X-Men (1st series) #47

Issue Date: 
August 1968
Story Title: 
The Warlock Wears Three Faces

Gary Friedrich & Arnold Drake (writers), Don Heck (Layouts), Werner Roth (penciler), John Tartaglione (inker), Artie Simek (letterer), Stan Lee (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Iceman and Beast are depressed about the disbanding of the X-Men following Professor X’s death. They go out on a double date with their girlfriends Zelda and Vera and end up in a performance of the Maha Yogi whom they recognize as the X-men’s old foe the Warlock. The Maha Yogi has been hypnotizing audiences to use them as resists him and quickly put an end to his schemes. Afterwards they treat their laides to a visit at the Café-a-go-go.

Full Summary: 

Following the tragic death of Professor X and a direct order by Agent Duncan of the FBI to disband, the X-Men are no more. And now at their lowest ebb of their lives two member of this team must fight a new threat alone.

Bobby Drake and Hank McCoy are both lost in sad thoughts about their past. In spite of their close friendship they feel unable to talk to each other about their pain. What good will talking do? Bobby figures. The X-Men are finished… and they might as well learn to live with it. The FBI felt that they could fight evil mutants more efficiently if they were spread across the country, with the two of them remaining in New York.

Hank, on the other hand, doesn’t buy Duncan’s theory that they would greatly endanger themselves by staying together. It would seem much easier for a foe to hunt them down one-by-one instead of facing the whole team. Still, he supposes they won’t know how sound Duncan’s theories are until they battle some menace. He only hopes that an X-Man won’t have to die to prove that the FBI was wrong.

He attempts to be more cheerful and addresses Bobby, suggesting they look on the bright side of life. At least they are on the way to court their ladies fair. He might have something there, Bobby jokes, but he thought they just had dates with Vera and Zelda?

In a nearby East Village theatre the entranced audience is being enlightened by the incomparable Maha Yogi. On the stage, the charismatic Yogi tell the crowd that they came there in search of the key to their own cosmic being. And wherein lies that key? It lies deep within the ectoplasmic core of their own existence. For there… in the darkness of their own true identities resides the power of the universe.

Shortly outside the crowded theatre, the two X-Men and their ladies are told that the Maha Yogi’s next and last performance is completely sold out. He is leaving town tonight. But they might call back to see if there’s a cancellation. Bobby assures her that they’ll do that. Word is that the Maha Yohi is a real Oriental Ozone – a gas.

Zelda chides him mildly that he could have phoned for reservations. Mollified, she takes his arm, remarking that the cancellation might still come though. And meanwhile, why don’t they hie away to the Café-a-Go-Go, haven of the happy hippies? Hank suggests.

But inside the psychorama the crowd is hypnotized and the Maha Yogi is about to give them instructions which will transform them into his psychic servants. None shall have a single memory of this moment. Yet, wherever they go all will be slaves to his command.

As the show ends and the audience exits, who would believe that these happily smiling faces mask hypnotized human timebombs ready to explode at one single command from the man who calls himself Maha Yogi? Triumphantly, the villain watches them leave, having recruited another battalion for his psychic army. With each city he tours his legion grows… until --!

In the meantime at the Café-a-Go-Go, the two X-Men with their ladies are witnessing a poetry slam of sorts. Then come! Cast out the rotten bananas of your minds, and feast instead upon the ripe kumquats of cerebral orchards! the latest poet recites from his masterwork.

Is he for real? Hank whispers not quietly enough, as another patron suddenly shoves him and asks if he’s not digging Fat Man’s poetry. Is he not running on the scene? It’s okay, he and his friends run a special school for them uptown squares. He orders them to come outside so they can hit them with some culture. Hank doesn’t wan to get into a scrap, fearful of blowing their secret identities. When Hank doesn’t move his attacker shoves him off the chair, announcing that this is compulsory education and he is the truant officer. So like, move!

In the confusion, Bobby uses his freeze power to short circuit the house lights. In the dark, the two X-Men have no qualms about using their powers on the attackers with Hank swinging one of them about and Bobby freezing the others to the ground.

Hank’s victim falls into the others. Angrily, he takes out a chain, but Bobby creates an icespear and fells him from behind using it as a club. With the floor show over they grab the girls and leave.

Where were they when the lights went out? the ladies complain. They had a very important meeting under a table, Hank jokes. Seems they are always under a table when it’s hero time, Zelda criticizes. A little later at the box office the mood has improved. Thanks to a cancellation for four, the four of them now have ticket.

When the show starts, Bobby whispers to Hank that he’s hearing a very familiar voice, masked by an unfamiliar face. They recognize the Maha Yogi as the villain they know as the Warlock, aka Merlin. What’s he selling this year? Bobby asks unimpressed.

The Maha Yogi orders them to look into his eyes to bathe themselves with his lightforce and instantly all the audience is hypnotized. He now commands them to become his minions. Since the two X-Men were prepared they were able to withstand his brand of hypnosis. They move out of the aisles and head for their costumes and, moments later, Iceman and Beast join him on stage.

