Hysteria's forum posts

#1 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #105

Release Date- June 1977

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- Dave Cockrum

Major Notes

Features Fire Lord

Brief Summary

The Phoenix Unleashed

The X-Men return to the mansion only to find that Erik the Red is present. Quickly the team attack the villain and get the upper hand but before they can defeat him they are attacked by a being called Fire Lord who is the former herald of the planet consumer Galactus. With the power that he wields he is easily able to overpower the X-Men before he flies down to see if Erik the Red is alright. The villain seems to be thankful that Fire Lord has defeated the X-Men and states that they would have killed him.

Erik is lying though and his mind flashes back to how he met Fire Lord. He had discovered that the X-Men had escaped Magneto he thought that his plans were doomed but at that moment Fire Lord flies past his command base. Erik decides to sacrifice Havok and Polaris so that he can gain an even more powerful foe. He sets his two minions to attack Fire Lord and as planned they are defeated by the powerful being. Havok and Polaris act as if they intend to kill Erik but with them defeated Erik reveals to Fire Lord that they are part of the X-Men who wish to conquer the world. At first Fire Lord is not entirely convinced but after seeing how the X-Men attacked Erik his mind is made up. But Fire Lord knows that Xavier is still out there and must be killed in order to what he thinks is to save the world.

In space Lilandra’s ship is close to entering the Earth’s atmosphere but is being tracked by an imperial cruiser. The captain on board was Lilandra’s top captain he has been ordered by the Emperor to destroy her. They plan to move in closer but after scans reveal that the planet has fended off Galactus four times they decide that it is too dangerous to get any closer and fire torpedoes Lilandra’s ship. Lilandra herself is able to use the ship’s on board teleporter to move away but her ship is destroyed.

Meanwhile on Earth Jean Grey is visiting her parents’ home along with Professor Xavier and Misty Knight. Suddenly Lilandra teleports into the room catching everyone completely by surprise. Xavier recognises her from his dreams but when she removes her helmet she speaks an alien language before falling unconscious.

Quickly Lilandra is taken to a bed so that she can recover but before they can figure out what is happening Fire Lord breaks through the walls intent on killing both Lilandra and Xavier. Enraged with the fact that Fire Lord has attacked her home and threatened her loved ones causes her to transform into the Phoenix and engages in battle with Fire Lord. He is surprised that there is someone on Earth who can match his power and their battle takes them across New York. On the ground below Erik does watch the fight and fears that the Phoenix might be too powerful for Fire Lord.

In Jean’s parents’ home the occupants are powerless to help her. Lilandra regains consciousness and thanks to Xavier’s telepathy begins to speak English but at that moment Erik The Red comes into the fray and knocks out everyone in the room.

Ten minutes later on top of the building Erik the Red is constructing a star gate but the X-Men arrive. This has not gone unnoticed by the villain who blasts their jet causing it to fall from the sky. Banshee and Storm fly off while the others jump off before the jet itself explodes.

In the sky Jean unleashes a great attack that sends Fire Lord flying twelve miles over the horizon but before she can go to finish him off she receives a telepathic message from Xavier and he commands her to return to him and help him and Lilandra. But as Jean flies towards the building she realises that her new powers are like a drug and she fears what she is becoming.

But at that time Storm and Banshee are able to save Wolverine, Colossus and Cyclops from hitting the ground. But Nightcrawler is able to use his acrobatic skills to save himself since he didn’t get a good enough look at the roof to teleport there. The team soon regroup on the roof itself but Erik The Red with Lilandra escapes through the star gate before any one can stop him. Xavier is enraged that they have escaped and he barely notices Jean fly onto the scene.

Jean’s parents are confused with what is happening and why these costumed individuals are here. Jean tells them that she will explain later but Xavier states that they have all the time in the world since they are helpless to save Lilandra. But all is not lost as Jean is able to use her Phoenix abilities to power up the star gate. Quickly she and the other X-Men travel through the gate in hopes of finding Erik and saving Lilandra.

The others are left behind as Xavier realises that he has some explaining to do about the X-Men to Jean’s parents. But before he can start Fire Lord once again comes onto the scene demanding that his battle continues with Phoenix or else he will destroy the world. But Xavier states that even if he does destroy the world today that tomorrow the universe would cease to exist if the X-Men fail.

