> Uncanny X-Men Masterworks Volume 1

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Which brings us to our next little problem. What are we going to do with thirteen X-Men?

-- Angel, pg. 36

The X-Men vote Krakoa off the island!!!

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Giant-Size X-Men #1
May 1975 36 pages

Script: Len Wein/Chris Claremont Letters: John Costanza
Pencils: Dave Cockrum Inks: Dave Cockrum

Ranked #4 in 100 Greatest Marvel Comics of All Time list

Chapter Titles:
Chapter 1: "Second Genesis!"
Chapter 2: "...And When There Was One!"
Chapter 3: "Assault Force!"
Chapter 4: "Krakoa...The Island That Walks Like A Man!"

Villain: Krakoa

First Appearance: Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Storm/Ororo, Colossus/Peter Rasputin, Illyana Rasputin (unnamed,) Mama & Papa Rasputin, Thunderbird/John Proudstar,Krakoa

Joins Group: Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Banshee, Storm, Sunfire, Colossus, Thunderbird

Gadgets & Technology: Blackhawk jet (here called Strato-Jet)

Letters Page: No letters page in this issue.

Synopsis: In Winzeldorf, Germany, a torch-brandishing mob of villagers is chasing a strange, demon-like creature through the streets and over the rooftops. Tired of being chased, the creature (Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler) leaps down upon them to make his final stand. Beaten down by many blows, he is about to receive a stake to his heart when the action freezes! Amidst the frozen mob is a man in a wheelchair, Professor X, who explains that through mind-control he has stopped the frenzied villagers in their tracks. He explains to Nightcrawler that he is a mutant, and offers him a chance for normalcy among fellow mutants, which the demon-creature readily accepts.

But this is just the beginning of a long journey for Prof. X, as the mutant mentor cuts to Quebec, Canada; Nashville, TN; Kenya in East Africa; Osaka, Japan; Lake Baikal, Siberia; and Camp Verde, Arizona. At each stop, the most powerful mutant mind in the world establishes contact with a new mutant: Wolverine, Banshee, Storm, Sunfire, Colossus and Thunderbird, respectively. And with each mutant, he pitches the idea of each coming together as a whole for the benefit of their fellow mutants and the world. There are misgivings: for Storm, it is leaving a land where she is treated as a goddess of wind and rain; for Colossus, it is leaving the happiness of his homeland and family; for Sunfire it is his loathing of the Western world; and for John Proudstar, aka Thunderbird, it is his bitterness towards "the white man" which has stolen his birthright. But despite these concerns and emotions, they all accept the professor's invitation to meet an unknown challenge.

These seven "new" mutants gather in the library of Xavier's school, clad in new uniforms made of unstable molecules on loan from Reed Richards, all seemingly in awe of their surroundings except for a cranky and impatient Sunfire. Emerging from the CEREBRO room comes Cyclops, who begins to fill the assembled group in with the facts of their mission. His story takes them on a flashback to when the X-Men, composed of Cyclops, Angel, Iceman, Havok and Lorna Dane, raced off to respond to an incredibly violent signal from CEREBRO. The signal indicated a new mutant on the island of Krakoa in the South Pacific. The team races off in the "specially designed Strato-Jet" to the island, where they alighted on the jungle floor. Emerging from the jet, the team was blindsided by an unknown threat, knocking Cylcops out cold. He awoke at the control panels of the Strato-Jet, realizing suddenly that his unshielded eyes were powerless! The jet went into autopilot, taking a stricken Cyclops back to Westchester, where he explained to Professor X what little he knew. But all of a sudden, Cyclops optic-blasts returned, stronger and wilder than ever!

Cyclops explained that he had to retrain himself to use his stronger powers, while the professor was out recruiting new members to help find the old members of the X-Men- as well as the mutant menace on Krakoa Island! All assembled members agree to the mission, save for Sunfire, who declares he will not risk his life for people he doesn't even like. However, as the team flies off in the Strato-Jet for Krakoa, Sunfire returns, for reasons unexplained.

Hours later, the X-Men reach the island. Dropping from the plane in seperate assault teams, Storm and Colossus come from from the north, Banshee and Wolverine come from the east, Sunfire and Nightcrawler come from the south, and Cyclops and Thunderbird land the jet to come from the west end of the island. Thunderbird barely has his first "white man" joke completed before they realize the Strato-Jet has disappeared into thin air! They spot a towering temple in the distance, and as their only option, they travel towards it, encountering seemingly living vines that attack them as they near.

The other assault teams have their own problems: Colossus and Storm encounter an avalanche of rocks that seem to have a mind of their own; Banshee and Wolverine face off against a giant crab; and Sunfire and Nightcrawler have a showdown with some birds right outta Hitchcock. Through the use of their powers, they are all able to fend off these strange attacks, and they all converge at the same temple. Inside the temple, Colossus and Cyclops batter down a thick slab of rock that reveals an astonishing sight: five X-Men hanging suspended in the middle of an organic system of feeding tubes!

As the X-Men release their teammates from bondage, the island starts to tremble and shake. A newly conscious Angel reveals the secret of the island of Krakoa- they had sought a mutant on the island, and it turns out the island is a mutant! And the X-Men have fallen for its trap, for returning to save the others has meant Krakoa can now enslave even more mutants!

On cue, the beast that is Krakoa rises from the murky jungle floor in anthropomorphic form and attacks, firing eye beams at the band of mutants and smashing at them with its massive limbs. All thirteen mutants rally in battle, affronting him with all the power at their command. Professor X, all the way in New York, establishes mental contact with Cyclops, sharing with him a plan to exploit Krakoa's perceived weakness. Storm hovers aloft, channeling the powers of electricity crackling through the air, while below Lorna Dane completes a circuit with Storm using her magnetic powers. This challenge seems to only strengthen the mutant-power siphoning of Krakoa, but the full effect of Professor X's gambit is felt minutes later, as the magnetic field channels all the way to the center of the earth and pushes upward. The island cannot bear the strain and, the lines of gravometric force having been shattered by Lorna Dane, is launched upward through the atmosphere and far out into distance space.

Having prepared for this, Cyclops led his band of mutants onto a floe of ice hastily created by Iceman, which is dragged down into the water by a fierce whirlpool. Quick action by Iceman saves them from drowning, and they recover themselves onboard the floating Strato-Jet. The X-Men, all thirteen of them, fly back to New York, wondering what the future can hold for all of them: Cyclops, Angel, Iceman, Jean Grey, Havok, Lorna Dane, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee, Thunderbird and Sunfire.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--letters pages provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #94-100, Giant-Size X-Men #1

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


GS XM #1

XM #94

XM #95

XM #96

XM #97

XM #98

XM #99

XM #100


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

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