Uncanny X-Men (Vol 1) #66: The Mutants and the Monster

The X-Men are grief-striken to find Xavier in a coma. They had just found out that Xavier had been alive all this time they thought he had died, but now his life is in danger again. Iceman is jealous of Havok getting close to Lorna and picks a fight with him. Cyclops angrily breaks up the fight, telling them that this is neither the time nor the place to be fighting over Lorna’s affections.

Meanwhile, Beast has been busy working on the “mind probe” device that Xavier had previously finished, based on research by the Avengers’ Dr Henry Pym. He hopes it will help them communicate with Xavier to find a cure for his comatose state. Xavier only tells them to find the Hulk, before weakening. Cyclops asks Marvel Girl if it would be safer for Xavier if she telepathically connected with him. Marvel Girl gives it a try but probing into his mind only comes up with the same answer as before: the Hulk. Cyclops wonders if maybe Xavier was telling them to seek out Dr Bruce Banner instead (whose alter ego is the Hulk).

The X-Men quickly take off in search of the Hulk. Cyclops assigns Havok to guard Xavier. Lorna wants to stay with Havok, and Iceman insists that he stay as well. They track down the Hulk to Las Vegas, where he is roaming the streets. The Hulk easily pummels Angel and Beast. Cyclops tries to hold him back with his optic blasts, while Marvel Girl telepathically subdues him. She manages to get the Hulk to transform back into Dr Banner.

The X-Men barely have time to whisk Dr Banner away before the army arrive to take custody of him. Cyclops tries to reason with the Army Major, that Xavier’s life depends on Dr Banner’s immediate help. Dr Banner finally remembers the project he had worked on with Xavier: “gamma-ray treatment of mental exhaustion”. Dr Banner emphasised that it was imperative that he treat Xavier. But their pleas fall on death ears as the army is unrelenting. Suddenly, Dr Banner tranforms back into the Hulk and fights off the tanks. He escapes and the army takes off in pursuit. And so do the X-Men.

Angel tracks him into the desert, with the X-Men following closely behind. The Hulk spots Angel and tosses a boulder at him. Cyclops blasts the boulder into smithereens in the nick of time. Beast acts quickly to knock the Hulk off his feet, but miscalculates and kicks him off the cliff. It turns out that the Hulk led them to Dr Banner’s secret lab, and the entrance is right where the Hulk landed.

But the Hulk won’t let the X-Men through without a fight. While the X-Men keep the Hulk busy, Angel sneaks in to retrieve the gamma-ray device. The fighting escalates and the X-Men make a retreat. Finally, the Hulk is left in peace.

Upon returning, the X-Men activate the device and hope for the best. Slowly, Xavier shows signs of recovery. He opens his eyes to see all his X-Men gathered around him. Xavier proclaims that he shall recover soon enough, and the X-Men can get back to saving the world once again.

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