Uncanny X-Men Issue #57 (June 10, 1969)
Story By: Roy Thomas and Linda Fite
Art By: Werner Roth and Neal Adams
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: The Sentinels return! And this means trouble for Havok and Polaris. Plus an overview of how Jean’s powers work.
Characters Introduced in This Issue: None
Recurring Characters in This Issue: The Living Pharaoh, Sentinels, Havok, Polaris, Jean Grey, Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast
This issue begins with Polaris being kidnapped by Sentinels.
The story then goes back to the desert where issue 56 ended. Havok is distressed about how powerful he is and how he was able to blow up the entire headquarters of the Living Pharaoh with little effort.
When the Egyptian police arrive at the scene, the Living Pharaoh convinces them that the X-men are the bad guys and the X-Men are forced to fight the Egyptian authorities.
During the fray, Havok runs away and hides in a nearby cave. While in the cave, Havok is also taken prisoner by the Sentinels.
Trying to find Havok, Cyclops tries to contact Polaris to have her use Cerebro to find Alex, but when they can’t reach her they realize that she is missing. Iceman gets extremely worried at this news and he and Iceman leave Egypt together to try and find her.
While they are investigating Lorna’s apartment, Bobby and Hank are attacked by the police and are forced to flee the scene. Wondering why the police were after them, the two mutants turn to the television and they find out that Bolivar Trask’s son Larry has declared that all mutants are evil and that he has recreated the Sentinels to contain the mutant threat.
The issue then shifts gears to show us a little bit about how Jean’s powers work. We see many of the benefits that Jean’s telepathy and telekinesis have.
Although I am very excited that the Sentinels have returned, this was another subpar issue. First off, this issue was way too overly dramatic. I understand that Havok’s powers can be a burden, but he is definitely overreacting a bit in this issue. All of the X-Men had troubles with their powers at first, but they all overcame them eventually. And Havok will too with some time.
Iceman is also very extreme when it comes to Lorna’s disappearance. I understand that Polaris is in danger and that Iceman cares about her, but I thought Roy Thomas took Iceman’s panels where he worried about Lorna a bit too far. It would have been much more powerful if she didn’t exaggerate it so much.
My other big problem with this issue is the section of the issue about Jean’s powers. This section is unbelievably sexist, which is very shocking considering that this issue was written by a woman. The issue shows Jean using her powers to do very stereotypical womanly duties like cooking and cleaning.
It also plays up Jean’s beauty and emphasizes that her looks are a very important part of her character.
Despite these big flaws in the issue, I am intrigued by the return of the Sentinels so I give this issue 2 stars. Hopefully the next issue is an improvement over this one.
A couple final notes:
1. Does Lorna really wear her Polaris costume around her apartment all the time?
2. It is really creepy that the X-Men have cameras in Lorna’s apartment.
3. I enjoyed these panels of Beast falling out a window.