Uncanny X-Men Issue #52 (January 10, 1969)
Story By: Arnold Drake Art By: Werner Roth and Marie Severin
Rating 4 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: Brace yourselves for the epic conclusion to this origin of Polaris story arc! Plus the Beast is forced to live a life of crime!
Characters Introduced in This Issue: None
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Magneto, Polaris, Mesmero, Conquistador, Erik the RedCyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, Professor X, Angel
This issue begins with Erick the Red attacking and defeating Mesmero and his army of mutants. Erik crushes them with rubble and makes his way to Polaris and Magneto.
When he reaches Polaris, he tells them that he wants to join Magneto and Lorna gives this message to Magneto. In his weakened state, Magneto accepts an alliance with Erik the Red.
With Magneto’s trust, Erik the Red is revealed to be Cyclops and he and the X-Men plan on electrocuting Mesmero’s army with a trap. However Iceman, who was off on a mission of his own, comes in early and accidentally electrocutes himself.
Mesmero’s army than comes in and attacks the X-Men. As the X-Men begin losing the battle, Iceman seeks out Polaris and tells her that he has found out that Magneto is not really her father. Realizing that she has been fighting for the wrong side, Polaris turns on Magneto and incapacitates Mesmero and his army.
In defeat, Magneto flees and his base self-destructs.
The issue than shifts to more of the origin of Beast story. Conquistador has Beast’s parents hostage and forces beast to steal a piece of high tech electrical equipment that Conquistador plans on using to take over the world.
Beast succeeds in stealing the device to save his parents, but when he returns to Conquistador, the villain reveals that he will never release Hank’s parents and Beast will now have to be his loyal servant forever.
This issue was another good issue and it concluded the first Polaris saga nicely. I enjoyed the Trojan Horse concept of Cyclops pretending to be Erik the Red, even if the plan failed pretty miserably in the end. I’m a bit confused though as to how Cyclops was able to shoot energy beams out of his hands instead of his eyes.
Beast’s origin story also continued to entertain and it looks like we’ll at least get one more issue to wade through Hank’s origins.
The best part of this issue though was the Iceman-Polaris story. Iceman clearly cares a lot about Polaris and while the rest of the X-Men were plotting against Magneto and Mesmero, Iceman went back to Lorna’s home town and discovered her true origins. That is a lot of dedication.
I loved the moment where Iceman told Lorna the truth (Although not really the truth we find out later) about her and Magneto. It was also great to see Lorna completely destroy Mesmero and his army. She must be very powerful if she could defeat an army that the whole X-Men team were unable to defeat.
I didn’t have anything really to complain about in this issue. It wasn’t so amazing that it deserved 5 stars, but it was still very good. Arnold Drake created a winner in his first story arc.
A couple final points:
1. Apparently bad guys have an evil aura around them at all time.
2. Iceman and Lorna are definitely gonna date soon.