> X-Men Masterworks Volume 1

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"When an X-Man tells you to do something, buster...you do it! Understand?!?!

-- The Angel, to the Vanisher, pg. 15

The Vanisher, so ugly he makes all who gaze upon him vanish!

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X-Men #2
November 1963 22 pages

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Sam Rosen
Pencils: Jack Kirby Inks: Paul Reinman

Ranked #38 in 100 Greatest Marvel Comics of All Time list

Title: "No One Can Stop the Vanisher!"

Villain: The Vanisher, underworld mob gang

First Appearance: The Vanisher, FBI Special Agent Fred Duncan, Sgt. Hendershoot

GuestAppearance: FBI Special Agent Fred Duncan, Sgt. Hendershoot

Innovation: First formal usage of the name "Danger Room"

Gadgets & Technology: Psionic Head Band; McDonnell XV-1 Convertiplane; Strobe Projector

Letters Page: No letters page published in this issue.

Synopsis: Spoiling their day out on the town, Professor X mentally calls his X-Men back to the school in Westchester. The Beast uses his acrobatics to catch a train in his own special way; Marvel Girl rescues Angel from a mob of adoring females before he carries her in flight off in the distance; and Cyclops and Iceman are able to rescue some construction workers from an accident before they hitch a ride in the rear of an ice-cream truck back home. Once in audience with Xavier, they are witness to their professor's mental projection of the next villain they must oppose: the Vanisher!

Through the power of Xavier's mind, they all watch as the Vanisher calmly robs a bank and then vanishes from sight to make a clean getaway. A villain this powerful requires special training, so the Professor commands the kids into the Danger Room! There, they are free to engage in high-intensive training dedicated to maximizing the potential of their uncanny mutant powers. The Angel and the Beast are tested first, and with mixed results. Back in the Danger Room, Marvel Girl is using her telekenesis to keep a heavy ball floating over the ground. As she wearies, Cyclops pushes it away from falling on top of her with his optic beams. He rescues her and holds her in his arm, causing Bobby to prank the "romantics" with some ice tricks. As this horseplay goes on, Prof. Xavier is in contact with FBI Special Agent Fred Duncan in Washington, DC through a special Psionic Head Band that magnifies his powers of telepathy over long distances. Agent Duncan informs Xavier of the Vanisher's scheme to steal the defense plans, and Xavier promises a counter-attack by the X-Men. The team boards a special McDonnell XV-I Convertiplane (which has been put at their disposal courtesy of the US Dept. of Special Affairs) and are on their way to battle in Washington, DC.

The Vanisher teleports into the heavily guarded office where the defense plans are kept and easily steals them, but as he teleports outside, he finds himself in the arms of the high-flying Angel, who grabs the briefcase and tosses it to the Beast. The Vanisher easily teleports away from the Angel and grabs the briefcase back, and a melee ensues that results in the Vanisher knocking Marvel Girl out with a sleeping gas before disappearing for good- with the plans! The X-Men lament their lack of training as they have lost a battle with the Vanisher. The public reacts to this loss in fear of the Vanisher's next move, and the inability of the X-Men to stop him.

Back in Westchester, the team gathers over a news broadcast in which the Vanisher is reported to have demanded "ten million dollars- tax free- om return for not handing the defense plans over to the commies." After watching video footage through a Strobe Projector of the Vanisher using his awesome powers, Xavier announces that he knows there is only one possible way to defeat the villain. They fly back to Washington to face off against him once again.

In the front yard of the White House, the Vanisher has convened with his huge mob of gangsters. The Vanisher chortles in arrogance as Prof. Xavier puts his plan into action, using his powers to create a mental imbalance in the Vanisher, causing him to lose his memory of his own powers. In so doing, the Vanisher forgot who he was and how to use his teleportation abilities. That battle won, there is the last minute business of cleaning up the gang of mobsters. All five X-Men are up to the task of doing so, and this particular crime drama is over.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #1-10

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

XMEN #6 XMEN #7 XMEN #8 XMEN #9 XMEN #10


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

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