Uncanny X-Men Issue #47 (August 10, 1968)
Story By: Gary Friedrich Art By: Werner Roth and Don Heck
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: Iceman and Beast’s double date gets interrupted by the return of Merlin! And also a behind the scenes look about Iceman’s powers.
Characters Introduced in This Issue: None
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Merlin, Vera, Zelda, Iceman, Beast
This issue begins with Iceman and Beast going on a double date with Zelda and Vera. They planned on going to see a magician named Maha Yogi perform, but the show was sold out. Iceman puts his name in to receive tickets if someone cancels and the four young folk go to their favorite beatnik café instead.
At the beatnik café, Beast insults a poet and a couple café dwellers start a fight. Iceman short circuits the power and turns off the lights so that Beast and Iceman can fight their attackers without anyone noticing their powers and the mutant duo defeat the bullies.
After they leave the café, the young mutants and their dates discover that some people did in fact cancel their tickets to Maha Yogi’s show and they can now go.
As the show begins, Iceman and Beast recognize the magician’s voice and realize that the performer is actually Merlin in disguise. Merlin is planning on hypnotizing the crowd to do his bidding, but Boby and Hank interfere with his plans by attacking the ancient wizard.
After battling for a short while, Iceman is able to defeat Merlin by overloading the villain’s ears with too much sound.
After Merlin is stopped, Iceman and Beast resume their double date.
The issue then shifts to some pages about Iceman’s powers. Friedrich showcases all of the things that Iceman can do with his powers.
Friedrich also uses this issue to explain that Iceman’s powers come from the part of his brain that does internal temperature control. He is able to use this part of his brain to control the temperature outside of his body as well. Bobby’s ice comes from cooling the natural water vapor that is always in the air.
This issue of Uncanny X-Men was not the best, but it had some good moments. I always enjoy when Bobby and Hank go on double dates with Vera and Zelda and this was another fun one. It was also great to see the foursome go to their usual beatnik café that is always amusing.
I also enjoyed Iceman’s power explanation pages. Iceman has a really cool power set and it was nice to see it explained.
This issue was the first issue that only featured a couple members of the X-Men instead of the whole team, but I didn’t mind it as much as I thought I would. Iceman and Beast were entertaining enough that I did not need to see the rest of the team in this issue.
My main problem with this issue is the same problem I had with the last Merlin issue and that is that Merlin is a very boring villain. In this issue, Merlin uses his powers to hypnotize people and create illusions. Mastermind also does this and he does this better.
Another bad thing about this issue is that once again Merlin is defeated in a very easy and ridiculous fashion. Iceman defeats Merlin with noise. Really? Noise? How come the noise was so loud that Merlin couldn’t take it, but everyone else in the room seemed to be fine? Why is Merlin so wimpy?
Thankfully there were enough good parts of this issue that this issue wasn’t 1 star quality of bad. Vera and Zelda are always great, Iceman’s humor was on point in this issue, and I now know how Iceman’s powers work. All in all, this issue wasn’t good, but it wasn’t too bad.
A few final notes:
1. Beast and Iceman are pretty bummed about the X-Men being disbanded.
2. A good Iceman line.
3. This panel points out why illusion powers can be so powerful.
4. The public is on the X-Men’s side for once.
5. Vera and Zelda are starting to get fed up with Iceman and Beast’s strange behavior. I hope they don’t break up yet though.
6. I love that Iceman addressed the audience directly in his power pages.
7. The issue ends with the comic hinting of a Human Torch-Iceman face off and also of space travel in the X-Men’s future.