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X-Men #26 (1966, November)

September 4, 2012

Any issues or arcs of other Marvel comics you want me to review, let me know, I’ll see what I can do. For today, by Thomas, Roth, Ayers, and Rosen, “Holocaust!”

Holocaust!

Why is arms raised the default villain pose? How about a bad-ass pose once in a while?

Xavier watches as El Tigre/Kukulcan grows more powerful. Cyclops takes down the hypnotized guard and gives chase, and is easily defeated. Then El Tigre’s buddies are next. Kukulcan returns to “San Rico,” and the Mayan ruins. Xavier calls Jean to bring some texts on Mayan history.

X-Men #26

Is there another kind of telepathy?

Is this the second time someone’s referred to “mental telepathy?” I suppose as opposed to vocal telepathy, or intestinal telepathy, or something. But telepathy pretty much is mental by design. Ted walks into the library with Calvin Rankin, and asks Jean on a date for that night. He’s pretty smooth, actually.

X-Men #26

Very smooth.

Side note: Librarians aren’t generally that strict about talking. Especially at the check-out desk. They mostly just don’t want people being loud. But regular chatting is fine. Anyway, Jean goes to the mansion with the books, and worries about Cyclops not being there. Xavier finds information on the amulet, while also delivering a valuable lesson on indices in books.

X-Men #26

*The More You Know*

Ask your librarian for advice on using indices! Anyway, the amulet. It grants the wearer with the power of Kukulcan, but also carries a curse, as the powers caused a massive disaster centuries earlier. Cyclops comes out, fully recovered, and decides that after the mission, he’ll tell Jean how he feels. Kukulcan has returned to “San Rico” (I hate made-up countries in comics), and unearthed the Solar Stone, atop a stela shaped like a plumed serpent. He clears the overgrowth from the temples, then sends out a call for people to come to the old city to worship him.

The X-Men have arrived in the country, and start down a river to find Kukulcan. But then!

X-Men #26

Sudden jaguar!

Angel gets to do the single most bad-ass thing of his entire life by grabbing the jaguar’s tail and tossing it away. I know I rag on Angel a lot for being useless – and he is – but that’s still pretty cool. Later, Beast slides down a snake. Also cool.

X-Men #26

The snake seems pretty fine with it.

“Nah, it’s cool, bruh,” the snake seems to be saying. “That was too baller for me to be mad.” Then they fall into a hole in the ground. As Cyclops is blasting a hole out, he wonders why Angel is being a jerk to him, and Angel feels bad for being a jerk.

They finally find Kukulcan, and start fighting him. Cyclops says they can cut loose since the homo sapientes have fled. Faux Spanish, or weird typo? I prefer to think of Cyclops as trying to sound cool, and totally failing, because he’s really not cool at all. Anyway, Beast and Iceman climb up to the Solar Stone and Iceman starts covering it with ice while the others keep Kukulcan distracted. Cyclops accidentally blasts Angel. Kukulcan realizes his power is weakening, and tries to use a small tremor to knock Iceman down. He screws up, and a major tremor starts. The city starts coming apart, and everyone retreats. Angel accuses Cyclops of shooting him intentionally because they both love Marvel Girl.

The main story remains weak. The romantic angle is getting better, though. A little more interesting. And the art also remains weak. It’s nice to have El Tigre/Kukulcan over with. Lame villain. And kinda racist, honestly. A caricature. I’m sure Thomas and Roth thought they were being respectful, but . . . nope. They were being respectful by the standards of the ’60s, which means racist AF by today’s standards. On the plus side, Angel gets to toss a jaguar. Never again will he be that cool. He’s peaked. He’s had a good career over the decades, but jaguar-tossing is where it’s at. I am a little saddened that we don’t get to see Jean’s date with Ted. It would’ve been nice, I think. Oh well.

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