X-Men #7 (1964, September)
Issue 7 has the return of the Blob, in a story creatively titled . . . “The Return of the Blob!” Clearly, titles were something Stan didn’t really care about. Anyway, by Lee, Kirby, Stone and Simek, “The Return of the Blob!”
It starts with the X-Men graduating, and I want to go off on a small tangent here. In the first issue, Iceman’s age is given as 16, and he’s said to be a “couple years” younger than the others, suggesting they’re all 18. (This has since been changed, and Cyclops, years from now, will say he was 15 when he became an X-Man. But that’s beside the point.) So how is he graduating with the others? Maybe it’s a petty complaint, but dammit, those are the best complaints.
Anyway, Xavier announces he’s leaving. Then we check in on the Brotherhood, where Mastermind is macking on the Scarlet Witch. (Do kids still say “macking”? Did kids ever say “macking”? I’m so old.) Magneto acts like a dick, then we go back to the school, where Xavier shows Scott Cerebro. It’s designed to locate other mutants, but at this early stage, it doesn’t require a telepath. It’s also kinda stupid-looking. Then Scott is told he’s the leader, because he possesses the quality of leadership. Apparently, being leader requires he constantly sit at a desk, listening to Cyberno beeping away.
Wait, I thought it was Cerebro? Dammit, Stan, it was two pages earlier! Also, this might just be me, but I feel like Warren kinda shipped Scott and Jean:
Then we see Magneto at a carnival. Someone asks who he is, and he gives the awesome response, “I am – power!”
Then the Toad actually kicks some carny ass. Blob joins the Brotherhood, and Scott decides to contact everyone. Hank and Bobby are at a coffee shop, making cracks about the bad poetry of Bernard the Poet.
The freaky hippies get excited about Hank’s feet when he takes his shoes off. They declare him the leader of their new movement, the Barefoot Beats.
Meanwhile, Bobby forces himself to flirt with Zelda, while wearing what can be charitably described as “a suit.”
Warren comes to let them know Scott needs them, which allows Hank to escape this:
This whole scene is so weird. But it’s great. I like the Cafe A Go-Go. It’s a lot of fun.
The X-Men all regroup and go after the Blob. After a little bit of fighting, where Angel once again gets grabbed by the Blob:
Magneto starts chucking missiles at them. Seems a bit much, but if you’re going to be evil, you may as well go big. Also in the fight, Jean again grabs Quicksilver telekinetically. And Angel once again proves his utter uselessness.
After some more fighting, Magneto hurls the rest of his missiles, and ends up hitting the Blob as the X-Men hide behind him. The Brotherhood leaves, and the Blob decides to return to the carny life.
This issue has a few developments. First is the introduction of Cerebro, even if it’s not quite the version we’re familiar with, and even if Scott does call it “Cyberno.” Second is the introduction of the bohemian coffee shop that Hank and Bobby hang out at, including Zelda and the poet, Bernard the Poet. The coffee shop becomes a recurring location, and provides for some running gags. Finally, of course, Cyclops becomes the leader of the X-Men. This comes, in many ways, to define who he is as a character, for good or ill. We also see more of his angst about his eye beams, and the mutual unspoken attraction between Scott and Jean.