Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #14

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Uncanny X-Men Issue #14 (November 10, 1965)

Story By: Stan Lee         Art By: Jack Kirby and Werner Roth

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Brief Description: For the first time, the Sentinels walk the Earth! To protect humanity from mutant-kind, they’ve decided to conquer the world — and only the X-Men can stop them!

Characters Introduced in This Issue:

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Bolivar Trask: Bolivar Trask is an anthropologist who thought that mutants were a threat to humanity. To stop the mutant menace Trask invented the sentinels. Trask and the sentinels are the new villains of X Men: Days of Future Past.

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Sentinels: as stated above, Bolivar Trask invented the sentinels. The sentinels were originally created to capture and kill mutants but because of their extreme artificial intelligence, they also turn on the humans and decide that they want to rule the world. The sentinels have been antagonists of the X-Men throughout the decades and have killed over 16 million mutants.

-Powers: Although the sentinels are robots, they are self aware and freethinking. They have energy weapons, restraining devices, can fly, have super strength and agility, can fly, and are highly resistant to damage.

Recurring Characters in This Issue: Beast, Angel, Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey

Synopsis:

In this issue we are introduced to an anthropologist named Bolivar Trask who fears mutants and believe that they will eventually enslave all of the humans. To help bring support for his cause, Trask spreads a lot of anti mutant propaganda in the news and his efforts start to cause panic in America.

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Hoping to stop this mutant phobia before it takes control of the country, Professor X sets up a debate with Trask on national television to try and show the world that mutants are people just like everyone else.

During the debate Trask brings out his new invention, the sentinels, which he created to capture and kill mutants. The sentinels have artificial intelligence and their main mission is to “protect humanity”. Since they can think on their own the sentinels decide that the best way to protect humanity is to enslave them.

The sentinels take Trask prisoner so that he can create more sentinels and fly away, leaving one sentinel to guard the remaining humans. The X-Men arrive at the scene shortly after and have a fierce battle versus the sentinel. After defeating the sentinel, Professor X discovers where the sentinel bas is and the team heads there.

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Review:

This is another fantastic issue of Uncanny X-Men. Everything about the issue was great. I loved the introduction of Trask and the sentinels and all of the concepts that these characters bring into play. The sentinels are some of the X-Men’s toughest foes and they have always been a staple in the series. I can’t wait to see them continue to trouble the X-Men.

This issue is even more exciting because it ties in with what will happen in the upcoming Days of Future Past movie. Trask and the sentinels are the main villains in the movie and I’m excited to read more about the sentinels in the coming days before the movie.

In this issue, the time has finally come in X-Men where the humans hate mutants. There are many panels in this issue showing humans being angry at or scared of mutants.

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This comic also shows a shift in the way Professor X talks about humans. He tells Beast to never talk about humans like they are inferior. In the earlier comics, they always talk about humans being inferior, but this shift in thinking will carry on with the X-Men for the rest of the comics. The X-Men don’t hate humans. They just want to be accepted.

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One ridiculous thing about this issue is that Professor X is able to read the mind of a sentinel, who is a robot. This shouldn’t be able to happen because the sentinel is a machine. Professor X can definitely not talk to machines through their “minds” in these comics. Other than that one bizarre thing though, this issue was perfect.

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This second phase in Uncanny X-Men is showing real growth in the quality and I think the comics are only going to get better from here. It looks like this first sentinel story will be at least a 3 issue story arc and I can’t wait to keep reading.

A few final notes:

1. Professor X calls “National Television Network” and is somehow able to demand a debate against Trask.

photo 4-12. Beast and Iceman return to a beatnik restaurant that they have gone to a few times before and it is hysterical that they are there as always. This is a good running gag in the early comics that I am not quite sure if it is intended to be funny.

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3. Beast makes a Superman reference.

photo 1-1 4. And finally, Jean Grey can use her powers to fly now!

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6 thoughts on “Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #14

  1. Excellent timing, covering the comics-origin of the Sentinels so close to the upcoming X-Men movie. I’ve been waiting for those robots for a long time.

    They looked so crude early on, compared to later artistic renditions, but the Sentinels over the years have always looked a lot like the originals, which is nice.

    • Yeah they really kept the basic look of the sentinels the same over the years. Although the new movie’s sentinels look very different. What do you think of the sleek smaller sentinel look in the movie?

  2. Alex Wei says:

    These days, there actually is a National Television Network. It’s the national channel of the isle of St. Lucia, not one of the big US ones, as was clearly intended.

    I’m sure the beatnik scene was meant to be funny. About the same time, a humorous beatnik character named G. Maynard Krebs was a regular on the TV show, The Loves of Dobie Gillis. The actor playing Krebs later became even more famous as Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island. Btw, didn’t Huey Lewis and the News have a hit called “It’s Hip to Be Square”?

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