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X-Men #57 (1969, June)

October 27, 2012

So apparently a guy in my program brought a bottle of Crown Royal to class the other day. That takes a special kind of stupid. Today’s issue is “The Sentinels Live!”

The Sentinels Live!

That’s an awesome cover.

Lorna’s in her apartment, bemoaning her fading magnetic powers. A pair of Sentinels bust in and captures her. Back in Egypt, the X-Men are astonished that Alex destroyed in moments a temple that took decades to build. Alex is angsting about his power, and thinking of what he could do to a person, since he doesn’t know how to control his power. A local police chief arrives on a camel. Apparently, he’s friends with Abdol, the Pharaoh. Abdol demands Alex be killed. Alex blasts the cops, and the X-Men start fighting them. In the chaos, Alex runs away, and Cyclops lashes out at the cops. Alex is hiding in a cave, angsting some more. A Sentinel shows up to grab him. Cyclops remembers Cerebro, and contacts Lorna to ask her to set it for long distance, but their viewscreen shows her apartment is wrecked and Lorna’s nowhere to be found, which causes Iceman to freak out. The X-Men split up, with Iceman and Beast heading back home in their weird flying tub thing, while the other three continue their search for Alex on foot.

When Beast and Iceman reach Lorna’s apartment hours later, a pair of cops are there. Iceman freezes their guns, and he and Beast try to leave. One of the cops throws a chair, which hits Beast from behind and knocks him out the window. Iceman saves him with an ice pole. The two of them head to a place Scott has in the city, to hole up and plan. Hank turns on the news, and there’s a report about a federal judge named Chalmers setting up a Council on Mutant Activities. Chalmers believes mutants are a threat, based on the results of a 5-year study he’s done. Larry Trask is brought on, and he accuses mutants of killing his father, Bolivar Trask (X-Men #14, 15 and 16). Larry declares the Sentinels live – and the issue ends with a Sentinel watching Bobby and Hank through the window, like a creepy stalker.

This is kind of an odd issue. There’s plenty going on, but not a lot really happens. It mostly seems to be set-up for the Sentinel arc. It’s not bad. It’s got some fairly solid characterization, even if Alex’s angsting was annoying. The art’s good. There’s a particularly good page showing Beast falling out the window. It’s a great lay-out, with the panels stacked on each other to give a sense of falling. Really nice work by Neal Adams.

The back-up is a special on Marvel Girl’s powers. It was written by Linda Fite, an ex-Marvel staffer (and wife of artist Herb Trimpe). This wasn’t the first comic she wrote – she did a Kid Colt story in Rawhide Kid #67, dated December 1968. She also wrote four issues of The Cat in 1972-73. Anyway, it starts with her using her telekinesis for . . . cooking and cleaning. Wow. Then she shows the combat utility. Deflecting attacks, unlocking doors, levitation. She also shows off her telepathy, knocking some dude out. Then she switches to civilian clothes and uses her telekinesis to stop a purse-snatcher. And, finally, there’s a line about her being attractive. Because ’60s.

Before I go, one last thing. My absolute favourite band, the Heartless Bastards, just released a new video, for their song Marathon. I love the song, and the video’s actually pretty fun. Since they’re my favourite band, I figured I’d post the video here. Enjoy.

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