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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Blast from the Past

By delving into the psyche of their mentor, X-Men #106 underscored the reasons why several members of the mutant team left … eventually finding their way to the New Defenders.

At the X-Mansion, the "new" X-Men were training in the Danger Room with Cyclops, the only member of the original team who didn't resign in #94. To everyone's surprise, Angel, Iceman, Beast, and Marvel Girl appeared out of nowhere, wearing their original matching uniforms. With deep-seated hostility, these former X-Men called the new members everything from animals to circus freaks, while accusing Cyclops of going astray.

Oddly, by this point Marvel Girl had transitioned to Phoenix, Angel and Iceman were in the Champions, and Beast was an Avenger. Clearly, something was amiss!

The former X-Men turned out to be mental projections from Professor X: more specifically, manifestations from the evil side of his personality that he typically kept in check. Recent mental strain, however, had caused Professor X to temporarily lose his bearings. The incident revealed that, at least on a subconscious level, Professor X resented the original team for adopting individualized costumes and forging their own identities (#39); similarly, he harbored disdain for the independently inclined new members of the team.

X-Men. Vol. 1. No. 1. Aug. 1977. "Dark Shroud of the Past!" Claremont • Mantlo • Brown • Cockrum • Sutton • Rosen • Yanchus • Goodwyn production! The cover mentioned that Angel was back without revealing the apparent return of other members. When the real Angel did rejoin in #137-148, he felt out of step with Professor X and found the new members wanting.

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