Uncanny X-Men #1
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #1
Jean Grey serves as the initial point of view character her, joining Professor Xavier's secret school/army of mutants (later retcons will reveal that Jean was Xavier's first recruit, and she's only returning here to meet and join the team), and then they fight off Magneto who is trying to take over an army base.
Where is Iceman sliding from in that picture above?
Magneto of course is an extremely significant new villain. He'll be used to excess in these earlier issues.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: X-Men: The Early Years #1
Professor X is completely obsessed with time and tardiness. he keeps shouting times at them.
"You have exactly a second and a half! Go!"
"You have exactly three seconds! Go!"
"Report to my study immediately...You have fifteen seconds!"
it's interesting that at the end of this, the general thanks them and says "the name X-Men will be the most honored in my command". i'm used to mutants being reviled and people treating the X-Men like criminals. but considering the acceptance Thor, Iron Man, and the FF have received from the public, why shouldn't the X-Men be accepted, as well?
Min, considering the importance of the "mutants are feared and hated" theme to the entire X-Men story, your question is not just to the point, it reveals a gigantic plot hole. If Stan and Jack had it all to do over again, I think they'd have left the mutants, at least, OUT of their shared universe and put them in a universe of their own. They'd have the public fearing mutants enough to create sentinels by issue 15 or so. But it never did make sense. Why love Avengers and Spider-Men (everyone but JJJ loves Spidey) and Fantastic Foursomes but hate mutants? Did the Beast and the Scarlet Witch suddenly become beloved when they went from the X-Men/Brotherhood to the Avengers? They must've, by Marvel logic. So it's a huge plot hole.
Mags really is one of the first "super" supervillains, isn't he? Spider-Man has fought a few, but most other Marvel heroes up to now have gone against gods, monsters, mad scientists, aliens, gangsters, and terrorists. And carnies, of course. There have been costumed criminals, but most haven't had powers, they've used paste-guns (Paste-Pot Pete) or, uh, specially lubricated costumes (the Eel).
Mags isn't the first costumed baddie with permanent powers, but he must be one of Mavel's first dozen or so. He's a star aborning despite his generic megalomaniac personality.
No offense, Walter, but by that specific definition, Magneto is a terrorist rather than a true supervillain; but then by that definition I'm not sure there are any pure supervillains. They're all criminals, terrorists, gangsters, etc.
I consider Red Skull, Loki, and Dr. Doom to be true mega-villain types, and then Magneto joined them at that level of villainy.
No offense taken. It was the superpowers I wanted to call attention to: the Red Skull and Doom don't have them, and Loki isn't human. Mags is one of the first evil superhumans. Their villainy is as grand as his, but he's in a new "character class," you might say.
One reason the new character type of evil superhuman is significant, I'd argue, is that the Comics Code encouraged, and in some cases may have prescribed, that good and evil be attributes of particular categories of person. An authority figure--cop, priest, president, etc.--was intrinsically good: an evil cop or evil priest or evil president would have been against the spirit if not the letter of the code. (And I think for a while it was against the letter.)
Evil classes had to be evil: maybe you could have a reformed gangster, but not a really likable but evil gangster. No glamorizing evil.
My hypothesis is that the superhuman--not alien or god, but a human with permanent powers--was almost by definition an authority figure, glamor figure, and therefore exclusively good. This I don't think was a formal part of the code, but was probably something of a tacit understanding.
With characters like the Thing and especially the Hulk, Marvel scrapped the old assumptions about "monsters" being evil or unsympathetic. Mags is the other side of the coin: a "superman" with the glamor that comes with power, but he uses that power for I heroic purposes. That wasn't unprecedented, but it was notably rare before this point.
If I'm right, Mags was complicating the black-hat/white-hat assumptions of comics even before his reinvention at Claremont's hands. He proved a more-or-less normal-looking guy blessed with great power could wield it irresponsibly, indeed evilly.
"Uses that power for unheroic purposes" that is -- the ipad mangled my meaning.
At which point, John W. Campbell decided to boycott comic books. he he
Interesting arguments. I'm not sure if it's accurate or not, but it's thought-provoking.
While Claremont did firmly switch Magneto from "villain" to "noble terrorist", the early days more or less was probably just about giving the idea that "well if heroes can be born with the powers like the X-Men, then whose to say villains can't be born with powers and use them as such either?" You could say that a lot of aspects of Magneto's mutant rights concepts were around from the get-go, but obviously he lost track of that and went pretty much nuts by the 70s...honestly thinking it over, he seems to just go through phases:
-The basic villain/terrorist phase with the Brotherhood (the early Stan Lee Magneto)
-The more moderate Magneto who has seemed to calm down a lot and seems to finally let the past catch up with him, the one more at ease in recalling that he has children in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch or remembers his own tragedies. (Claremont's Magneto; essentially any depiction post-Alpha)
Yeah I'm mostly going off what I've read here but that's the indications I've seen of his evolution.
I'm curious why you've listed the title as "Uncanny X-Men". Shouldn't it be "The X-Men" until #114 (or when it's officially changed in the indicia in #142) where it becomes "The Uncanny X-Men"?
Before Marvel started rebooting their books every 6 months, it was a convention to call this book "Uncanny" to distinguish it from the 1991 series. When feasible, i like to keep my books listed under the same title so that it's consistent in search results - you can search for "Uncanny X-Men" and get a full run of the series.
Ah! Understood. I always thought of the two titles as "The X-Men" (Later: "The Uncanny X-Men") and "X-Men" (the "The" being the key difference).
Only 3 out of 5 members are useful. Cyclops has powerful opric blaats that come out of his eyes. Marvel Girl is a powerful telekinises. Beast is has ape-like acrobatics and is a marvel genius. As for what I think of Iceman and Angel, see my comments in Giant-Size X-Men 3.
Oops, it's really Classic X-Men #1 not giant-size x-men. Sorry.
Regarding the team: I think it was a good idea to have a variety of different powers, even if many of them aren't necessarily "made" for being a super-hero. This was probably before the further definition was made that many mutants aren't just people who have superpowers who fight evil and whatnot.
As for the original five, I never thought there were anything wrong with them. Obviously Cyclops, Jean and Beast have things that are going to be useful even at this stage. The Angel gives them someone who can fly and shows that merely having the ability to fly is a gift, even if it's just bird wings. Warren isn't a god like Thor, doesn't have bug powers like the Pyms and isn't a "generic all around hero who has anything" like DC's menagerie; for him, him purely having wings is a gift in itself even if people don't consider it as much in being a superhero. (maybe if they kept the idea of him using a gun for combat combining his flying with sniping as one of the flashbacks stories suggested) And Bobby's ice powers probably more or less was to contrast to the F4 and the prominence of fire heroes even with the original Human Torch prior to Johnny Storm. To me, any hero really has potential...it's the writers you have to blame for not being used to their potential.
BTW: always thought Jean was cute in that outfit she arrived in, just to stay on topic.
Doomsday, one aspect of Iceman's powers that was always very useful were barriers, walls and protective domes. He has a good combination of offensive and defensive abilities and his ice slides give him elevation too. The problem was not with his abilities but the fact that writers were lazy.
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