A true classic that introduces a number of characters that would, decades later, find themselves firmly entrenched among a blossoming group of iconic names and faces. In X-Men #1 Stan Lee gives us the chance to meet Professor Xavier, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman and – eventually (she arrives at the Professor’s school for gifted youngsters about halfway through the book) – Jean Grey, then known as Marvel Girl. We also learn of the professor’s intentions to hone his pupils into warriors capable of defending and preserving the safety of the world’s average men and women.
After a slick introduction and plenty of banter the book makes a shift and we meet, also for the first time, the feared Magneto, who as we all know can control metallic objects in horrifying ways. In the book Magneto’s first goal is to inform the humans of the world that they are inferior to mutants, and that mutants will exist as the uncontrolled, dominant species. And he makes this known by taking control over Cape Citadel.
That doesn’t fly with the X-Men.
Within minutes our band of already lovable characters (it’s unbelievable knowing that at one point, back in the late-60s and up through the mid-70s, the book floundered terribly with readers) take to the skies to bring Magneto’s inaugural attack to an end. But can Magneto be stopped, and can the X-Men manage to stop the maniac in just a single issue?
Oh the mystery!
Stan Lee’s innocent brand of writing still holds big charm. It feels like such a lovable story that it’s impossible to put the book down. Even now, wife looming over my shoulder ready for my attention, I’m battling the urge to move right into issue #2. I suppose that will have to wait.
If you can get your hands on one of the many reprints of this book, or a digital copy (a much easier acquisition), don’t hesitate. It’s a great book, and absorbing anything crafted by the brilliant Stan Lee and equally brilliant artist Jack Kirby is time well invested. Don’t be shocked to find yourself reading this one more than a single time.