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#1 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #124

Release Date- August 1979

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- John Byrne

Major Notes

None

Brief Summary

He Only Laughs When I Hurt

Arcade is watching the X-Men struggle in Murderworld and he is laughing his head off as he is having much fun watching them struggle. The trapped Colleen Wing states that if he is going to kill the X-Men at least do it face to face. Arcade responds by giving her a kiss and she responds negatively to this.

He then begins to explain how he had been a rich man but his father thought that he was no good and cut him off. In turn Arcade killed his father and realised that he had a knack for murdering. He became one of the world’s top hit men but he found it boring so using his intellect and his father’s fortune he created murderworld. He would have people hire him to place victims in Murderworld but even then he got bored. Arcade wished to have a challenge to Murderworld and this was fulfilled when he was hired to murder a superhero called Captain Britain. But while capturing him Spider-Man got caught in the middle of it and the two heroes were able to escape. Arcade was hired by Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy to capture the X-Men and kill them. He found the capture part very easy and now he is enjoying them.

A brainwashed Colossus is attacking Cyclops and Wolverine. He thinks that they are enemies of the Soviet Union and must be destroyed. Wolverine goes to attack Colossus but is thrown through a revolving door. Cyclops tries to stop the door but it is too late, Wolverine is on the other side. Cyclops is struck through another wall and seemingly escapes and although Colossus has failed he seems to be glad. But he remembers what he has been told by Colonel Vashin and he walks away to track them down.

In her room Storm is still struggling to get out. A man made down draft forces her into the water and she begins to sink. She does swim up to the surface but discovers the water level is rising and she is running out of breathing space.

Cyclops has found himself in Nightcrawler's room and sees his teammate on the ground injured. Using his optic beams he blasts the death car before tending to his teammate. Nightcrawler is a little shook but otherwise unharmed. But before they can figure out a way to escape more cars appear with circular saws and make their way to the two mutants.

Wolverine has found Banshee who are now being attacked small flying spaceships firing lasers. Banshee still cannot use his powers to take them down but instead Wolverine decides to slice a nearby wall in an attempt to escape. But as the two X-Men go through the hole in the wall they are confronted by robot imposters of Magneto and the Incredible Hulk. Spider-Man and Captain Britain had used the same trick to escape Murderworld so Arcade has learned from this and added those two robots to combat them.

Storm begins to breathe in as much air as she can before diving back into the water. She has removed her cape and her boots to lessen the weight she is carrying. She figures that the water is coming from a vent inside below. She swims down and finds the pipe that is feeding water into the room. She starts to unleash lightning bolts at the pipe in hopes of destroying it and washing her out but she doesn’t know how long her lungs will hold out.

Not too far away Cyclops and Nightcrawler are still dealing with the death cars. But Cyclops unleashes an optic blast which ricochets off of each car destroying them and creating a hole in the wall which will allow them to escape. They make their way through the corridors of electrical wiring and eventually they split up to find the others. Cyclops stumbles upon Wolverine and Banshee who are fighting the Hulk and Magneto.

In his control room Arcade realises that he has lost Cyclops and Nightcrawler while Storm is overwhelming her trap. His assistants Miss Locke and Chambers try to help but they are unaware that they are being watched by Nightcrawler who is in the air ducts. Quickly he teleports in front of Arcade causing him to fall back. Miss Locke starts to fire at Nightcrwler with a shot gun but is quickly unarmed. He then begins to fire at the controls but Arcade orders Chambers to use the gas to subdue Nightcrawler.

In the other room Wolverine, Banshee and Cyclops are finishing off the robot Hulk and Magneto when suddenly the wall comes in and there is a tidal wave of water. Storm washes out but Cyclops discovers that she isn’t breathing. Quickly he gives her mouth to mouth and after a few moments she is able to breathe again and she regains consciousness. But then Colossus enters the scene, unaware that he is brainwashed Banshee goes over to him but is struck down. He then takes out Wolverine before grabbing Cyclops and Storm by their necks and lifting them off the ground. Colossus states that Xavier had used his telepathy to convince him to join the X-Men over using his powers with the Soviet government.

Storm and Cyclops use their words to try and convince Colossus that he is their friend. They state on how they were mere individuals before they joined the X-Men and how they are more than a team but a family. This is enough to snap Colossus back into reality and he hugs his two teammates and is very apologetic.

Arcade realises that he has lost and presses a button on his control console. The team are wrapped up in a giant metal pinball and they are sent down a series of shoots and tubes. Before too long they find themselves in an abandoned amusement park in the Bronx. But as they exit the sphere they see Nightcrawler, Colleen Wing, Amanda Sefton and Betsy Wiliford parachuting down towards them. They are wrapped up like Christmas presents but when they reach the ground the X-Men free each of them. There is also a note stating that the team have won this round. It is signed by Arcade but disintegrates within moments. Wolverine wants to find Arcade but Cyclops states that they have no idea exactly where Murderworld is and the fact that they cannot legally search private property. They don’t even have any evidence that a crime even took place so for now they leave and head back to the X-Mansion thankful that everyone is in one piece.

My Thoughts

Well a good end to a fun two part story. Ok maybe it is not on the same level as the Phoenix business or the last time that the Original X-Men took on the Sentinels but it is still a worthwhile read. Arcade is an all-round fun villain who deserves to get the spotlight every now and again.

The traps that have been laid out for the X-Men truly boarders on the whacky and insane and it just shows that anything is possible in Murderworld. You did feel that there might have been a chance that a couple of the X-Men might not have come out of it in one piece. But it would be unwise for the team of Claremont and Byrne to kill off a member of the team after what happened to Thunderbird. But then again it would have been a shocking moment and we would have seen why Murderworld got its name.

Seeing Colossus brainwashed in that manner was also very entertaining. Playing on his fears is a good way to brainwashing people into believing whatever you want. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Colossus had chosen to give his power to the state rather than the X-Men. I think they might have had a What If? Issue about that some time ago but it is something to keep in mind. But despite the brainwashing as we saw there was still some of the old Colossus that we all know and love still trapped in there.

One thing I do have to question was how Storm could use her lightning bolts underwater without getting herself electrocuted. I’m no genius but even I know what happens when electricity comes into contact with water (I have played enough Pokémon games to know that one). Unless the way that she was using the lightning allowed it not to electrocute the rest of the water I don’t know exactly how that works. I think she should have been fried by her own lightning.

Also one other thing was that Wolverine and Banshee couldn’t escape through the lining in the wall but Cyclops and Nightcrawler could. I thought that Arcade would have given them fail safes as well but it seems that he ignored them. I find this hard to believe since he stated that was how he lost last time and it was a leading factor for him losing this time as well.

The ending is ominous and leads the reader to believe that Arcade will strike again. I’m wondering if he will have to pay the money back for not killing the X-Men but most likely he will keep it and say that he needs it to repair Murderworld before using it again. It would just be a way of him keeping the money.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 7 out of 10. About par with the last one but would have been better without those couple of plot holes I noticed.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) Annual #3

#2 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #123

Release Date- July 1979

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- John Byrne

Major Notes

Features the Amazing Spider-Man, first time that the X-Men face Arcade.

