X-Men (1st series) #48

Issue Date: 
September 1968
Story Title: 
Beware Computo – Commander of the Robot Hive (1st story)

Arnold Drake (writer), Don Heck & Werner Roth (art), John Verpoorten (letterer), Stan Lee (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)

In her new cover identity as a fashion model, Jean Grey is visited by Scott, who plays the jealous jock boyfriend. He shows her the radio station where he now works and both are witness to super-powered robots trying to steal the new transmitter. The two X-Men intervene and follow the fleeing robots to its lair, where they find more Cybetron-units and its seeming master, Computo. As the X-Men beat them, they learn that the mastermind behind Computo is the freakish genius Quasimodo who, beaten , flees.

(2nd story)

The Beast introduces his powers and many pastimes.

Full Summary: 

A swimsuit photo shoot: Jean Grey is modeling bathing suits. The photographer’s boss asks him why he only uses Jean Grey for the job when he ordered four models. What’s so special about her? She’s fresh, Carlos replies, and hot.

Another assistant agrees and, while Jean models her swimsuits, she wistfully thinks back of the Professor’s death and how federal agents ordered them to spread their activities. Hank and Bobby to California. Scott and herself to New York and Warren as a roving agent. This modeling career is mainly an excuse to the folks for continuing to remain away, so now she’s lost two families.

As Carlos impatiently tries to highlight Jean’s hair, he trips over a cable with a lamp about to fall on him. Jean quickly uses her telekinesis to slow the lamp’s descent, long enough for Carlos to grab it. The boss jokes to Jean that this is the third-near disaster to miss them while she’s on the job. Jean must be their good luck charm.

An elderly gentleman, Mr. Dane, the half-owner of Candy’s studio, insists that they must show their appreciation. Getting too close to Jean, he invites her to dinner at eight. No, let’s say pistols at dawn … or would he prefer flash bulbs at 200 paces? comes the voice of a newcomer, Scott Summers, almost an hour early.

He thought she might need a little help on the new job, Scott continues, but he didn’t know she was gonna require the whole U.S. Marines. He grabs the offending gentleman’s tie and threatens that if duel at dawn would interrupts his beauty sleep, he’d be quite willing to accommodate him now.

Several other models hold Scott back and calm him down. What’s a Lee Marvin type like him doing lowering the boom on Mr. Dane? That’s like loading a plane with H-bombs to go rabbit hunting, another woman adds.

An annoyed Jean grabs Scott by the arm and drags him away from his admirers. Before they start any safaris, they’d better know they are poaching on her preserve, she lays down the law. And they are hunting way out of season. Does the hunted have anything to say here? Scott jokes. Just one word – bye-bye, comes the reply.

At that moment, in a subterranean structure that defies the wildest of satanic imaginings a mechanic voice announces: Attention, cybernetic agents 114,78 and19-8! The revival-ray is activated! You will awaken from your electronic hibernation. Prepare to strike the final blow for your master and creator Computo! Three fantastic automatons rise and are ready to follow their master’s orders.

In the meantime, Jean has changed and the two are out on the street, satisfied with their performance. Jean’s got a perfect cover now. Small town girl with big job and a jealous boyfriend. But what will Scott’s front be? Jean wonders.

He tells her to relax. He’s got a job. Something brainy, she bets. He hands her a transistor radio set. And from it she hears her boyfriend’s voice as a radio reporter discussing the town’s administration. Marvelous! she cries. But how can he be announcing now?

The wonder of tape recording, Scott explains as he leads her inside the studio. He did this three hours ago, but it’s going out over the airwaves just now. It sure beats punching a timeclub. Scott goes on to explain that the job keeps him close to where it’s at, which is good for their undercover purposes. And he gets his hands on the very latest pop recordings Jean adds, looking at a LP, like this new group: the Chocolate covered Ashcan.

Scott shows her the new transmitter currently being unloaded. It will give them 50,000 watts, using vacuum tubes as big as a van.

But the power of that electronic equipment is not confined to mere innocent applications and those who seek its power are vessels of more than flesh and blood. The door of the second truck opens, revealing a terrifying troop of armored goons who order the men to drop the equipment if they value their lives.

As the workers hesitate, one of the trio attacks them with ultrasonic energy, threatening that if they oppose them a second time these vibrations will shatter their every bone. Scott and Jean quickly change into their costumes while a brave man tries to run down the robots’ truck, hoping to shut them down that way. The robot attacks the truck and it shakes apart.

The X-Men arrive. Cyclops attacks the fish-faced robot with his optic blast. The second robot warns them that he has only gained a brief victory as he shall now felt he caress of his thermal hands. Cyclops evades his heated touch, but finds himself cornered, or so the robot thinks. Scott just lets loose an optic blast.

That moment, the weird-mouthed robot activates its mighty internal bellows and sweeps Cyclops off his feet. As it intends to squash Cyclops, Marvel Girl telekinetically lifts the machine away. Cyclops follows up with an optic blast, destroying it.

