Uncanny X-Men #31
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #31
The set-up is very clunky, with Cyclops thinking to himself what a great guy Angel is if only "we weren't undeclared rivals for the love of Marvel Girl!".
Later, Angel runs into an old girlfriend named Candy Southern.
He thinks to himself that it's fate that he ran into Candy almost at the same instant that he gave up on Jean. Fate, or convenient writing. But i don't care! Anything to move past these Silver Age love triangles.
Candy will be an important supporting character for a long time after this, even technically running the New Defenders team for a while.
As for Cobalt Man, he was an employee of Tony Stark but got mad when Stark wouldn't give up the secret of Iron Man's armor. So he quit, formed his own company, and built his own suit.
Except he made it using a radioactive cobalt alloy, which means that if he wears the suit for more than 2 hours it is in danger of exploding in a nuclear blast that will take out "half of Long Island". Combine that with a nasty hit on the head prior to putting on the suit...
...and you've got your super-hero plot for the issue.
Cobalt Man looks pretty similar to Iron Man, which you can't fault anyone for considering the plot. In the intro to Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 3, Roy Thomas says that they had to make sure the colorist didn't color him red and gold, though.
Scott and Jean had been hanging out with Ted Roberts and his brother when it all went down, so the issue ends with Ted hinting that he knows their secret IDs.
This issue opens with a nice shot of the Angel practicing in the Danger Room.
The issue also features a rare, but always appreciated, appearance from Bernard the Poet.
And lo and behold, there's actually something approaching character development in this issue, with the Beast lamenting his mutant physiology and noting how he hides behind his big vocabulary.
Altogether, not bad.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place before Tales of Suspense #89. We're told Iron Man isn't around for the Cobalt Man fight because he's got a date tonight.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 3
Inbound References (3): showAngel, Beast, Bernard the Poet, Candy Southern, Cobalt Man, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey, Professor X, Ted Roberts, Vera Cantor, Zelda
The "puppet" line is a reference to the Peanuts book "Happiness Is A Warm Puppy" which was selling really well for a cartoon book at the time.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 21, 2012 12:29 PM
I caught the Peanuts reference and once owned a copy of that book along with the hard cover Peanuts Classics. The Cobalt Man is my least favorite X-Men villain but I did like the introduction of Candy Southern. (Why does that sound like a Bond girl name?)
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 11, 2016 5:23 PM
Given the era of her first appearance and Roy Thomas's fascination with the New Journalism, I'd guess Candy Sothern is likely a reference to Terry Southern. Southern co-wrote a pornographic novel titled Candy about a young woman named Candy Christian who gets into the usual situations of a pornographic novel protagonist in Greenwich Village. It became a sort of accidental bestseller, and a very campy, psychedelia-infused version was released in 1968 and included appearances by Marlon Brando, Ringo Starr, James Coburn, Walter Matthau, and Richard Burton.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 3, 2017 8:10 PM
Ooooh, good call on "Candy."
Posted by: ChrisW | March 3, 2017 10:04 PM
There's a lot of real world references in this issue. Marvel was always supposed to be in the real world, but I noticed this issue specifically felt like a big change with the sheer amount of references. I'm reading these chronologically.
Angel mentions his Mustang, and an actual Mustang is drawn.
Candy Southern mentions Diet Pepsi by name.
Bob Dylan song lyrics are seen/heard.
Candy also mentions Archer College instead of generic "State U."
Posted by: Bigvis497 | October 3, 2017 12:37 AM
Maybe it is just me, but the opening shot reminds me of issue #139's (published in late 1980).
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 10, 2017 9:02 AM
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