Hold it, Bobby tells the Maha Yogi, he wants to gaze deeply into his eyes… after he blackens them. The Maha Yogi threatens them with his psychic powers. He gestures and seemingly the floor panels stick to the Beast’s feet and then drops him. Confused, he tries to find some footing. Iceman however attacks but before him his iceshield seems to change to snow that engulfs him. Bobby is aware of this being an illusion but nevertheless he feels like he’s being buried alive and pinned to the wall by a strong gust of wind. But before his own imagination can kill the youngest X-Man, Beast somersaults at the Maha Yogi from behind.

Calling him a fool, the Maha Yogi boasts that surely he didn’t think his eminent personage could be harmed by mere violence. The thought had crossed his mind, Beast retorts, but seeing is believing, so… But before Beast can plant the punch the Maha Yogi uses his hypnotism again. With Beast hesitating, the Maha Yogi slugs him again and again quite taken with the experience, indulging in his use of brute force. With a gesture the Maha Yogi causes three huge bags of sand to topple from the theatre roof and smash into his dazed opponent.

But though his mind is not his own and his strength is nearly sapped, the will to survive still blazes within the Beast’s body and groggily he tries to fight back. Finally, Iceman has recovered and destroys a few floodlights.

Seeing the exploding lights without any obvious cause makes the wizard nervous and the eruption splitters his eardrums. His concentration is broken and he decides to flee.

He snatches the bauble from his forehead and fires energy from his killer-gem, only for it to be deflected by Iceman’ iceshield. The beam is deflected into the master light control box and the next moment a volcano of visual pyrotechnics erupts. To a normal mind, the pulsating bursts of luminescence would seem to possess an indescribably bizarre beauty, but not to the evil corrupted mind of the Warlock. The bedazzling kaleidoscope of color brings him to the very brink of madness. And with that, the audience is released from his thrall.

Eagerly, they cheer on Beast, who is dropping the curtain on the Warlock. Iceman turns the hifi-tape console up full blast, the perfect present for an arch-villain who has everything but a headache. He thrusts the deafeningly blaring mechanism underneath the shroud, enveloping the Warlock, The cacophony tears at the villain’s wits and finally he gives up.

A little later, the police arrive to take care of him and Iceman and Beast leave to return to their civilian identities with Beast worrying that their girls might have left without them.

In front of the theatre, Vera and Zelda have come to the conclusion that they’ve been stood up… again. Just as they are about to leave for the subway, the boys arrive hamming up their excuses. Ticked off, Zelda advises them to save the sob story. Somewhere maybe deep in the wilds of Brooklyn, two girls may exist who will believe anything they say. May she suggest they organize a safari? Shouldn’t be too hard to find dates to the Copa. Hearing about the plush nightspot Zelda is mollified. Until Hank mentions that they wanted to got there, but are actually somewhat financially embarrassed at the moment. Bobby suggests they go to a well-known café in Greenwich Village and they leave.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Iceman (both X-Men)

Vera Cantor, Zelda
Maha Yogi/ Warlock



Story Notes: 

The X-Men confronted Maha Yogi (then calling him the Warlock) in X-Men (1st series) #30.

Story Title: 
I, the Iceman

Arnold Drake (writer), Werner Roth (penciler), John Verpoorten (inker), Stan Lee (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Iceman gives a rundown of his powers.

Full Summary: 

Iceman cheerfully presents his powers, which he can use to make iceslides (which are both cool and make a handy escape route). He can generate an automatic barrage of icecubes at his foes, create a frigid boomerang and protect himself with an iceshield. To get up somewhere he can create an iceladder or even a mountain.

Where does all that ice come from? It’s the moisture in the atmosphere. Iceman’s power enables him to concentrate and freeze that moisture. The drawback is he has to climb out of his civies first, or that quick freeze instantly destroys his clothes. Once his powers matured he could even freeze isolated part of his body which makes him a good man to have at parties – instant icecubes.

As far as he understands, it involves a special part of the brain that automatically controls body temperature. It’s like he got born with a busted thermostat and his body cells just learned to adapt to it. Eventually he saw how he could turn atmospheric moisture into ice and snow.

Before he joined the X-Men, he appeared in his snowman form, but Professor X taught him to prefect his iceform and use his powers for constructive purposes.

Every now and then, he gets a yet to trot off to the polar regions. It’s like flying to Miami in winter for a normal person. Not that he can’t make it in hot climates. There’s enough moisture in a giant cactus or a deep sub desert lake to make him loads of frozen goodies.

How would he make out in battle against someone like the Human Torch? He doesn’t know but thinks it’d be one heckuva battle.

One thing that’s always fascinated him though is how he’d make out in outer space. Not that it’s the sheer cold that bothers him, but with no atmosphere there is no moisture and no fuel for him. But the challenge sure intrigues him. Who knows, maybe one day, though to tell the truth he isn’t exactly gonna hold his breath waiting.

Characters Involved: 



Story Notes: 
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