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X-Men #48 (1968, September)

October 13, 2012

Last issue focused on Iceman and Beast. This one’s about Cyclops and Marvel Girl. It’s titled “Beware Computo, Commander of the Robot Hive!”

Beware Computo, Commander of the Robot Hive!

Those robots sitting in the fetus position are almost cute.

It starts with Jean working as a model, because that’s what Marvel’s female characters did back then. Modeling, acting, dancing – really anything to show that they’re attractive, and no need for them to worry their pretty little heads with thinking. They can leave that to the menfolk. Women should be seen, and not heard!

I’m starting to rant, sorry. Back on topic. Jean thinks about what’s happened. We learn that Hank and Bobby were sent to California, she’s in New York with Scott, and Warren’s a “roving agent” – probably just Duncan’s way of getting rid of the dead weight. Jean took the modeling job as an excuse to be away from her own family. Scott shows up while some guy’s hitting on Jean, and threatens the guy. The other models start hitting on Scott, and it’s Jean’s turn to show jealousy.

We then cut to an underground base, where a giant computer wakes up three robots. Back to Scott and Jean, who muse that they gave good performances. Scott is now apparently working as a radio reporter, despite, you know, a total lack of any credentials that we’re aware of. Oh well. He takes her to the station and talks about the advantages (Jean instantly goes to look at a record, because sexism), which comes under attack from the robots we saw earlier, who are there to steal a new transmitter being delivered. Scott and Jean jump into action as Cyclops and Marvel Girl, and destroy two of the robots. The third one escapes, but they follow it. They find a sand pit, and after a moment of doubt, Cyclops notices how dead it is, and blasts open a door into a tunnel. The robot they tracked is destroyed for failure, and then its buddies spot Cyclops and Marvel Girl. They fight, and Cyclops realizes he needs to destroy Computo to stop the rest. He manages to do it, and Computo stands revealed as Quasimodo, a rather lame robotic villain created by the Mad Thinker and given a body by the Silver Surfer. Quasimodo runs away after letting in an underground river, expecting the pair to drown, but Marvel Girl levitates them out.

This was a pretty good issue, aside from my bristling at the sexist standards of the time. Good characterization. The plot was bland and generic, but whatever. The important part, arguably, was seeing Scott and Jean interacting.

The back-up details the Beast’s powers. His powers are in his hands and feet. His feet grant him enhances speed, as well as allowing him to bound and bounce around. He can climb buildings, and fall from great heights without hurting himself. He also has enhanced strength, for punching people. In addition, his feet, while huge, possess a great deal of coordination, allowing him to write and type with them. He’s also very intelligent, and apparently had 37 patents by this point. He also loves the arts, and spends a lot of time reading classic literature. He does remark that spreading his interests so much keeps him from deciding what he wants to do with his life.

On an amusing note, the promo for the next issue is for Beast and Iceman to go up against “Metoxo, the Lava Man.” That doesn’t actually happen. Ever. In fact, the next issue has Mesmero, and introduces Lorna Dane.

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