Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #63

Uncanny X-Men Issue #63 (December 10, 1969)

Story By: Roy Thomas

Art By: Neal Adams

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Brief Description: Magneto has returned and he plans on creating an army of mutant swamp men. Can the X-men stop him before it is too late?

Characters Introduced in This Issue: None 

Recurring Characters in This Issue: Magneto, Ka-Zar, Iceman, Beast, Angel, Cyclops, Jean Grey

Synopsis:

This issue begins with Magneto relishing the fact that he tricked Angel into facing off against the X-Men.

When Angel meets up with the X-Men Ka-Zar does not trust him so he attacks him. After a short battle, Angel tells them the story of how he fell to his supposed death until a mysterious man saved him. Angel’s story is interrupted though when the swamp men attack them.

Angry that he was tricked, Angel goes off on his own to confront his “savior”. He soon finds out that the man who saved his life is Magneto and that he is planning on making an army of mutant swamp men.

After defeating the swamp men, the rest of the X-Men join Angel to fight Magneto, but they are hypnotized by a new mutant Magneto created named Lorelai.

However since Jean is female, she is not affected by the hypnotic siren. Jean and Magneto battle each other until Jean is able to blow up Magneto’s mutant creating machine by opening Cyclops’ visor with her telekinetic powers. Magneto’s base blows up and he theoretically “dies” again.

Review:

This issue was a good one, but it wasn’t as good as Issue 62. There should never be an issue featuring the Savage Land that does not include any dinosaurs.

Instead of getting dinosaurs in this issue we get the swamp men, who are absolutely terrible. The whole group of swamp mutants are boring and lame. There is a frog man that is basically Toad if he was actually a toad, there’s a big headed smart guy who is just a worse version of the Leader, and there’s a telepath that only has power over men. Come on Roy Thomas, you can do better than that.

Even with some terrible characters though I still enjoyed most of this issue. I loved the end fight scene with Magneto against Jean. Jean rarely gets to do anything so it was great that she was able to singlehandedly defeat the X-Men’s greatest foe.

The very last panel of this issue is very interesting. It shows Ka-Zar remarking on how horrible it would be to lose one’s powers and Cyclops replies that all of the X-Men would love to lose their powers. This is a theme that permeates through all of X-Men. Mutant powers are a gift but they are also a burden and sometimes it can be too much for some of the characters to take.

Even with the stupid swamp people, I give this issue 3 out of 5 stars. And Neal Adams continues to be amazing on the art.

One final note:

1. This is apparently how Magneto survived his last “death”.

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7 thoughts on “Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #63

  1. Ka-Zar has two reactions to Angel: Punch him, and ignore him. Both reactions are completely proper to Angel.

    That final panel comes out of nowhere. They hadn’t angsted about their powers in a long time, then all of a sudden, boom, angst. It doesn’t work.

  2. Later on, Jean (or the Phoenix!) struggles with her powers, making them a nice couple. And after the Apocalypse upgrade, Dark Angel also struggles with his now evil powers; which is as interesting as Angel ever gets.

    So Magneto has MADE the Swampies into mutants? Somebody evidently doesn’t understand how mutation works! You are BORN a mutant, you can’t acquire the status. That smacks of the discredited Lamarckian theory of evolution.

    I think, despite Cyclops, that the X-Men don’t so much want to lose their powers, in general, as to cease being mutants. They feel the stigma of not being like everyone else. Later, there’s a scene of a poor mutant who doesn’t have any powers, he just looks freakish. Poor guy has the worst of both worlds; he can’t fit it, looking too obviously a mutant unlike most of the current X-Men, AND he has no powers!

    Think of it: what is a power? It’s a ability, you can do something. Only when the power carries with it some kind of curse would you want to be rid of it; because on the face of it, you should be able to just not do it if you don’t want to. (A power that forces you or at least strongly impels you to do something is what I would call “some kind of curse”.)

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