Brief Summary

Listen, stop me if you’ve heard it, but this one will kill you!

Spider-Man is web slinging through the streets of New York. He is broke after paying off his bills and he doesn’t have enough money to take his new girlfriend out. But while he is web slinging he sees Cyclops and Colleen Wing walking together and he quickly goes down to them to see how they are. But he realises that he is late and swings away, but as he leaves a man driving a garbage truck sees him leaving before approaching the couple in his truck. Suddenly the top of the truck opens up and a large tube traps the pair before they can escape.

Spider-Man hears the sound of the garbage truck trapping Cyclops and Colleen and recognises it as the same that he heard when he was captured by a villain called Arcade. When he reaches the location where he had left the couple he sees that they are gone but Colleen’s scarf remains behind. He knows he has to make a call to the other X-Men to warn them since it is likely that he is after them as well.

At Lincoln Centre Nightcrawler and Colossus are entering the Metropolitan Opera house along with their dates Amanda Sefton and Betsy Wilford. They are led to what they think is Professor Xavier’s private box by a woman calling herself Miss Locke. But when the two couples enter they are quickly gassed before they can escape and the private box is carried away by a helicopter.

Meanwhile Wolverine has just finished having dinner with Mariko Yashida. As he leaves he is happy that he has met Mariko and is starting to feel a connection between himself and her. He is so distracted that he doesn’t notice the same garbage truck approach him that took Cyclops and Colleen.

At the X-Mansion Banshee is asleep in a chair but he is woken up by the telephone ringing. He slowly gets up and walks towards the phone, he is considering retiring from being a superhero but he is shot in the back by a mysterious man and is knocked out.

A couple of minutes later Storm flies out of the bathroom unaware what has just happened. She goes to answer the phone but she is also shot in the back and knocked out. The mysterious man answers the phone and it is Spider-Man who is trying to warn the X-Men of Arcade. But the mysterious man is Arcade and knowing that he has failed Spider-Man destroys the phone booth that he is using in rage.

When Cyclops wakes up he discovers that he and the other X-Men are trapped in clear spheres. They are each wearing their costumes but in his control room Arcade prepares himself to start up Murderworld. He has his two assistants Miss Locke and Mr Chambers to help him. He welcomes the team to Murderworld over his PA system before unleashing the spheres into a giant pinball machine. The team are bounced around seemingly powerless to stop it. But they each eventually go down into certain holes in the oversized pinball machine.

When Cyclops lands on the ground his sphere smashes but in front of him he sees three doors. Using the PA system Arcade reveals that only one of the doors is the real exit and that the other two will set off a giant press that will squash Cyclops. If he opens the wrong door or tries to blast it the press will activate. Cyclops doesn’t know that all three doors are fake and that there is only one way to get past the trap.

Next Colossus wakes up in a dark room. He is confused but he hears a voice in Russian telling him to sit down on a nearby chair. Suddenly the lights come on blinding Colossus and a man claiming to be Colonel Alexei Vazhin of the KGB. He brands Colossus a traitor to the Soviet Union because he has sided himself with a superhero team located in the US rather than giving his power to the state.

Wolverine wonders in a house of mirrors, he is not sure what is happening but suddenly distorted versions of himself creep out of the mirrors and begin to attack him.

Nightcrawler wakes up in darkness but when the lights come on he is attacked by hover cars with circular saws on them. He teleports up to the ceiling in an attempt to get away but he doesn’t notice one travel up to the ceiling behind him and he is struck down.

Banshee finds himself in a large featureless room. There is nothing inside for him to know the size of the room and without the use of his mutant abilities he cannot know. But suddenly miniature Luftwaffe planes that have materialised from nowhere. He dodges as best as he can but he cannot keep it up forever.

Storm awakens and finds herself on a platform over some water. The platform tips and she begins to fall. But she uses her powers to stay airborne but something is resisting her ability to fly. She knows that the only way out is to destroy the trap door that led her to this room. Using all of her powers she flies up into the air and unleashes a lightning bolt at the door. But the bolt is reflected back at her and has been magnified.

In his room Cyclops sees the press getting closer but rather than choosing a door he decides to blast one of the nearby walls since he doesn’t trust Arcade. As he steps through the hole in the wall he sees Wolverine slashing through his distorted versions which turns out to be robots. The two X-Men make their way towards the exit but suddenly a shadowed figure punches Wolverine. The two see that this figure is their fellow X-Man Colossus but now he is wearing Soviet patriotic clothing and deems that he is a hero of the Soviet Union. He is now calling himself Proletarian and that he must destroy the X-Men.

In his control room Arcade is laughing his head off seeing Colossus turn on his teammates. Arcade also has Colleen, Amanda and Betsy hostage and he states that soon he will win.

My Thoughts

This was another interesting issue that took a step back from some of the darker things that we have seen This one seems to be wackier with the introduction of Murderworld to the X-Men franchise. It is not the first appearance of Murderworld, that was in a couple of issues of Marvel Team Up a year and a half before (Which was also the first US appearance of future Excalibur member Captain Britain).

In Murderworld practically anything can happen with almost any insane arena or enemy appearing. Although many of the Marvel Superheroes have found themselves in Murderworld I think that the X-Men are the ones who find themselves there the most amount of times out of anyone. I think that Arcade especially hates them but then again I don’t think that he is fond of anyone.

Although Spider-Man appears in this issue he doesn’t do all that much and I think it is a good thing since you don’t want a hero like him trying to overshadow the X-Men. At this point he already has three series centred on him (Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Team Up) so having him overshadow the team in this issue would have been a great loss. If Marvel wanted that to do that they would have had this story take place in a Spider-Man issue with the X-Men guest starring.

Arcade reminds me a lot of the Joker from the Batman comics how both men seem to be immature and pulling jokes. But deep down they are murderous psychopaths who love nothing more than to watch people die in the most entertaining of ways. He is a villain who is great for popping up every now and again to send the X-Men on a whacky adventure to save their own lives, but have it happen too often would diminish him in my view.

It seems that Arcade has done his research on the team before kidnapping them since the rooms seemed to be designed to keep them on their toes. I do question how he was able to achieve this considering how random a pinball machine can be. How would each of the X-Men have gone down the correct holes unless there was some way that Arcade could manipulate the spheres to go down particular holes, but for now we’ll just go with that.

This issue also marks the first time that we have seen Amanda Sefton in some time and for the moment we still don’t know that she is actually superpowered yet. That won’t be revealed until X-Men Annual #4 which will be released just over a year after the release of this issue.

