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X-Men #25 (1966, October)

September 3, 2012

Any issues or arcs of other Marvel comics you want me to review, let me know. Today, after taking a couple days off to get moved into college, by Thomas, Roth, Ayers, and Rosen, “The Power and the Pendant!”

The Power and the Pendant!

He’s gesturing dramatically! Look out!

The issue starts with the X-Men driving Jean back to college, and come across a burning orphanage, because sure. Orphanages were always catching fire back in the day. It was actually the leading cause of death among orphans, and wow, I feel really bad about myself after that joke. “Dead oprhans, ba-dum-tish.” Anyway, these orphans don’t die! So that’s good. The X-Men rescue them. Jean still can’t figure out if Scott cares for her.

X-Men #25

Yeah, who could figure out his mysterious behaviour.

I’m always amused by Jean’s inability to understand that some people are just no good at feelings. She’ll figure it out eventually. When she gets back to the school, Ted meets her, and she thinks that maybe she’ll adjust to a normal life after all. Like I said, the guy’s good rebound material. Warren, meanwhile, distracts himself thinking about her.

X-Men #25

Xavier doesn’t need telepathy to know what Warren’s thinking about.

We hop down to Central America, where a treasure-hunter known as El Tigre, and his two buddies (Ramon and Toloc), find a hidden pyramid to the god Kukulcan. They find a buried treasure under a stone slab. There’s also a bit of stone that looks like one half of an ornament. His buddies try to tie him up in his sleep, but he causes their rope to tie them up. The gem he picked up earlier allows him to translate some writing speaking of a pendant.

Back at the school, Cerebro goes off. Xavier tries to go downstairs with his mechanical leg braces, but they give out. And this is the last time they’re ever mentioned. Which is kinda odd. Thomas and Roth brought them in, and then seemed to change their minds about it. It’d be interesting to know why, but I assume they just figured the braces offset his disability too much. Which is fair. Anyway, Cerebro can’t pinpoint the signal, so Xavier sends the team into the city. El Tigre arrives in New York City while the X-Men look for anything unusual. Scott grabs a newspaper and drops his glasses, to show us how dangerous his eye beams are, in case readers hadn’t picked that up throughout the previous 24 issues. A news report talks about an inexplicable fight breaking out in a club, and a photo shows El Tigre. The X-Men guess that he’s the one they’re looking for. Xavier tells them he’s at the museum, so thy go to beat him up. And they make the classic mistake of splitting up to search for El Tigre. Because that doesn’t always go badly. Beast has his feet tied up with a bola, then knocks himself out with one of the bola balls. Iceman is almost hit by a thrown machete, trips down a flight of stairs, and hits a brick wall.

X-Men #25

Good effort, Bobby.

Angel’s knocked out with a poison dart. On the plus side, he actually avoided flying into a wall. He’s actually doing pretty well, these past couple issues. Cyclops is held at gunpoint by a mind-controlled guard while El Tigre grabs the other half of the amulet. He puts the pieces together, and is possessed by Kukulcan.

Sadly, the series continues to be mediocre. There’s some vital element missing from it, to keep it from being great. The dialogue is mostly pretty standard for the era, feeling generic. The art is weak. But I think the biggest problem is just how lame El Tigre is. He and his buddies are just not the least bit interesting. And it makes it really hard to care about the issue.

  1. I recently read this and several like it in the Marvel Omnibus edition. It seems hard to believe that anyone could mess up the formula that Lee and Kirby introduced in the first dozen issues of the series, but Thomas sure did. Apart from a few gems, I think you could skip from issue #20 to #50 and not miss a beat.

    • Unfortunately, I have to agree. And Werner Roth’s art was pretty weak, to boot, just to make it even worse. It’s a shame. But I’ll keep barreling through them!

      And on the plus side, it was still better than Chuck Austen’s UXM run. Not that that’s saying much, but I can always remind myself that this could’ve been so, so much worse.

      • Good luck to ya! That said, if you survived Chuck Austen, I think you can get through this!

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