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X-Men #29 (1967, February)

September 9, 2012

Any comics or arc of other comics you want me to review, let me know. For today, by Thomas, Roth, Tartaglione, and Rosen, “When Titans Clash!”

When Titans Clash!

Is the Super-Adaptoid cross-eyed? And is Mimic blasting from his nose?

It starts with them going ice-skating. Bobby sucks at skating, and Hank isn’t much better. Warren flirts with Jean, and Scott slips away to test if he can control his beams. He can’t, though at least his eyelids are now able to keep them in check. He freaks out and blasts a hillside, causing a rock slide that almost kills him.

X-Men #29

Scott freaking out about his eyes always entertains me.

He takes it as a reminder that he’ll need to be an uptight wad forever. The rock slide also disturbs the Super-Adaptoid, hiding away in a cave from AIM. He remembers being imbued with the ability to evolve others into beings like himself, and decides to start in on that. The others head back to the school, while Iceman stays on the rink to skate around in his ice form. The Super-Adaptoid shows up, and Iceman freezes him solid then heads back to get the others. They don’t believe him.

X-Men #29

Womp womp.

The Mimic picks a fight with the rest of the team, now that the snow has oddly all melted. Very convenient weather they have in Westchester County, it seems. Anyway, Xavier has it up to here with Cal and his attitude, and kicks him out.

X-Men #29

Cold enough for ice skating, not so cold that Xavier needs a jacket.

The others start playing with a football, and the Super-Adaptoid shows up. He boasts about having the powers of four Avengers. Of course, one of those Avengers is Hawkeye, so I don’t know if he should boast about that part. He defeats them with a gas arrow, though, so I guess he knows how to use Hawkeye’s “powers.” For the record, he has the powers of Captain America, Hawkeye, Goliath, and Wasp. Which means a shield, some arrows, height, and wings. The Mimic shows up, wanting permanent powers. The Super-Adaptoid starts changing him, but Mimic changes his mind and fights back. The Super-Adaptoid is beating him up, and about to steal his powers, but it backfires as a result of Mimic’s powers being artificial. Mimic loses his powers but is caught by Angel. The Super-Adaptoid likewise loses his own powers, but no one catches him before he lands in the water.

X-Men #29

Robots were melodramatic, back in the day.

The Mimic is gone forever (until he gets his powers back in a few years), but Cal has finally learned not to be a jerk. Hurrah.

Pretty meh issue, overall. Super-Adaptoid is such a cheesy villain, even for the time. He’s supposed to be this emotionless android, but he’s got purpler prose than Doom. It’s hard to take him seriously when he’s so melodramatic. Beyond that, the issue is mostly a way of writing Mimic out of the book, because Thomas wasn’t actually allowed to keep him. Thomas actually did want to expand the X-Men’s ranks, but Stan Lee told him no. It might have been interesting to keep Mimic on the team. He was arrogant and combative, which put him very much at odds with the rest of the team, but hey, that was Hawkeye’s whole purpose on the Avengers, and it worked for them. Cal getting a longer arc where he learns to be a better person might’ve been interesting to read. Just think of what sorts of relationships he might have formed with the others. But nope, we couldn’t get that.

As usual, Roth is a competent visual storyteller, but an uninteresting artist. He doesn’t care much about backgrounds. And he and Thomas apparently forgot that this story is supposed to take place in, at the very least, late autumn. We do see some trees without leaves at one point, and when the team starts playing football, it looks like there’s a snowy patch. But everyone’s running around without jackets. Including Xavier. It’s weird, and it’s kinda lazy. Makes me think they just didn’t put much thought into it.

The series plods along.

  1. This issue makes clear that, before Rogue was born, the idea of a mutant capable of imitating the powers of the other mutants already was in the air.
    It is rather frequent that an awesome idea peeps out in a humble and discreet way, before being exploited heavily and in a good way. For example, if you read Daredevil # 219, you can see that in 1985 Frank Miller had already in mind a lot of the typical themes and ideas of Sin City… but those ideas needed some time to mature, before flourishing in the unforgettable masterpiece that Sin City is. I tend to avoid the word “masterpiece” because, like the word “cult”, nowadays everybody employs it too often, so it lost a lot of its significance, but Miller’s 80s works are among the very few ones that really deserve this definition.
    Are there any other examples that come to your mind?

    • Well, the Dark Phoenix Saga is an obvious masterpiece. The Death of Gwen Stacy’s up there. Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery has, to me, attained that status. Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run comes pretty close. There are also a lot of individual issues that I would rank as masterpieces. Uncanny X-Men #303 was an amazing story.

      I wonder if, perhaps, Mimic was part of Claremont’s inspiration for Rogue.

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