My Thoughts

Another great issue by the partnership of Chris Claremont and the late Dave Cockrum (Who even briefly appear in the issue itself). There have been many great partnerships in the X-Men’s history like Whedon and Cassaday or Grant and Quitely but Claremont and Cockrum will always be fondly remembered by fans (As well as Claremont’s run with John Byrne). It is such a shame that it is something that we will never see again.

Back to the issue at hand. Once again a good story and it shows the ruthlessness of Erik The Red as he doesn’t bat an eyelid in the fact that he sacrifices two loyal pawns so that he can attain a more powerful ally. It shows that he is willing to go to almost any lengths and sacrifice anyone to get what he wants and that makes him extremely dangerous.

The issue was a great highlight for Jean Grey who fully shows her Phoenix powers in this issue. Her fight with Fire Lord was definitely a great battle and one that will be remembered by fans for years to come. It was amazing to think that she could actually go toe to toe with someone who easily defeated the X-Men and actually win. It just shows that she is becoming more powerful than anyone could of imagined and her thoughts towards the end of the fight I feel is a little inkling towards the future Dark Phoenix Saga.

It also seems that Jean’s parents had no idea that their daughter was part of the X-Men. I can understand them not really knowing but I thought that at some point Jean might have told them. But it is still going with the idea that practically all heroes (Except for the Fantastic Four) have to have a secret identity. I just want to get to the point where the X-Men no longer hide and their identities are known to the public.

I was a little hesitant in reading the X-Men being defeated in the matter that they were but it just shows that the team still have some way to go in becoming the superpower that they will eventually become. Maybe the fact that Fire Lord had also taken them by surprise was also a factor for their defeat but I guess that cosmic beings had not been thought as a training exercise in the Danger Room.

One thing that isn’t stated in this issue is whether Havok and Polaris survived their encounter with Fire Lord. Although we know now that they are alive but in this issue the reader is left wondering whether Erik’s two unwilling henchmen actually survived or if they were burned alive by the cosmic power of Fire Lord.

In conclusion I’m giving this issue a 9 out of 10. A great set up for the next big battle and really showed readers the first indication of the Phoenix’s raw power that could even destroy a star.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #106

#2 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1) #162

Release Date- November 1976

Writer- Len Wein

Artist- Ross Andru

Major Notes

Features Nightcrawler. First appearance of Jigsaw

Brief Summary

Let The Punisher Fit The Crime

Spider-Man and Nightcrawler are hanging onto the cables that support the cable car with the Punisher on board ready to shoot them. The pair begin to believe that the Punisher is the one responsible for the murders. The Punisher warns them both to stay put but Spider-Man web slings away while Nightcrawler climbs down to the cable car and attacks the Punisher. Spider-Man moves in and kicks the Punisher’s gun away but the vigilante is able to use a couple of knives to pin Spider-Man to the wall. But before their fight can continue someone begins to shoot at the cable car. Nightcrawler is climbing on the outside and sees that the shooter is on the 59th Street Bridge.

When the shooting stops Nightcrawler enters the cable car once again to check on Spider-Man and the Punisher. Both are still alive but before he can be questioned by the Punisher he teleports away. Nightcrawler reappears on the bridge and sees the shooter at the top. But the teleportation jump has drained his energy and he is too weak to pursue him.

At the cable car Spider-Man and the Punisher realise that none of them is responsible for the killings and decide to work together to find out. The pair travel to where the Punisher has parked his van but the police has already begun to surround the 59th Street Bridge making escape look impossible. But as the two of them drive towards the barricade the Punisher’s seemingly rusty old van is actually built to withstand a tank and after they get a safe distance away Spider-Man is dropped off so that they can continue their search tomorrow.

The next morning at Empire State University Spider-Man now back to being Peter Parker is walking through the grounds where he sees Mary Jane Watson hanging out with his old high school bully Flash Thompson. The two are enjoying the sun together and Peter tries to apologise for having to end the date the previous night. But before he can properly apologise the pair leave so that they can get to class. But as Peter walks to his own class he sees J. Jonah Jameson arrive.

