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X-Men #17 (last issue | next issue)

"…And None Shall Survive!"

Writer: Stan Lee
Layouts: Jack Kirby
Penciller: Jay Gavin (A pseudonym for artist Werner Roth taken from the first names of his sons. He would be credited under his real name starting with X-Men #23)
Inker: Dick Ayers
Letterer: Art Simek
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cover date: February 1966
Cover price: 12 cents

The National Guard has arrived to cordon off the fortress of the mutant hunting robot Sentinels, which was destroyed and the end of last issue. The medics tend to the X-Men's injuries while Professor X pretends to merely be a civilian advisor to the government. Iceman, the Beast, and Cyclops have to be taken to a hospital, and the Professor mentally warns them to keep their masks on and not reveal their identities. The other X-Men volunteer to drive the Professor home while pretending not to know him.

At the hospital, the Beast is healing nicely and Professor X warns him again telepathically not to reveal his identity. (According to the Marvel No-Prize Book, in the same panel, the Professor calls him "McCoy" in front of the doctor, though this has been changed to "Beast" in reprints.) Iceman, however, is in critical condition. The Angel causes a stir at the nurses station by using the phone while flying ten feet in the air. He gets bad news: his parents are on their way to visit him at school. The Professor calls them up, explaining that they've all been away from the school on a "field trip" and tries to dissuade them from visiting, claiming that it's exam time. They won't take no for an answer, and to make matters worse, the Professor gets a vague feeling of danger from the school. (Perhaps it was that figure lurking in the shadows at the end of last issue.) He dispatches Angel to investigate. After a great full page shot of the Angel flying towards the school, he arrives at the mansion to find the door unlocked. An antique battle-axe from a suit of armor on display flies toward him, but the Angel dodges in time. Charging towards his unseen attacker, he flies right into a trap and is knocked unconscious.

Back at the hospital, Stan Lee is determined to mine Cyclops for all the comedy gold he can by having an optometrist attempt to examine him. The Professor mercifully extricates Cyclops from the situation and reveals that he's lost mental contact with Angel. So the Professor and Cyclops take the Rolls Royce back to the mansion to investigate. They enter to hear the wailing of Cerebro, the mutant detector, which indicates some menace is near. When the Professor turns off the machine, a "mental-wave distorter" clamps onto him from behind and a transparent shield slams down, cutting him off from Cyclops. The lights go out and Cyke can't see what's happening to the Professor. Disoriented, he's attacked from all sides by the mysterious attacker and knocked out.

Meanwhile, the Beast is hopping around his hospital room, fully recovered and feeling cooped-up. Jean Grey hasn't seen Cyclops or the Professor, and their car is missing, so she is worried about them. They stop by Iceman's room for a visit, but he is still in a coma. Then they head back to the mansion to investigate. The exuberant Beast leaps in the front door, but a frictionless material coating the hallway sends him headfirst into a trap. He disappears behind a pair of steel doors, leaving Jean to face the menace alone. She recognizes him and attempts to use her telekenesis against him, but she finds herself growing weaker and weaker until she passes out, the victim of sleep gas.

A hospital loudspeaker pages Iceman's doctor, and we find out his name is Dr. John Thomas. I bet that joke kept them giggling in the bullpen for a while. Dr. Thomas arrives at Iceman's hospital room, tosses out a couple of reporters, and finds that Iceman's condition is worsening. The only hope is a potent new "sulfa drug".

Back at the mansion, the mysterious attacker, instead of killing them outright, dumps the X-Men and the Professor in a steel gondola attached to a balloon. He releases the balloon and it soars into the sky. The plan is that the X-Men will suffocate, trapped at 10,000 feet in the air. Personally, I would think a handgun would be much more efficient. Just then, the Angel's parents arrive at the mansion. Mr. and Mrs. Worthington ring the front door bell. The door opens, and they are greeted by…Magneto! You didn't think that when the Stranger took Magneto into outer space back in X-Men #11 that he'd never come back, did you?