Uncanny X-Men Issue #31 (April 10, 1967)
Story By: Roy Thomas
Art By: Werner Roth and Dan Adkins
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: Jean Grey’s college flame Ted introduces her and the X-Men to his brother Ralph, but there is more to Ralph then meets the eye. His hatred of Iron Man leads to Ralph becoming the Cobalt Man!
Characters Introduced in This Issue:
*Cobalt Man (Ralph Roberts): Cobalt Man was an inventor who specialized in nuclear radiation involving cobalt. His dream was to create a suit like Iron Man’s suit that was made of Cobalt. Ralph used to work for Iron Man and has always had immense jealous towards Tony Stark.
-Powers: Cobalt Man’s suit has many of the same abilities as Iron Man’s suit, including flight, superhuman strength, durability, and energy beams.
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Ted Roberts, Professor X, Iceman, Jean Grey, Angel, Cyclops, Beast
In this issue, the X-Men are once again given their traditional vacation by Professor X. The team uses this opportunity to go on a variety of dates.
While this dating is going on, Jean Grey’s college flame introduces her, Cyclops, and Angel to his brother Ralph. Ralph brings the gang to his laboratory where he has created a suit that is similar to Iron Man’s suit with the exception that it is made out of Cobalt.
After hitting his head, Ralph goes crazy and decides that he is going to destroy Iron Man. He declares himself as Cobalt Man and heads to Star Tower. Ralph’s brother Ted warns the X-Men that Cobalt Man’s suit will explode if it is warn for more than two hours.
The X-Men confront Cobalt Man at Stark’s headquarters and are able to defeat him by short-circuiting his suit. The issue ends with the comic hinting that Ted Roberts might know the secret identities of the X-Men.
This issue of Uncanny X-men was another bad issue. I did not really enjoy the Iron Man knock off villain. He wasn’t very interesting and he was very easy to defeat.
I was also annoyed that Iron Man wasn’t featured in this issue. Cobalt Man attacks Iron Man’s home base, but Iron Man does not defend himself because he is off on a date. This issue would’ve improved greatly with an Iron Man team up.
The one thing I did enjoy about the issue though were all of the dates that the X-Men went on. I always enjoy when Iceman and Beast go on double dates with Zelda and Vera. Once again, the foursome goes to the beatnik club and the results are very funny.
I also enjoyed the awkward tension filled dinner between Jean Grey, Ted Roberts, Angel, and Cyclops. Jean has to choose one of them eventually. Angel decides that he is done chasing Jean in this issue and Roy Thomas gives Angel a new girl to show his admiration to.
I really hope that the implication that Ted knows the X-Men’s secrets is true. That would be an interesting twist to the Jean Grey love triangle/square/every man in the Marvel Universe loves her situation.
It seems like Cyclops might finally profess his love to Jean soon, but it could still be a while.
The dating scenes were good and there were some funny moments in this issue, but Cobalt Man was a disappointment so I only give this issue 2 stars out of 5. However Juggernaut is returning in issue #31 so I can’t wait for that!
A few final notes:
1. Professor X is playing matchmaker with Jean and Scott. He sends Cyclops to Jean to bring her books just so Scott might profess his love to her.
2. Beast pulls a Sherlock Holmes.
3. Beast dances like an ape.
4. Cyclops and Jean hitch a ride.