Jameson enters the building and finds the office of a woman named Doctor Madison. He knew her father but she isn’t really interested in listening to him. But when he offers her a challenge since she has turned to teaching. She is one of the most gifted Electro-Biologists in the country and he asks her if she will help him destroy Spider-Man. Madison is intrigued and wishes to hear more.

That night Spider-Man picks up a ringing payphone which directs him to where the Punisher is located. In no time at all he arrives at the Punisher’s van and the pair move to a block party where they have heard that the killer will strike next. Both men move into different positions so that they can watch for the killer and as Spider-Man moves onto a roof he is spotted by a lookout. But as the lookout begins to report what he is seeing he is suddenly pulled back and knocked out.

A few minutes later Spider-Man notices a seemingly unconscious man in an alleyway and goes to investigate. But when he gets there he is suddenly attacked by a group of masked men who are able to knock him out.

A short time later everyone taking part in the Block Party look in surprise as Spider-Man has been chained up to a lamp post while a mysterious man calls out for the Punisher. His lackeys are keeping guard and as he steps out of the shadows everyone sees that his face is heavily scarred. He says how he had been a low level gang thug but when the Punisher threw him through a glass window his face was cut up and now he goes by the name of Jigsaw.

Jigsaw continues to call out for the Punisher and even threatens to shoot the helpless Spider-Man. But before he can pull the trigger a knife knocks the gun out of his hands and bullets start hitting the ground. He dives out of the way but at that moment Nightcrawler joins the battle. He as in disguise while he was tracking the Punisher but seeing Spider-Man helpless makes him come out of hiding and he attacks Jigsaw. But rather than attacking Nightcrawler Jigsaw’s henchmen notice that the Punisher has arrived.

The vigilante is making his way down a fire escape and rather than using lethal weapons he uses rubber bullets and gas grenades so that no one in the crowd is harmed. One by one Jigsaw’s goons are taken down but at that moment Spider-Man wakes up. He sees what is happening and breaks out of the chains so that he can take on the goons with the help of Nightcrawler. Jigsaw himself is still calling for a one on one fight with the Punisher but he sees that he cannot win this battle and begins to retreat.

Spider-Man notices this and chases after the villain. But as he runs one of his henchmen climbs into a fire engine so that he can help Jigsaw escape. But as he climbs on top of the fire engine Spider-Man leaps on and the two engage in combat. But Jigsaw is able to get a hold of the fire engine’s high pressure hose and fires it at Spider-Man. This does cause Spider-Man to fall off the fire engine but he is able to grab the side and pull out the hose from its water supply. Jigsaw then grabs the majority of the hose and goes throw it at Spider-Man but one end gets stuck in the fire engine’s tyre causing the vehicle to crash and wrap Jigsaw up. Spider-Man is able to leap off unharmed but as he reaches the ground he is met up by Nightcrawler and Punisher arrive to see the defeated Jigsaw. Nightcrawler is glad that his friend’s murderer is caught and the Punisher admits that he didn’t even remember Jigsaw before tonight. But as Spider-Man turns to congratulate his two helpers Nightcrawler teleports away and the Punisher slips into the shadows leaving the hero there by himself.

My Thoughts

Well I know that this issue didn’t really feature Nightcrawler too much it was actually an entertaining read. This is definitely one to get not just for Nightcrawler fans but also for Punisher fans since it introduces his number one enemy Jigsaw. I did enjoy this one more than the previous issue.

One point I did raise in the previous issue was actually answered in this one. I asked why Nightcrawler hadn’t teleported more often but as seen at this point in his history he can’t teleport very far without tiring himself and this makes sense. Maybe I’m too used to seeing him teleporting as much as he likes (until the events of UXM #211 which I will get to in several month’s time). But it just shows that the character is still getting used to his powers and gives him much room to improve. Soon we will see him perform great feats of teleportation which will amaze but for now he is very much a novice.

Jigsaw is introduced in this issue and as most people might know he is the main villain of the Punisher. I believe that he is one of the few villains who the Punisher has not killed off in his run and it makes him somewhat like a normal character with a recurring villain. He definitely has one of the most scarred faces in the Marvel Universe.