At the end seeing Colossus turning his back on the team and seemingly siding with his native Mother Russia is somewhat understandable. It is hard to ignore the call from your home nation and given the fact that at the time the US and Russians were in the middle of the Cold War I can see how he would feel a traitor to his own people. In anyone else’s position I think they would have chosen the same route. But all this means is that we will have a very interesting next issue.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 7 out of 10. Obviously not as good as some of the other issues but still a fun read.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #124

#3 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- Power Man And Iron Fist (Volume 1) #57

Release Date- June 1979

Writer- Mary Jo Duffy

Artist- Trevor Von Eeden

Major Notes

Features Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler

Brief Summary

Pharaohs On Broadway

The heroes Power Man and Iron Fist are inside a building and have been confronted by the villain known as the Living Monolith. He is towering above the two heroes and tells them that they are facing a god. In his human form the villain had convinced a fellow archaeologist to hire the two heroes to protect the exhibition which showcased the mummy of Tutankhamen. The exhibition had already been looted but fakes put in their place and the thieves that tried to steal it were also hired by the Living Monolith. He had also made it look like the two heroes were responsible for the theft. Power Man and Iron Fist are confused, when he had been a member of the Defenders the X-Man Havok had told him how the Living Monolith needed him to change into his giant form either by killing him or trapping him in a crystal coffin that transferred his energy into him.

The Living Monolith laughs at the heroes as he knows that they have no idea where he has hidden the artefacts or how he can sustain his giant form without the need of Havok. He sees them as the only link to his crimes and thus wishes to destroy them immediately. Power Man and Iron Fist try to attack him but are swatted away. He then stands up to his full towering height and crashes through the ceiling of the building. The rubble comes down on the pair and they seem to be crushed to death.

Outside Colleen Wing and Misty Knight are walking down the street along with X-Men members Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler. Suddenly they see the Living Monolith crash through the top of the nearby building. The X-Men recognise who he is and Misty becomes concerned that Iron Fist has been killed since that was the address that his secretary had given her. Cyclops immediately thinks that Havok is involved and starts to command the X-Men to find him. But Misty makes him realise that there are people in the building that need help and it means more than any vendetta the team have to the Living Monolith. This snaps Cyclops back to reality and he agrees that they must help those inside.

Instead Nightcrawler tells Storm to fly after the villain who is moving away while Nightcrawler goes to teleport inside to help people. He teleports to the entrance but there is too much rubble. Cyclops goes to blast the rubble but it could cause a chain reaction that could kill those inside. But suddenly the rubble is destroyed from the inside and Power Man and Iron Fist step out. Instantly Misty kisses Iron Fist and Colleen gives him a hug. Power Man quickly introduces himself to Cyclops and Nightcrawler. But he realises that the Living Monolith will remember about a woman named Jennie Royce and that they need to protect her. Iron Fist tells the two women to protect Jennie and Cyclops invites the two heroes to help them with the Living Monolith. Power Man states that they have some unfinished business to deal with before they can help.

The pair were hired by a man called Merridew and their first job is to find him and the stolen artefacts. He doesn’t like the fact that they have left the Living Monolith to the X-Men but he intends to help them soon. Iron Fist knows that the villain has connections to the Halawani Embassy and so they make their way there.

When they reach the embassy they knock on the door and it is answered by a man wearing ancient Egyptian attire. He tells them to go away so Power Man knocks the door down. Quickly the heroes are confronted by similar men but they are easily able to make it through. They go to the embassy’s basement and find the stolen artefacts but they notice that something is missing. They also notice a small pyramid on a compass aligned to the magnetic north. The pyramid itself is glowing and they realise that it is radiation emitting from it. They discover that it is the three coffins that are missing and they think that the missing men are in the coffins. They pick up the pyramid and leave.

Meanwhile in the city the three X-Men are facing the Living Monolith but their attacks down seem to faze him. But when Iron Fist removes the pyramid at the embassy the Living Monolith realises that someone is tampering with his power source. But he soon sees the woman Jennie Royce fleeing and goes to pick her up. But Storm is able to reach her first and flies them both up into the air.

In the streets Power Man and Iron Fist notice a strange Ancient Egyptian style man driving an armoured truck. Quickly they stop the truck and open the back up. There they find one of the coffins and when they open it discover the man who employed them Merridew. With him free the Living Monolith feels his power weakening.

Merridew reveals that he and two of his colleagues found the pyramid during an dig in Egypt they had given it to the Living Monolith in his human form since he is a world renowned Egyptologist. They don’t realise that he intends to use the pyramid to turn himself into the Living Monolith without the need of Havok. But he still requires a human host and is using Merridew’s two other colleagues as hosts. Merridew know where they are and quickly Power Man and Iron Fist contact the police so that they can free the pair and so they can help the X-Men.

A short time later at the battle the Living Monolith has captured Storm and Jennie Royce but before he can kill them he is pulled down by the amazing strength of Power Man. He is angered by this but before he can do anything about it he feels his power leaving him and he shrinks down into his human form. With the battle over Iron Fist destroys the pyramid so that it cannot be used for evil again but before everyone departs Power Man invites the X-Men to join them in a celebration of their victory.

My Thoughts

Ok this issue did have me scratching my head a couple of times but it is most likely because I haven’t read the previous issue so I wasn’t fully aware of the story involved. As a standalone issue it wasn’t all that bad but it wasn’t as good as the X-Men series that is running at the time.

I had been hoping to see practically the entire team in this issue but we only saw three of the members but I felt that the issue would have felt too crowded if we had all of the X-Men involved. I did see the team’s contribution as being minimal and nothing more than a distraction for the Living Monolith but you do have to remember that this isn’t an X-Men book but a Power Man and Iron Fist issue.

I do question Power Man and Iron Fist’s decision to go find their client rather than stopping the Living Monolith first. It was only through luck in my opinion that they discovered the source of the Living Monolith’s power. If they truly were heroes I think they would have helped the X-Men first and prevented innocent people from getting hurt before trying to find their client. I know it is the old ‘The Needs Of The Many Outweigh The Needs Of The Few’ angle but in this matter it is true.

I also find it incredibly lucky that they actually spot the henchman driving past in the van. If they had been a few moments later they would have missed him and the Living Monolith’s rampage would have gone on. I think there should have been more skill in Power Man and Iron Fist’s work rather than just plain luck. They did know to check the embassy but as far as it goes that was it for skill.

What was also not explained in this issue was why the Living Monolith wanted that Royce woman but I think that most likely it was explained in an earlier issue but had not been carried onto this one. There was no explanation of her part or why the Living Monolith wanted her dead. I do not blame the issue for this, it only means that the reader has to read the previous one to know exactly what is happening.

I somewhat wonder what would have happened if there was an X-Man who could actually rival the Living Monolith in size so that we could have seen a titanic showdown. To my knowledge the only X-Man to get that size was the Ultimate version of Kitty Pryde but since this comic is set in a different continuity and the fact that she made her debut six months after the release of this comic meant that there was no way that it would happen (such a shame). But alas if it had of been the Avengers we probably would have seen Hank Pym take him on or even to a lesser degree the Wasp (Since she too can grow to giant size) but that is one thing that we will probably never see.

In conclusion this issue gets a 6 out of 10. A moderate read but not up to scratch with the X-Men series.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #123

#4 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #122

Release Date- June 1979

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- John Byrne

Major Notes

Return of Mastermind, first appearance of Arcade in an X-Men comic. First mention of the Hellfire club.

Brief Summary

Cry Of The Children!

