X-Men (Vol. 1) #11

Credits:

Cover Date: May 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Chic Stone

“The Triumph of Magneto”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Chic Stone

What’s Going On?

A mysterious, but extremely powerful, being has both the X-Men and Brotherhood of Advil Mutants scrambling to recruit him to their cause. But they maybe in for more than they bargained for with…the Stranger!

Details:

  • A powerful being (that we’ll call “the Stranger”) is trying to blend into New York City, but finds himself doing extraordinary things and drawing attention. To escape the gaze of the public, he heads to a building that seems to be drawing him in. There, he meets the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! Both Magneto and Professor X wanted to recruit this powerful being, but Magneto found him first.

  • Magneto wants the Stranger to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He and Mastermind give the Stranger a sample of their powers to convince him.

  • The Stranger does not take kindly to these displays of power. He responds in kind, shedding Magneto’s metal shackles easily and transforming Mastermind into a rock.

  • The Stranger’s actions have alarmed the public outside, which attracts the X-Men.

  • The two sides immediately begin to fight.

  • The Stranger is not amused by the fighting, and decides to leave. Out of indifference more than camaraderie, the Stranger offers to take Magneto and Toad with him as he exits.

  • When the Stranger decides to stop, Magneto tries to bully him. He doesn’t realize just how powerful the Stranger is until he starts changing size and creating materials out of thin air.

  • Magneto and Professor X were wrong —- the Stranger is not a mutant; he is an alien. He came to Earth to find mutated specimens and found “volunteers” in Magneto and Toad. The Stranger takes them with as he heads into space.

Is It Good?

It’s…something, no doubt about it. This is the second “the bad guy was an alien, all along” twist this month for Marvel (the other was in Tales to Astonish #67), but this one at least didn’t come out of nowhere. Still, this is a bizarre story that doesn’t really seem to fit the X-Men.

There were some interesting character beats in this issue with Cyclops and Iceman, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch quitting the Brotherhood was a nice payoff for a relatively long-running plot. The bigger issue here is that the Stranger isn’t a very interesting character, so when he does weird stuff, it’s not very intriguing.

I will say that I didn’t know Magneto was taken off the board this early in X-Men history. I wonder how long he’ll be gone?

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of the Stranger. We don’t know a lot about him at this point. He is an alien, he seems interested in science, he can fly/levitate, walk through walls, and project some sort of energy. He can also travel through space without a spacecraft. He is allegedly powerful enough to “shake the universe,” per Professor X.
  • The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Magneto and Toad, anyway) technically appeared last in Avengers #16 in a flashback. Their last true appearance was in Journey Into Mystery #109.
  • Magneto and Toad are last seen being taken into space, the captives of the Stranger.
  • Mastermind was also in that Avengers #16 flashback, but his last real appearance was in X-Men #8.
  • Mastermind was transformed into living stone by the Stranger, alive but unable to move. He did not transform back when the Stranger left.
  • Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch joined the Avengers in Avengers #16. Apparently, this story takes place first, and it is here that they quit the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

  • Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch refuse an offer to join the X-Men.

  • With Magneto and Toad captives of the Stranger, Mastermind turned to stone, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch quitting, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has been effectively disbanded.
  • This is the first time we’ve seen Cyclops lose control of his optic blasts.

  • Iceman is honing his abilities. In this issue, he creates an ice tube and ice stairs on command. Neither may be necessary, but they’re much more impressive than snowballs.

  • Just a reminder: the X-Men have a helicopter.

  • The Beast can hypnotize people with his acrobatics, I guess?

  • The X-Men perform security checks whenever they get home, I guess.

  • This is a teaser for the Juggernaut’s debut, next issue.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • That is a great sound effect.

  • Yes, elderly women were the ones who used a lot of slang in the 1960s. This rings true.

  • The Professor’s identity must be protected? Why doesn’t he wear a mask? And where was this concern when he fought Mastermind on the White House lawn?

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • Well, Jean, maybe it’s because Richard Chamberlain wouldn’t be attracted to you?

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