Uncanny X-Men #27
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #27
The issue then backtracks a bit, to show us that Rankin fully regained his memories after an explosion, and the battle that we thought we just saw wasn't the whole story. Because Professor X has detected some massive mutant menace, and so he's in recruiting mode, reaching out to Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (who has apparently taken up falconry)...
All of his potential recruits beg off, and both mention the Avengers while doing so (Pietro and Wanda won't help because they're already members of the other team, and Spider-Man just decided he didn't want to join the Avengers so he's not going to join the X-Men either) but it doesn't make Xavier consider the possibility of himself reaching out directly to the Avengers for help. Instead when Rankin regains his powers again, Xavier invites him onto the team and indeed has him replace Cyclops as deputy leader.
The battle we saw was supposed to be a training/testing session, but instead things get mucked up when the Puppet Master gets involved.
The X-Men track down the Puppet Master, fight his "Incredible Android" (clearly a hand-me-down from the Puppet Master's buddy, the Mad Thinker)...
...and grab the Puppet Master's Mimic puppet. It's not even said what happens to the Puppet Master. But we do know that the Mimic is starting to feel pretty bad about himself.
If i didn't know about the upcoming Factor Three story, i might have thought that the menace Xavier detected was actually the Puppet Master (by the way, the Puppet Master first tries to take over Professor X's mind directly but Xavier shrugs the attempt off as an annoyance).
Angel was injured by Cyclops last issue and so he sits out most of the action until the end. His "mutant recuperative powers" are part of the reason he's able to act at all.
In the earliest depictions of Cerebro, i always laughed at this little device that literally had the name of every mutant on it, and a little light next to the name that would glow when someone went on a rampage. Were those really the only mutants in the world? Certainly that wasn't the case thanks to a large number of retcons, but even without them, the idea couldn't have been to limit the mutant population so much. But then why has it been so long since we've seen Xavier detect a mutant? This issue kind of answers that, by having Xavier build an amplifier for the device and also suggest that someone's been interfering with its mutant detection.
Roy Thomas' #1 strength is his use of existing continuity, so while the last few stories were a bit weak due to the rather lame villains he thought up, this story, between the Mimic, the Puppet Master, and the cameos, is more fun. Still wouldn't go so far as to call it good but definitely more interesting.
Jean debuts a new costume design for the X-Men this issue. Not too different than the previous version, but the yellow frontpiece is angled, providing a less bulky effect.
On campus, Jean's moving closer to Ted, and he's opening up enough to start talking about his brother, who we'll eventually learn is the Cobalt Man.
Speaking of love interests, Hank gets a second date with Vera but runs into the standard super-hero problem of having to run off when a crime occurs nearby.
Mimic remains a member of the X-Men after this issue. It's a rare case (certainly the first) of a non-mutant joining the team (albeit only for a few issues).
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The X-Men hope that the Human Torch will return from his "wanderings abroad" while in their recruiting phase. Not that the X-Men have to be exactly up-to-date on the Torch's whereabouts, but i've placed this before Fantastic Four annual #4 when the Torch arrives with Lockjaw at the Baxter Building.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 3
Inbound References (4): show
According to comments in Forbush Gazette #1 in 12/66, fandom in general seemed to believe that the X-Men had "deteriorated to the point of no return" since their debut in 1963, and that Sgt. Fury's art had gone completely bad since #4.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 22, 2012 5:55 PM
"Don't you know, you little fool?" Standard Roy Thomas dialogue. Everybody take a drink.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | October 22, 2013 8:31 AM
I cannot read "you little fool" without thinking of Maxim de Winter. Maybe Thomas was influenced by Daphne du Maurier (or the Hitchcock film).
Posted by: Todd | October 22, 2013 11:24 PM
The only thing that I really liked was the return of the Mimic and the plot hints that were dropped by Roy. The Puppet Master seemed kind of lamely handled this time around.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 8, 2016 9:56 PM
I've always wondered what Kirby himself intended for the puppet master character. And Alicia originally if you look at the first art of her doesn't seem blind but merely blank eyed- like a robot? Was the puppet master meant to be an alien, who had created a beautiful android?
Posted by: Flying Tiger Comics | March 10, 2017 6:21 AM
Although most people will just say "it's non-canon/it's an alternate reality" - I think Judd Winick actually re-contextualizes the stuff with Mimic joining and Xavier's trust in him in flashbacks in Exiles. I definitely like to think of them as shared events between Earth-12 and Earth-616, they are good retcons as they both flesh Mimic's character out and iron out a lot of the logic problems in these Silver Age issues (like Xavier making Mimic temporary leader - it's said Xavier did this as he felt Mimic would respond best to this).
Posted by: AF | October 15, 2017 5:26 AM
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