Membership: Several androids posing as mutants
Purpose: To serve Mesmero
Aliases: "Fun-Loving Cobras!" (called by Beast)
Affiliations: Magneto (android, leader), Mesmero (Vincent, assistant-leader), Samuel "Starr" Saxon (creator)
Enemies: Polaris (Lorna Dane), X-Men (Angel/Warren Worthington III, Beast/Henry McCoy, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Iceman/Robbert Drake, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey)
Base of Operations: Mesmero's Mutant City, Southwestern US desert;
formerly Mesmero's mansion in San Francisco
First Appearance: X-Men I#49 (1968, October)
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#7 - Mesmero entry) - The evil robotics genius Samuel "Starr" Saxon (the future Machinesmith) used his skills to create a robotic duplicate of Magneto. Possibly inspired by the process of mimicking mutant powers in artificial lifeforms, he also built the Demi-Men, a small army of robots possessing supernatural abilities. Not willing to risk his own life, Saxon used the imposing and lifelike Magneto robot to do his bidding. He had "Magneto" recruit the services of Mesmero, making the mutant mind controller believe he was offering him a job as his second-in-command and the assistant leader of the Demi-Men. Mesmero's first task was locating a teenage girl called Lorna Dane, whose latent magnetic powers Saxon believed would prove useful in maintaining control of his army of metallic men.
(X-Men I#49) - Operating out of a mansion in San Francisco, Mesmero used a psyche-generator to augment his powers to affect a large number of latent mutants including Lorna Dane. He forced them to come towards him, zombie-like and unresponsive. Having so many potential mutants move together at once caught Cerebro's attention, prompting the X-Men to travel to the West Coast to investigate (Beast and Iceman were already in the city). As fate would have it, Bobby bumped into Lorna in time to rescue the oblivious girl from being hit by a car. Snapping out of Mesmero's control but still very confused how she'd come all the way to San Francisco, Lorna was taken back to the Beast's dorm room where she fell asleep from exhaustion. At the same time, the other X-Men arrived at the dorm. Figuring Lorna would be asleep for hours, Bobby and Hank joined their teammates in tracing the signal that held the mob under its spell back to Mesmero's mansion where they found a squad of Demi-Men waiting for them. They recognized the X-Men as enemies of Magneto and attacked them with conventional guns and blasters. That led Angel to wonder what kind of mutants they were, while the X-Men easily finished them off. The teenage mutants then returned to the dorm room to catch up with Lorna. They then prepared to use their portable mutant tracker to locate the mutant mob again, leaving Iceman behind to protect the scared Lorna. Not too long after the others had left, Mesmero and a few of the Demi-Men burst in and attacked Iceman and Lorna who were no match for them and were easily captured.
(X-Men I#50) - Mesmero used his mental powers to suggest Iceman and Lorna Dane went to sleep. The teenagers were placed in coffins that the Demi-Men quickly carried out of the dorm. Mesmero and the robots covered their unusual features with bio-plasticene masks that made them look human. Not arousing any suspicion, Mesmero and the Demi-Men brought Bobby and Lorna to the futuristic mutant city in the middle of a desert. At the same time the X-Men returned to Mesmero's San Francisco mansion where they were attacked by the remaining Demi-Men still present there. During the fight, Jean Grey received a mental summons from Iceman and realized they were fighting the same enemy. Quickly signalling the other X-Men to throw the fight, the teens were captured by the Demi-Men and taken to Mutant City. There, Mesmero and the Demi-Men had placed the unsuspecting Lorna in his mutant energy stimulator that would activate her latent mutant potential. The process turned her into the malevolent M-2, Magneto's heir. Lorna fought the X-Men for a while until all those present were surprised by the arrival of "Magneto" (actually the Saxon-built android).
(X-Men I#51) - The X-Men attacked Magneto, who called in the help of Mesmero and the Demi-Men. Most of them were incapacitated early on when Iceman overexerted is ice powers to flashfreeze them temporarily. Some were able to briefly put an iron containment mask over Cyclops' head while Magneto kept Beast busy by having him dodge flying mines. Jean Grey looked after the powerless Iceman, leaving Cyclops to free himself. Realizing they were outnumbered, Scott ordered the X-Men to retreat. They found their escape blocked by the Demi-Men who had formed a living chain of sorts, holding hands to prevent the mutant youths to pass through. When Cyclops tried to attack one of them, he found that all the Demi-Men shared their various "mutant" abilities if they were in direct physical contact. The X-Men's leader was forcibly rebuffed by the Demi-Men who explained he had the mutant power of negative energy, instantly returning every blow struck against him with double the impact. Another of the Demi-Men downed Angel by telekinetically strangling him with steel cables. In a desperate move, Cyclops fired several high yield optic blasts to destroy large parts of Mutant City. The Demi-Men dispersed to dodge the debris, allowing the X-Men to escape unopposed using one of the city's futuristic VTOL planes.
(X-Men I#52 (fb) - BTS) - Realizing a direct assault on Mutant City was virtual suicide, the X-Men came up with a plan. Cyclops devised the identity of Erik the Red, creating a crimson armor that concealed his identity and transformed his eyebeams into fingerblasts.
