X-Men #2 (1963) Review

by Ryan.L on April 29, 2020

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The battle with Magneto was the X-Men’s first introduction to the new world of good and evil mutants. It showed that even with all of their training they were not ready for the battle they were thrust into. That being said they did manage to save many lives and have made quite the name for themselves.
This issue we see that Professor Xavier intensely training the X-Men while they prepare for yet another villain who has appeared, the Vanisher.
This is the second outing for the X-Men and wow Xavier is really putting them through their paces. He comes off pretty demanding and cold in these early issues and this one especially. He seems to really push each member to their limits, and even when they decide to goof off or blow some steam he manages to use it as a training exercise.
I did enjoy with this issue seeing Xavier working with the F.B.I. Department of Special Affairs. We don’t really get to see how exactly this relationship was cultivated, but it was fun seeing them work together. Even at the very beginning Xavier had different inventions that helped to enhance his powers. This time Special Agent Duncan wears a strange scalp device as it is called so Xavier can speak to him telepathically. The X-Men even get the use of a McDonnell XV-I Convertiplane from the Department of Special Affairs.
The Vanisher has never been an A-list villain in the comics. In more recent years seeing him on Cyclops iteration of X-Force gave a very different version to this first appearance. The Vanisher’s costume is a lot more bold and flamboyant. He seems to also be a lot more confident and sure of himself. Maybe after many years of failed battles he lost a lot of his confidence and became the more skittish version we saw in X-Force. I am also seeing a trend that it looks like with these early villains they are all dressed in bright purple. I know this doesn’t continue, but it is a fun way to signal to readers, that this is not a good guy.
While this book was fun, I did find it a bit more of a chore to read than the last. Stan Lee is the king of dad jokes, but some of these just don’t land. I also found the Vanisher to be a mediocre villain, and that’s probably why he never rose to the A-list roster. How he was lends to the question if Xavier is so powerful, why does he need a team of mutant students? Obviously there will be greater threats to come, but this early book left me a little underwhelmed.
Overall this was another action packed comedic romp that didn’t quite hit the heights of the first issue. It was still enjoyable but the story felt a bit underwhelming at times and had somewhat of a lackluster ending.

Our Score:


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