> X-Men Masterworks Volume 1

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Better fall in behind Cap, Thor! Your time has expired! It's his turn to be group chairman for the week!

-- Iron Man, pg. 16

The Professor likes his cucumber sandwiches without any crust on the bread!

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X-Men #9
January 1965 20 pages + Marvel Girl pin-up

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Sam Rosen
Pencils: Jack Kirby Inks: Chic Stone

Ranked #56 in 100 Greatest Marvel Comics of All Time list

Title: "Enter, the Avengers!"

First Appearance/Villain: Lucifer

Guest Appearance: The Avengers: Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Giant-Man, the Wasp

Gadgets & Technology: Wheelchair Hydraulic Extendo-Arms, Dust-Devil Generator, Giant Thermal Bomb, Ionic Ray Blaster

Letters Page: Page One Page One

Synopsis: An ocean liner cruising through the North Atlantic comes suddenly upon a giant floating iceberg. The crew attempts drastic maneuvers to avoid it when, suddenly, an optic force beam belonging to the X-Man Cyclops bursts across the bow and destroys the threat. Unknown to the crew of the ship, the group of teenage mutants named the X-Men are on board, travelling across the sea to join up with Professor Xavier who has requested their presence in Europe. While the team attempts to help Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, overcome exhaustion from his exertion, they are spoken to by the mental image of Professor X. The Professor tells them that he has finally located the hidden cave of Lucifer, the arch-villain he has been on the trail of for this whole mysterious journey. He is descending through the caverns in his super-wheelchair, eager to finally face the evil villain who he says is the reason he has lost his ability to walk. Sensing he is close to his quarry, he cuts communication with the X-Men, and reckons with the shaky ground by employing the Hydraulic Extendo-Arms he built into his wheelchair.

Lucifer is not unaware of the presence of Xavier, and generates a dust-devil tornado to destroy Xavier. The tornado overcomes Xavier and pulls him to Lucifer's chamber. Prepared for just such a showdown, Xavier fires a pistol at Lucifer, who warns him that if he is harmed in any way, the world will be doomed!

Meanwhile, above ground in a Bavarian village, the X-Men remain on alert for the next signal from their mentor. Beyond their notice, however, the Mighty Thor lands on earth, led by the enchanted powers of his hammer Mjolnir to this area of grave danger. The rest of the Avengers are in tow: Iron Man, Captain America, Giant-Man and the Wasp. They greet a car driving by, and warn the tourist inside to flee from the danger this area represents. Freaked out by these costumed crazies and their dire warning, the tourist speeds off into the next village, where he nearly runs over the X-Men. The X-Men are told by the frantic man that he was just accosted by monsters! The X-Men fear this is connected to Lucifer in some way and the Angel flies off to recon the area.

Underneath the village, Lucifer stands over the feeble Xavier, and shows off his giant thermal bomb, which is keyed to his own heartbeat. Xavier is all too aware that if Lucifer's heartbeat is slowed or stopped in any way, the thermal bomb will explode the world! Considering Xavier at a checkmate, Lucifer turns his attentions to defeating the X-Men by focusing his mental impulses through an Ionic Ray Blaster, which shoots a beam of energy towards them.

To ward off this attack, Xavier shoots off in his mental form, managing to speed bast the beam of energy and warn the crowd of teenage mutants to disperse! They do at the last second, and elude the shattering blast of the ionic ray. Knowing it's time to engage in the mission, the X-Men hide in the woods and change into their costumes. During this time, Marvel Girl almost trips and falls into a hole, but thanks to Cyclops warning, she is able to move a piece of wood over the hole and step to safety, narrowly averting a potentially harmful fall! (Whew!)

As the team convenes together in full costume, the professor strongly warns them to not do anything to affect Lucifer's heartbeat, such as slaying him. Before he can provide proper context for his commands, the Avengers come upon the scene! Cyclops stands his ground and tells the Avengers that they are not to interfere in their mission. Thor tells his teammates that the emanations from Mjolnir grow stronger, and that the evil it leads them to must be annihilated. Knowing they speak of Lucifer, Cyclops rallies the X-Men to attack the Avengers to keep this from happening, and the battle is on! All through the melee, the Avengers and X-Men fight: the Angel evades Cap's shield while the Beast catches it in his feet; Giant-Man plucks the Beast from the ground and tosses him away; the Wasp pulls Marvel Girl's hair across her eyes, blinding her; Iceman encases Giant-Man in a huge ice block; and the Beast and Iron Man collide in mid-air.

Back at Lucifer's lair, Xavier takes matters into his own hands. Thinking he can perhaps reach into Lucifer's mind, he begins an attempt to "circumvent the medulla oblongata" and "penetrate the cerebellum" of his foe. His plan succeeds, and Lucifer passes out without his heartbeat being interrupted. Xavier takes this opportunity to mentally communicate with Thor, wherein he explains the whole situation. Thor calls out "Avengers Assemble!" and both teams cease hostilities. Thor announces that they should leave the X-Men to take care of their foe "in their own manner," and all his teammates agree.

With the Avengers now leaving the scene, Xavier mentally rallies his team to travel deep down into Lucifer's subterranean lair. They meet up with him and head straight to the Thermal Bomb. With great skill and mental prowess, Xavier guides Cyclops through the job of destroying the bomb's fuse with the fine point of his optic beam. In a very tense moment, in which Xavier spells out the planet's doom in infinite detail should they fail in their mission, Cyclops succeeds in shattering the fuse!

The team returns to Lucifer's body, where Xavier returns consciousness to him. Lucifer laments that it took him ten years to construct that bomb, and that now with its destruction, he and Xavier have evened the score between them. Xavier tells him that there is no evening a score where he can never walk again. Xavier allows Lucifer to be free, however, saying "we X-Men are pledged never to cause injury to a human being- no matter what the provocation!" It is enough, he says, that they know he has been defeated and that he will never escape their justice should he return to evil.

Bobby ponders what the rest of the teens must be thinking: who is this mysterious Lucifer, and what is his connection to the Professor?

Pin-up: "A Marvel Masterwork Pin-Up" features Marvel Girl, using her powers of telekenesis to float a potted plant, picture frame and curio box from a table. The pin-up has a blurb that says "No wonder they call her...Marvel Girl"

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

-- scanned letters page provided by Karl Mattson

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #1-10

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

XMEN #6 XMEN #7 XMEN #8 XMEN #9 XMEN #10


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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