One thing I did notice that definitely would not be done in a comic today was that the Punisher used none lethal weapons to take down his enemies. If that was done today there would be a huge backlash by fans (Me included since I do like the character). But back then there was the whole child friendly policy that they had so obviously they couldn’t depict the Punisher actually firing live rounds.

The battle at the end was very well done and it was great to see Spider-Man and Nightcrawler fight together since they are both popular characters and have somewhat similar powers when it comes to wall crawling. I can see why fans like to see the characters together and I know that they do team up again in Marvel Team Up #89 from January 1980 which I will review in about a month’s time (Along with another comic that I am series looking forward to). I think it is a team up that should be seen a little more often but too much would diminish it in my view so the odd team up every now and again is what is probably best.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. Another good read that kept me hooked from start to finish. But it did lack that little thing that would have made it that much better.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #105

#3 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1) #161

Release Date- October 1976

Writer- Len Wein

Artist- Ross Andru

Major Notes

Features Nightcrawler

Brief Summary

And The Nightcrawler Came Prowling

Nightcrawler is hanging upside down in the X-Mansion’s gymnasium while reading the Daily Bugle. He is reading about a string of murders that are being blamed on Spider-Man. He shouts an explanation when he sees something in the paper that catches his attention. Colossus and Wolverine are in the gymnasium with him, he apologises for his outbursts. Wolverine finds it funny to leap off of the trampoline that he is using and cut the ring that Nightcrawler is using. This causes him to fall to the ground and tear the newspaper. Wolverine laughs but when Nightcrawler demands an apology tempers begin to flare up. Colossus has step in before there is a fight, Nightcrawler decides to leave the mansion for now. Not just to get away from Wolverine but to also attend an urgent matter.

Later at Coney Island Peter Parker is on a roller-coaster ride along with Mary Jane Watson. He doesn’t realise that he is in the crosshairs of a gunman but the cart travels down the ramp quickly. Peter isn’t enjoying the ride and he is keeping his hands on the rails as long as he possibly can.

The pair soon get off the ride and travel to a hotdog stand so that they can get some food. When Peter goes to get a bite of the hotdog and looks at the rollercoaster that he has just ridden and sees a man get shot in the head from an unknown sniper. Quickly he thinks of an excuse to end the date before going to a secluded area and putting on his Spider-Man costume.

At that time Nightcrawler has already arrived at Coney Island. He is there to investigate since one of the victims of the killer is a man that he knew while he worked the carnival in Europe. He wishes to find out who shot him but he also notices the man get shot and sees the gunman on the roof above him. The gunman drops the rifle before making his escape. Nightcrawler climbs up the wall and sees the gunman run down a stairway into the building. But when he goes to open the door it is locked and he knows that he has lost the gunman.

Nightcrawler travels back down to the rifle and picks it up with a large piece of cloth so that the evidence is preserved. But before he can take it to the police he is attacked by Spider-Man who believes that he is the killer. The two engage in combat believing that the other is a killer. Spider-Man webs Nightcrawler’s tail to the wall but he is strong enough to break out the brick and strike Spider-Man with it.

The police start to close in and the battle travels to the top of a Ferris wheel. Spider-Man is amazed to see how Nightcrawler climbs up the Ferris wheel but eventually the two meet on the top. Spider-Man knocks Nightcrawler down causing the mutant to drop the rifle that falls down to the ground. Nightcrawler realises that he cannot win and teleports away leaving Spider-Man confused. With nothing left to do he web slings away and picks up his camera that has taken pictures of the fight. Nightcrawler is watching nearby and is surprised to see Spider-Man picking up the camera.

A short time later Robbie Robertson is finishing off the Night Owl edition of the Daily Bugle when Spider-Man enters the room. Spider-Man asks him if he knows anything about the murders and Robbie responds that sources say that the culprit could be the Punisher but he is doubtful since none of the victims have had any criminal record. At that point J. Jonah Jameson is about to enter the room but when he sees Spider-Man he stops himself. He stays at the door so that he can listen to the conversation. Before he leaves Spider-Man asks Robbie if he knows anything about Nightcrawler but since he doesn’t Spider-Man leaves through the window.