The X-Men have returned to the X-Mansion and Colossus is undergoing training. He is pushing against a press to test his strength but he has been having a lot of self-doubts about himself since his last battle with Magneto. He calls for the press to be switched off since he cannot hold it any longer. Cyclops and Wolverine are in the control room and they know that this is nowhere near Colossus’s limits, they know about his self-doubts and Wolverine decides to up the stakes. First he short circuits the controls with his claws before he actually steps between the press itself inside the Danger Room. Colossus is the only one preventing them from being crushed to death, knowing that it cannot be shut off Colossus uses his great strength to destroy the press. He cannot believe that he actually did it but then Cyclops enters the Danger Room to see if they are alright. Both men are unharmed but he commands Wolverine to fix the damage that he caused much to the Canadian Mutant’s annoyance.

As Cyclops enters the mansion floor he is met up by Colleen Wing. The two are planning to spend the day together. But before he can get himself ready Cyclops communicates with Banshee and Nightcrawler who are fixing up the X-Jet. Professor Xavier had it mothballed since it was not intended to be used again. He asks Banshee to look over the control panel of the Danger Room after Wolverine has finished repairing it. But Cyclops is still bothered by something and when Colleen asks what it is Cyclops states that he fears that he will never see Xavier again.

Across the endless gulf of space at the centre world of the Shi’ar Empire there is a great celebration as Lilandra is officially declared the Empress. She is much loved by the people and Xavier is there to comfort her and give her strength as she assumes her new role as a leader of a great empire. But even he fears that it won’t be enough.

Meanwhile in Scotland Jean Grey is carrying several boxes of shopping as she makes her way to the boat which will take her to Muir Island. But she accidentally walks into a man along the way, she apologises to him and he helps her with her shopping. She tells him her name and he responds by stating his own. His name is Jason Wyngarde and he offers to help her take the shopping and parcels to the boat with her but she is alright. They say their goodbyes and Jean arrives at the boat where Moira, Havok, Polaris and Multiple are waiting for her. Moira wishes to perform some tests on Jean on Muir Island but none of them notice two men searching for the hovercraft owner Angus MacWhirter who has been missing since Christmas Day.

As the boat leaves the port Jean sees Jason looking at her from the pier and she seems to be strangely drawn to him. But Jason is not what he seems, he plans on Jean falling in love with him and then bringing her under his control for the Hellfire Club. Despite his handsome appearance the shadow on the wall shows that he is none other than long time X-Men villain Mastermind.

Back at Salem Centre New York Cyclops and Colleen leave the phone company office where they have had business to attend to. The phone lines in the mansion are now working but he needs to contact Moira who is the Executor of Xavier’s estate. But the pair do grab a late lunch so that they can get to know each other better.

In Harlem Wolverine drops Storm off on the street where she was born. It is now a rough neighbourhood but she claims that she will be fine so Wolverine drives off to run some errands. But as he drives down a street he notices Mariko entering a building. Quickly he tries to reach her but is stopped at the door and is informed that she cannot be disturbed.

Storm walks down the streets and her height, hair colour and coat draw attention to her. She eventually reaches the apartment block where her parents used to live but has become very run down. She walks up the stairs and sees graffiti on the walls. She remembers what this place used to be like and eventually she reaches the apartment where she had once lived. But now it has become a shooting gallery for drug addicts.

All the addicts are barely teenagers and one tries to threaten Storm with a knife. She is easily able to disarm him which brings the other addicts into action. They all draw out their knives but Storm still tries to talk sense into them. But when one of them badly cuts her hand she unleashes a strong hurricane force wind to subdue the addicts. But one of them is behind her and goes to stab her but before he can he is grabbed by the superhero Power Man who slams the addict into the wall. Misty Knight is there with him and they state that they heard about her in the neighbourhood and they saw her using her powers from the ground. She is not happy with what has happened and that these addicts aren’t even adults yet. But Power Man states that they are not God and cannot change humanity they can only help where they can.

In Salem Centre Colleen is boarding a train with Cyclops there to wave her off. She has enjoyed her time with him and gives him an envelope. She tells him to open it after the train has left. As promised he does this and he is surprised to find a key along with a small love note from Colleen and her address.

Meanwhile in a private plane over London Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy are on board. They are there to meet with a man who has promised to kill the X-Men. Juggernaut is not happy with the fact that they are turning to him but Black Tom tries convince his friend that this is the right thing to do. But before the discussion can finish their host appears, he is a man calling himself Arcade and he promises them that the X-Men are as good as dead.

My Thoughts

Again a good issue to read but it doesn’t have some of the epicness of some of the previous issue. This one feels like it focuses more on characterisation rather than outright action and this isn’t a bad thing. You cannot have wall to wall action in every issue and you need time to develop the characters and show more about them then just someone who is capable in a fight. This was done very well in this issue and full credit goes to Claremont and Byrne for their efforts.

One particular X-Man who stood out in this issue was Storm and you could feel her grief as she saw the place where she had been born become the slum that it was. She remembered it being a place full of happiness and life but now it is only a place for the desperate. I am surprised that she could remember all that but she has stated that she was well developed from a very young age so it is possible. I think the readers could feel her disbelief when the addicts that she saw weren’t even adults and it shows that society has seemingly given up on these kids. But there are still people out there fighting the good fight.

The issue also sets up for two storylines that will come. The first is the popular arc with Proteus which is why Angus wasn’t around when the two men came looking for him. And knowing that Jean and the others are on their way to Muir Island where we know that Proteus is there waiting for them. But the other is probably the X-Men’s most well-known and critically acclaimed storyline the Dark Phoenix Saga. That storyline is definitely the story that truly put the series on the map and this issue was the first hint at the storyline with the re-emergence of Mastermind who will be a key figure in the first half of the storyline.

The issue is also the first mention of the infamous Hellfire club which will play a very big role in the upcoming Dark Phoenix Saga and even one of their members becomes a prominent figure in the X-Men in the future. They are definitely ruthless and I will explain more about them in future posts.

Also making a brief appearance in this is the villain Arcade. This issue isn’t his first appearance but it is the first time that we see him in an X-Men comic. He has had run-ins with most of the heroes of the Marvel Universe but the X-Men seem to be ones that he has the most run ins with. He runs an indoor theme park called Murderworld where people pay him to place targets inside and he kills them in the most enjoyable way. He might not be the most powerful or infamous X-Men villain but his stories are normally whacky and a fun read.

The business with Cyclops and Colleen does get a small part in this issue and for the first real time we see that there is a genuine relationship between them. We know that Cyclops wouldn’t be going along with this if he knew that Jean was still alive but I begin to think sometimes what would have happened if his relationship continued with Colleen. Where would it have taken the characters and would it make Cyclops a different man than he is today?

Seeing Colossus at the start of the issue did raise a few eyebrows. His worries seem to be realistic and it is true that he misses his family. A man like him would do and to see him like this only showed that he is more than just a drawing and feels like a real person. The little push that Wolverine had to give him to get going I think was exactly what he needed to get his head back into the game.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. No real epic fights but still a great issue with great character development and a teaser for what is to come.

Next Issue

Power Man and Iron Fist (Volume 1) #57

#5 Posted by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Great seeing the X-Men Forever piece. I really liked that series.

