("Behold... the scarlet circles of doom!")
Factor Three don't seem to be selling themselves too well at this point:
F3: Now that we've made you unstoppably powerful and immune to psychic control, we demand you join us!I say, if a secret society hell-bent on world domination can't afford their own plane, then they're just wasting everyone's time. They couldn't even book Juggie a seat somewhere? My university can manage that, though possibly not without weeks of faffing and arguing over which credit card gets used.
JUGGERNAUT: Er, why should I listen to you? I'm unstoppably powerful and immune to psychic control!
F3: Ah. Bums.
JUGGERNAUT: Still, I'll come visit you anyhow, out of the evilness of my heart. How am I getting there?
F3: Well... you might have to steal a plane...
Maybe there's some kind of mutant brain-virus going around, actually. Certainly Factor Three aren't the only ones affected. How else do we explain Iceman not being able to guess what the Juggernaut would want at a plane factory, or being surprised that the team's signal watches can be used not just for sending signals, but also as watches?
It may have hit Cyclops as well, actually. "Jean and I will travel to Korea to cast an incantation. The rest of you: fight the indestructible Juggernaut who has already beaten you twice, and once almost ripped of Beast's leg." Nice work, fearless leader. No wonder they were all so quick to volunteer for Operation: Avoid Certain Death. "I'm not running away from a fight! I'm running towards a fight with a much weaker opponent!"
Cyclops seems to be a bit quick to recognise Communist territory in Korea, doesn't he? No wonder patriotic, true-blooded Americans are suspicious of mutants. I'm also not sure what those Korean helmets are about. They don't look anything like the ushanka the KPA wear in Winter. If anything, they're somewhere between Mongolian and Samurai helmets, which is to say a random combination of stereotypical archetypes, which makes me a little uncomfortable. If you're going to use is this story to insult the DPRK, then why not show a little imagination?
Still on the subject of the young lover's mystical trip to Korea, it's nice when Doctor Strange can take a little time out from saving the world to cast his Spell of Increased Book Sales, isn't it? I wonder if this is the first sign that the comic's sales are slipping? The book lasts another three years after this, so I guess it can't be crisis time just yet, but it's an interesting thought.
I can't fault that ending, though. An comatose Xavier kidnapped whilst the team were distracted by the Juggernaut? Ooooooooh! Plus, the efforts by the three X-Men assigned to a suicidal attack against the Juggernaut are actually quite inventive. Tipping up their own helicopter (with rotors still running) to try and slice him to pieces is a nice idea (scratch another X-vehicle!), as is trying to stop him with a wind tunnel. I personally might have chosen to set it to blow the Juggernaut away from them, rather than suck him inwards, but it's still markedly above average intelligence-wise for this issue.
The events of this issue take place over a few hours (indeed, pp 10-20 explicitly happen over a single hour) , and presumably therefore within the same day as issue #32. Juggernaut is mentioned as taking a "Sunday stroll" at the beginning, but it would seem to be one of Lee's editorial insights, rather than an actual time-stamp.
The trees are still bare, despite the issue's cover date being June. Thomas might have finally worked out the importance of story continuity.
Monday 14th of December, 1979.