Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #50

 

Uncanny X-Men Issue #50 (November 10, 1968)

Story By: Arnold Drake                                                    Art By: Werner Roth and Jim Steranko

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Brief Description: Polaris is born! But will she fight on the side of good or evil? Also the origins of Beast part 2!

Characters Introduced in This Issue: None

Recurring Characters in This Issue: Polaris, Mesmero, Magneto, Iceman, Beast, Angel, Cyclops, Jean Grey

Synopsis:

This issue begins with Mesmero strapping Polaris to a device that will make her latent mutant powers fully develop. While this is happening, Iceman is held as prisoner of Mesmero.

Soon after Polaris’ procedure starts, the X-Men find Mesmero’s base and break in. While fighting Mesmero’s minions, Jean decides that they need to be defeated and be taken prisoner if they want to find Bobby alive. So the X-Men allow themselves to be defeated and they are brought before Mesmero.

When they reach Mesmero, the villain releases Polaris from the machine and reveals that she is the daughter of Magneto. Mesmero orders Polaris to destroy the X-Men. However Polaris attacks Mesmero and his goons instead.

After Mesmero is defeated, this part of the issue ends with Magneto entering the building. The X-Men are shocked to find him alive. 

The issue then shifts gears to the origin story of Beast. In high school, the football coach realizes that Beast is great at sports and Hank quickly becomes the star of the football team.

One day at a football game, some thugs try to rob the box office of the game. When the police come, the burglars run through the football stadium to escape. Noticing the crime, Beast incapacitates the crooks with his powers.

The issue ends with two mysterious villains watching the football game on the news and planning to recruit Beast to join their evil team.

Review:

The continuation of the Polaris saga was just as good as the first issue in the story. Mesmero continued to be an interesting villain and Polaris finally has her powers! Polaris seems to be an extremely strong mutant and is easily able to defeat Mesmero and his army. I’m hoping that she will face off against her father in the next issue and I can’t wait for that battle.

Beast’s origin story also continued to entertain. I am intrigued by the two mysterious villains that want to recruit Beast. I wonder when Professor X, Iceman, and Cyclops will step in to help Beast too. 

I only have a couple small problems with this issue and they both involve dumb plans. I don’t agree with Jean Grey’s strategy of getting themselves captured to save Bobby. They were winning against Mesmero’s army and they totally could have defeated them and still found Bobby.

I also disagree with the burglars’ plan to run through the football stadium in Beast’s origin story. How is that an escape plan? They were basically running into a giant enclosed area with no way out. They must not have been very bright.

Overall, this was a good issue and I can’t wait for the Polaris-Magneto story to continue. 

A few final notes:

1. There are a lot of Mesmero and Magneto Hitler comparisons in this issue.

2. I’m not a fan of Polaris’ first costume.

3. Beast was a troublemaker as a child.

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13 thoughts on “Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #50

  1. I don’t dislike the costume, but it seems to suffer from being hard to draw consistently in different angles and poses. It looks fine on the cover, but awful on that page, like they forgot that the sash doesn’t wrap around the arm on the left side.

  2. Alexander J. Wei says:

    Magneto’s not very good at instilling love for himself among his children! And as we later find out that he is Jewish and suffered the Holocaust, his resemblance to Hitler is ironic… Yet quite just, actually! After all, don’t they both talk about making their master race dominant over all?

    I agree with Kevin about Polaris’ costume. The face thing is nothing, not attractive, not cool. And that halter-sling thing is just impractical ( as many of the women’s costumes are) yet without being, again, sexy or attractive. There’s a reason she’s not dressed like this later on.

  3. The cover always makes me think of Star Trek. “It’s . . . it’s . . . . it’s green.”

    I found this issue a bit sloppy. It seemed to be designed to make two revelations: That Magneto’s alive, and Polaris is his daughter. Both of which would be revealed as false. And then both of which would later turn out to be true.

    As for the Beast back-up, one of the criminals has a grenade. How easy was it to get a grenade in the ’60s? I mean, really, how does some shmuck robbing a high school ticket counter get an actual grenade?

    • Yeah it was kind of sloppy but I still enjoyed it. It is ridiculous though that they will soon say that this “Magneto” is an android and Magneto was never Polaris’ father and then even later than that they reveal that Magneto really is alive AND Polaris really is his daughter. Confusing continuity points there.

      Haha and that’s a good point about the grenade. How did a common crook get one?

    • Justin says:

      That is sort of what happens when editorial intervenes and decides Polaris shouldn’t have an ‘evil father’.

  4. Alexander J. Wei says:

    A number of villains have rebellious children. Satan’s son in Marvel, Damon Hellstrom usually opposes his father while his sister is mostly on her father’s side. Shang Chi, the son of Fu Manchu, is against his father, while his sister is definitely evil, although not always loyal to the father. OTOH, the children of Reed and Sue Richards are usually loyal to the family.

  5. I like the crucifix symbolism/imagery they’ve incorporated into the device Polaris is strapped to.

    Regarding the children of villains, I usually like the tension in stories between parents and children who disagree with them on some issue, so I’m hoping there’s something along those lines in this story. I remember that Tabitha from X-Men: Evolution has a dad who tries to get her to use her powers to help him commit crimes. She didn’t end up being one of the very major characters, but there was an episode dedicated to that. Wanda in the same show resents her father Magneto, who locked her away in an asylum from a young age and spends a great deal of time trying to get revenge on him and her brother Pietro. Also, there are the Runaways, a superhero team made up of the children of villains.

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