ridiculous opening power demonstration scene for this otherwise enjoyable arc.
Roy Thomas also shows his disdain for Bernard the Poet, having him act like a moocher. This will be Bernard's last appearance for a long time.
In addition to the characters listed, some subset of Factor Three is involved in this issue. Juggernaut is contacted by someone telepathically in issue #32, and in issue #33 at least two figures show up to kidnap Professor X.
The MCP, following the Official Marvel Index, has been listing all characters involved in the Factor Three subplot as behind-the-scenes appearances (Blob, Unus, Vanisher, and Mastermind, plus Changeling and the Mutant Master) since Uncanny X-Men #26. The people who pick up Xavier could be any of the first four evil mutants or they could just be generic Factor Three agents. The telepathic message could be from the Changeling (who we know has some aptitude for such things due to the fact that he'll temporarily replace Professor X for a while) or it could actually be a tight-beam radio message sent by the robotic Mutant Master (which would explain why Juggernaut's helmet doesn't block it). Since i'm not sure, i'm not listing any Factor Three characters for this story.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Dr. Strange's astral form appears here during Strange Tales #157-158, which is part of a massive continuous story in that title that runs from Aug 66 - May 68. Luckily it doesn't have any dependencies with any other titles so it's ok to place that long run near this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 4
Inbound References (7): show
The panel you posted of Factor Three contacting the Juggernaut makes it seem like it was Factor Three that interfered with Xavier's attempt to cure Juggernaut, not Xorax.
Posted by: Michael | January 2, 2013 7:49 PM
Thanks Michael. I've updated the description regarding the interference of Xavier's attempted cure. I was fooled by Xavier's description of the interference as a "new, powerful alien force", but that of course could refer to the Mutant Master.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 2, 2013 9:22 PM
It seems to me that having stairs that turn into ramps would actually be very useful for a guy stuck in a wheelchair. How else would Xavier have ever gotten down there?
Posted by: S | January 3, 2013 12:30 AM
That's a good point, S. The slope looks a little steep! But that's a plausible explanation. Xavier could walk at this point (mechano-legs) but that's besides the point.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 3, 2013 12:57 AM
The original cover to #33 showing Xorax(called "the Outsider") was rejected by the Comics Code, probably because artist Gil Kane made him too ugly for their sensitive eyes. A different artist drew the Juggernaut in his place instead.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 5, 2013 5:30 PM
I know it probably would be inappropriate but seriously it had to be said: nothing stops Bernard the Poet...from getting his cake.
Posted by: Ataru320 | May 18, 2015 3:15 PM
I do find it bizarre that it would take decades before Strange starts getting involved with the Cytorrak aspect outside this cameo by him here. You would have expected somehow that he could have investigated this sooner.
Posted by: Ataru320 | September 27, 2016 11:53 AM
I'm not sure I follow you, Ataru. Strange and Juggernaut get into a fight just two years later.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 27, 2016 12:44 PM
Yeah, just remember that thing from the 90s with them, that's probably why I thought that.
Posted by: Ataru320 | September 27, 2016 1:57 PM
I liked this one for the connection between the Juggernaut and the weird worlds of Dr. Strange and, of course, the ongoing plotline with Factor Three. (I have to admit I've never quite gotten the gist of that name).
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 11, 2016 8:16 PM
@Bobby- the Official Handbook claims that they were called Factor Three because the first two factors were the US and the USSR.
Posted by: Michael | November 27, 2016 10:49 PM
The title of #32's part is a play on a line from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky".
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | November 27, 2016 11:02 PM
Overly liberal as Xavier was with the 'mind wiping' in these early X-Men comics one can only logically assume that he is in the heads of his students on at least a semi-regular basis. Assuming this to be the case, he's got to know the inner pining on the part of Cyclops and Jean, as well as the fact that said pining occurs on mission where distraction could be dangerous. Do you think he gets a kick out of knowing he could just tell them they're both being silly, I'm imaging deep villain chuckles in dark rooms tbh.
Posted by: MK101 | April 28, 2017 10:44 PM
Turns out Kitty had it right all along: Professor X IS a jerk!
Posted by: J-Rod | May 1, 2017 12:09 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|