Uncanny X-Men Issue #15 (December 10, 1965)
Story By: Stan Lee Art By: Jack Kirby and Werner Roth
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: Part Two of the first X-Men vs. Sentinels storyline! The world’s strangest teens have penetrated the rogue robots’ citadel, but it’ll be a lot harder to escape!
Characters Introduced in This Issue:
Master Mold: Master Mold is sentinel whose primary purpose is to be a sentinel-creating factory. Like the other sentinels, Bolivar Trask created him. There have been three separate Master Molds in the Marvel Universe to date.
-Powers: Master Mold has all of the powers of the other sentinels as well as the ability to create sentinels.
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Bolivar Trask, Sentinels, Professor X, Iceman, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel
In this issue, the X-Men break into the sentinel headquarters and try and stop them from creating an unstoppable army of robots. In their first attempt to penetrate the sentinel base, Iceman and Beast are taken prisoner.
The Master Mold takes Beast and shoots him with a ray that makes Beast tell the truth and asks Beast to tell him about the young mutant’s history so that Master Mold can learn all of his secrets. However before Beast reveals the location of Xavier’s mansion, Professor X is able to disrupt the truth ray with his mind.
While Beast is interrogated, the remaining X-Men are able to break into the base and free Iceman. However as the issue ends, the sentinels blast the X-Men onto the ground with a strong gravity ray and the young mutants are defenseless. The last two panels show Master Mold ordering Trask to make an army of thousands of sentinels. This issue ends this way with the first big cliffhanger of the series.
This issue was a step down for me compared to the last few issues. Although I enjoy the concepts of sentinels and Bolivar Trask, a lot of things were not done well in this issue.
Firstly, Professor X’s mental projection power continues to be ridiculous and annoying. In these early issues, Professor X is able to release a mental projection of himself out of his body that can go and do things in the real world. It is bizarre and seems like too much power. Thankfully it seems like this issue is limiting this power by saying that if Professor X’s projection is destroyed, Professor X will go brain dead.
The next annoying thing with this issue is that the sentinels’ chain of command is ridiculous. The X-Men break into the sentinel base and a sentinel encounters them. Instead of attacking the mutants, the sentinel is confused and goes to report to the section leader for orders. You’d think that the sentinels would be programmed to be able to make some decisions on the fly.
My final problem with this issue is Beast’s history. Although it was different for the comic to break from the traditional mold of their stories and give us some backstory, Beast’s history isn’t all that interesting. In high school Beast was bullied for being different. He became a star football player because of his powers but this caused people to realize that he had powers. Professor X saves Beast from his peers and brings him to the school. Beast’s story is basically exactly the same as the backstory of every other mutant. I didn’t need to see this many panels about it.
One great thing that this issue did was to place the first building blocks to get rid of the sexism in X-Men. There are multiple panels in this issue where Jean asserts herself and breaks from feminine stereotypes. This is a step in the right direction for female characters in X-Men.
Overall this issue wasn’t that great, but I have hope that the sentinel saga will end on a high note.
A Few Final Notes:
1. I enjoyed Cyclops’ makeshift ladder.
2. Professor X should not be able to shut down machines with his mind. That is not in his power set.
3. It’s nice to see that Beast’s parents love him even though he is different.