The X-Men #31

    The X-Men » The X-Men #31 - We Must Destroy... the Cobalt Man! released by Marvel on April 1, 1967.

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    Ted Roberts' brother Ralph became the Cobalt Man for the very first time in this issue.

    Ralph Roberts was a former employee of Stark's Industries who left the company when Tony Stark would not divulge the secret to Iron Man's costume. He then created Roberts Research Lab and experimented with cobalt amongst other things. One day, Ralph would visit his younger brother Ted who was attending Metro College along with Jean Grey. Ted and Ralph were very competitive and challenged each other to a pole vaulting contest. Ralph was injured when his stick broke and hit his head. The three would eat at a local diner after the incident and meet some of Jean's friends, Scott Summers and Warren Worthington, in disguise. The group headed back to Ralph's research lab where he showed them some of the stuff he was working on. Ralph showed his younger brother a secret project he was working on. It was Ralph's version of Iron Man's suit made out of cobalt alloy. Ralph put on the suit but was suffering from a terrible headache from his fall earlier that day. He became a different person and knocked out his brother. Ralph ranted how Iron Man was a traitor and that he needed to stop him. Ralph started to destroy his own lab and was confronted by Marvel Girl and Cyclops. Ralph managed to escape and the two X-Men attended to Ted. They discovered that Ralph was headed towards Stark Industries and that he was a walking C-bomb. Ralph's armor would produce the radioactive cobalt-60 if it was worn for more than two hours and would explode when it reached critical mass. The rest of the X-Men would battle the Cobalt Man near a bridge. They managed to defeat him when Iceman froze his power pack and Cyclops hit him with his optic blast. The blast melted the ice around his power pack and the water short circuited his power source. The Cobalt Man fell off the bridge and was caught by Angel before he plunged into the water below. Ralph realized he almost destroyed the group because of his head injury and that the suit was too dangerous for most men to handle.

    Ted suspects about Jean's true identity as Marvel Girl.

    In this issue also Warren meets Candy Southern, his future girlfriend.


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    Mixed results 0

    Roy Thomas uses the issue to resolve a number of the series' subplots. Paying some attention to the personal lives of the characters, ending the resident love triangle (Warren-Jean-Scott), introducing Ralph Roberts. And setting ip a couple of subplots for the following issues.   Unfortunately, the issue also attempts to introduce a new villain. Cobalt Man never found a proper place among the rogues' gallery of the X-Men. Particularly since the fellow doesn't have any real motivation to go after ...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

    "If that's the best you can do -- I'll take it!" 0

    Once again we have what could be a great X-Men issue were it not for the main plot/conflict. As others have noted, the characters moments driving the first half of the issue are great, considering where we are in the development of the X-Universe. Warren finally takes some initiative with the Love Triangle, even though he seems to contradict himself somewhat (at first he wants Jeannie to decide but eventually he just gives her over to Scott and her college buddies - too much competition scares h...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
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