(The Uncanny)X-Men #14 Among Us Stalk… the Sentinels!-
And here we have yet another set of firsts: the first appearance of Dr. Bolivar Trask, the Sentinels and Warren’s parents Warren II and Kathryn Worthington and this is the first time X-Men gets published monthly! It was funny to see the Sentinels not be these huge larger than life as big as skyscrapers machines instead they are only a few feet taller than humans. I wasn’t too big on Charles trying to use his powers to read the ‘mind’ of a robot, it seems to be the go to thing that they over use far too much. There’s nothing wrong with it but it just seems that they don’t have that firm of a grasp on it and it’s becoming nothing more than an exercise in dues ex machina.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #15 Prisoners of the Mysterious Master Mold!-
We get to see Master Mold for the first time and through a serious of flashbacks we also meet Hank’s parents Norton and Edna McCoy. I liked the use of flashbacks as a way to learn more about Hank, but much like last issue Charles somehow uses his powers to knock Hank out just before Master Mold’s device can uncover the location of the X-Men and the name of the man who leads them. One thing I didn’t like was that no matter what their powers are each mutant seems to ultimately be able to do the same thing. Charles’ mental powers makes him smart and a great athlete, Hank’s smart and a world class athlete; just because they’re mutants it doesn’t have to mean that they’re great at everything they do.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #16 The Supreme Sacrifice!-
What’s good about this issue is that unlike all of the previous ones there is a greater extent of moral ambiguity and real consequences to actions. Trask finally works up enough courage to go against Master Mold to keep him from creating an army of Sentinels to rule the world and as a result destroys Master Mold’s underground base and burying himself alive in the process. My only complaint about this issue is that a three part battle, a story that takes three months to tell, is all wrapped up within two pages by literally waving a giant crystal over someone’s head.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #17 …And None Shall Survive!-
The fall out from the Master Mold battle continues; Beast, Cyclops and Iceman are severely wounded and end up having to go to a hospital. Scott and Hank recover quickly however Bobby ends up slipping into a coma. Warren’s parents come to visit and through a series of events all of the X-Men are captured one by one by an unseen foe until the final page where Warren’s parents come to the mansion and are greeted by Magneto. Since Magneto isn’t revealed until the final page it isn’t revealed how he managed to escape The Stranger or what happened to Toad. The one thing I found weird about this story was how quickly Hank recovered, he doesn’t have super healing, yet he recovers like he does and Bobby is still in the coma and the doctors are running around acting like mutants have a second head or something. Just because they’re mutants doesn’t mean that normal medicine won’t work, yet the doctors and hospital staff act like that’s the case.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #18 If Iceman Should Fail--!-
Through a short series of flashbacks we see how Magneto managed to escape The Stranger and how he abandoned Toad in order to return to Earth. The X-Men are trapped in a steel ball that is rising out to space and with Charles’ help Jean and Scott manage to free them all. Bobby wakes up from his coma and holds off Magneto until the X-Men can return to the mansion. It turns out Magneto is using Warren’s parents to help create an army of mutants to rule the world. Bobby manages to stop Magneto from creating the mutants and The Stranger shows up and re-captures Magneto taking him back to his home-world. The story really doesn’t serve a point other than to show that Bobby isn’t the weakest X-Man simply because he’s the youngest. I’m not too fond of this idea of Magneto being held captive by a space alien, so I hope it gets resolved quickly.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #19 Lo! Now Shall Appear – The Mimic!-
I think after the past two story lines that a self contained issue was a nice change of pace. This issue introduces Calvin Rankin (Mimic) and through yet another series of flashbacks a younger version of Calvin and his father Dr. Rankin. This issue also marks another appearance of Zelda, so we’re starting to build up an extended cast of recurring characters beyond the X-Men, The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and their families. I get that at this point in the story it is supposed to be the six X-Men against the entire world, but we’re nineteen issues into the book now and every single issue has introduced a villain, the closest to a ‘good guy’ that’s been introduced has been the Sub-Mariner. Granted Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch eventually become heroes but that’s still quite a bit off. It would be nice to get past this idea that every mutant other than Hank, Bobby, Scott, Jean, Warren and Charles are evil or so morally corrupt that they can’t be good.
(The Uncanny)X-Men #14 Among Us Stalk… the Sentinels!: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #15 Prisoners of the Mysterious Master Mold!: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #16 The Supreme Sacrifice!: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #17 …And None Shall Survive!: B+
(The Uncanny)X-Men #18 If Iceman Should Fail--!: B
(The Uncanny)X-Men #19 Lo! Now Shall Appear – The Mimic!: B