Amazing Adventures #9-10
Issue(s): Amazing Adventures #9, Amazing Adventures #10
This issue starts off with Black Bolt missing, and the rest of the Inhuman Royal Family looking forlorn.
But Magneto finds Black Bolt and holds him prisoner, theoretically to lure the other Inhumans to him. It actually makes a lot of sense that Magneto would be interested in the Inhumans. The Inhumans potentially serve as a model of the mutant society that Magneto wants to create. Granted they're a hereditary monarchy, but they might be able to share notes on things like training kids with powers, dealing with the really freaky mutations, and handling people with out of control mutations.
Nothing like that is actually raised in these issues, however. Instead, Magneto just wants Black Bolt because he needs his voice-powers to blast into a research facility to steal a MacGuffin that will power his Universe Machine.
I had a little trouble trying to figure out exactly what Magneto was going to do with the Universe Machine, but in Magneto's next appearance in Avengers #111 it's said that he was trying to expose all of humanity to radiation so that they would turn into mutants, which he would then be able to control.
I detect several flaws in his plan, if that's indeed what it was, but he is quite mad.
Mad, but impressive.
It's amazing how early Magneto was a mastermind of genetics. We've already seen his Savage Land mutates. He's got different mutates in these issues...
...and he further evolves one of them into an awesome looking creature that has mind-control powers.
With the ability to develop his own army of super-powered henchmen, it's a wonder he's never been successful at conquering the world, or at least winning a fight.
One of Magneto's mutate henchmen bizarrely interprets one of Black Bolt's silent stares to mean, "How did you escape from the last time you were captured?", so Magneto happily regales the tale.
When we last saw Magneto, the Fantastic Four captured him in an energy shield that blocked his powers. He was then kept in a plastic prison and guarded by troops in "shielding suits" so that he couldn't control their bodies' minerals (i thought that was worth noting since i know there's sometimes a debate about whether there's enough iron in the human body for Magneto to control. It seems that at this point, both Magneto and his captors thought so.). So he finally escaped via, er, zen and yoga.
At this point we've seen Magneto with his helmet off in the beautiful Neal Adams X-Men issues, so there's no excuse for that curly brown mess on his head in that picture above.
In general, the Inhumans aren't used very well in this story. Gorgon and Karnak might as well be generic strong guys, and Medusa has to resort to using her power of being sexy to escape her prison.
Destroying Magneto's mutation machine, Karnak says, "With this equipment he sought to remake mankind -- in an image he found fitting -- a vision he sought to fulfill. Yet -- that vision is Nature's alone...". That's a bit too... pure a philosophy for a race of humanoids that were born of genetic experimentation by the Kree, and who expose each generation of their children to the Terrigen Mist. In fact, tying in Magneto's goals to the Terrigen Mist would have made his appearance in the Inhumans' series a lot more sensible.
I think the quality of the art in the scans above speak for themselves (i do like that opening splash with the Inhumans), and the story's on the same level.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place before the Inhumans return to Attilan in Avengers #95, so this has been pushed back a few months in publication time. If you're wondering where Crystal and Lockjaw are, they had been with the Fantastic Four until issue Fantastic Four #105, and then when they tried to return home they accidentally got trapped in the far future with Diablo, as we'll see in FF #117.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlack Bolt, Gorgon, Joey (street urchin), Karnak, Magneto, Medusa, Trikon
The weird thing is, the Trikon show up as prisoners of the Stranger in Quasar 14-15 but there's no explanation as to what happened to the kid.
Posted by: Michael | December 10, 2011 7:08 PM
Mooneye seems to be wearing panties on his head.
Krystar later altered his name a bit, got hired by a toy company, and briefly starred in his own Marvel comic.
Mike Sekowsky was a Marvel/Timely workhorse in the 1940's and 1950's, but later became (in)famous at DC first with his work on Justice League of America, and after leaving that book, doing art and writing on Wonder Woman, Metal Men, Supergirl, and Phantom Stranger. His efforts while on both sides of the comic creative process were so bizarre that "bizarre" doesn't adequately describe them. And of course he created one of DC's all-time turkey characters, B'Wana Beast.. this book was done during a lull in his DC activity, and considering what it looks like--plus the fact that he was following Jack Kirby and then Neal Adams on this title--it's no surprise that Marvel told him to go back home. Sekowsky is also known for getting punched out by George Klein in a fight over inker Violet Barclay at Timely.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 10, 2011 7:31 PM
I hope Sekowsky was immediately fired for the WORST drawings of Magneto in human history. That's so bad I can't come up with the appropriate words.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 7, 2015 11:31 AM
Maybe Magneto das dying his hair ah this time. Mid-life crisis, you know.
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | February 14, 2015 9:33 AM
This two-parter runs 36 pages. I wonder if it was originally intended to be a double-sized issue, like many with the Nov. 1971 cover date?
Posted by: Haydn | July 23, 2016 10:59 AM
Sekowsky was never anywhere near a favorite of mine either, but it's maybe worth mentioning that he was one of the mainstream artists who did a lot of pages over at Tower Comics on THUNDER Agents during the sixties, mostly on THUNDER Squad and on their speedster character, who was called Lightning. Along with Wally Wood and Gil Kane, Sekowsky was one of Tower's go-to artists, much to my dismay. His pencils did look a little better when he had better inkers, but not much better.
Bill Everett was a much better inker and pencil artist earlier in his career, IMO, and Stan Lee apparently just loved the guy, but Everett was a lifelong alcoholic, with less than 2 years to live, when he worked on #9 here, dying at the age of 55 in 1973. RIP
1971 was one of the worst years for Marvel as far as I can tell, and also the same year that I almost completely gave up comics, for a period of about 10 years. I kept following Kirby's and Ditko's work at DC though, and picked up all the Jim Starlin titles I could find.
Posted by: James Holt | November 6, 2016 1:03 PM
I recall Mike Sekowsky's art on some '60's Justice League issues, particularly one of the League's encounters with Dr. Destiny and a group of villains comprised of members from each respective JLA members' rogues' galleries. The one thing I took away from the art was that the characters' faces were, er, distinct. He was also a writer/artist on the Wonder Woman series in the '60's and '70's. I would hazard a guess that his work was a far cry from George Perez' '80's run in the same dual roles in terms of quality. Anyway, I must concur with Eric that Sekowsky's Magneto is positively hideous! My God, the face looks bad enough, but are those supposed to be nipples on his costume? YEESH!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | September 7, 2017 8:57 PM
Just remembered, Mike Sekowsky also drew a comic called "The Inferior Five" for DC, prior to this. Mostly the comic was devoted to parodies of the Marvel characters. In my opinion it was really pretty bad, and it didn't last long as I recall, but it had its moments.
Posted by: Holt | October 14, 2017 8:55 PM
For these two issues, the cover logo prominently says "Black Bolt", but "Inhumans" is rendered much smaller. Maybe someone decided he had sales potential?
When this story is picked up in Avengers #95, Joey has been inexplicably returned from the Trikon, and Black Bolt has somehow been separated from the other Inhumans again. Or maybe Roy Thomas looked at Sekowsky's art and decided to avoid reading these issues?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 31, 2018 7:50 PM
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