Jameson backs away from the door and goes to his own office. He has received an anonymous package containing pictures of Spider-Man committing murder and dumping the bodies. Jameson intends to use these to show that Spider-Man really is a killer.

At that moment in another part of the city the Punisher enters a room which has several mobsters gambling. He wishes to speak to a certain one named Snake Eyes and he shoots the other mobsters dead. With Snake Eyes the only one remaining and having a gun pointed to his head. The Punisher demands to know who is impersonating him and dragging down his name.

Spider-Man arrives at Roosevelt Island tram line and thinks about his next move. Suddenly his spider sense goes off and he is quickly attacked by Nightcrawler with a few well placed strikes to the neck. This dazes Spider-Man and the mutant takes no time taking his camera and escaping. He tells Spider-Man that he wishes to meet him again as friends. Spider-Man is able to recover and pursues Nightcrawler to the top of a cable support. Nightcrawler destroys the film in the camera so that the presence of the New X-Men is safe. But still believing that Nightcrawler is the killer he attacks Nightcrawler.

Their battle moves to the cable itself and as they tussle a cable car rolls past and suddenly stops. Spider-Man is confused since the cart should not stop at this point and suddenly the Punisher pokes out of the cart intended to kill one of the two heroes.

My Thoughts

Sorry for once again I am reviewing this comic book a little late but it came out earlier than I expected. But don’t worry after this issue and the next I will be moving on with the main X-Men series once again since it is getting juicy.

Anyway back to this issue, it was written by Len Wein who wrote the now infamous Giant Size X-Men #1 which introduced Nightcrawler to the X-Men franchise. I was glad to see that it was being written by someone who knew the character well and not just someone who was writing Nightcrawler for the first time.

It is great to see Nightcrawler appear in such a big series after only being introduced about a year before. It gives the character a chance to shine away from the rest of the X-Men team. I admit that I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as I expected but it is nonetheless a very good read for any Nightcrawler fan.

Having a mistaken identity matter is something that is commonly used in crossovers and the ploy is used here once again. Not entirely original but it is still entertaining to see. You know that there has been a mistake but the character don’t know that.

One thing I do have a bit of an issue with is why Nightcrawler doesn’t teleport more often in the issue. Surely if he was in a hurry to get to the roof and catch the killer he could have teleported himself up there. It would have been far quicker and he would have caught him, but maybe the whole not seeing where he was going might have come into play there. But still a couple of teleports and the killer would have been caught. Maybe since Nightcrawler is still learning to use his powers maybe he can’t teleport as often as he has been shown to later on.

I’m actually surprised that they would have characters being killed like they did in a comic book of that period but since no blood has been shown it has passed the comic book code that was around at that time. You can’t really have a character like the Punisher and expect him to be any good if you have to worry about censorship. I’m so glad that he had a MAX series later on.

There are key parts of the issue that make me want to read the following issues like the pictures that Jameson has and the fact that either Spider-Man or Nightcrawler could be killed by the Punisher. A great way to sell issues.

In conclusion I’m giving the story a 7 out of 10. It was a good read but not fantastic in my view.

Next Issue

Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1) #162

#4 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- Marvel Team Up Annual (Volume 1) #1

Release Date- December 1976

Writer- Bill Mantlo

Artist- Sal Buscema

Major Notes

First team up between Spider-Man and new X-Men

Brief Summary

The Lords Of Light And Darkness

A man named Stephen Marches arrives at a top secret facility in the Nevada desert. Before he goes in a robotic guard stops him and checks his papers. He is given the all clear and walks in. There he is met by a fellow scientist named Brian Mann. He and his team have been researching been trying to solve the world’s depleting energy resources. He is introduced to the rest of the team that consists five men and two women. One particular member Araman Nila is working away at radioactive pile of material. But there is suddenly a violent earthquake which damages the base and destabilises the pile. There is nothing that anyone could do as the pile explodes and there is nothing left of the base or those who were working in it.

