Uncanny X-Men Issue #30 (March 10, 1967)
Story By: Roy Thomas
Art By: Jack Kirby and Jack Sparling
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: The X-Men are taken prison by a mysterious man named Warlock and must compete in gladiatorial combat.
Characters Introduced in This Issue:
*Warlock/Merlin/Maha Yogi: Warlock is an ancient wizard who claims to be Merlin from King Arthur’s court, but is not. Warlock is 10,000 years old and is able to stay immortal by possessing a portion of a bloodgem.
-Powers: Warlock’s powers come from magic. Amongst his powers he is able to create concussive bolts, create protective shields, transmutate matter, mesmerize, control peopl’es inds, create illusions and astral projections, and many other powers. He is also a genius.
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Cyclops, Professor X, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel, Beast
This issue begins in media res with the X-Men travelling through a mysterious tunnel in the negative zone towards a giant mystical hand. The hand reaches out to Jean Grey and takes her through a portal.
We then find out that Warlock is behind this mysterious tunnel and he has Professor X captive. Warlock plans on bringing the world technologically back to medieval times and then taking over the world. He wants Jean to be his queen in the new world order and begins controlling her with his mind.
At first Professor X is helpless because Warlock is blocking his powers, but the Professor is eventually able to summon enough power to bring the rest of the X-Men out of the negative zone.
Warlock than makes the X-Men face off against his goons in gladiatorial combat. After defeating Warlock’s minions, the X-Men are able to defeat Warlock and put him into a coma where he will hopefully slumber for a millennium.
I really did not like this issue. Warlock is a strange villain with powers that seem both too powerful and very limited at the same time. He is able to completely block the powers of Professor X and have mind control over Jean Grey, but the X-Men defeat him by putting his cape over his head. Really? That’s all that it takes? I know that Professor X helps using his powers, but it still seems way too easy.
The gladiatorial combat was also pretty boring. The wizard’s minions barely even put up a fight against the mutants.
When I was a kid, I really enjoyed reading about Merlin and King Arthur, but this version of Merlin is pretty boring. There was not really anything that was that good about this issue.
A few final notes:
1. Warlock flies around on a Pegasus.
2. Beast rides around on a horse during the gladiator battle.
3. There is some more Jean-Cyclops stuff.