#6 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #121

Release Date- May 1979

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- John Byrne

Major Notes

Second appearance of Alpha Flight

Brief Summary

Shoot Out at the Stampede

Cyclops, Colossus and Storm break into the Calgary Stampede which is the arena for an outdoor show which is currently closed during the winter. The three forcefully make their way in but they have been noticed by Shaman who performs a spell that will prevent anyone else from entering so that no innocent people can be hurt.

Cyclops begins to remember the events that led to this moment in time. He remembers how the team were ambushed by Alpha Flight at the airport and how Shaman created the snowstorm to keep them trapped in Calgary. After Vindicator’s battle with Storm he left an energy trail that she was able to track to the Calgary Stampede.

The missing X-Men Wolverine and Nightcrawler are located in a field just beyond a building and the team don’t hesitate to go to their aid. When they reach the field they see their missing teammates seemingly knocked out and tied up. But before they can help them the X-Men are confronted by the entire team of Alpha Flight. Vindicator states that the X-Men can leave along with Nightcrawler but Wolverine stays with them.

Outside the arena Banshee, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing arrive intending to help the team. But when Banshee tries to go through the entrance he is stopped by an invisible force field. He cannot get through so the trio are helpless.

Inside Cyclops and Vindicator are still discussing but Colossus sees Northstar begin to move suspiciously. Not leaving anything to chance Colossus stomps his foot creating a small earthquake to prevent Northstar from trying anything funny. He is quickly attacked by Sasquatch while the other members of Alpha Flight engage with the X-Men. At this time Nightcrawler teleports away and Wolverine gets up to his feet as they were both playing possum.

Shaman unleashes magic wooden Native Canadian wooden statues that grow in size and attack the X-Men. Cyclops is able to destroy one of them but is struck from behind by Northstar who is moving with superhuman speed. Nightcrawler teleports behind Aurora and tries to grab her but she quickly flies away and he is forced to chase her. In the air Storm is battling Snowbird, Storm is reluctant to use her powers since the blizzard is already intense. But during this battle Snowbird transforms into a Giant Arctic Owl. On the ground Wolverine takes down another of Shaman’s statues but the man himself unleashes a wind spell which blows Wolverine down.

Unknown to both teams this spell has dire consequences on the blizzard itself. It increases in intensity and is now a danger to everyone in Calgary. Windows begin to smash and people have to take cover before the blizzard kills them.

Inside the arena the battle between the X-Men and Alpha Flight rages on. Wolverine gets close to striking Shaman but is stopped by Vindicator. Cyclops can’t seem to get a hit on the superfast Northstar but Colossus does get the upper hand on Sasquatch. Aurora thinks she has lost Nightcrawler but he is able to teleport right in front of her and give her a kiss which disgusts her.

During his battle with Wolverine Vindicator is angered by the fact that he and his wife Heather had helped him become a man rather than an animal and how Wolverine threw it back into their faces. Wolverine states that he is a free man as he is able to grab Vinicator. But before he can deliver the killing blow everyone is blown away by the intensity of the blizzard. The members of Alpha Flight think that Shaman is to blame but he is as clueless as the rest of them.

In the air Storm realises what is happening and uses her cloak to subdue Snowbird before flying up into the air. She flies above the clouds and begins to use her abilities to try and disperse the blizzard. It is a great strain on her but she is able to complete the feat and save everyone not just in Calgary but in Canada as the blizzard was growing in both size and ferocity.

After she has finished she flies back to the ground completely exhausted. But she is struck from behind by Northstar before she can recover. Enraged Cyclops blasts him with an optic beam and then goes to punch him. But before he can strike the Canadian mutant Wolverine stops him. He states that this is his fight and he doesn’t want to see his friends hurt to protect him. He looks over to Vindicator and states that he will surrender as long as the X-Men can go free. Vindicator agrees and the battle officially ends.

A short time later outside the spell keeping the people out of the arena diminishes and so Banshee can finally get inside. He notices a van pull up and is confused with what is happening. Wolverine is put into the back of an armoured van with a cage specifically designed to keep him in. The X-Men are sad to see him go and they realise that Canadian Government had not seen the man inside him and mainly saw him as a beast.

A few hours later the X-Men are escorted out of Canada in a jet and as soon as they reach the border their escort leaves. Cyclops wants to go back to Canada and get Wolverine back, the other X-Men agree to this so he goes to the pilot and gives her commands to return to Canada. But the team are surprised to see Wolverine sitting in the co-pilot seat, he reveals that he was able to escape from the van since there is no cage that can hold him. He is not worried if they come back for him and wants to celebrate with the team by cranking open a few beers.

My Thoughts

Another great issue in this run. From the get go of the last issue we wanted to see the X-Men go toe to toe with Alpha Flight in a fair fight and in this issue we were not disappointed. What was great during the battle was that it didn’t seem that the X-Men were the favourites or the more powerful. Both teams seemed to be equally matched and I wonder what would have happened if the battle had continued until there was a decisive winner.

Once again it is shown that Alpha Flight aren’t a villainous group or completely ruthless. They didn’t intend to harm anyone else and the fact that they allowed the X-Men to leave peacefully after the battle only showed that these aren’t bad people. They’re just doing what they think is right and by their books that means having Wolverine back on their team even though they aren’t giving him a choice.

The issue was an excellent display of Storm’s powers and as many people already know she shows that she is the most powerful member of the new X-Men. I find that funny to think about because in the original team Jean Grey the only female character in the team (Before Polaris joined) she is considered to be the most powerful member. Same goes for the Invisible Woman in the Fantastic Four. It seems that when there is only one female member of the team she is the most powerful member. This is so that we don’t get the whole damsel in distress angle although it does happen on occasion. I think this issue was one of Storm’s greatest feats with her powers and I highly doubt that it will be the last great feat we see her perform over the series.

One thing I did find funny with the issue was with Wolverine stating how there is no cage that can hold him. This reminds me a little of the Chuck Norris facts jokes. I can see Wolverine saying something macho like ‘I don’t dial the wrong number, you just pick up the wrong phone.’ It further shows the toughness of Wolverine and how he can get out of almost any situation. But one thing I did notice in the last issue that I forgot to mention was that he was taken by surprise at the hands of Sasquatch, but I would have thought that he would have smelled him coming. That is unless the weather affected his senses somehow.

Once again Heather Hudson is mentioned in this issue but isn’t seen. She is an important character in Wolverine’s early memories after his escape from Weapon X. I find it disappointing that we didn’t see her but it allows us to wonder what she is like and exactly what relationship she has with Wolverine.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. Another great issue that ties some things up but not everything (cough Proteus).

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #122

#7 Posted by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio
#8 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #120

Release Date- April 1979

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- John Byrne

Major Notes

First appearance of Alpha Flight. Members include Jean-Paul Beaubier aka Northstar, Michael Twoyoungmen aka Shaman, Anne McKenzie aka Snowbird, Walter Langkowski aka Sasquatch and Jeanne-Marie Beaubier aka Aurora. Wolverine’s true name is revealed.