Over a year later an aeroplane is flying near the site carrying a host of diplomats who are discussing about events that could change humanity. The plane is specially designed to spend an entire week in the air. One person on the flight reporting for the Daily Bugle is Peter Parker. He is introduced by the diplomats from the Soviet Union and they shake hands and talk briefly. But one person that he notices is Senator Turner who is pompous and outspoken. Peter remembers that he is under investigation over misuse of military funds but he quickly gets a few pictures before moving away.

Suddenly the diplomats are introduced to Professor Xavier and the X-Men consisting of Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Banshee. They are there in place of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four but Senator Turner is not happy with them being there. Wolverine grabs his collar and threatens him but the other X-Men calm him down.

Suddenly the pilots notice that they are flying into an unknown black cloud. Visibility is down to zero and the plane begins to fall out of the sky. The passengers old on for dear life but one notices a group of robots coming up towards them as they break the cloud. The robots attack the plane and injure the pilots. Knowing what is happening Xavier commands Colossus and Cyclops to go to the cockpit and help them out. Unseen to everyone else Peter slips into the restroom and changes into his Spider-Man costume. He is able to hide away from Senator Turner before he helps combat the robots that are entering the plane.

One causes a large hole in the side of the plane and this is enough for Storm and Banshee to fly out and attack the robots who are still approaching. One robot comes up under the cockpit but is punched away by Colossus. It flies into the back of the plane but the other X-Men take it down with the help of Spider-Man.

With the robot out of the way Spider-Man moves into the cockpit but Cyclops cannot slow the plane down enough to attempt a landing. Spider-Man resorts to creating a parachute like thing using his webbing. He fires it out of the hole underneath the plane and this slows the plane enough for Cyclops to successfully perform an emergency landing.

The passengers crawl out of the plane unharmed but Senator Turner realises that Xavier’s students are the X-Men and gives them verbal abuse who believes that they were behind it. But the diplomat from the Soviet Union sides with the X-Men knowing that they couldn’t have possibly been responsible. He also reveals a radiation detector that indicates a strong reading from a smoking pit where the facility used to be. Banshee and Storm reveal that was where the robots come from. But before they go to investigate the Soviet Diplomat also shows an anti-radiation spray that he had created that will protect them for an hour if they go to the site.

The X-Men along with Spider-Man make their way to the site after being given the spray and they enter the radioactive site. Wolverine isn’t too fond of Spider-Man but Nightcrawler backs up the wall crawler before a fight breaks out. But suddenly they feel a powerful earthquake. In the air Banshee and Storm are attacked by a sonic scream and fall to the ground. Two people come over their unconscious body but deems them unimportant and walk away.

Through the screen of the radiation the other X-Men and Spider-Man see someone coming towards them. But rather than it be Storm or Banshee it is a man calling himself Yama Dharma who looks just like one of the research team that died a year ago. He fires an energy beam at Colossus that takes him down. Yama realises that Jean is the one that they have been searching for and wishes to leave her unharmed. The other X-Men continue to attack Yama but even when Wolverine slashes his chest they don’t see flesh but rather a galaxy like material. But before they can continue the fight another sonic scream takes down the rest of the team. Before Colossus falls unconscious he sees a woman appear who calls herself Kali, she states that she is only doing what needs to be done but as the others have all passed out Jean is the one who interests the pair.

Sometime later Spider-Man and the X-Men are being held in a force field while Jean remains outside. They are confronted by the scientists who have died but now they seem to be gods. Jean wakes up and realises what is happening. She tries to mind blast the force field but it bounces off. When she asks the gods who they are she and the others receive vivid images of the destruction of the facility. Eight people inside died and only Kali remained, the others were reborn into these gods.

Nightcrawler attempts to teleport himself out of the force field. He is able to teleport himself to another part of the room but the force field has gone along with him. This causes a large hole in the force field and allows the others to escape and they go to attack the gods. The gods themselves plan to leave this plain of existence but it would leave the world an empty husk. They require Jean’s power to allow them to do this but she refuses to help them. They do not like taking no for an answer and so a great battle commences between the two groups. The X-Men and Spider-Man appear to hold their own on the gods.

Suddenly the gods begin to transform into energy as they are approaching their deaths. But if they were to die the Earth the will die along with them. Jean is supposed to be the force that kept them bound until they could convert into another form of energy. Spider-Man realises that there must be plenty of room in space for the gods to roam around as they please. Cyclops begins to figure out a plan but they must move quickly.

