Uncanny X-Men #34
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #34
Roy Thomas talks in the Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 4 intro like this meeting between Tyrannus and the Mole Man was a great consolidation of Marvel's underground kingdom universes, but the war between the two underground monarchs had already been established, as referenced in this issue. Thomas also notes in the intro that he wished he had thought to include Queen Kala, from the Iron Man story in Tales Of Suspense #43, as well, which is something that will happen later.
It is cool to see the two underground kingdoms at war; rather than just have these random underground rulers that occasionally show up to menace heroes, it's good to have them connected. It's something you'd think Roy Thomas would have come up with, but it was actually Stan Lee.
Both Tyrannus and the Mole Man's moloids have dialogue in this issue.
The war is ended (at least for now) when the X-Men trick both rulers into the mists of the River of Lethe, causing them to lose their memories.
After the X-Men's helicopter was destroyed by the Juggernaut in the previous arc, we see now that their plane has been retrofitted with an "auto-gyro hovering device". Fancy stuff.
The team also apparently has access to the Fantastic Four's files, which is how they know not to trust the Mole Man.
Despite some lingering concern around him knowing the X-Men's secret IDs, this is the last we'll see of Ted Roberts in the X-Men title.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 4
Inbound References (7): show
Art by the inker. Must not make Chasing Amy joke. Must not make Chasing Amy joke.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 19, 2015 3:42 PM
I liked the continuation of the Subterranea Wars and was just as glad to see Ted Roberts go having always found him an annoying character. I guess because I always wanted Scott and Jean to be together.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 12, 2016 5:56 PM
Most of Thomas's early X-Men run is spent doing stories that would be a better fit for other characters:
22-23 - Nefaria and the reject villains would be a serviceable Avengers story
24 - Locust could have worked against Ant-Man
25-26 - Kukulcan would be a better opponent for Thor
31 - Cobalt Man's major beef is with Iron Man
32-33 - The Juggernaut story gets sidetracked to deal with Dr Strange stuff
34 - Mole Man and Tyrannus are Hulk/Ff villains
It does help to integrate the X-Men with the rest of the MU, but it doesn't do their own rogues gallery much good.
Posted by: Nathan P. Mahney | June 2, 2017 2:32 AM
Thomas's emphasis on the shared universe is a big part of it, but I also wonder if some of it can be explained as him (and maybe Marvel in general) seeing the X-Men as the "weirdie" book at the time and putting in all the eccentric menaces they could think of. The tagline, early on, was "The Strangest Teen-Agers of All!", and the X-Men's DC counterpart, the Doom Patrol, tended to battle strange villains despite having a similar "prejudice against the different is bad" theme.
This would also explain why the X-Men never fight the "mainstream" archvillains who show up everywhere else in the 1960s, the Doctor Dooms and the Mandarins. Indeed, every other Silver Age hero at Marvel had an encounter with either Doom or the Mandarin, but even when Roy was dragging half the Marvel Universe into the title, neither of those two showed up to take on the X-Men. Nor do the likes of Loki or Kang, Instead, it's all obscure castoffs from other comics, presented as such. For example, Nefaria's crew are described in-story as "forgotten villains," and guys like the Cobalt Man are expressly kooky knockoffs of "mainstream" heroes. Even the Mole Man is a grotesque, pitiable type, and Tyrannus is from what was then a cancelled title.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 2, 2017 6:35 AM
That is an interesting thought that I think finally seems to explain Thomas' run with the X-Men up to this point. Admittedly no one today thinks of the X-Men as the ones who encounter the "weirder side" of Marvel ala the Doom Patrol (though even they had some definitely strange elements in the early days; heck the Lee/Kirby era brought in the Savage Land and the Stranger) But somehow with most of the universe defined by this point, Thomas figured "well these guys were born with strange powers, so let's have them fight the strangest elements of the universe". It probably explains why the team went through a lot of weird aspects until they figure it out again by the point of the Mesmero arc.
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 2, 2017 10:22 AM
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