Appearing in "The Menace of Merlin!"
- Thor - (Only in flashback)
- The Warlock (First appearance) (Appears in flashback and main story)
- Warlock's henchmen
- Three unnamed unicorns
- Unnamed museum patrons - (Only in flashback)
- New York City Museum - (Only in flashback)
- New England Hills
- Negative Space
- Warlock's hidden cave
- Warlock's one-man hovercrafts
Synopsis for "The Menace of Merlin!"
The X-Men are suddenly pulled from their home from a gigantic hand that pulls them (and more specifically Marvel Girl) across the sky toward a strange mountain range. Jean is pulled away from Cyclops and the others and when she is finally pulled back to the ground she is shocked to find the Professor has been captured as well. They are confronted by a man calling himself the Warlock, a powerful man who claims to be immortal and that he intends to take over the world. The Professor notes that the man has a keen interest in Jean, however he cannot do anything about it because the Warlock has somehow nullified his mental powers.
The Warlock invites both the Professor and Jean back to his home and calls fourth three flying steeds to carry them there. When Jean inquires as to if the horses are magical in origin, the Warlock tells her that they are really mutants of his own creation. Flying along, the Professor recognizes the region as the New England Hills and wonders where the rest of his charges are. As they fly toward the Warlock's base of operations they are joined by Angel who has scouted ahead of the other X-Men to try and find Jean. Angel notices that Marvel Girl is under the Warlock's thrall and asks the Professor what to do, Xavier tells Angel to hold back and follow along to see what the Warlock has in store for them.
They arrive to a castle hidden within the mountains, there the Warlock tells the X-Men his origins: He tells them that he was really Merlin the magician, who unknown to those in Arthurian times was really a mutant. In hibernation for thousands of years, he would be revived in modern times and do battle against the Thunder God, Thor. Thor would have convinced Merlin into going into hibernation for another thousand years, however he had tricked the Thunder God, and at the first sign that Thor was away on an extended leave from Earth, Merlin -- now calling himself Warlock, would break free and begin plotting to take over the world.
Warlock would then ask Jean to join him on a tour of his castle, to which the enslaved girl agrees. When Warren attempts to stop Warlock, the supposed mutant uses his power of suggestion to convince Angel that his wings have caught fire. When dousing the "flames" Warren remarks how the Professor was able to know that there was a nearby stream, making him wonder if his leader truly is powerless, and also remarks about how the flames on his wings were only the power of suggestion imposed on him by the Warlock.
The Professor then starts using his mental powers to bring the X-Men to the Warlock's castle; however this is detected by Warlock who goes to investigate leaving Jean in a paralysis. However, when Warlock arrives, he finds the Professor has apparently fallen out of his chair and knocked himself out. Taking Xavier to the infirmary, he attempts to probe the Professor's mind, but finds no thoughts. Just then Cyclops, Beast and Iceman arrive and the Professor reveals his ruse to stall for time until the other X-Men arrive, and pulls them out of the "Negative Space" where Warlock had left them to die. Before the other X-Men can attack, the Warlock uses his powers to root their feet to the ground. However, before he can do anything else, the Professor challenges the Warlock to a fair fight. Warlock agrees to an arena battle between the X-Men and his own minions.
The challenge begins and it soon the X-Men easily defeat all the warriors that the Warlock throws against Xavier's students. Attempting to rescue Jean and the Professor, the X-Men are repelled by Warlock who escapes with Jean. The X-Men follow after him, easily able to break through the various traps and defenses that the Warlock had rigged into his castle. Catching up with the Warlock, the X-Men are almost crushed by a force bolt that destroys a castle parapet, however Marvel Girl manages to break free of the Warlock's mind control long enough to save them with her telekinetic powers.
When the Warlock attempts to reassert his will over Marvel Girl once more, the X-Men swarm the villain and cover his head with his cape. The Professor then uses his mental powers to force Warlock to return to his coma state and the X-Men round up and incapacitate all of his followers. With the battle over, the Professor orders his X-Men to return home so that they can continue to prepare to deal with the coming threat of Factor Three.
- The original title of this reprint was "The Warlock Wakes!" This title and panel 4 on page 3 were re-lettered to clear any confusion in thinking the Warlock referred to Adam Warlock from Marvel Premiere #1.
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