The gods link hands together with Colossus and Spider-Man and although the gods begin to believe that it will not work. Jean mind links with the gods and sends a mental projection beam over to Nightcrawler. He teleports the beam into Cyclops’s optic beam which is pointing towards the sky. Banshee uses his sonic scream to stabilise the beam while Storm unleashes a cold front that keeps the process from overheating. With the process complete the gods launch into space leaving the others on the ground.

With the danger over an astral projection of Xavier appears and he reveals that he has wiped the memories of the passengers so that the team’s identities are still secret. The group then begin to make their way back to the plan happy that they have just saved the world.

My Thoughts

First off I apologise for not doing this one sooner along with two issues of the Amazing Spider-Man but for the next couple of days I’m playing catch up. For this issue I didn’t think it was entirely that good. The plot was hard for me to understand even though I read it twice over and I can tell that this isn’t a Claremont/Cockrum issue. It definitely lacked that edge that they bring to the series.

This issue does mark the first time that the new team meet Spider-Man and I felt that it could have been written a lot better. But it is difficult to write a decent team up story, some are fantastic while others not so much. I felt that the story needed more explanation and I felt a little lost from time to time and that normally doesn’t happen with me.

I think the issue is actually ahead of the X-Men series at the time since it had Jean Grey with the team and in her Phoenix costume. In the series at this time she is still in hospital and the entire business with the Phoenix has only just started. She doesn’t even use her Phoenix powers at all so it makes me feel that the artist decided to use her costume and a small amount of the Phoenix but none of its real power.

The conference itself was about Man made mutations so I can understand the X-Men being there but I feel that the entire team didn’t need to be there since they don’t have degrees in the field. Just because someone is a mutant doesn’t make them an expert in mutations (Except Beast of course) so it was somewhat pointless that they were even there, unless it was for protection.

This issue also marks a first for the blog since I have actually read an original rather than from reprinted material.

The gods involved were all in the likeness of the people who had died in the accident at the facility but it was hard to get how them dying in their manner would destroy the world unless there was something that I missed. I know that this entry is short but to tell the truth there was not much to really discuss.

In conclusion I’m only giving the issue a 4 out of 10. Definitely the worst issue involving the new X-Men and leaves room for improvement.

Next Issue

Amazing Spider-Man (Volume 1) #161

#5 Posted by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe Avalanche since like in the Pokémon games. Ground attacks do not affect flying types.

#6 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #104

Release Date- April 1977

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- Dave Cockrum

Major Notes

The new X-Men’s first battle with Magneto. First appearance of Muir Island, Christopher Summers aka Corsair, Cho’od and first X-Men appearance of Jamie Madrox aka Multiple Man

Brief Summary

The Gentleman’s Name Is Magneto

The X-Men are attempting to hire a hovercraft that has been reserved for them in Northwest Scotland. They intend to go to Muir Island which is located fifty miles off the coast but hovercraft hire owner is not letting them have the hovercraft. The reservation was for Moira MacTaggart and not for them. Seeing no other choice Colossus has to use a small amount of force to hook the owner onto a nearby wall but the team do leave him a small amount of cash for his trouble.

The X-Men take the hovercraft and begin to travel to Muir Island. They know that Moira has a mutant research facility on the island and that the man running it has suddenly gone silent. She has requested that the X-Men check it out before returning to the US after their trip to Ireland. But as they approach the island the hovercraft is instantly ripped apart by an unknown force.

A couple of minutes later the X-Men are able to swim to shore and they all seem to be alright. The team think that the hovercraft simply exploded but Banshee knows better. To him there is only one individual who could have ripped the metal off the hovercraft in that manner. The team do see Moira’s research facility and are greatly impressed by its size. But when they go to get closer they are kept out by some kind of invisible force field. Before they can find a way to break through the ground beneath them lifts them into the air and directly towards the facility.

Moments later they crash through the wall and as they begin to pick themselves up and realise what is happening a nearby set of doors explode and the team are confronted by a re-aged Magneto and he states that this will be the team’s final battleground.