Jean announces that the ultra-sonic robot is trying to escape. She intends to stop him, but Cyclops tells her not to. He asks if she can use the mental power Professor X helped her develop to trail someone by his mental pattern. She reminds him that the robot has an electronic brain, so it might not work. But the next moment she is starting to get psychic emanations. Yes, she’s got a clear mind-print and can follow it like a radio-signal.

Some time later they arrive at their goal, nothing more than a huge sandpit. Cyclops fires at the pile of sand and reveals tunnels. They follow them to a cavern where a giant robot stands and other robots pay homage to him. The giant robot, Computo, informs one of them sternly that it has failed in its duty. There is but one punishment. He consigns Cybertron 19-B to the automatic canceller so that, from its dismembered scrap, there shall rise another and better Cybertron.

At that moment, there is an alert and all Cybertron cells are activated. The two X-Men are discovered. Cyclops instantly falls into action.

Computo warns them of Marvel Girl, stating she has infinite mental powers. Jean holds off her two foes with a telekinetic wall, then steps up its kinetic intensity and slams them with it. Cyclops finds that they are taking a terrible toll on the robots, but it isn’t enough. For every one they destroy, three more replace them. He has to take out Computo, but the trick is to get to him.

Cyclops hits him with his optic blast, but the metal shell is too tough to crack at one try. So he hits it over and over and finally before the robots get at him it blows and the robots fall like tenpins.

Marvel Girl wonders what the central intelligence behind them was. She can’t believe it was just another machine. She is right, a hideous creature replies. Only a living product of man and machine combined with electronic speed could combine such genius. And there is but one such entity – Quasimodo. Quasimodo flees, using an emergency craft.

Scott realizes the entry they used will be swamped in another second. A second is all Jean needs to levitate them out. Outside Cyclops seals the passage with an optic blast to prevent the river from flooding the countryside. That ends the threat of Quasimodo for now, Jean muses. All they can ask for, Scott replies, as evil is recurrent and Jean silently hopes they will always be able to face it together.

(Second story)

Beast introduces the essence of his power, to be found in his pedal and digital extremities. In other words, his hands and feet. Because these hands are more than handy and these feet are undefeatable!

Running through a battlefield, Beast explains that the greatest advantage of pedal dexterity is super locomotion – speed that is. Then too it’s moderately useful to be able to bound over builders and bounce off buildings like a red-blooded raindrop. Of course, perfecting such fancy footwork required arduous periods of painful practice in Professor Xavier’s Danger Room.

Combining the superior strength and freakish flexibility of his fingers and toes allows him to ascend the summit of even the smoothest of towering structures, not without a modicum of risk, of course.

But, if he uses every muscle expertly (and he proceeds to do so), he can absorb the impact of falls from great heights like so many huge coils springs. A trick that might have prevented Humpty Dumpty from becoming scrambled egg.

He jumps at a villain, hitting him square in the chest. By uncoiling those same sinewy springs, he can land on any trouble spot with all the fury and force of a ten-ton truck which would erase any spot.

He hits another villain with his fists, stating that his fists are big as twelve pound hams and the biceps behind them pack the punch of a piston in a battle engine ship.

Sometimes, he wonders which he should value most. His intellectual leanings or his physical propensities?< P>

And here, referring to his foot, is the star of the show. Regarding the size? He can wear most shoe boxes easer than most shoes. Surprisingly enough, his feet also have a flair for coordination and fine work. He can even type with them.

And when he puts both extremities to work he can wire a bank of complicated electronic circuits faster than you can say Thomas Edison.

But enough about the foot facts. His mitts too are capable of delicate detail. Designing daring new devices is one of his favorite past times. He has some 37 US patents to date. He even invented a machine that can open popcorn bags noiselessly in movie houses. There’s one minor flaw: the machine takes up three rows of the theatre.

Taking a book from a shelf of classics and now dressed in everyday clothes, he admits that the arts have always fascinated him as well. The refinement of his speech is a consequence of long hours spent delving though Shakespeare, Plato, Tolstoy, McLuhan and, uh… Thor. Walking through a museum, he states that he has always been attracted to the finest expressions of human experience. Anyone who won’t expose himself to the classics is squandering his greatest inheritance. And he means to pinch every penny of his.

Spreading his interest has one disadvantage. It keeps him from deciding what precisely he wants to do later in life. And every time he thinks he’s ready to make that decision, he gets the clarion call to action. The cry that says someone somewhere needs a big helping hand – and foot. Which sends him whizzing into his X-man regalia!

He jumps and runs over a police car to help those with feeble fingers and talentless toes, whose only advantage over him is that they can buy their shoes and gloves from a mail order catalogue. But anytime he becomes mildly depressed by these strange body members of his, he just climbs up the nearest wall up to where the air is pure and free, grabs hold of the whizzing wheel of life as it goes hurtling by and joins his comrades, the X-Men. They may not be his equals in hands and feet, but they’re all heart!

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)

Cyclops, Marvel Girl (both X-Men)

Carlos (photographer)

Candy, Mr. Dane (/studio owners)


Cybertron units



(2nd story)


Story Notes: 

Lee Marvin was an actor quite famous at the time of this issue’s publication, mainly known for intense characters.

Issue Information: 
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