Uncanny X-Men Issue #61 (October 10, 1969)
Story By: Roy Thomas
Art By: Neal Adams
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: The first Sauron story arc concludes! Will Sauron be able to control his urge for life energy?
Characters Introduced in This Issue: None
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Sauron, Havok, Polaris, Beast, Angel, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey
This issue begins right in the middle of the action with Sauron using his hypnotic powers on Angel. He makes Angel believe he is being attacked by giant dinosaur-bug like creatures and it takes him some time to realize that they are illusions.
Once Angel breaks free of the illusion, his X-Men teammates have come to join the battle. Sauron is doing well in the battle until he runs out of the mutant energy he sucked out of Havok in Issue 60. Before he turns back into his human form, he hypnotizes Angel into bringing him back to his dr.’s office.
The X-Men minus Angel then return to their civilian garb and go check on Havok in Dr. Lykos’ office. While in the office, Tanya (Dr. Lykos’ love) arrives sensing that something is wrong.
Dr. Lykos reassures her, but Tanya’s father interrupts their reunion and states that Tanya cannot be with Karl because he is poor. Tanya then declares that she is a grown woman and she does not need her father’s permission to be with Karl. However Karl declares that he will not deserve Tanya until he is wealthier and he turns Tanya away.
After the X-Men leave Lykos’ office, the evil Dr. goes to Polaris’ apartment and sucks some of her mutant energy, turning into Sauron. The evil dinosaur then flies to Tanya’s house with the goal of killing his beloved’s father.
The X-men interrupt his murderous quest and Lykos realizes that he is becoming a monster. Determined to never hurt anyone ever again, Lykos flies to Antartica where he intends to die. Tanya knows where he is headed though and she leads the X-Men to him.
Lykos is ravenously hungry for life energy when Tanya and the X-Men arrive and he fears that he won’t be able to resist sucking away their life forces. To stop himself from attacking the others, Lykos throws himself off a cliff where we currently believe he dies.
This issue was also solid, but not as good as the top tier issues I have read so far. I continued to enjoy Sauron and his story with Tanya and her father. The Tanya aspect of his story makes him have more dimensions than most villains and this makes him more interesting. I hope Tanya is still involved in Sauron’s story when he returns again. (Spoiler. This is a comic. Sauron is not really dead).
I don’t really have anything too specific to criticize about this issue. Although it didn’t blow me away I enjoyed reading it.
A couple final notes:
1. Jean’s hallucinations are psychedelic and awesome. Also a bit of foreshadowing of Beast’s animal looking future!
2. I thought it was hysterical that Angel was acting crazy so Beast punches him unconscious.