Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #66

Uncanny X-Men Issue #66 (March 10, 1970)

Story By: Roy Thomas

Art By: Sal Buscema and Marie Severin

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Brief Description: Hulk is on the rampage, but he is the only one who knows how to save Professor X! Can the X-Men stop Hulk in time to save their mentor’s life?

Characters Introduced in This Issue:

*The Hulk (Bruce Banner): The Hulk is a physicist named Bruce Banner who turns into the giant green monster called the Hulk for the first time when he is accidentally caught in a blast from a gamma bomb that he invented. The inspiration for Hulk came from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Bruce has many parallels to this classic character. Bruce Banner turns into Hulk when he gets angry and he is not always able to control the green monster.

-Powers: Hulk has the potential for limitless physical strength and durability.

Recurring Characters in This Issue: Polaris, Havok,Professor X, Angel, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast

Synopsis:

This issue begins with the X-Men surrounding Professor X’s bedside, mourning the fact that he is in a coma.

Trying to figure out how to save the Professor, Jean probes Xavier’s mind and discovers that Bruce Banner is the key to saving Xavier.

The X-Men (minus Polaris, Havok, and Iceman) then seek out Hulk and battle him in the streets.

They do not fare well in the fight until Jean is able to revert him back to Bruce Banner with her mental powers.

Bruce then reveals that there is a device that he and Xavier invented that can save Professor X, but before he can take them to his lab, the military shoots Bruce and turns him into the Hulk.

Hulk then runs to the desert with the X-Men in pursuit. The X-Men battle him in the desert until they are able to crush him under a pile of rubble from a nearby cliff. Inside the cliff they find Banner’s lab and realize that even though Bruce was in Hulk form, he still subconsciously led them to the device to save Professor X’s life.

They bring the device back to the mansion and Professor X awakes from his coma!

Review:

This issue was a nice conclusion to the Silver Age of Uncanny X-Men. It was fun to see the X-Men face off against the Hulk and save Professor X’s life. The Professor is always saving them so it was great to see the tables turned.

My favorite part of this issue were the fight scenes between Hulk and the X-Men. Hulk is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe and it was great to see the X-Men kick his butt.

My other favorite part of this issue was the love triangle panels between Iceman, Havok, and Polaris. The tension finally comes to a head in this issue and it is great. Poor Bobby is going to lose this fight with Alex and it is actually pretty clear why Lorna prefers Alex. Bobby is very possessive and hot headed when it comes to Lorna. Alex on the other hand gives Lorna her space and seems to respect her more.

My only major problem with this issue is that Polaris and Havok once again do not go on the mission with the rest of the X-Men. Their excuse this time is that they need to protect Professor X from his enemies, but any of the X-Men could have done that. Havok and Polaris are never used well in the Silver Age. They are more like scenery than actual characters.

Other than that though, this is a solid issue. It didn’t blow me away, but it was a satisfying end to the original run of the X-Men. Now it’s time for the Golden Age of Uncanny X-Men!

 

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11 thoughts on “Review of Uncanny X-Men Issue #66

  1. Regarding Bobby, I think it’s really interesting how the characterization/descriptions of these characters has been creatively changed over the years. They’ve stayed similar in many ways, but writers have managed to change/improve things as well. For instance, I look at some of the ways in which the male characters act around the female characters and it seems ridiculous to me that they would do that, being more familiar with their more recent versions.

    Also, now I understand what Rachel and Miles from the podcast meant about Havok’s horrible hat. Oh dear.

    • Yeah the male X-Men used to be pretty ridiculous when it came to women. Haha and yep it is pretty crazy. Also Rachel and Miles are the best! I just caught up to the current podcast and I’m sad I have to wait for new ones now.

  2. Alex Wei says:

    You can see how some characters kinda worked and some were having trouble jelling. Angel has not in my view hit any kind of sweet spot yet, and I’m not sure Iceman has either. As for Havok, that “hat” never worked; but I guess nobody cared enough to give him a makeover yet.

    • Yeah Angel falls flat every time. And as my favorite new podcast (Rachel and Miles X-plain the X-Men) said, all he ever does is fly and try and dodge things while he is flying. And sometimes he can’t even do that. I love Iceman on the other hand. He isn’t quite fully characterized yet, but he is funny and I like his powers and his friendship with Beast. (Although Beast can be annoying at times). Who knows why Havok never got a proper costume change. Most other characters get them all the time.

      • I like Havok’s costume circa 220s.

        But, Angel, come on! He had a bazooka from the get go! He deserves more credit. He flies to scout ahead, he can get the drop on the bad guys, he’s good at rescues. He also can fight. A team with Angel is stronger than a team without one. Sometimes his wings can be used to smack peeps, sometimes he has enhanced senses.

        I’d like to see the 05 with power levels scaled back a bit. Remember when powers would tire them out? How much better would All New X-Men have been if their oower levels were way lower? (And written by someone besides Bendis?)

  3. It’s always two parts: the power mix and the personality. We’re interested in characters, not only because of their powers, but because we care about them as people, and that means they must have something like a personality that we like and can, to some degree, predict. These personalities don’t have to be deep and complex, like a modern psychological novel; some of our best are frankly cartoonish (sorry!) but they have to be there to the extent that we feel these are live people trying to cope with their world.

    So when they make up a character, or do a makeover, they play with both parts; the personality and the powers. If someone is underpowered or overpowered, that can be adjusted, but personality can be adjusted too. In DC, Green Arrow used to be a somewhat underpowered and flat heroic character. His powers have not really changed, but his personality has become brash and interesting, if sometimes annoying! I should also mention the look. Green Arrow’s newer personality also works with his facial hair; he used to be clean-shaven.

    The look aspect goes to Havok’s problem. Who doesn’t feel that he is always somewhat goofy, given that “hat”?

    • One thing I’ll say is that it actually doesn’t feel like an ending. Like there should be another issue or two after this. But that’s what X-Men: The Hidden Years was for, I suppose.

      • Egad! Hidden Years.

        I just can’t say I like Byrne’s art or writing on that book. It was also annoying how he separated the X-Men (cribbing from Claremont?) and the Storm stuff was silly in many ways.

        Which is a shame because I love the concept: Fill in the reprint era. But he seemed to ignore his remit just like Claremont did on Forever.

    • Yeah, but at least it was quasi-finale like. It didn’t just end like a typical issue and not return. The status quo was returned and improved. They’re back at the mansion, Xavier is home, and they have two new members to boot.

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