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X-Men #30 (1967, March)

September 10, 2012

Any comics or issues you want to review of other Marvel comics, let me know. For today, by Thomas, Jack Sparling, Tartaglione, and Simek, “The Warlock Wakes!”

The Warlock Wakes!

I’m amazed at how ridiculous that cape is.

It starts with a giant hand appearing and drawing them towards it. Jean is wrenched away from the others, and lands beside Xavier. The Warlock makes his appearance, confesses his love for Jean, and puts her in a trance to make her easier to manipulate. So, basically, he’s a magical date-rapist. Ah, the ’60s. Such an innocent time. Anyway, the Warlock summons some mutated horses and the three of them head for his hidden base.

X-Men #30

Don’t make a My Little Pony joke, don’t make a My Little Pony joke. . . .

Angel catches up, and the Warlock lets him tail along. At his base, they find criminals wearing suits of armour and carrying Tommy guns. Were Tommy guns still used in the ’60s? (From what I can tell on Wikipedia, the classic Tommy gun, with the round magazine, seemed to have been replaced by newer models with regular magazines.) He then explains that he’s going to conquer the world using an Ultimate Weapon. He gives his quick history, saying he used to be known as Merlin, and he fought Thor upon waking in the modern world (in Journey Into Mystery #96, September 1963). His plan is to return the minds of humanity to the time of King Arthur, so they won’t know how to use any weapons that could stop him. Also, he fantasizes about it.

X-Men #30

He fantasizes about praising his own genius.

Angel tries to kick his ass, but his wings catch fire and he dives into a nearby underground stream. The Warlock realizes he’s lost his mental contact with Xavier. When he goes to investigate, he finds Xavier passed out. Then the rest of the X-Men appear, but the Warlock uses his powers of suggestion to keep them from moving, and also presumably making Cyclops and Iceman forget they can attack at a distance, since they don’t even try. The Warlock says they’re going to be part of gladiatorial games, and that if they survive, he’ll cancel his plans of conquest. They fight some thugs with horses and electric lances and stuff. They go after the Warlock himself, and he retreats. Jean manages to break free of his control to save them from a tower he knocks over on them, and when he tries to regain control, Cyclops blasts him, Beast restrains him, and Xavier knocks him out.

X-Men #30

“Fine! I didn’t want to date you anyway!”

The Warlock is such an incel. He calls a woman “female” unironically, believes he’s owed her affection just because he thinks she’s hot, and then insults her when she turns him down. Also, Jean notes that Scott seemed worried about her while she was the Warlock’s prisoner, and wonders if he loves her, but, “for some unknown reason,” hasn’t told her. Jean. Jean. It’s not a big secret. He’s bad at emotions. He hasn’t told you because he’s not sure how. A lot of people are like that. How do you understand Scott so little?

This issue is, frankly, idiotic. It’s even more contrived than most comics of the time. It’s terrible writing, with things happening just because they need to happen that way in order to advance the plot, rather than flowing in any logical or organic manner. Jean, as The Team Chick, spends most of the issue a captive of a guy who wants to bang her. Speaking of which: She’s, like, 18. The Warlock was an old dude even before he spent a thousand years asleep. Gross, dude. He looks like he’s in his 40s, and he’s trying to mack on a teen. Gross. Not that comics back then weren’t full of stories like this. Villains trying to force a young woman into loving them were pretty common. This is, I’m pretty sure, the first time it happened to Jean, and it’s a shame they ended up going that way with her. At least she managed to free herself from his control, rather than needing someone else to snap her out of it. Kudos on that? And hey, Angel was less useless than usual. He didn’t get grabbed by any bad guys. He was tricked into thinking his wings were on fire, but I’ll give him a pass on that. Angel also spent quite a lot of time in this issue carrying Xavier around. Which was way more useful than he normally is.

Sparling’s art is, uh, actually not bad. I think I like it more than Roth’s art. He doesn’t seem to have done much for Marvel. The Marvel Wikia lists 11 comics, and three are reprints. He seems to have had a pretty good career, though. He was Canadian, so that certainly makes me think better of him. And yeah, he was good. Felt a bit more refined than a lot of ’60s artists. Still, he did a good job drawing a stupid story.

Yeah, this comic just kinda sucked.

  1. cj wilson permalink

    any value then?

    • Not particularly, no. But the Roy Thomas run had little value in general. He was much, much better on the Avengers, Thor, and other books. He did do some good work when he returned to X-Men near the end of the series.

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