X-Men #17-18 (1965-1966): Magneto Returns!

This story starts in the aftermath of the huge battle against the Sentinels. In a rare moment of realism, the U.S. Army is involved. And look at the medic remarking on Iceman’s pulse!

And Professor X’s indiscriminate, unnecessary use of mind control continues.

Despite the fact that Iceman is standing and seems fine on the splash page, above, he is sent to the hospital with the rest of the team.

Hank recovers quickly.

While they’re healing, Angel checks their voicemails.

The message gets passed along.

(Why does Professor X have to talk to Cyclops in private–can’t he just use telepathy?)

Jean and Hank spring into action.

Then it’s on to the main tale. Last issue, we saw a shadowy figure at the door to X-Mansion. Now, he is revealed…

This image, from the last page of #17, is probably my favorite Magneto picture ever.  I love his monstrous size, the great use of his eyes…It’s perfect.

But he does introduce himself a lot.

Are you wondering how Magneto escaped being kidnapped by Stranger and taken to outer space?

He did it by betraying Toad. What a jerk.

We also saw him manifest “magnetic hypnosis” powers in issue #17, a skill he doesn’t appear to ever have again. 

Storywise, all the X-Men except Iceman (who is still in the hospital), engage and lose to Magneto.

They really don’t cause Magneto much problems at all.

He traps them and sends them floating into the atmosphere, in a hot air balloon. 

So Iceman fights the master of magnetism, all on his own.

Yes, Iceman basically holds off the guy who can singlehandedly take on the entire team—and more.

By the time the X-Men figure out how to escape from the hot air balloon (Cyclops shoots a small hole in the surface, so that it leaks slowly), Magneto has gotten the best of Iceman–but the rest of the team shows up for a group battle.

Then Stranger comes back and captures Magneto again.

It’s weird that they have this convoluted Stranger story, show Magneto escaping, and just end the tale with him back where he was. But it’s a fun comic.

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