X-Men (Vol. 1) #9

Credits:

Cover Date: January 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“Enter, the Avengers”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

What’s Going On?

The X-Men are forced to fight the Avengers to buy time for Professor X to handle the threat of Lucifer!

Details:

  • As seen last issue, Professor X is spelunking in Eastern Europe, hunting someone named Lucifer.
  • Meanwhile, the X-Men have sailed across the ocean to join Xavier.
  • When Xavier finally finds Lucifer, he learns that Lucifer has connected a gigantic “thermal bomb” to himself. If his heartbeat stops, the bomb will explode and destroy a continent!

  • Xavier informs his team of this complication before they attempt to come to his rescue.

  • And that’s when the Avengers show up! They tracked an unknown (and dangerous) power signature all the way from America, and they aim to stop it.

  • Naturally, the two teams engage in a pointless fight.

  • Elsewhere, Xavier succeeds in taking out Lucifer without impacting his heartbeat.

  • Xavier then contacts Thor to explain why he commanded the X-Men to fight the Avengers.

  • Thor and the Avengers agree to stop fighting and leave the situation in the hands of the X-Men.

  • With Xavier’s guidance, Cyclops is able to destroy the bomb’s fuse, saving the day.

  • Xavier then let’s Lucifer go free. The end.

Is It Good?

Yes and no. Mostly no. But the fight scene between the X-Men and Avengers was fun, and I liked that everyone acknowledged that the Avengers could easily defeat the X-Men in a serious battle.

But the rest of this issue is pretty awful. The plot makes no sense. Why did Xavier go after Lucifer alone, but then instruct the X-Men to join him? Why not just search for Lucifer together? Why let Lucifer go, after he threatened to destroy life on Earth? Why is Thor willing to listen to Xavier, but not Cyclops?  The script seems to just be trying to justify a confusing flow of action, and that doesn’t make for a good story.

Continuity:

  • This is the first time the X-Men have met (or fought) the Avengers as a team.
  • Iron Man has met Angel before (Tales of Suspense #49) and communicated with the team briefly (Avengers #3). He referenced neither instance in this issue.
  • Thor almost met the X-Men when he fought Magneto, but they just missed him (Journey Into Mystery #109).
  • This is the first appearance of Lucifer. We know nothing of his background or his abilities. He seems to have advanced technology, though, based on his subterranean workshop.
  • Lucifer is responsible for Professor X losing the use of his legs. We don’t get specifics in this issue.

  • Thor is using his hammer as a divining rod again.

  • Angel is not worthy enough to lift Thor’s hammer.

  • Professor Xavier is still using mental projections to see things his physical body cannot.

  • We have a Marvel Girl pin-up this issue:

Comics Are Goofy:

  • I like that this issue shows us that Professor X is no invalid —- he can take problems on head-first! I’m not sure that I like the notion of him having a “go-go-gadget” stunt wheelchair that he doesn’t use most of the time, though. I certainly would use it anywhere and everywhere I could.

  • This issue has some seriously high stakes.

  • That’s a lot of alliteration for the middle of a fight.

  • The X-Men allow Lucifer to go free because they have pledged to not cause injury to another. They are a paramilitary group trained to fight, Xavier! You just instructed them to fight the Avengers! You basically threatened Luficer when you told him that you’re not “even” with him!  You make zero sense, sir. And now, the next time Lucifer harms an innocent, you bear some responsibility.

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