Spotlight for the Angel
This is the first crossover of the X-Men with another series and its actually a spotlight issue for the Angel. Actually a good idea since he was the most visually impressive X-Man at the time. Not that there is actually much complex characterization here.
The plot starts with the Angel rushing towards the Xavier Mansion. He decides to take a short cut through a Stark facility where the testing of a nuclear weapon is about to begin. Iron Man notices and tries to warn him off but the Angel fails to understand. The scheduled explosion occurs and both heroes are bather in radiation. The narration makes a point of Iron Man suffering no ill effects due to his armor. But the Angel has noting protecting him.
You would expect the explosion killing the guy, burning his skin or giving him radiation poisoning. Nope. He is physically fine. But his mind was affected and he is feeling live an Evil Mutant. He heads right to the Xavier Mansion and announces his resignation from the X-Men. His teammates attempt to restrain him until the Professor arrives. Instead Angel easily knocks Beast and Cyclops off their feet, evading attacks by Iceman and Marvel Girl. He flies away just before Professor X arrives and casually ignores a mental command to return. Pointing he is no longer scared of Xavier. While this little comment could shed some light on this mentor-student relationship, it is quickly dropped.
If you are thinking Angel grew some backbone and gaining some independence, you were perhaps expecting some better character development. Instead Angel proudly proclaims his intentions to follow orders by other Evil Mutants. In one of the finest moments of the issue, Xavier has self-doubts. What if all his training of the X-Men results only in creating better super-villains? If Angel turned on him, what would stop his other students from doing so? He is even suggesting ending the X-Men project here.
But for now the X-Men need help from other heroes. This would be the point that Professor X reached out telepathically and summons them... if Chris Claremont was doing the writing. Instead Cyclops sends a radio message "in a secret wavelength used only by the X-Men and other specially licensed crime-fighting organizations". The X-Men are licensed heroes? Wonder who gave them authorization. They have worked with the FBI before but the exact relationship had not been specified. Anyway they are using the radio to contact the Avengers. Brief scenes of Bruce Banner, Dr. Donald blake, Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne follow. Each too caught up in their civilian lives to bother listening to radio messages. Only Tony Stark listends and responds to the message.
The scene swiftly turns to Angel who is having his first day as a super-villain. And its quite underwhelming. He wants to find other Evil Mutants to hang out with. But he has no idea where to find them. Nor do they seem to be paying attention to his activities. What is our lonely boy to do? Well he steals some explosives and causes some explosions around the city. All victimless and with no property damage. He is Evil but not too evil.
Anyway, no villain pays attention to him but Iron Man locates him. They have a rather nice aerial combat, where the Angel uses his maneuverability well against his armored opponent. Then Iron Man pretends he is in trouble and has a dangerous fall. Angel can not stand to let anyone die and rescues him. Warren has come to his senses. The X-Men take him back and Professor X thanks the Avenger for a good job. The end.
Well the issue has good action scenes and the Angel really gets to shine. Which is more than can be said of the other characters. But the plot is more an excuse to see Iron Man vs, Angel. It is otherwise nonsensical and tells us very little about about the morality of the character. Other than some insight on Professor X this issue is rather forgettable. Too bad, because the X-Men reactibg to a renegade member could have made a decent story.
The second story, a Watcher's Tale, is a bit more interesting. It follows the tale of the Sneepers, a empire-building alien race who discovers Earth. Only humanity is too primtive to worth conquering. They decide to keep surveilance over this race and what happens to it. They are surprised at the high speed of human cultural and technological evolution over the millennia. Meanwhile, their own culture and technology is rather static. They start worrying that humanity will surpass their level at some point. Which humans did when discovering nuclear energy and its uses.
Waiting for humanity's next step, the Sneepers were overjoyed to see humans threaten each other with their nuclear weapons. By the 1960s, the arms race, space race, conflicts in Cuba and Vietnam, raising crime rates, riots and strikes managed to convince them of one thing. It was only a matter of time for humanity to destroy itself. They decided to stop any actions against Earth, waiting for humanity's destined self-destruction. Uatu adviced against doing the Sneeper's work for them.