(X-Men I#51) - Several days after the X-Men escaped Mutant City, the Demi-Men picked up Erik the Red's mutant signature. They found him at the gates of Mutant City, emitting potent beams of concussive force and challenging Magneto's rule.
(X-Men I#52) - Some of the Demi-Men are sent out to intercept and contain Erik the Red, but they prove no match for his fingerblasts. Mesmero attempted to use his powers on the mysterious attacker but is forced to flee along with the defeated Demi-Men when Erik started to destroy vital parts of Mutant City's machinery. He was then approached by M-2 (Lorna Dane) who first tried to stop him until she learned he had actually come to join Magneto's cause and merely sought to show off the power he possessed. Magneto agreed to take Erik in, much to Mesmero's misgivings though he and the Demi-Men silently accepted the orders from on high. Later, Jean Grey received a mental signal from Erik telling the X-Men of a way to sneak into Mutant City. The team had brought a special copper electrical tape which they figured would trap and disable the Demi-Men. Erik ordered the X-Men to set it up while they waited for the right moment, unaware Mesmero and the Demi-Men had already spotted them. When the X-Men accidentally used the copper electrical trap to take out Iceman, the Demi-Men and Mesmero attacked. With the power supply to the copper trap destroyed and a man short, the X-Men were forced to deal with the Demi-Men themselves. Angel swooped down and knocked out three of them while Marvel Girl telekinetically lifted up two more so Beast could get the unconscious Iceman to safety. The Demi-Men soon got the drop on Angel, literally, and dragged him to the ground where Mesmero subjected him to bolts of searing mutant energy until both Beast and Jean Grey engaged the villain. At the same time, the Demi-Men got a giant energy cannon ready to fire at the team. Erik the Red intervened by blasting the weapon and knocking out several of the Demi-Men in the process. By that time, "Magneto" had realized his side was losing and ordered Lorna to destroy the X-Men "lest he was turned into dried dust by his mortal enemies". Before she could join the fray, Lorna was approached by the recovered Iceman who told her he'd researched her origins which proved there was no way she could be related to Magneto. Furious at being lied to, Lorna Dane used her impressive magnetic potential to take out the Demi-Men with a single blast just as they were about to overcome the X-Men. Her next blast took out Mesmero and, after defying "Magneto", Lorna joined the X-Men to fight him. They found no trace of him, save for a recorded farewell message to his "noble adversaries" announcing all of Mutant City would blow itself up within the next minute. The X-Men hurried to get to safety, most if not all of the Demi-Men went up with the desert town.
(X-Men I#58 - BTS) - During a Sentinel attack Mesmero discovered that the one he served was nothing more than an android.
Comments: Created by Arnold Drake (writer), Don Heck, Werner Roth (pencillers), John Tartaglione (inks).
The Demi-Men are sure to give you one demi of a headache trying to explain away the plotholes in the handful of issues they appeared in. If left alone, they'd been little more than a forgettable footnote in the annals of the original team's later day adventures. But after X-Men I#58 established that the Magneto seen during that adventure had been a robot, a fact the real Magneto validated in X-Men I#112, we're left with the inexplicable. That necessitated the retro-active inclusion of Machinesmith into the Demi-Men's origins. Granted, that kind of works, but still doesn't explain how Saxon knew of Lorna Dane and her powers. Let alone why he'd even need a teenage girl with magnetic powers to control robots he built himself and could probably deactivate with the flick of a switch.
Thanks to Ron Fredricks for pointing out to link the Resistant's base to Mutant City.
Profile by Norvo & MarvellousLuke
The Demi-Men have no known connections to
Constructed somewhere in the Californian desert, the giant, futuristic looking City of Mutants was the headquarters of Mesmero, the Demi-Men and their leader, who they thought was Magneto (actually an android created by Starr Saxon). Most of Mutant City was an underground, high tech complex that came equipped with advanced energy cannons, scanning equipment and a mutant energy stimulator that could stimulate the powers of any latent mutant. For transportation, Mutant City had an undisclosed number of VTOL aircraft permanently prepped and ready for launch. "Magneto" had the sprawling complex outfitted with explosives that could detonate within 60 seconds. After the betrayal of Erik the Red and his own daughter Lorna Dane turning against him, "Magneto" used the self-destruct setting on Mutant City presumably destroying it completely.
Years later it the remnants of Mutant City were used by the mutant Resistants.
--X-Men I#50 (X-Men I#50-52, Captain America I#346
images: (without ads)
X-Men I#49, p5, pan2 (main image)
X-Men I#49, p10 (fighting the X-Men)
X-Men I#51, p10, pan2-4 (displaying individual powers)
X-Men I#52, p14, pan1 (in final combat)
X-Men I#50, p2-3 (mutant city)
X-Men I#49 (1968, October) - Arnold Drake (writer), Don Heck, Werner Roth (pencillers), John Tartaglione (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#50 (1968, November) - Arnold Drake (writer), Jim Steranko (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#51 (1968, December) - Arnold Drake (writer), Jim Steranko (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#52 (1969, January) - Arnold Drake (writer), Don Heck, Werner Roth (pencillers), John Tartaglione (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 03/12/16.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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