Brief Summary

Wanted: Wolverine. Dead Or Alive

The X-Men’s battle in Japan is being viewed on a screen in the War Room of the Canadian Ministry of Defence. The screen is being viewed by the Canadian Prime Minister and James MacDonald who now goes by the name of Vindicator. The Prime Minister states that they want Wolverine back after he left the government to join the X-Men. Vindicator assures him that this time they will recapture him but this time he has his team Alpha Flight to assist him. The team consists of Northstar, Shaman, Snowbird, Sasquatch and Aurora.

In Japan the X-Men are boarding a private jet bound for the US. They are saying their goodbyes to Sunfire but Nightcrawler notices that Wolverine is missing. It turns out that Wolverine is saying his goodbyes to Mariko as he gives her a white flower. They say their goodbyes to each other but before he leaves he tells her that his real name is Logan.

Sometime later the X-Men are on the jet and flying through the air. Cyclops and Colleen Wing have spent a bit of time together during the flight but there is a freak storm that seems to be encircling the jet. All attempts to fly around it have failed and even Storm’s abilities do not seem to be able to dampen it. Cyclops realises that this snow storm is unnatural and that someone is trying to capture them.

With no other options the plane is forced to land in Calgary in the midst of the severe snowstorm. The plane is diverted down a runway by the air traffic controller and as it goes down the taxi route the jet is confronted by Vindicator. In the cockpit Wolverine has seen him but Cyclops decides that it is best that they get out of there. The pilots increase the thrust to full throttle but they discover that they are not moving. Nightcrawler looks out of a window and sees a very hairy pair of arms holding onto the wing. With one great feat of strength the jet is thrown backwards into a hangar and seemingly is destroyed on impact.

Vindicator goes to check the jet and scolds his teammate Sasquatch for using too much strength. But as he checks the jet he finds out that it is empty and that the snowstorm is increasing in ferocity. He goes over to his teammate Shaman who is responsible for the snowstorm but he reveals that the increased ferocity is not his doing but the actions of one of the X-Men.

The X-Men were able to get out of the jet and Storm is giving them cover so that they can’t be seen. They make their way into the airport and Wolverine begins to explain how he had originally been with the Canadian Government. He had been in operations while Vindicator had been gathering Alpha Flight. The team is made up mainly of mutants but he isn’t sure who they are and exactly how many there are. For this reason Cyclops decides to split the team up to keep Alpha Flight off-balanced and that they will meet up by a large tower that they have seen.

Nightcrawler goes his own way and teleports to a back alley. Here he thinks he can be move without being seen but when he goes to walk through the alley he is suddenly blinded by a bright light. With Nightcrawler dazed he is struck down by the fist of Northstar. He is there with his sister Aurora and they know that they have taken down one X-Man and that there are five more to go.

A short time later by the tower Cyclops and Colossus are there along with Misty Knight and the two pilots who were also on the jet. They are worried why the others haven’t arrived but they think that their teammates are on their way.

Banshee and Storm at a mall buying some new clothes. Due to Storm’s height and hair colour she stands out in the crowd and they hope that a change of clothing will help her fit into the crowd more. Colleen Wing is with them and they think Storm looks beautiful in her new clothing. But Storm is not fond of them and feels smothered in them.

Outside Vindicator is flying through the air. The scanning systems have been recalibrated and now he knows exactly where the X-Men are. He flies into the mall scaring many shoppers and confronts Banshee. He recognises Vindicator from their battle months earlier and he tries to unleash a sonic scream. But when he tries his feels crippling pain and keels over. Vindicator is concerned about Banshee but before he can get help he is attacked by Storm who unleashes a hurricane force wind at him which blows him clear out of the mall. The store itself is damaged but rather than going after Vindicator Storm and Banshee decide to go and warn Cyclops. But as Vindicator flies away he is not happy that he put people in danger and that he didn’t want to lead Alpha Flight. It was supposed to be Wolverine.

At the tower Cyclops sees the energy trail left by Vindicator and realises that he has just confronted Storm since they could hear the battle. He admits that he has underestimated Alpha Flight and it seems that they have their own Cerebro like scanner that will be able to locate them.

In the slum streets Wolverine is walking through and he is familiar with the area. His mind is on Mariko but then he is attacked suddenly by Sasquatch. With the element of surprise Sasquatch is able to knock Wolverine out and carry him away.

A short time later the rest of the team have met up but Wolverine and Nightcrawler are still missing. Cyclops realises that they can’t escape until they’ve defeated Alpha Flight and rescued their teammates. He is even willing to kill Alpha Flight if need be.

My Thoughts

Once again another great story thanks to the team of Claremont and Byrne. The writing and the art flowed very well and made the issue a very enjoyable read. With each issue that I read I am loving the partnership between Claremont and Byrne but alas it will not last forever.

The issue introduces the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight. For those who don’t know them they are a superhero team who work have heavy connections to the Canadian government. They are mainly made up of mutants but there are still some super-powered humans who also call themselves members. Including two of the most recognisable members, the husband and wife duo of James MacDonald and Heather Hudson. The latter was actually mentioned during the episode.

Probably the most well known member of the team at this point in time is future X-Man Northstar. But it is not just the fact that he will join the X-Men that has put him on the map but the fact that he is one of the first openly homosexual comic book characters in the industry. This has been one of the leading factors of his character and why he is popular with fans. In fact recently his marriage to his lover was the first homosexual wedding in comics ever. He is still a great character with the ability to fly and move at speeds that could rival that of Quicksilver.

Another popular member that was introduced is Sasquatch. He is a little like the Incredible Hulk of Alpha Flight, in fact he has gone toe to toe with the Emerald Giant on a few occasions and although Sasquatch is incredibly strong he is not as strong as the Hulk. I think he is one of the few members of the team to stay with the team throughout its different carnations and feels like one of the principle members of the team. He can transform from a normal human into a close to fifteen foot hairy Bigfoot like creature. I wanna just go up to him and say ‘Who’s a good boy?’ but then he would probably smack me.

The issue itself was great in showing that despite the X-Men being powerful in the right circumstances they can be vulnerable. Hell two of the most popular members of the team were taken down thanks to the element of surprise and it just shows that they are not invincible.

Despite starting out to look like villains we see in the issue that Alpha Flight aren’t actually villains but heroes in their own right. It’s just that they believe that Wolverine should be back with them and are more than willing to go along with the Canadian Government. Their own series that was released a few years after this issue lasted for 130 issues over a ten year period so that definitely shows popularity, although the various Alpha Flight series after that have not been too big of a success.

There were a few other popular characters who didn’t appear on the team in this issue but they will pop up over time. One member that we didn’t see in the field at all was Snowbird, we see her as her normal self but we don’t see her in costume or use her powers at all (Which is to transform into any animal native to Canada). We still have other members like Talisman and Puck to come.

Also in this issue we find out that Wolverine's name is Logan. It has been five years since his first appearance and we finally learn his name. Although technically it is not his real name (That won't be revealed in 22 years from this issue) but at least we can give him a name rather than just Wolverine.

