Re. the Japan story, Claremont had previously used Magnum in Power-Man Annual #1. Supermegamonkey says Incredible Hulk #241 "hints" 'They' were responsible for his power-up.
The story's submergence of Japan element is likely a riff on the 1973 film Nippon Chinbotsu, "Japan Sinks". This was based on a novel by Sakyo Komatsu which has appeared in English as Japan Sinks and The Death of the Dragon. The story apparently resonated in Japan. There have also been other TV and film versions, and a parody, The World Sinks Except Japan.
Incredible Hulk #241 had its trio of villains bragging on how they manipulated several superbeings into engaging in conflicts that would feed their source of power, a certain sacred flame. It has been previously established that they freed and/or empowered Absorbing Man and a minor villain called Golden Scarab, at least.
They used a chessboard with imitation chesspieces representing several such beings, such as Spider-Man, Hercules, Ghost Rider and Nova. Moses Magnum was represented as well.
As hints go, it is a rather strong one, but I suppose that it is reasonable to retcon Apocalypse as an unwilling accessory to their plans. We may assume that Moses Magnum's powers, being tectonic in nature, were particularly useful to their purposes (something that is also implied in that story) and they just noticed his existence after he was given powers, monitored his actions, and saw no need to interfere.
It fits, although I would still call Apocalypse's role a retcon, or at least a continuity implant. But I guess that Classic X-Men is not a book for people who dislike continuity implants.
Magnum calls himself the "master of the Magnum force". I think this is a riff on Orion's "Astro-force", via (of course) the title of the 1973 Clint Eastwood movie. Perhaps Magnum was used entirely for the sake of the pun! I suppose to today's young people the movie reference mightn't be obvious.
Dave Cockrum was Marvel's cover-designer when the original issues came out. His day job was the reason he left the title. He resigned sometime in 1979, and his resignation letter was used as the basis of Jarvis's in Iron Man #127. Mike's Amazing World says that issue came out the same month as X-Men #126.
I notice many of these Classic X-Men covers were inked by Terry Austin, like most of the originals. I like his inks over both Cockrum and Gammill. The original cover of #111 is one of the greats.
Re. my question about Wolverine's bones and claws, the claws were said to be adamantium way back in Incredible Hulk #181.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
“They also set up a brief romance between Cyclops and Colleen Wing.”
“Wasn't there also a brief romance between Cyclops and Colleen Wing?”
Sorry. Meant to say "Bob Diamond."
"[Dave Cockrum] resigned sometime in 1979, and his resignation letter was used as the basis of Jarvis's in Iron Man #127."
That issue was reprinted in the Michelinie/Layton Iron Man omnibus but the proint was rendered unreadable. There was a feature in the back which reproduced the panel as it originally saw print, but I'm pretty sure it identified the writer as a disgruntled intern. I'll have to check on that. In either case, it was never intended to see print; it was supposedly "statted in" as a placeholder then never replaced.
Byrne once lived in Calgary, even going to the Calgary School of Art and Design for a while. So he ought to know the local landmarks pretty well.
X-MEN #122 / CXM #28:
COVER COMPARISON: Let me put it this way: all else being equal, based on the covers alone, which of these comics would you buy?
X-MEN #122: The X-Men are back home, but the arc begun in #111 is still not complete because Professor X (now in outer space with Lilandra), Phoenix (now in Scotland) and Beats (now back with the Avengers) don’t know their fate or vice versa. This issue advances multiple plot threads: a footnote explains that Cyclops appeared in Power Man & Iron Fist #57 between issues; Jean grey meets Jason Wyngarde (who casts the shadow of Mastermind; also the first mention of the Hellfire Club)); Wolverine sees Mariko in Manhattan but is not allowed to speak to her; Ororo visits her childhood apartment, now a crack house (social commentary, that). The issue ends with Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy hiring Arcade to kill the X-Men.
CXM #28: In the back-up story, which takes place between #109 and 3110, the X-Men attend a Halloween party in Salem Center.
You might be interested in this thread from John Byrne's forum, which has an image of a page of notes John Byrne made on their plans and his 2006 thoughts on the same. He recounts what they planned for the Mariko story on p.3. They were certainly planning ahead.
I like the idea of 'breather' issues - Wolfman & Perez dropped them in the New Teen Titans every now and then and they worked well.
What I'm not so much a fan of is the adding more and more layers of backstory to people that didn't need it.
Storm had her 'Goddess in Africa' and her 'street-urchin' as well as IIRC a mystery over her parent's death
Colossus had..... he's a Russian...…..
Colossus was originally intended to be the focal point of the X-Men, according to creator Len Wein. He was supposed to be their "Thing".
Colossus was to be the "Strongman Star", Storm "The Girl", Wolverine "The Wiseacre" and Nightcrawler "The Tortured Soul".
"You might be interested in this thread from John Byrne's forum..."
I would have been, but it's restricted. I'll have to check it out later.