Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #58
Release Date- July 1969
Writer- Roy Thomas
Artist- Neal Adams
Iceman and Beast are suddenly attacked by a Sentinel while they are watching a report of the TV. On the TV itself Larry Trask is still explaining that mutants are a threat and that he was able to improve his father’s designs of the Sentinels and now they can adapt in the field. As he is speaking Iceman and Beast are fighting for their lives but the Sentinel is adapting against them with each passing more moment. Beast is wrapped up in a metal coil while Iceman tries to recover and on the TV Larry explains that he can remote control the Sentinels can be remotely controlled by a special helmet that he has designed. Iceman creates three ice models of himself to distract the Sentinel as he searches for Cyclops’s miniature TV sender and he throws it at Beast. When he catches it Iceman freezes the coil and Beast is able to smash it with his strength. Iceman creates an ice dome so that Beast can escape and contact the other X-Men. Beast escapes the apartment but feels guilty that he is leaving Iceman behind and when he reaches the ground he changes into his civilian clothing and sees the Sentinel flying away and carrying Iceman.
Meanwhile in Egypt Angel returns to Cyclops and Jean after a failed search for Alex. He is surprised to see that they are in their civilian clothing and he sees that Beast is on their miniature TV sender. He tells them that the Sentinels have returned and captured Iceman. Before they can formulate a proper plan Beast signs off so that he can try and rescue his missing friend. Angel is infuriated that Iceman has been captured and despite the pleas of Cyclops and Jean he flies away intending to fly back to the States and take down the Sentinels.
At that time in a secret location Judge Chambers calls Larry Trask about their televised interview and he is beginning to think that mutants are not all that bad. Larry tries to convince him that they are as dangerous as he says. As he puts the phone down he moves over to a steam chamber which is housing Iceman. As he is released Iceman makes a lunge at him but he is caught by a guarding Sentinel. Iceman discovers that he can’t ice up and Larry reveals that his powers have been nullified by the steam chamber for four hours. Iceman’s actions have been recorded so that the world will see that mutants are truly a threat. Larry swore revenge on the X-Men three years ago with the death of his father and he will make them pay.
A short time later Iceman is taken to another room where he sees a man wearing a strange costume and a woman lying on a table. He realises that the man is Alex and that he has been called Havok. When he mentions that the woman has green hair Iceman realises that it is Lorna and he rushes over to her side as she wakes up. Alex reveals that his suit helps to measure his power and that he has struck a deal with Larry Trask. Iceman responds with anger as Lorna tries to keep him back. Havok had made the deal so that the Sentinels would leave Lorna alone but as a Sentinel approaches it handles Lorna. Havok is angered that the Sentinel isn’t letting Lorna go and he begins to power up and blasts the Sentinel. Larry arrives and is surprised to see the Sentinel damaged but he uses a device that enters Havok’s mind through a jewel on his forehead. Due to the anti-polar bands on her arms Lorna cannot use her magnetic powers to help him. Havok fears that if he falls then the Living Monolith will walk free. Larry laughs at him and states that the Living Monolith is not a threat.
On a TV screen it is revealed that the Sentinels have been carrying out search and capture missions across the country. And at that time in Egypt the Living Monolith is discussing about the X-Men being dangerous along with high ranking officials. He suddenly begins to grow and transform and states that he no longer needs the officials. Two Sentinels suddenly appear and bathe the Living Monolith with a foam like substance that prevents him from absorbing cosmic energy and he shrinks back down to normal.
Over the Atlantic Angel is being chased by two Sentinels and he is captured. On a nearby plane he is seen by Cyclops ad Jean who are unable to prevent his capture. One of the Sentinels does detect the both of them on the plane but they choose to take Angel away instead.
At the Mutant City a Sentinel breaks in fixated on capturing Magneto and Mesmero. Mesmero tries to attack the Sentinel with his hypnotic powers but it is immune to him. As he rushes to Magneto for safety the villain is fired upon by an energy beam and Magneto falls apart since he is only a robot. Mesmero is astonished to see that he has been led by a machine for months before being captured.
At his secret location Larry is disappointed that Magneto has not been captured but at that time Judge Chambers arrives while a Sentinel detects another mutant presence within the base. As Larry greets the Judge he shows him Iceman, Havok and Lorna are in suspended animation in pods. The Judge asks if this is humane and Larry reacts angrily and states that his Sentinels will work alone if need be. Larry sees the other X-Men travelling towards the base but he pays them no mind. He is wearing a necklace that was given to him by his father when his mother died. He is sworn to wear it always but at that time Banshee arrives and tries to subdue the Sentinels. He was captured in Ireland but now has escaped but he is knocked out by a sonic scream by the Sentinels. Angered by what has happened Larry orders his Sentinels to destroy all mutants which causes Judge Chambers to strike him and remove his necklace. Larry begins to see that he was wrong to order the murder of the mutants but he is quickly picked up by one of the Sentinels. They will still execute all mutants and they ignore Larry’s pleas and reveal that the mutant that they detected was him after his necklace has been removed.
Again another fantastic issue. The story itself is very free flowing and makes the reader want to read on further. To tell you the truth while I was reading it I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen on the next page and the plot twisting ending only makes the read want to read the next issue.
Again the art really made the action jump off the page and my only regret is that I’m reading these issues in black and white rather than colour but it doesn’t take away the feel of the issue. One real drawback to reading in black and white is that sometimes it can be hard to tell characters apart (Like Jean and Lorna) when you can’t see the colour of their hair. But for me it was still the cheapest way to get the issues.
Larry Trask’s character seems to be complex and it shows that he is somewhat hot headed but I don’t think he is as evil as he makes out to be as he showed some regret when ordering the murder of the mutants. The revelation at the end was a shocker but I somewhat saw it coming since there had to be a reason why he was told to never take his necklace off. I can’t remember exactly what his mutant powers are but I have a feeling that we’ll find out in the next issue.
Although it is stated that Angel has never flown cross Atlantic but he has flown over great distances before. When the X-Men were captured by Magneto he did fly to the Avengers mansion over a long stretch of ocean. Others have made that trip like Storm did in a future X-Men annual and I’m not one hundred percent sure that he would hack such a journey. He would have to travel a great distance over either Africa or Europe to even reach the Atlantic and I think it would be too much, even for him.
This issue is also the first time that Alex has worn his costume and gone under the name of Havok and it also shows the start of his relationship with Lorna. It might not be the most famous relationship in the X-Men universe but it is no less important and has lasted for over four decades. I’m highly surprised that they’re actually not married yet but I think there has been a whole big deal about that.
I was also surprised to see that Cyclops and Jean were flying in a commercial plane to travel back to the States. I would have thought that they used the jet that they had been using to travel around Egypt but I guess maybe they ran out of fuel and had to travel like a normal person instead.
In conclusion I’m giving this issue a 9 out of 10. It was one of the most enjoyable issues of the series and it makes me somewhat sad to know that the original series is coming to an end shortly.
X-Men (Volume 1) #59