X-Men #52 (1969, January)
A girl had a total break-down in one of my classes today. Just started screaming at the teacher and the class out of nowhere. Even said we were going to pay. It was bizarre, and hilarious. Then during my following class, the fire alarm went off. Coincidence? Or the start of her revenge? Anyway, today’s issue is titled “Twilight of the Mutants!”
Mesmero has his goons trying to stop Erik the Red, the mutant invading Magneto’s base. He wipes the floor with them, and fires a blast that sets off a chain reaction that begins to destroy the base. Mesmero and the others run, while Erik the Red continues on. Lorna feels torn. She believes Iceman’s comments about Magneto being evil, but feels duty-bound to serve her father. I continue to be confused by this line of reasoning, which pops up everywhere. If your parents are doing illegal and unethical things, I’m pretty sure that releases you from any obligation to help them. Oh well. She threatens to kill Erik, but Erik says he’s there to join Magneto. She talks to Magneto, and he chooses to let Erik join, for the time being. Erik declares himself leader until Magneto recovers from the debris that fell on him in the previous issue.
Marvel Girl gets a telepathic message from Cyclops saying to begin “Operation Twilight,” and she sends Beast and Angel into action. The three of them meet up in Magneto’s base and watch from hiding as Lorna tells Mesmero to follow Erik’s command. After Magneto’s followers are gone, Erik finds the X-Men, and we learn that it’s Cyclops in disguise. They lay out copper tape along the floor, and plan to electrocute Mesmero and his goons when they come in. Iceman arrives first, with news for Lorna, and gets zapped by accident. Mesmero and his goons show up while the X-Men worry about Iceman, and a fight breaks out. Mesmero stuns both Angel and Beast with his mental powers, before Marvel Girl strikes back with her own. Magneto and Lorna are watching the fight on a screen, and he sends her to beat the X-Men. She runs into Iceman, who reveals that he did some digging, and learned that Magneto wasn’t really her father. Her birth parents died in a plane crash, and she was brought up by her aunt and uncle. Hey, just like Spider-Man! Anyway, the X-Men have their backs to the wall, when Lorna shows up to take down Mesmero’s goons. Magneto gets angry and escapes, and Lorna’s taken back to the school. Happy endings, yay.
Lorna disappears for a few issues after this, without much explanation where she went. The issue itself is pretty good. The plan the X-Men hatched was neat, and the fighting was cool.
The back-up continues Hank being abducted by El Conquistador. Conquistador tells Hank to retrieve a power source for him, and Hank refuses, but learns his parents are being held captive. Xavier picks up Hank’s distress, then uses Cerebro to get a direction. Hank sneaks into the lab where the miniature nuclear reactor is being held, but is discovered. He manages to escape with the mini reactor, and brings it back to Conquistador, who refuses to release Hank’s parents, and plans to continue using them as leverage over Hank.