- Ridin' an iceboard is a blast too...but I don't make a federal case out of it!
- -- Iceman
Appearing in "The Power and the Pendant!"
- El Tigre (Juan Meroz) / Kukulcán (First appearance)
- Ramon (First appearance)
- Toloc (First appearance)
- Timmy (Unidentified) & several unnamed orphans & faculty
- Sam (First appearance)
- Unnamed firemen
- Charlie & several unnamed New Yorkers
Races and Species:
- North America
- United States of America
- New York
- Abercrombie Orphanage (First appearance)
- New York City
- Westchester County
- New York
- United States of America
- Central America
- North America
- Cyclops' Visor, version 1
- Ruby-Quartz Sunglasses
- Professor X's Mechanical Legs
- Sacred pendant of Kukulcán
Synopsis for "The Power and the Pendant!"
Professor Xavier and the rest of the X-Men are driving Jean Grey back to Metro College after a visit. Along the way, they come across an orphanage that has caught fire. Changing into their X-Men costumes, the mutant heroes work together to save the orphans within from the flames before fire crews can arrive on the scene. With everyone safe and fire fighters putting out the blaze, everyone tries to thank the X-Men for their help but the heroes have disappeared as quickly as they appeared. When they arrive at Metro College, both Scott and Warren take note of Jean's classmate, Ted Roberts, and how he has an obvious interest in her. Scott deals with the idea of trying to get over her while Warren has decided to seek romance elsewhere.
Far away in Central America, a man known as El Tigre leads some men to try and find a long lost Mayan pyramid that is a shrine to the Mayan god Kukulcán. His guides, two mercenaries named Toloc and Ramon make no attempts to hide their contempt toward their employer. While searching the pyramid, El Tigre comes across part of an ancient Sacred Pendant of Kukulcán. Unaware of its true power, El Tigre stows it in his shirt pocket to have it examined later. That night, as El Tigre sleeps, Toloc and Ramon tie up El Tigre in the hopes of making off with all the gold that is found. However, El Tigre is feigning sleep and catches them off guard when he surprisingly shows the ability to project mental bolts from his mind. Binding the two would be thieves, El Tigre has them swear their loyalty to him or face death by machete. Later, while stoking the flames of their camp fire, the fragment of the amulet falls out of his pocket and El Tigre realizes that this is the source of his power. Returning to the pyramid, the amulet imparts its origins: That it is but part of the Sacred Pendant of Kukulcán and that when the two fragments are rejoined it will give whoever wears it the power of Kukulcán. The power hungry El Tigre decides that he will get this no matter what.
A few days later in the United States, the X-Men are studying when suddenly the Cerebro alarm goes off, prompting the group to investigate. The Professor decides to go downstairs by using his leg braces, but the power supply fails. He is rescued from a bad fall from special coils that he installed into the wall to prevent such an injury. Returned to his wheelchair, the Professor and the X-Men check Cerebro and learn of the coming of a powerful force that is arriving in New York City.
Cyclops, Beast, Angel, and Iceman then travel out to the city to investigate further, as El Tigre and his men are arriving in New York. El Tigre uses his amazing mental powers to compel a cab driver to take them to a nice hotel. As they are being dropped off, Scott spots them and finds the strangely garbed men suspicious. When Scott returns to the X-Men's hotel room, he learns that the team was just as fruitless as he was in finding the source of Cerebro's alarm. Deciding to check the newspapers, Scott goes back outside. While reading and walking, he accidentally bumps into someone causing his glasses to be knocked askew. Quickly getting his optic blasts under control, Scott has to flee from a group of mutant haters.
Returning to the hotel room, Scott arrives just in time to hear a news report about a strange brawl that broke out in a nearby restaurant. When the report identifies three individuals who did not participate in the brawl, Scott recognizes them as the men he saw earlier. Confirming Scott's suspicions that El Tigre is responsible, the Professor transmits instructions via telepathy to his charges on how to deal with the threat. He explains that he was using his mental powers to track El Tigre and his minions after they left the hotel, fleeing ahead of the police who had tracked them back to their hotel. El Tigre however detects the Professor's probes and blocks him out. This didn't prevent the Professor from learning their location and he sends the X-Men in uniform to confront El Tigre.
The X-Men arrive at a nearby museum where they decide to split up and search for El Tigre and his men individually. The Beast runs afoul of animated suits of armor until he is caught up in one of Ramon's bolos and is knocked out. Iceman, while searching an arctic exhibit, is similarly tripped up by rope that is tied across a staircase and crashes into a brick wall. In a prehistoric exhibit, Angel is also downed when he is struck by a blow dart fired by Toloc.
Cyclops meanwhile tracks down El Tigre, but before he can stop the crook they are both spotted by the museum security guard. El Tigre uses his mental powers to command the guard to keep Cyclops at gun point until El Tigre can retrieve the missing half of the pendant. Finding it in a display case, El Tigre smashes through the glass, liberating the fragment he has sought out. Combining the two together, El Tigre is suddenly enveloped in a bright flash of light. When the light fades, he is El Tigre no more, as he is now garbed in ancient clothing. He announces that he is now the living embodiment of the Mayan god Kukulcán!
- This issue also had an alternate (and unused) cover, featuring the X-Men rushing toward El Tigre (in shadow). It was printed in Essential Classic X-Men Vol. 2.
- Who Says This Isn't the Marvel Age of Concise Credits?
- Edited by: Stan Lee
- Scripted by: Roy Thomas
- Illustrated by: Werner Roth
- Inked by: Dick Ayers
- Lettered by: Sam Rosen
- Imitated by: Brand Echh
- references: X-Men #23
- This starts a two-part story-arc which concludes next issue.
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