uncas007's The X-Men #62 - Strangers in a Savage Land review

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Discontinuity

Despite Marvel's claim several issues ago never to do multiple-part stories again, the creative team of the X-Men have both tied this issue into the two-part story of the previous two issues and connected it to the next forthcoming issue. I assume the creative team is Thomas and Adams again, but the issue never gives any credits for the first time in the series' run. The artwork looks like Neal Adams, but the bizarre "flashback" panels are quite poorly done, even if they are attempts at hazy memory work (if so, it's a nice idea, but it doesn't work well), so perhaps no one really wanted to take any credit for this issue. The writing is likewise hit and miss, which wouldn't be too surprising for a Roy Thomas issue. The beginning premise is another potential good idea that does not succeed in construction. We are to gather Angel is remembering scenes we didn't see between panels from the previous issue, in which the X-Men managed to locate and follow Dr. Lykos's girlfriend Tanya to some arctic region. Angel, despite his mental haze, located the same information from Tanya's father and followed them, only to crash down the same insuperable pit that supposedly consumed Lykos/Sauron and basically die. Then we are to accept the other X-Men went down this crevasse without difficulty and instead of finding Lykos/Sauron, they encountered Ka-Zar's Savage Land. To make this more believable, Ka-Zar shows up to encourage us all that his domain (which no one really acknowledges is his) is far larger than the small part they saw 50-some issues ago under Antarctica. It's apparently the size of the planet below as well as above, though who knows where Tyrannus's domain fits in this subterranean topographical scheme. Adding to the general confusion and discontinuity, Thomas takes us back to the early days when the X-Men attacked first and discussed situations later, even though Ka-Zar is a kind of ally. The fight is brief and pointless, much like the issue as a whole, sadly. While all of this occurs, Angel is rescued and revived by a mysterious silver-haired megalomaniac bent on conquering the planet through deception and destruction. Surprisingly, it's Magneto, though since Angel has never seen Magneto without his helmet, he doesn't recognize him (perhaps Magneto's helmet has an Optimus Prime voice modifier). Magneto-in-Disguise convinces Angel to stop the X-Men from doing whatever it is they are doing, and Angel rapidly switches allegiances from his allies of many years to a mysterious unnamed man who may have used galvanism to bring him back to life - true, one would naturally be grateful to someone who has brought one back to life, but to automatically consider former friends as foes simply on this mysterious medic's say-so? Doubtful ... except in the Roy Thomas world of "things happen because I want them to happen and that's rational and believable enough." At the very end, we are treated to the best section of the issue, in a wordless series of panels in which Ka-Zar conquers a mysterious Savage Land dweller called the Piper. The reveal of Magneto's helmet in the last panel is also intense, if you weren't paying enough attention earlier to realize who this silver-haired menace was. It could have been an interesting issue, but it just never came together well.

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