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X-Men #55 (1969, April)

October 22, 2012

I had a mid-term today in one of my classes. I have no idea how I did. Oh well. I do know that today’s issue is titled “The Living Pharaoh!” And it features the return of Roy Thomas.

The Living Pharaoh!

Mr. Manhattan’s looking a little ill.

Cyclops is a little surprised to see the Living Pharaoh. The Pharaoh wants Cyclops to join him, Cyclops fights him. Up above, the police and X-Men are both looking for Cyclops. The police mention the corpus delecti has gone missing, because Thomas loved that phrase and worked it in where he could. Jean makes mental contact with Cyclops, distracting him long enough for the Pharaoh to beat him up. The Pharaoh has his goons carry Cyclops and a sarcophagus to the airport, and onto a plane. There, he dumps Cyclops out of a crate, with a skintight hood over his whole head. The Pharaoh leaves him alone, and Cyclops hears Alex in the sarcophagus. Jean makes contact with Cyclops again, now that he’s awake, and the X-Men in their plane follow the jet. The Pharoah blasts the X-Men’s plane, and they crash into the water below.

He takes Cyclops and Alex to a pyramid, predictably, and threatens to kill them. He leaves Cyclops and the sarcophagus in a room filling with water. Cyclops slams his head against the sarcophagus until it breaks open, freeing Alex. They fight through the Pharaoh’s goons. The X-Men show up to help out. Angel takes the Pharaoh out of the fight momentarily by spinning him around and tossing him away. The Living Pharaoh raises his ankh to kill Cyclops and Alex, and Alex lets loose some waves of force from his hands. The Pharaoh’s knocked off the pyramid and caught by Angel, who wonders at the Pharaoh’s weakness. And then Scott tells Alex he’s a mutant.

Roy Thomas has returned, and his first issue back was pretty standard. Little character work, mostly just fighting and talking about fighting. I will say that Thomas’s second stint ends up being better than his first.

The back-up continues Angel’s origin. Warren is already in costume, calling himself the Avenging Angel, flying around in search of a crime to stop. He uses a gas gun to knock out a bunch of crooks, then uses a punch to knock out one who tries to get away. We get a quick flashback of him buying an apartment, designing gas pellets out of ping-pong balls, and getting some practice flying at night. Scott and Bobby talk about the reports of a guy with wings, and wonder if it’s a mutant. Warren stops another crime, a break-in at an atomic institute. He drops his gas gun, and flies through the gas to get it. He feels a bit funny, but shakes it off as he leaves with the vial the crooks were stealing. He plans to return it the next day, but when he returns to his apartment, Cyclops and Iceman are waiting for him.

And, as an aside, Quicksilver makes a cameo in Amazing Spider-Man #71 in the same month. He arrives in New York, and thinks back on the escape from Magneto’s exploding base. He, Wanda and Toad landed on a small island, and talked about being outcasts. Toad suggests proving they’re not villains, and Quicksilver decides to go see the Avengers. He reaches the Mansion and learns the team’s in Africa. As he wanders the streets, he sees a headline about Spider-Man being a menace, and decides to show his heroism by bringing Spider-Man in. Quicksilver pummels him with his super-speed, and easily dodges Spider-Man’s attacks. He runs around Spider-Man at high speed to suck the air away from him. Spider-Man throws out his arm to stop him, knocking Quicksilver out. When Quicksilver wakes up, he realizes he made a mistake in going after Spider-Man, and decides to find another way to redeem himself.

  1. Just curious, what courses are you taking?

    Also, it seems like the X-Men fought a lot of weird villains in the early years instead of mutant related villains. I wonder if that’s part of the reason it was cancelled in the mid-60’s.

    • I’m in a Library and Information Technician program. So, this semester, I’ve got Introduction to Libraries, Reference, Acquisitions, Cataloguing, Communications, and French. And a online Environmental Citizenship course.

      And yeah, it’s possible that the drift away from mutant-related stuff may have contributed to people not caring.

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