Issue 20 bring the return of three X-Men villains. First, Unus and the Blob, dressed as X-Men, are robbing a bank. I really enjoyed Unus in this issue, far more than I did in his first appearance. He ditched the lame outfit, and he and the Blob make an interesting duo. They have a plan to discredit the X-Men by committing crimes in their name. They’re even sure to smoke while doing so, which makes the X-Men look really unhealthy. It may be a simple plan, but this will probably hurt the X-Men a lot more than Magneto did trashing their home in the last two issues. After the nightmare of Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels, the X-Men have a chance to gain some of the public trust. Will the opportunity slip through their fingers?
As this is happening, Scott has decided to leave the X-Men. Due to his love of his Jean and the unpredictability of his power, he feels that he has become a liability to the team. Leaving a note, we see him walking off the school campus.
Soon it is revealed that Lucifer is watching Unus and the Blob, pulling the strings in the background. We see Unus and the Blob meeting each other in the ring at a carnival show. They are both competing in a wrestling competition, and are both undefeated.
That ends once they meet each other, as they are forced into a tie. Read everything that’s happening in that panel. Take it all in. How is it so quickly decided who’s paying who? The Blob can’t touch Unus and Unus can’t move the Blob. The two realize that they are both mutants and strike a friendship. Since they share a common enemy, we see them form their plot to discredit the X-Men.
Once Cyclops hears about this, he is of course thrust out of retirement. X-Men retire a lot like Chris Brown. Scott witnesses the two of them committing a crime and decides to act. I think this panel is interesting because it acknowledges that mutants generally can withstand more physical stress than a normal human being. A power blast that would kill a human would only stun a mutant. I don’t believe that this has been mentioned before in the series. Anyway, Iceman, Angel, and Beast show up and they all have a good brawl.
Meanwhile, Charles and Jean are trying to mentally uncover the identity of the ringleader behind these attacks. Lucifer is alerted to their attempts and counter attacks, sending Xavier into a coma. While incapacitated, he begins to tell Jean a harrowing tale from his past.
What could it be? More on that to come…
[UPDATE 7/9/13] This issue is also the first to be written by Roy Thomas, a legendary Marvel editor. He wrote X-Men issues 20 through 43.