X-Men #58 (1969, July)
I’m going to go see Video Games Live tomorrow. I’m pretty excited. I may not end up posting an entry tomorrow, though. But for today, “Mission: Murder!”
Beast and Iceman are attacked by a Sentinel, while Larry Trask continues to bloviate on the TV. He talks about how powerful the Sentinels are, and indeed, the one attacking Beast and Iceman shows its power, in a sequence with a fantastic layout. Iceman tells Beast to get out of there, and Beast reluctantly agrees. Moments later, the Sentinel leaves, carrying Bobby. Hank calls the others, still in Egypt, and tells them about the Sentinels. Angel decides to fly back to the US, rather than waiting a few hours for a flight, because Angel’s an idiot. Judge Chalmers is talking to Larry Trask on the phone, and expresses second thoughts about what they’re doing. Trask lets Bobby out of a steam-filled tube, and explains the tube robs Bobby of his powers for 4 hours. Bobby’s tossed in a cell with Alex, who’s wearing an odd costume. His new codename that Trask gave him is Havok. Lorna’s in there, too. Alex and Lorna explain that Alex made a deal with Trask in order to save Lorna, who was delirious when she was brought in. While Bobby argues with Alex, a Sentinel grabs Alex. He gets angry and blasts the Sentinel. Trask blasts Alex with a beam that charges him to repel cosmic rays.
As a result, Professor Abdol, on a news program, starts absorbing the rays again, and starts turning back into the Living Monolith. A pair of Sentinels spray him with a liquid adhesive that keeps him from absorbing the cosmic rays. Another pair captures Angel in a net. Another Sentinel bursts into the base of Magneto and Mesmero. Magneto turns out to have been a robot, and Mesmero gets captured. Judge Chalmers arrives at Trask’s base, and voices his concerns again. Trask freaks out. The other three X-Men are found, but not yet attacked. Trask talks about the medallion he wears, and says his father made him vow never to remove it. Banshee shows up and takes down a Sentinel with his sonic scream, but is taken down by two others. Trask orders the Sentinels to destroy all mutants in the vicinity, and Chalmers decks him and grabs the medallion. He reverses his order, but the Sentinels decide to carry it out anyway. They also tell Trask that he’s a mutant.
This is a good issue. Adams does some great layouts, and some generally great art. The characterization is . . . well, only OK. Still not much of it. But the story and plotting are good. And there is still some really good characterization, like Hank’s guilt over abandoning Bobby (a scene made better by Adams’s art). The pacing is much better than during Thomas’s prior run. He’s sticking to the plot, rather than going off on unrelated adventures. The end of the back-up features also means more pages for story, which is a plus. The back-ups were fun, but they did mean less story in each issue.