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X-Men #34 (1967, July)

September 17, 2012

Any issues or arcs of other comics you want me to review, let me know. For today, “War – In A World of Darkness!”

War - In A World of Darkness!

It’s hard to take a pretty man in a skirt as a serious threat.

The issue opens with the X-Men trying to repair Cerebro, again. Jean threatens to take Bobby and Warren over her knee if they don’t get food and sleep, a threat that’s entirely too appealing. Jean heads back to college, calls Ted, and finds out Ralph’s been kidnapped. She calls Angel and Iceman to come help. The three of them head to Ralph’s lab, where Ted tells them Ralph was grabbed by Tyrannus, an underground leader (an immortal Roman and regular Hulk foe). Then he brings them to an atomic-fitted earth-borer with plates of Ralph’s new super-cobalt alloy. They get in, and Jean calls Warren Scott. You’re a credit to your gender, Jean. Then Iceman calls him Scott. Way to go, Jean, now you’ve got Iceman screwed up.

Anyway, they head down, and run into the Mole Man. They beat up some of his Moloids. Mole Man runs away, leading them into a trap. They lose their memories after breathing in the mists of the river Lethe. Then it cuts to Ralph putting the finishing touches on Tyrannus’s robot, coated with cobalt in order to resist Mole Man’s robot of solid diamond. But Ralph has a secret. Cyclops and Beast show up at the cave entrance. Then it cuts back to the Mole Man with the three X-Men. He shows off his robot. Cyclops and Beast find the earth-borer, and safely pass the river Lethe in it.

Then we see Tyrannus’s base being assaulted by Mole Man’s robot. Tyrannus sends his robot to fight it. The cobalt robot beats back the diamond one, until Angel uses mud to blind it and cause it to fall into a hole and explode. We find out that Ralph sabotaged it. Tyrannus prepares to kill him, but is stopped by the three X-Men. Cyclops and Beast capture the Mole Man. They use a gun to reverse the effects of the mists and restore the memories of the other three. Then Mole Man and Tyrannus are both left at the river Lethe to lose their memories.

Thomas seemed to have problems sticking to the Factor Three plot. He keeps going on these digressions that don’t really advance that plot. This issue was decent as a stand-alone, but it was a little frustrating in terms of its place in the series. There’s no point to it. Xavier’s missing, so they get caught in a meaningless fight between Mole Man and Tyrannus? Why? The issue itself also suffers from jumping around constantly. There might have been too many viewpoints. On the other hand, we do get our first glimpse of Carole, Jean’s college roommate. This is also her only appearance. This is also the last appearance of Ted Roberts (though Ralph will appear in other books as the Cobalt Man again), which is actually a little disappointing.

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