I’m going to give this issue a 9 out of 10. There was drama and action in this issue and shows us that the X-Men might have indeed met their match.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #121

#9 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #119

Release Date- March 1979

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- John Byrne

Major Notes

Banshee becomes a secondary member of the team after receiving an injury

Brief Summary

T’was The Night Before Christmas

Storm is carrying Nightcrawler over the Kuril Islands just north of Japan. It is the location of Moses Magnum’s base of operations. When they are at the desired position Nightcrawler teleports inside the base even though he was more scared than he liked to admit. Unfortunately he has reappeared on top of the complex and must make his way inside. Along the way he knocks out a guard and he can’t believe that someone would be so willing to murder the entire population of Japan.

Nightcrawler remembers how the Prime Minister’s aide went over a briefing with the team on how it was possible to destroy Japan thanks to the fault lines underneath it. The earthquake in Tokyo was a demonstration of what Moses was capable of. The villain had been believed to have been killed twice but both times he had survived. The last part of the briefing is about Moses’s location that was found thanks to the detective work of Colleen Wing and Misty Knight. Already Moses has stated that any sign of attack will lead to the destruction of Japan.

As Nightcrawler continues his journey through the complex he radios to Misty Knight that he is inside. Above the complex Storm and Banshee are in the air ready to play their part. Banshee uses his sonic screams to disrupt the base’s scanners while Storm generates a thunderstorm. The base goes into alert as they think an attack is impending. Storm takes out a few of the guards while Banshee takes out a sonic disruption cannon.

One hundred feet below the sea floor Cyclops, Wolverine, Colossus and Sunfire tunnel their way towards the base. But before they can enter they need Nightcrawler’s signal so they know exactly where they are tunnelling. On the surface Nightcrawler does find an ideal place for the team to come up but when he activates the homing beacon something grabs his attention and he looks in shock.

With the beacon activated Cyclops and Sunfire blast their way to the surface. Colossus is the first to make it out of the tunnel but he is instantly attacked by Moses from behind and thrown through a wall. Colossus is able to use his strength to stop himself from falling off the island but grabbing onto the ground beneath him and stopping the momentum. He is glad that he was able to stop himself but isn’t happy with the fact that he has more or less been a punching bag for the last several weeks and re-enters the base determined to earn his keep.

Inside Cyclops, Wolverine and Sunfire battle Moses Magnum. They are surprised to see that he has super strength and can fire energy beams from his hands when the reports had stated that he was a baseline human. But after Wolverine is knocked down Cyclops tells Sunfire to make a hole in the roof so that Storm and Banshee can enter the battle. But this leaves Cyclops by himself for a few moments and Moses rather than destroying him unleashes two more upgraded Mandroids. But before they can attack Cyclops Colossus re-enters the battle and takes both Mandroids on by himself. His determination helps him to defeat them both while Moses flees to activate his machine that will destroy Japan.

Banshee sees Moses flee but he cannot stop the villain. He remembers being told that the machine Moses will use an energy beam to cause the earthquakes. He figures that it is a longshot but he can actually be the only X-Men who can prevent Moses from succeeding. Quickly he flies out of the room and orders the X-Men to flee.

Inside the machine known as the Magnum Force, Moses begins to power it up by using the new powers he has gained after his battle with the hero Power Man. But as Moses prepares to fire the Magnum Force Banshee is outside creating a wall of sound around it to nullify the energy and force it back upon itself. The two men continue their struggle as Banshee pushes his powers beyond their limits, the sound is deafening for everyone around and eventually the entire island shatters.

A full day later a rescue plane discovers the X-Men who are on a small rock. The island system that had been there previously has completely disappeared but since the battle Banshee has been in a coma and needs urgent medical attention.

Ten days later it is Christmas Day and Banshee arrives at the home of Sunfire. He had been in a coma for three days and can barely speak. He is surprised that none of the X-Men came to see him leave the hospital despite the fact that they had been there for his entire treatment. But when he enters the house he is greeted by his teammates who are throwing him a surprise coming back/Christmas party. He wishes he could tell them how thankful he is but he still cannot speak.

During the party Wolverine finally gets some time alone with Mariko and Storm notices how gentle he has become. She also realises that the X-Men are like her family and she gives Nightcrawler a kiss. She sees Colossus standing out on the balcony. He reveals to her that he misses his family in Russia.

Meanwhile in Scotland Jean Grey arrives at Edinburgh station. She has been in the Greek Islands for six weeks and meets up with Moira MacTaggart, Havok, Polaris and Multiple-Man. They plan to stay in the city for a few more days so that they can take in the sights and enjoy Christmas before heading back to Muir Island.

At Muir Island itself a man named Angus MacWhirter breaks into Moira’s research facility so that he can destroy the place. His hovercraft had been accidentally destroyed by the X-Men some months ago and although he has been paid in full for it he still wants revenge. But before he can place the charges he passes a door labelled Mutant X and suddenly something comes up to him from behind. Angus screams in terror but at that moment his life has ended and a new nightmare begins.

My Thoughts

Well another fine issue in an amazing run. Not my favourite issue in the run but definitely one worth reading. It had drama, plenty of action, great character development and a cliffhanging conclusion. That is mainly what you want in a comic book and this one didn’t fail to deliver.

The X-Men’s attack on the base was well co-ordinated and well thought out. It didn’t seem to be overly complicated like some of the big plans in the series and was easy for me to understand. Each X-Man had their own bit to play, well nearly everyone besides Wolverine and Colossus but I can see them being there as the muscle and back up for the impending battle with Moses Magnum. Crippling sensors is always the first thing someone would do when wanting to enter a place undetected and this was well played out.

Moses Magnum was actually a capable villain in this issue since he did actually keep the X-Men at bay and he would have followed through with his threat if he had not been stopped. This is all the hallmarks of a good villain since it wasn’t incompetence or humanity that prevented him from carrying out the deed. And once again it looks like he’s been killed but we all know that he will most likely return.

One character who had some focus on in this issue was Colossus. I agreed with him that he had been punched around too much in recent issues but the fact that he took down two Mandroids by himself shows just how powerful he actually is. And seeing him at the end of the issue showed us that he is more than a two dimensional character. He shows all the hallmarks of being one of the greatest and most beloved members of the X-Men. One thing I did notice was that Colossus needed a breathing apparatus while going through the tunnel but I thought that he didn’t need to breathe in his armoured form, unless it is a precaution or a later development in his mutant abilities.

Also focused on in this issue as Banshee and this is unfortunately the last time that we will see him as an active member of the team for quite some time. But in this one act he has saved the lives of millions and millions of people and the majority of the world won’t even know that he has done it. He has come a long way from his first appearance in the original X-Men comics.

Also we see the team as more of a family rather than a group of individuals and this is only further proof that the team are coming together more. In their timeline they have been together for over a year (Since the starting business with Phoenix took place exactly a year before) and shows that they are becoming one rather than just a group of individuals. This is something I feel that this is what the Avengers lack and what made the Fantastic Four so great. That the team members weren’t merely friends but more like a family.

The ending to the comic has us on the edge of our seats as we see that Mutant X has seemingly escaped. I do admit that Angus probably deserved what was coming to him but this will all lead to the final arc of the decade before ushering the 80’s, the decade that truly put the series on the map.

One minor thing for me is that this issue is the last issue in Essential X-Men volume 1. Next I’ll be starting with Volume 2 which will feature the introduction of new and long lasting X-Men characters (cough Kitty Pryde, cough Emma Frost) and have some of the most popular stories of the entire franchise (cough Dark Phoenix Saga, cough Days Of The Future Past). Right now we have gone through 4 essentials and have another 24 to go (Unless anymore is released in the time).

