Uncanny X-Men Issue #3 (January 10, 1964)
Story By: Stan Lee Art By: Jack Kirby
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: Introducing the Blob! The X-Men’s first try for a new recruit turns the mansion into a circus!
Characters Introduced in This Issue:
*The Blob (Fredrick J. Dukes): The Blob is a former circus freak who later becomes a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
-Powers: The Blob has superhuman strength, endurance, and great resistance to physical injury. The Blob’s elastic skin is extremely difficult to penetrate with gunfire, missiles, and even Wolverine’s claws. The Blob proclaims himself immovable and it is indeed nearly impossible to move him without his consent.
Recurring Characters: Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, Iceman
This issue begins with the young X-Men training with Professor X, just as the previous two issues began. These training sessions serve as a great way for the comics to showcase the different powers of the X-Men.
Once their training is done, Professor X sends them on a mission to try and recruit a mysterious mutant that he has discovered. The X-Men go to the circus to find this mutant and after some searching they find the Blob, who is working as a circus freak. In his show, the Blob gets shot on stage but the bullets do not penetrate his skin.
After a brief scuffle with Cyclops, Jean Grey is able to convince the Blob to come with them to see Professor X. The Blob shows Professor X what he can do with his powers but when Professor X asks him to become an X-Man, the Blob refuses and runs away from the mansion.
The Blob then gathers an army of his fellow circus freaks and comes back to Xavier’s mansion to steal their secrets. A large battle ensues and the X-men have a difficult time defeating a man that they are unable to hurt. However in the end they are able to trap him by Cyclops blasting a whole in the ground below where the Blob is standing. While he is stuck, the Professor is able to erase the memories of the circus freaks so they will no longer remember where the mansion is.
This issue is definitely another step in the right direction for Uncanny X-Men and is much better than the first two issues. The Blob is a villain that is a new and interesting challenge for the X-Men. They have to find a way to defeat a villain that they cannot knock over or hurt. The Blob is also the first villain to take the battle back to the mansion. I do find it funny though that the comic describes the Blob as one of the greatest villains of all time, considering that he is more of a laughing stock nowadays in the comics. I guess that he was very unique at the time. Like the Vanisher, the Blob looks a little silly in this issue. Also, there is one panel where the Blob inexplicably has no hair too.
It is interesting to note that Cyclops is afraid of how powerful he is in this issue. He is also afraid to get to close to Jean because he doesn’t want to hurt her. It was pretty great that Professor X is worried that he is so grim though because Professor X has been grim throughout the entire series so far.
In a few panels Professor X’s eyes are shown watching over the places that he is watching with his mind. The effect is very cheesy and reminds me a bit of The Great Gatsby. I hope that doesn’t continue for long.
Another interesting Professor X moment is that he has a thought bubble where he confesses that he is in love with Jean. This is both very strange and creepy. Jean is a teenager at this time and is much younger than the Professor. Also I don’t remember this happening at all in the more recent comics. I hope they don’t continue that story thread.
Once again Professor X saves the day in the end by erasing a villain’s memory, but this time he needed the help of the X-Men before he could do this and that is what makes this a better issue than the first two issues.
And one final thing, this issue gave us some priceless animals versus X-Men fights!