Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Classics - X-Men #7

   Quite a few of my earliest comic book acquisitions came about for the best of reasons: Mom discovered that it was a good way to keep me quiet.

   So if she had to go somewhere - the laundromat, for example - she'd let me buy a comic book because she knew I'd quietly sit and read it while she was busy.

   This issue of X-Men stands out in my memory - it was traumatic. Mom occasionally filled in as secretary at an office in town, and one day in 1964 she had to stop into the office for some reason or another.

   In the same office building there was a small newsstand, and the wall behind the cash register was covered with a huge display of comic books (no doubt placed there to keep kids from getting their grubby hands on the comics). We stopped on the way to the office.

   It was always tough to pick just one comic (or two, if I had a whole quarter to spend), but I happily picked this issue because I loved the X-Men. The idea of young people (teens, although they seemed old for teens) having powers, going to a school to learn how to use those powers, wearing cool school uniforms and fighting evil mutants was a winner - not to mention those early stories were all by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby!

   So we went up to the office, and I sat down and turned to the first page - shockingly, the team was posing for a graduation photo! Were they done with school already?

   I anxiously went to turn the page - but I couldn't! The pages of the comic were still connected - the issue wasn't cut properly at the printer's! What to do?

   Somewhat panicked, I explained the problem to Mom, and the secretary at the office calmly picked up a letter opener and used it to cut the pages apart. It was a bit traumatic to watch (although I didn't care about condition in those days - I still don't, come to think of it), but I was able to read the comic,  jagged edges and all, so I was happy.

   It was an action extravaganza, as the Blob joined forces with Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, Mastermind and the Toad) - and the X-Men were fighting alone, without the help of Professor X!

   I quickly recovered from my shock and - as should be obvious - I loved the issue.

   Thanks, Mom!

Grade: A


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