In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. A great finish that leaves the reader wanting to see more.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #120

#10 Edited by Hysteria (290 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #118

Release Date- February 1979

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- John Byrne

Major Notes

First appearance of Mariko Yashida

Brief Summary

The Submergence Of Japan

After six weeks of being on the ship Jinguichi Maru the X-Men arrive in Tokyo bay only to see a firestorm overtake the city. The captain does not wish to get any closer to the city since he has to help refugees. Instead Nightcrawler is ordered by Cyclops to teleport to the port and check if everything is alright. The German mutant does what he is asked and is amazed that he can now make the journey in one jump.

The coast it clear and the X-Men fly over to the port but Nightcrawler informs them that they must move quickly before the fire traps them. Cyclops tells the team that they have to meet up with former team member Sunfire since they have no passports or money to be able to get back to the States.

The team make their way through the streets of Tokyo and eventually come up to the residential district of the city. They can still see the blaze and Wolverine picks up a newspaper and reads that an Earthquake was responsible for this. Most of the people had already been evacuated thanks to a warning about a big quake. Cyclops is amazed that a quake like that could strike without any pre or aftershocks and the fact that Wolverine can read Japanese. But this makes Cyclops think that the earthquake was unnatural and now more than ever he wants to get to the ancestral home of Sunfire.

In Earth’s orbit a Shi’ar ship is taking Lilandra and Xavier away back to the Shi’ar Empire. Xavier marvels over the beauty of Earth. But he begins to have second thoughts since many of his original students are still alive but Lilandra reminds him that they have their own lives now. The pair kiss as the ship flies away.

A short time later in Japan the team have reached Sunfire’s home. His family has a lot of influence in Japan and they spot several government limousines pull into the estate. Cyclops decides that it is best to suit up so that Sunfire will know who they are. Storm creates some fog to hide their approach but as they enter the outer court they are suddenly surrounded by dozens of armed guards. They were discovered due to a sudden bright light and the culprit is Sunfire himself. Cyclops tries to state that they are there in peace but Sunfire still wants them arrested. But then Misty Knight appears stating that the Prime Minister wants to see the X-Men. Sunfire is at first against it but he knows that he cannot override a command from the Prime Minister and lets them in. No one realises that a truck has parked outside the manor and that the two men driving are preparing to strike at midnight.

A few minutes later Cyclops witnesses the meeting between Sunfire, Colleen Wing and the Japanese Prime Minister. Sunfire is not happy that she is there and believes that he alone can save the city. Cyclops cannot understand a word which is being spoken since the conversation is in Japanese. Instead he walks over to a nearby phone and sees Misty Knight calling Iron Fist. The hero is unfortunately too busy to come so they will have to deal with the situation by themselves.

Cyclops eventually uses the phone but all the numbers that he has been given are no longer in use at the request of Professor Xavier. After that he sees Banshee come up to him and is told that Colleen wants to see him on a matter of urgency. He doesn’t realise that Colleen has actually taken a liking to him.

Outside at the truck it is fifteen minutes before midnight and the two men ready themselves for the strike. They open the back of the van revealing a couple of suits that they intend to use.

In the garden at the manor Wolverine is walking through trying to clear his head. He thinks about the last time that he was in Japan. He sees a beautiful young woman in the garden and when he approaches her he scares her. He quickly apologises for frightening her and she states that the fault is with her. The pair begin to talk and she tells him that her name is Mariko. Wolverine is just about to tell her his actual name but suddenly an earthquake rocks the garden. Wolverine has to save her from a falling tree.

The Manor house crumbles and the X-Men protect those who are inside. But as they make their way outside they are confronted by two men wearing metallic suits. The suits that they are wearing are called Mandroids. The men are there to take the Prime Minister away but Sunfire attacks them. He is quickly put down and Cyclops recognises the suits as ones that the Avengers once fought against.

Quickly he commands the X-Men to attack but their attacks seem to be ineffective. Cyclops notices that there is a weakness in the suits as they vibrate to deflect attacks. Banshee uses a scream which is at a different frequency to the suit, it causes the suit itself to literally shake itself apart. The second Mandroid is heated up by Sunfire before Storm unleashes freezing rain which causes the metal to break.

With the Mandroids defeated the two men flee back to the truck and drive away. But while they are escaping Colossus reappears and stops them. As he carries them back to the team a holographic projection appears of a man calling himself Moses Magnum and gives the Prime Minister an ultimatum. The Prime Minister must surrender the entire country of Japan or Moses will sink the island into the ocean.

My Thoughts

Well another fairly entertaining issue featuring the merry mutants that we all know and love. But it seems that as soon as the team gets back to civilization that something else is going down which forces them into action. They don’t seem to get a break but we don’t read comics to see the characters have downtime. We read them so that we can see them in action and kick some ass.

The issue introduces the secondary character Mariko Yashida who will play a big role in the life and character of Wolverine. She is one of the four women that he has truly loved over his long life. She is a somewhat interesting character over the years but unfortunately she and Wolverine do not live happily ever after.

The issue is also the first indication that Wolverine has heavy links to Japan. In truth it is much like a second home to him and it is a deep part of his character. He also continues to surprise his teammates as he was shown to be both an animal lover in one of the previous issues and now we see that he is fluent in Japanese. He is definitely a man that is full of surprises and that is why he is the most popular X-Man in history. But as we shall see in the future much more will be revealed about him and this issue is the first hint of what will be the original Wolverine Limited Series.

The villains who appear in this issue aren’t ones who have first appeared in this issue. The Mandroids have fought against the Avengers as it was stated during the issue and Moses Magnum first appeared in a Spider-Man comic book. From what I’ve researched about him he has the ability to basically create earthquakes and this is something that we will see in future X-Men villain Avalanche. Both the Mandroids and Moses Magnum are nothing more than B villains who have been mostly forgotten by the most readers.

It was nice to see Sunfire again although he still seems to be as pompous as ever and just nails the reason why he left the team. Sunfire at this point in time is definitely not a team player and would prefer nothing to do with the team although as Mariko stated to Wolverine that he does have a high level of respect for them. It is the classic I don’t like you but I respect you angle and I can see it working for someone like him.

There are two power businesses that I have noticed this issue. The first is that Nightcrawler seems to becoming more powerful since he was able to make such a big teleport jump and that it didn’t tire him out. But I also noticed that Storm seems to be able to detect natural earthquakes, I wasn’t sure exactly how this could be but I don’t think it is something that is picked up by most writers.

The story itself was well written and the characters were well placed and now it even seems that we won’t be seeing Xavier anymore. All in all Claremont with Byrne is a winning combination and it was such a shame when their run together ended. But still not all good things last forever.

One other thing that is hinted in the issue is that Colleen Wing is attracted to Cyclops and I believe that in the near future that they might be having a relationship but I cannot properly remember so we’ll have to read and find out together.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue another 8 out of 10. A great way of seeing the characters and leaves me wanting the next issue.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #119