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X-Men #46 (1968, July)

October 9, 2012

I actually feel a little bad that my last post before taking three days off wasn’t even about the X-Men. Oh well. I’m back, and back to the X-Men. Today’s issue, “The End of the X-Men!”

The End of the X-Men!

Another really good cover. Very striking. I’m a little surprised there aren’t more homages to it.

It starts with the X-Men in a cemetery, thinking about what Xavier’s death a few issues ago means for them. Their grieving is interrupted by Fred Duncan, Xavier’s FBI contact. Though for some reason he calls himself Amos here. I also don’t recall Scott and Duncan meeting during Scott’s origin story, but it certainly could’ve happened off-panel. Anyway, Duncan goes back to the school with them, where Foggy Nelson is waiting to read the will. Everything was donated to the students, with Scott acting as trustee of most of it.

Before we can learn what Duncan wanted, Juggernaut randomly returns to Earth in Xavier’s lab. The X-Men change to costume to investigate, and inform Juggernaut that Xavier’s dead. Juggernaut flips out and beats them around with ease. He leaves and goes to the cemetery, where he finds confirmation that Xavier’s dead. The X-Men follow him and fight him, and don’t do well, until Marvel Girl attacks him telepathically. Through his helmet. Well, Friedrich was just a temporary fill-in writer, what do you want from him? The Juggernaut grabs Angel and Marvel Girl stops, but then the Juggernaut suddenly vanishes again. Because even in death, Xavier was a living deus ex machina.

Anyway, Duncan meets up with them again and tells them to disband. He says they’re too easy a target grouped together, and they can do more good by spreading throughout the country. He’s going to send them letters telling them where to go.  Scott agrees with him, and sends everyone home. Tears.

It’s not too bad for what it is. I’m guessing Friedrich was told, when he came in, to break the X-Men up. Next issue is his last on the book, and it’s co-written with Arnold Drake, so it seems likely that Friedrich’s job was probably to bridge Thomas’s run with Drake’s. Given that, Friedrich did an OK job.

This issue also has a back-up story continuing Bobby’s origin. They’re being threatened by an angry mob, and the sheriff tells the mob to go home. The mob politely declines his request by dragging him off and dragging Scott and Bobby off to be hanged – it’s a good ol’-fashioned lynchin’! Yee-haw! Anyway, Scott and Bobby break free and run for Bobby’s house. The mob breaks off, and Xavier sends Scott a message telling him not to worry about them any more. Back at Bobby’s house, Xavier explains he wiped the crowd’s memories. Bobby agrees to join up.

On a side note, in the letters section, someone told them not to bring back Xavier, and they said there wasn’t much chance of that happening. Hah. Oh, that’s adorable. These days, of course, the question of a character like Xavier returning isn’t “if” but “when.”

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