> Uncanny X-Men Masterworks Volume 1

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Our programming is specific and binding, mutant. All who resist us must be destroyed.”

-- Sentinel, to Storm, pg. 7

Admit it! The coolest thing about the Sentinels is how they blow up! You know it, I know it, and every X-Men writer worth anything knows it!

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X-Men #98
April 1976 • 17 pages

Script: Chris Claremont • Letters: Joe Rosen
Pencils: Dave Cockrum • Inks: Sam Grainger

Title: "Merry Christmas, X-Men..."

Villain: Sentinels, Dr. Steven Lang

First Appearance: Amanda, Betsy

Guest Appearance: Moira MacTaggert, Peter Corbeau

Cameo: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

Letters Page: Letters page coming soon!

Synopsis: It’s a white Christmas in downtown Manhattan as the X-Men take part in holiday festivities. Donned in civilian attire, Jean and Scott, Sean and Moira, and Ororo and Peter enjoy each other’s company while Kurt chases a couple skirts named Betsy and Amanda. Logan is not in a particularly Christmas mood, however, as he must watch Jean plant a big kiss on Scott. Neither, too, are passersby Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who remark that there were never such displays of affection when they handled the X-Men book!

This Christmas idyll is suddenly shattered by oncoming Sentinels, who peel back the roof of Rockefeller Plaza to grab at Scott and Jean. Scott fights back, blasting a gaping hole through one of the Sentinels. The other Sentinel takes the opportunity to gas Jean to sleep and escape with her in his grip. Scott winds up clinging for his life from a radio tower hanging high up over the city streets.

The rest of the X-Men engage the Sentinels as Radio City descends into confused panic. Storm rescues Scott from his peril, and then takes on a Sentinel with the power of hurricane force winds. And while they fight, Scott realizes the Professor, who is away on vacation needs to be warned about the Sentinels.

At that very moment, off the coast of Cocoa Beach, Florida, Professor Charles Xavier enjoys a deep-sea fishing expedition with friend and director of Project Starcore Dr. Peter Corbeau. Corbeau explains to Xavier that there is nothing he can do to help source the dramatic outerspace binary systems Xavier has described from his plague of nightmare dreams. Before the conversation can continue, a Sentinel breaches the water beneath the boat, announcing its intentions to abduct Xavier. Prof. X defends himself with a psionic blast, but so weakened by these dreams is his power that it cannot destroy the Sentinel. They attempt to flee, but the Sentinel gains on the boat, demolishing it, kidnapping Xavier and leaving Corbeau to float adrift in the ocean. The last thing Corbeau hears is the Sentinel announcing his retreat to home base due to lapsing solar flair activity. Corbeau must now swim back to shore and hope someone heard his mayday call.

Four days later, the action resumes in the secret hideout of Dr. Steven Lang. In power-sapping bondage are the X-Men’s Wolverine, Banshee, Professor X and Jean Grey. It is obvious that the mutants are under study by Lang and his team of scientists: for example, technicians report to Lang that Wolverine’s mutant readings are off the charts. Lang is also notified that intense solar radiation storms are increasing, causing Sentinel operations to have to cease.

Of course, Lang cannot help picking a fight with Jean Grey, his anti-mutant hysteria reaching the point that he slaps her across the face. This sends Wolverine into a rage that his bonds cannot hold back. The Canadian mutant slashes a Sentinel to pieces with his claws, and chases off the rest of the facility’s captors, then frees his teammates Jean and Banshee. They are forced to leave the unconscious Xavier behind when a cadre of Sentinels affront them. The destruction begins, as the trio dismantle the giant robots with their powers. Banshee screams his way to flight, grabbing hold of Jean and then Wolverine in an attempt to bust out of their confines. They crash their way through a wall to freedom on the other side, and then--

- cut to Westchester, where Nightcrawler and Cyclops have been working for days straight trying to locate their friends with CEREBRO. It has detected nothing. Peter Corbeau winds up on the X-Men’s doorstep, and helps fill in the story of what’s going on. When Cyclops mentions that it’s as if the mutant energies of his teammates have “vanished off the face of the Earth,” it triggers a remembrance in Corbeau’s mind of the concern his Sentinel attacker had for solar flares. His conclusion: that the X-Men have been abducted to somewhere in outer space!

And, at that very moment, Banshee, Jean Grey and Wolverine come to fully realize what terrible reality they have stepped into on the other side of that wall, as they float in the bone-chilling, suffocating cold of outer space.

(continued in X-MEN #99)

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--letters pages provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #94-100, Giant-Size X-Men #1

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


GS XM #1

XM #94

XM #95

XM #96

XM #97

XM #98

XM #99

XM #100


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

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