Uncanny X-Men (Vol 1) #31: We Must Destroy...the Cobalt Man!

The X-Men successfully complete another session of training. Xavier is proud of their performance against the recent string of villains and gives them the weekend off. Iceman and Beast cannot wait to spend time with their dates Zelda and Vera. Angel is going to take a scenic drive in his Mustang.

Sensing Cyclops does not have plans, Xavier decides to give him a helpful nudge and suggests that he return the books they had borrowed from Jean’s college.

Xavier: (Thoughts.) For months, I’ve known that Scott loves Jean and feels he hasn’t the right to tell her! Perhaps an egghead prof can give cupid a helping hand.

As Scott is heading out, he comes across Warren still in the driveway. Warren confesses that he was going to stop by Metro College to see Jean, and offers to give Scott a lift.

At Metro College, Ralph visits his brother Ted. Jean is introduced to Ralph. Ted then shows Ralph the new stadium. Ralph feeds off feeling superior to his brother, and challenges Ted to a high jump showdown. Ted is all too eager, wanting to impress both Ralph and Jean. Ralph takes the first jump, but his pole snaps and he fails to clear the jump. He also hits his head. Embarrassed, Ralph calls off the challenge and suggest they get lunch instead.

Ralph tells Jean that he used to work for Tony Stark until recently when he decided to “branch out” and start his own company, “Roberts Research Lab”. The trio is joined by Scott and Warren. Ralph invites everyone to his lab for the afternoon. Warren gives the excuse that he is not interested and heads out. In reality, he has decided to give up wooing Jean.

Bobby, Zelda, Hank and Vera are enjoying themselves in Greenwich Village. Warren wonders into a club and meets an old flame, Candy Southern.

At Roberts Research Lab, Ralph is showing Ted, Scott and Jean around. While Scott and Jean are distracted, Ralph pulls Ted aside to show him a top secret project. Ralph quit Stark Industries because Stark would not let him on the secret of his Iron Man suit. Ralph took it upon himself to replicate the suit in cobalt. Ted notices that Ralph is exhibiting some side effects from wearing cobalt and tries to warn his brother. Ralph does not heed the warning and knocks Ted unconscious. He then destroys some lab equipment so his suit will be kept a secret.

Scott and Jean hear the noises and change into their X-Men costumes to investigate. Cobalt Man thinks Cyclops and Marvel Girl were sent by Iron Man to spy on him and starts attacking them. Cyclops and Marvel Girl fight back to defend themselves. Cobalt Man drops heavy machinery on them and thinks he has taken care of them.

The machine turns out to be hollow, saving Cyclops and Marvel Girl from being crushed. Cyclops calls for help from Xavier using his new communication device. Xavier immediately contacts Hank, Bobby and Warren.

Marvel Girl uses her telekinesis to manoeuvre a giant hook over to lift the machinery up so she and Cyclops can escape. They make their way to Ralph’s van. Marvel Girl sees a bandaged Ted heading for the van. Ted heads for Stark Industries to find Iron Man to stop his brother. Cyclops and Marvel Girl hitch a ride in the back of the van.

Cobalt Man flies into Angel in Manhattan. Iceman and Beast try to capture Cobalt Man but he evades the X-Men. Just then, Ted catches up to them. And so do Cyclops and Marvel Girl. Ted tells the X-Men that the cobalt suit is poisoning his brother, and they have to remove it before it kills Ralph.

Iceman and Cyclops target Cobalt Man’s power pack and short-circuits the suit. Without power, Ralph falls to the ground. Ralph concedes that the cobalt suit is too dangerous and he is going to stop working on it. Marvel Girl suspects that Ted has discovered hers and Cyclops’ real identities.