Uncanny X-Men Issue #16 (January 10, 1966)
Story By: Stan Lee Art By: Jack Kirby and Werner Roth
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: Have the Sentinels triumphed over the X-Men, or will they be struck down from within their own ranks? Before it’s over, someone will die!
Characters Introduced in This Issue: None
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Master Mold, Bolivar Trask, Sentinels, Professor X, Iceman, Beast, Angel, Jean Grey, Cyclops
This issue concludes the first sentinel saga. As the issue begins, the X-Men are being held captive in a heavy gravity chamber while Professor X is stranded outside of the sentinels’ base.
As the X-Men try to escape from their prison, Professor X uses his telepathic power to get himself a ride back to the television station where he debated Bolivar Trask. In the station there is still a sentinel that is out of commission on the floor and Professor X investigates why it stopped working.
The Professor realizes that there is a strange crystal in a tower nearby that shut down the sentinel. With the help of the army, Professor X is able to bring the giant crystal to the sentinel base and shut down many of the sentinels.
This happens at the perfect time because this is exactly when the X-Men are able to escape their prison.
While the X-Men briefly battle the sentinels, Master Mold is ordering Trask to make him an army of sentinels. Fearing the fate of humanity, Trask blows up the base, killing himself and all of the remaining sentinels, including the Master Mold. The X-Men are able to escape the explosion unharmed.
This issue is a bit of a step up from the last issue, but I do not think that it is a very good ending to the first sentinel saga. The defeat of Master Mold and the sentinels seemed way too easy and the X-Men didn’t really do anything.
I really did not like the special “crystal” that stopped the sentinels. Where did that crystal come from? Why did it stop the sentinels? It seemed like too much of an easy way out for Professor X.
Once the crystal did its work on the sentinels, Bolivar Trask saved the day by blowing up the base. I liked this for some reasons, but I also disliked this. It was great to see Trask showing remorse and taking responsibility for his actions. It was also great to see the first definitive (maybe) death of the series. I wished to see Trask for longer, but this was a fitting end for him. What I didn’t like about Trask blowing up the sentinels was that the X-Men didn’t help out at all. While Trask was blowing up the base, the X-Men were losing their battle with the sentinels.
I think that Stan Lee could’ve found a way for the X-Men to do something in this finale issue. The comic is called X-Men, not Professor X and Bolivar Trask.
The sentinel saga started out promising, but I wanted a lot more out of the story than I got. I hope that the Days of Future Past movie does sentinels a better justice than this comic story arc.
A Few Final Notes:
1. I enjoyed the X-Men getting beat up panels.
2. Iceman is happy that Cyclops calls him a man for the first time, which doesn’t quite make sense because everyone calls him Iceman.
3. I thoroughly enjoyed this personal note where Marvel instructs you how to make a “gravity globe”.
4. Professor X continues to have connections to the government.
5. After a few issues without any sexual tension, there is some more Jean Grey-Cyclops stuff.