X-Men (Vol. 1) #7

Credits:

Cover Date: September 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“The Return of the Blob”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

What’s Going On?

Can the X-Men overcome the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants without the leadership of Professor X?

Details:

  • The X-Men have officially graduated from Professor Xavier’s school. That means that they are no longer training to use their mutant powers, plus they all received high school diplomas.

  • Elsewhere, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are preparing for another attack on the X-Men.

  • Meanwhile, with the X-Men having graduated, Professor Xavier is taking a leave of absence. He appoints Cyclops the new team leader.

  • Scott already feels the burden and loneliness of leadership.

  • Magneto and the Brotherhood head to the carnival and recruit the Blob to join them against the X-Men.

  • Magneto then issues a challenge (through the radio?) to the X-Men.

  • When the X-Men arrive, only Blob is within view. The X-Men attack him, but don’t fare well.

  • Things get even worse when the rest of the Brotherhood join the fight.

  • The X-Men look overmatched, and when they were bunched together in a group, Magneto decided to defeat them all with a single blow! The Blob would also get hurt, but Magneto didn’t care. Luckily for the X-Men, they were able to hide behind the Blob’s bulk, so that only he got hit by Magneto’s torpedoes.

  • Without his torpedoes, and with a potentially dangerous new foe (the Blob), Magneto and the Brotherhood opt to escape.

  • The Blob doesn’t want to continue fighting, either. He decides to return to the carnival.

Is It Good?

It’s an interesting read. I am shocked at how quickly Stan and Jack are abandoning the “mutant school” concept; it’s such a historically important concept for the X-Men, and yet the original creators clearly don’t value it. It’s weird.

I am enjoying the frequent appearances by the Brotherhood, but less for the matchups against the X-Men (Mastermind and the Scarlet Witch did almost nothing in this issue’s fight), and more for their internal dysfunctions. Magneto comes across as such a heel here; he is easily the most mustache-twirling MWA-HA-HA villain with this many appearances in the Marvel universe right now.

Continuity:

  • Professor Xavier first told the X-Men that they had graduated in X-Men #5. Now, it’s official. They’ve not only graduated from X-Men training, but also high school.

  • The Blob last appeared in X-Men #3. He joins —- and quits —- the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in this issue.
  • This makes the fourth consecutive issue that the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has appeared in.
  • Jean’s telekinetic ability no longer appears to be limited solely to what she can physically lift (if it ever truly was).

  • Mastermind has always been shown as a creep, but this is the first time his lecherousness has been explicit.

  • This is the first appearance of Cerebro, Professor Xavier’s mutant-locating device. As of this issue, only he and Scott is aware of its existence. Cerebro’s signals are routed to the Professor’s office desk.

  • Cyclops has been appointed the new leader of the X-Men in Xavier’s absence.

  • Cyclops has considered quitting the X-Men to find a cure for his dangerous mutant power.

  • Magneto’s mental powers make him able to mentally probe others. So…what is the difference between his mental powers and the Professor’s, at this point?

  • The mental block Xavier placed in the Blob’s mind to make him forget the X-Men has been undone.

  • This is the first appearance of Bernard the Poet.
  • This is the first appearance of Zelda Kurtzberg (only her first name is given here), who will become Bobby’s first girlfriend.
  • Iceman can “ice up” so fast that his clothes shatter.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Looking at this from a modern perspective, let’s think about this. Jean has yet to develop her telepathy. Scott cannot control his optic blasts without the use of protective lenses; he even considered seeking out a cure for his mutant powers! And one of the ongoing plot lines for Bobby in the last 10-15 years has been about how much of an underachiever he has been regarding the development of his mutant powers. Are you sure you have nothing more to teach them, Charles?

  • The X-Men are all different ages. Why did they all graduate from Xavier’s prep school at the same time? Didn’t they have educational standards in the ‘60’s?
  • BAH! Loyalty!

  • What’s up, rube?  I wish they included the sound effect of the cannonball popping out of Blob’s belly here.

  • Okay, so today I learned that “Hey, Rube” is a legitimate carny distress message, and not just something Stan Lee made up.

  • We have another instance of Stan and Jack crapping on Beatniks.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • It took me a minute to figure out what Jack Kirby was doing with this page. There’s nothing wrong with the art here, mind you. It was just that, with limited context and being 50+ years removed from this sort of technology, I had a hard time realizing that this is a close-up drawing of an old camera.

<<<X-Men #6

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