X-Men (1st series) #8

Issue Date: 
November 1964
Story Title: 
The Uncanny Threat of ... Unus, the Untouchable!

Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (artist), Chic Stone (inker), Sam Rosen (letterer)

Brief Description: 

The Beast briefly quits the X-Men since he is fed up with defending humanity that fears and hates mutants. Unus, the next candidate for membership in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is contacted by Mastermind. He has to prove himself by bringing in at least one X-Man. He is tricked by the Beast, who uses an amplifier beam on Unus. At first he welcomes his increased powers, but then he discovers that he is unable to turn his power off. The X-Men blackmail him to turn down the Brotherhood's offer for reversing the effect.

Full Summary: 

Cyclops observes the X-Men’s training and helps Iceman develop his powers. So far he looked more like a snowman, but by increasing the degree of cold his body becomes more transparent and icy. After pushing his teammates through hard workouts he gives them the afternoon off. Jean wants Scott to spend the afternoon with them, but he has too much work to do. From Jean’s thoughts it becomes clear that she is in love with Cyclops.

Hank and Bobby head to a certain coffee shop but on their way they pass a building where a child has climbed to the roof and is in danger of falling off. Having no time to switch into costume the Beast climbs up the building and rescues the child, but unexpectedly the crowd gets angry since a mutant was “hiding“ in their midst. Hank and Bobby get beaten up by the mob but are able to get away.

Back at the mansion Hank is really mad and tells Cyclops that he had enough of defending humanity. He quits the X-Men. Scott has no idea how to deal with this situation and telepathically contacts Xavier who is away on his secret mission. The professor tells Scott that there is nothing he can do, then Xavier continues on his quest for Lucifer.

A week later the Beast has built himself a new life as a wrestler. He continues to use the name Beast but now it is his wrestling name; today‘s opponent is called Unus, the Untouchable. The fight starts and Hank tries to hit his opponent but can’t touch him, each time he attempts to beat him he is repelled by some strange forcefield.

Suddenly Hank recognizes Mastermind among the audience. He and Unus look at each other af if they they are familiar. Hank theorizes that Unus is another mutant.

After the fight Mastermind enters Unus’s wardrobe. Unus asks if he finally will be allowed into the Brotherhood, but Mastermind complies that Magneto demands a test of loyalty since he has been disappointed by the recent recruitment candiates. Unus’s task is to find or even beat one of the X-Men.

Unus has no idea how to find his would-be opponents and decides to rob a bank. By coincidence the X-Men are nearby and try to stop the robber, so Unus gets his chance to prove himself. The four X-Men have no idea how to deal with an opponent they can’t touch, each attack blows off his forcefield. Iceman encases him in an ice-construct, but Unus’s wrestling training gives him enough strength to smash the icewalls. While Unus has Angel in a wrestling hold the winged mutant suddenly starts to fly and Unus still hangs on; yet he knows that the X-Men aren’t murderers and the Angel has no choice but to drop him off at a high building.

The X-Men return home to think about some strategy how to fight this new mutant, but when they arrive they find the Beast in their labs. Surprised they ask him what the strange device is that the Beast is working on. As he explains it is a weapon with the ability to increase Unus’s powers. The others believe that their former teammate has already joined Magneto’s evil Mutants and attack him.

Hank wants to explain, but the X-Men don’t listen so he takes his apparatus and jumps through a window. He runs back to the gym and shoots Unus with his newlymade power amplifyer. The X-Men too come to the gym just in time to witness Unus deal with his upgraded powers; at first he feels powerful and is happy, but then he realizes that he no longer can turn his powers off – that means no cigarettes, no food, and no telephone to call Mastermind or Magneto.

Beast makes a deal with Unus, he reverses the effects off his beam if Unus promises not to join the Brotherhood, otherwise they would use the ray gun on him again. Unus returns to his wrestling career and the Beast rejoins the X-Men.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)
Mastermind (Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)
Unus, the Untouchable

Story Notes: 

In recent issues Magneto tried to recruit (and was disappointed by) Prince Namor and the Blob.

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