The last time I got a wild hair to read X-Men I left off with #110 knowing that #111 is a good jumping on point. #111 begins in medias res, but I’m reading in conjunction with the supplemental material from Classic X-men, so let’s start with #17 of that series.

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Yeah, but it's still pretty early in Miller's career. Cyclops' pose looks like a Neal Adams swipe to me, too (at least in style).

X-MEN #125 / CXM #31:

X-MEN #125: The Beast checks on the mansion expecting to find it empty and discovers the X-Man alive. This issue marks the end of the “abduction” arc begun in #111, but as a prime example of good comic book storytelling, the next arc (Dark Phoenix), already begun, overlaps. Speaking of Dark Phoenix, on Muir Isle, Moira McTaggart subjects Jean Grey to a series of tests and discovers that her powers are increasing exponentially. Mutant X is running loose, and while Phoenix pursues him, she hallucinates a time shift with Jason Wyngarde and the Hallfire Club. A scene with Magneto provides the final clue that he is the father of Quicksilver and the scarlet Witch, and on the Shi’ar homeworld, Professor Xavier experiences difficulty fitting in.

CXM #31: The back-up is a story expanding upon the professor’s difficulty fitting in set between issues #124 and #125.

Hmmm.. Cyclops looks a little Gil Kane-ish to me.

And man, it's great to see these Lightle covers!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Yeah, but it's still pretty early in Miller's career. Cyclops' pose looks like a Neal Adams swipe to me, too (at least in style).

I had forgotten that Jean was affected by Mastermind this early. Though it wasn't until Dazzler's debut.

"Hmmm.. Cyclops looks a little Gil Kane-ish to me."

Yeah, I can see that, too.

"And man, it's great to see these Lightle covers!"

I've dropped the "Cover Comparison" section because too many of the upcoming ones are too close to call. I think they are what they are: the Byrne ones are better for the original publication, the Lightle ones are better for reprints. And then there's the difference in when they were published, respectively, as well.

My recollection is Byrne said in an interview he based Cyclops on a French actor, but I don't know who that might be.

Magneto's relationship to Wanda and Pietro was Byrne's idea. He wanted it to be something that was there between the lines only. It was confirmed in a letters column and the first Vision and the Scarlet Witch mini; I don't know which first.

It would have been the letters column which was first. I haven't got to whichever issue it was in yet, but I remember it well. The editorial postulated the following hypothetical question (working from memory) then answered it: "So why not just come out and say that their father is M*GN*T*? Because it's a secret, that's why!"

X-MEN #126 / CXM #32:

X-MEN #126: Less than an hour has passed since the end of last issue. The X-Men storm Muir Isle in the SR-71 Blackbird. One by one, the X-Men encounter Moira’s team, who learn at last the X-Men are not dead. Phoenix hallucinates that cyclops is Jason Wyngarde, then passes out. Then they have to deal with Mutant X, whose power is to bend reality. Moira reveals that Mutant X is her son, that he constantly has to replenish host bodies, and he has a weakness to metal.

Mutant X calls himself Proteus. After he has burned out the shell of Angus McWhirter, he takes over the form of one of Multiple Man’s duplicates. Fleeing to the mainland, he encounters Jason Wyngarde but cannot take him over. He takes over a man maned Ferdie Duncan instead. The x-Men are hot on his trail. Wyngarde causes Phoenix to hallucinate again. Proteus attempts to take over Wolverine’s body, but fails due to hi adamantium skeleton. Even teamwork fails to defeat Proteus, who grows increasingly powerful.

CXM #32: This issue’s back-up occurs during X-Men #126, greatly expands on Wolverine and Nightcrawler’s encounter with Proteus, and reveals many of Wolverine’s deeply-hidden insecurities.

Cover-wise, this instalment seems to me a clear win for Classic X-Men. I find the original cover bland, and new cover intriguing.

I think the original cover was a variation on Giant-Size X-Men #1. It seems to be the last X-cover Cockrum did during Byrne's run, so I suppose it was a goodbye.

It looks to me like it was in turn the model for Classic X-Men #7's. Comparing the two, I was surprised to see the Classic #7 cover dropped Wolverine.

I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the relative merits the covers of X-Men #126 vs. Classic X-Men #32, Luke. Whereas #126 is a decent enough group shot, I will almost always prefer a cover which depicts an actual scene from the issue. It strikes me that #126 is more “modern” in that sense, in that covers these days, prepared well in advance of the issue’s contents, seldom portray events inside. Here’s another pair.

X-MEN #127 / CXM #33:

X-MEN #127: Moira tries to kill her son Proteus but Cyclops stops her, giving him the chance to get away. Wolverine is shaken up by his encounter with Proteus in a way I’ve never seen before or since. Cyclops picks a fight with him in an effort to get him to regain his confidence. One by one he switches his attack to each of the team who encountered Proteus. (He clued Phoenix in to this plan first, explaining it as “a session in the Danger Room.”)

In the meantime, Proteus has switched bodies again, this time to a young shop girl named Jennie Banks. Moira visits her estranged husband (whom she hasn’t seen in 20 years) and first tells him about the son he never knew he had, then that his son is out to kill him. Proteus does, in fact, takes control of his fther’s body, but this time both their minds co-exist. Cyclops plan is to burn Proteus out and prevent him from switching bodies, but then Proteus takes Moira hostage.

CXM #33: The focus in on Havok during #127.

X-MAIL: Half of the letters page is given over to a Canadian reader’s complaints of clichés and bigotry in #121-122, and the other half is given to Chris Claremont’s rebuttal.
X-MEN #128 / CXM #34:

X-MEN #128: After a recap of the story so far, the X-Men steel themselves for the final battle with Proteus at Edinburgh Castle, more meaningful to me now that I have visited there. I had completely forgotten this climactic battle was set there.

CXM #34: Introduces the inner circle of the Hellfire Club with an emphasis on the White Queen.

Did they draw Edinburgh Castle like the real one?

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