Uncanny X-Men Issue #36 (September 10, 1967)
Story By: Roy Thomas Art By: Ross Andru
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: The X-Men need money so they can fly to Europe and save Professor Xavier, but how will they raise the funds?
Characters Introduced in This Issue:
*Mekano: Mekano is a small time villain who only appears in this one issue of comics.
-Powers: Mekano’s powers come from a suit he stole from a research ability. His suit gives him super strength and agility.
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Factor Three, Professor X, Iceman, Beast, Angel, Cyclops, Jean Grey
This issue begins with two burglars trying to steal from Xavier’s mansion. Beast thwarts the intruders quickly and the X-Men use Cerebro to wipe their minds and hypnotize them to turn themselves in.
After disposing of the burglars, the X-Men realize that they do not have enough money to get overseas to save Professor Xavier. The team ponders how to raise money for their trip and they split up to make some money.
Angel tries to get a welfare loan, but they are turned down.
Then Cyclops, Angel, and Jean try to be construction workers but they realize that they cannot work on a construction site without being part of a union.
Finally, Iceman and Beast become street performers to make money.
However the mutant duo’s act is cut short when a villain named Mekano comes onto the scene and declares that he is going to destroy a library in the area. Mekano claims that Iceman and Beast are his accomplices and the police arrest Iceman.
The rest of the team battle Mekano in the library and after sensing defeat, Mekano tries to flee by jumping out of a window onto a nearby ledge. Unfortunately for Mekano he slips to the ledge and begins to fall towards his doom.
Luckily, Jean is able to save him and it is then revealed that Mekano is the son of the philanthropist who built the library and this has all been a stunt to get his father’s attention. Mekano’s father thanks the X-Men for saving his son and he gives them the money to go to Europe.
This issue was absolutely horrible in every single way. Since when do the X-Men need money for transportation? They seem to have plenty of jets and helicopters and boats. Also, Xavier is rich. I know that he is currently prisoner, but is there really no money of Xavier’s around they could use?
It was a bit funny to see the X-Men trying to get jobs, but it was also ridiculous. The X-Men should not need to resort to manual labor for money.
It was also crazy that Warren thought he could get a welfare loan. His parents are unbelievably rich. He should not be exploiting the system. Warren says that he can’t get money from his parents because they are on vacation and I know that this is a pre cell phones and internet area but he should still be able to reach his parents.
Along with the terrible money searching scenes, Mekano is a horrible villain. He is just a whiny kid who wants his daddy to notice him. I was not impressed. His powers were also boring and ordinary. The X-Men should have been able to dispose of him much faster.
My final major problem with this issue is that Cerebro continues to have vast abilities that don’t quite make sense. Since when has Cerebro been able to wipe people’s memories?
There are quite a few subpar issues in this first run of Uncanny X-Men. This issue might be my least favorite issue I’ve read so far. I’m starting to long for the Chris Claremont era that is coming soon.
A couple final notes:
1. Angel continues to be characterized as a brash and arrogant man who always rushes into danger without worry.
2. One of the burglars actually says “I’d better make like a banana and split”.
3. It was way too easy to arrest Iceman. Bobby declares he can’t escape because he’s too tired from using his powers. Really?
16 thoughts on “Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #36”
It never ceases to amaze me how super heroes can fail at capitalizing on their powers for monetary gain.
Besides the heroes that are billionaires and the occasional heroes with clearly defined jobs like Daredevil and Spiderman, comics tend to be very vague as to how heroes make money.
I always sort of assumed that Prof X gave the X-Men some kind of stipend to live off of and that Prof X got most of the money for running his institute by defrauding scholarship and grant programs. By posing as an institute for higher learning, I’m sure he was able to get a lot of state money, especially if there was a lottery in the state. By having X-men either be registered as students or professors, whether they attended classes or taught or not, I’m sure Prof X was able to launder that money into things like upgrades to cerebro and the danger room. All telepaths are dangerous sociopaths. We only think some aren’t because they’re manipulating us.
I don’t think the professor would ever run a money scam or steal from anybody. He’s way too noble and honest of a man to do that. I always assumed his money was old time family money and that he was just so rich that he could afford to keep things running. It wouldn’t be very ethical for super heroes to launder money from the government. I do agree that telepaths are extremely dangerous, but I’ve always thought of Professor X as one of the Marvel characters with the most morality. With the exclusion of a few stories that show Professor X’s dark side, I think he is a noble man.
See, he’s used his powers to fool even you!
You can tell Roy Thomas was just crapping out scripts left and right for Marvel at the time. The X-Men had a lot of silliness early on, but this issue encapsulates the word “campy.”
Yeah I’m really starting to hate Roy Thomas. Campy is definitely the word. I really hope Uncanny X-Men gets out of this slump soon.
It was the Silver Age. A lot of comics from the Silver Age were incredibly hyperbolic at best and godawful at worst.
Wow, you aren’t kidding–a quick check confirmed Mekano never returned. A sorry thing in a world where every walk-on loser from the Silver Age seems fated to return.
The idea of “broke super hero” is the sort of thing Marvel played with a lot during the 1960s, but it sounds like this time they blew it. As you say, the Xmen had transportation in other issues. And yes, any ship should be reachable by radio back then.
It does seem like having money shortages ought to generate interesting stories for superheroes; I like the idea for this issue much more than I like the issue as summarized.
What a weird title! Usually, if you say So-and-so Lives, it implies that he/she is someone you knew before but thought was dead! Wouldn’t, say, “The Menace of Mekano” make more sense? Or practically any other title! If Roy Thomas named this as well as wrote this, he’s the worst!
Roy Thomas is definitely the worst
I looked up Roy Thomas in Wiki. Apparently, he has a lot of success later on. He actually started at DC, then Stan Lee hired him. He apparently gets better on X-men, about the time that Neal Adams is his artist. Then he has a very nice run on Avengers. In 1981, he has a fight and goes back to DC. All told, he’s won quite a number of awards… But he’s still not very good right here!
I’m glad to hear he gets better later!
He almost couldn’t help doing that! Can you conceive many ways that he could get worse? 😉
Actually yes, I have seen much worse, though not from Thomas.