Uncanny X-men Issue #17 (February 10, 1966)
Story By: Stan Lee Art By: Jack Kirby and Werner Roth
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: The first Sentinel Saga is over, but metal can be dangerous even when it’s not in the form of robots! Just ask…Magneto!
Characters Introduced in This Issue: None
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Magneto, Professor X, Iceman, Beast, Angel, Jean Grey, Cyclops
This issue takes place directly after the events of issue 16. The X-Men are wounded after their battle with the sentinels and the army brings them to the hospital where they recuperate.
While in the hospital, Professor X senses something strange at his mansion and sends Angel to investigate. Angel arrives, but is incapacitated by an unknown villain when he crashes into glass plating.
After losing mental contact with Angel, Professor X and Cyclops then return to the mansion and are also defeated by traps that were specifically made for them. Professor X gets his brain shut down by a machine and Cyclops gets trapped in a dark chamber full of glass walls. Cyclops tries to resist capture, but is knocked out by a punch from the mysterious villain.
After not hearing from the Professor in a while, Jean Grey fears the worst and she and Beast go back to the mansion. Beast is defeated by running into a hallway that is full of completely frictionless surfaces. Beast cannot slow down or stop and he crashes into a trap door. Jean is knocked out by sleeping gas.
While all of this is happening, Iceman is in a coma in the hospital.
As the issue ends, the villain sends the captured X-Men into space in a steel space craft with the intention that they will eventually run out of air and die. In the last panel, Angel’s parents come to the mansion to visit their son and Magneto answers the door, revealing that he is behind this plot.
In this issue I am happy to see the return of Magneto, but there is one big problem with this comic. Issue 17 feels more like a lead in issue than an issue that works on its own. It seems like the sole purpose of this issue is to build suspense for issue 18.
Not much actually happens in this issue. Half of the panels take place in a hospital and aren’t that exciting. I only needed one panel with Professor X trying to pretend that he doesn’t know the X-Men.
The traps that Magneto sets for the X-Men are interesting, but the X-Men really don’t put up any fight. They seem helpless against Magneto. It also seems a bit strange that the X-Men would go to the mission in small groups instead of together. They use the injuries to try and explain why they did this, but besides Iceman they all seem to heal fast. They definitely could have all (except Iceman) went to the mansion together. If they did that, they may not have become trapped.
This issue successfully made me very excited for Iceman to face off against Magneto by himself in the next issue. This is the biggest cliffhanger that X-Men has had yet and it is an exciting one. However, I wanted more out of this issue. This was not a bad issue, but it was not the best I’ve read.
A few final notes:
1. They are really setting up Iceman to succeed. There were a few panels where Iceman mumbled in his coma that he needed to make his fellow X-Men proud. I assume Iceman will save the day in the next issue.
2. Beast is the only one who still acts sexist towards Jean.
3. Also Beast’s large vocabulary is starting to annoy his fellow X-Men.