Excellent issue with a ridiculous plot hole
1969 has seen the quality of the X-Men issues improve vastly throughout the year. At the beginning of the year I have rated most issues between 1.5 and 2 stars but gradually they have moved up to 3 star issues. Issue #59 would have gotten 4 stars if not for a ridiculous plot hole - but more on that later.
Neal Adams’ artwork once again is the highlight of the issue and he has been a breath of fresh air to the series. Unfortunately as history tells us, it was too little too late to save the X-Men from cancellation. Roy Thomas has written a number of issues of the series previously, but it has been all too obvious that he has been doing it merely as a side project and in a rush while he concentrates on writing The Avengers. Thankfully Thomas must have found more time to spare for The X-Men of late because, as I mentioned, the stories have definitely improved.
The story in this issue has clearly influenced a number of stories in years later as well as the X-Men Animated Series. It focuses on a rescue mission by some of the X-Men to free other team members as well as random other mutants. The dialogue is much better written then some recent issues and Cyclops and co do actually seem like teenagers – albeit serious ones. The inking and colouring are also excellent (although still not a match for some recent Jim Steranko issues).
Overall we get a lot of action, a good end to a good story arc as well an intriguing beginning to the next one. However there was one part of the story that seemed just plain dumb thus I reduced the score by half a star. It involves the x-Men rescuing a pair of ex-Avengers who then instead of helping the X-Men just go away. What’s more silly is that these are people who are actively looking to re-join The Avengers (by capturing a wanted Spider-Man no less)!