Outside the X-Jet is landing and the only occupants inside is Cyclops and Moira. Cyclops is angry that Professor Xavier has not mentioned anything about this facility before. But before they can properly discuss it they race into the building and find an unconscious Multiple Man on the ground. When he wakes up he realises that the X-Men have come and now they’re being murdered. He explains that he was performing his morning rounds when he was attacked by Erik The Red, Polaris and Havok. After taking him down the group discover where the infant Magneto is being kept. Using alien technology Erik The Red is able to make Magneto into an adult again. At first the villain wants Magneto to team up with him and attack the team but Magneto wishes to take on the team alone and he wants revenge on them for the humiliation of being in Xavier’s hands while he was a baby. Cyclops realises that Magneto is now at his peak and an even bigger threat than before. Quickly he races to where the battle is taking place. Since he and Xavier never thought that Magneto would be a threat again they never trained to combat him and he knows that the new team doesn’t stand a chance.

Meanwhile Magneto battles the New X-Men and is easily able to take Wolverine and Colossus down since they both have metal in their systems. Storm attempts a lightning bolt at the villain but Magneto is able to use his magnetic abilities to fling it back directly at her. Colossus isn’t entirely out of the picture. He knows that he is weak against Magneto in his metal form but as his human form he thinks that he is useless to the team. He attempts a sneak attack on Magneto in his metal form but the villain is able to see it coming and sends Colossus flying through the wall and into the ocean.

Back at the battle Magneto turns his attentions to Nightcrawler. He flings a various metallic objects at him but Nightcrawler teleports away. Unfortunately for him Magneto can sense where he is going to reappear and strikes Magneto with the metal when he reappears. The only member of the new team still in the fight is Banshee. He uses his sonic scream to smash the floor below Magneto and he begins to fall. But Magneto reveals that he can fly and makes his way back up to the battle. Banshee attempts a taunt to keep Magneto unbalanced but the villain responds by pulling particles from various metal objects and using them to encase Banshee in a metal shell. His airways are blocked and he will die soon if he is not freed.

Magneto gloats over his victory but is suddenly attacked by Cyclops who has finally made it to the battle. Magneto is able to pull up a shield just in time but Cyclops increases the intensity of his optic blasts that temporarily stun the villain. With a small window of opportunity he goes to free Banshee from his metal casing while Nightcrawler finds the others.

It only takes a few moments for the majority of the team to reform but rather than deciding to attack Magneto Cyclops orders the team that they have to return to New York. Wolverine isn’t fond of the idea and voices his views at running away. Cyclops is able to assert his authority and the team leave the facility and find Colossus.

With the team back together the X-Men leave in the X-Jet and start to travel back to New York. Cyclops informs them Erik The Red is after Xavier and by having the team occupied by Magneto would keep them from protecting their mentor. But despite all that Wolverine still doesn’t like the fact that they retreated and says that he will never forgive Cyclops for it.

On the ground below Magneto gloats that he has beaten the X-Men not realising that the door behind him houses a terrifying mutant. He is stirring awake and is trapped behind a sealed door and is labelled Mutant X.

In deep space on the Starjammer ship Corsair informs his right hand man an alien named Cho’od that the stars are lining up and if the Emperor goes through with his plans then it would be the end of everything.

In her own space craft Princess Lilandra is nearing Earth’s orbit but her fuel cells are very low. Suddenly she picks up two incoming missiles and she realises that she has been targeted by an imperial ship and they intend to kill her.

Back on Earth Jean has left the hospital and is visiting her parents along with her mentor Professor Xavier and her roommate Misty Knight. None on them realise that they are being watched from the outside by Erik the Red, Polaris and Havok.

My Thoughts

Where do I start with this issue? I guess I’ll start with the cover which is an obvious tribute to the X-Men #1 cover from 1963. Except this time the X-Men have been switched around (Like Nightcrawler taking on the role of Beast). I believe that it was the first tribute to the cover but there will be plenty more. It is fitting since it is the team’s first encounter with Magneto and they should have the cover like the original team’s first encounter with the villain.

The story itself was very entertaining and it was great to see such a magnificent character like Magneto returning. Obviously there is a bit of a gap during the cancelled years. It seems that he was de-aged by a being called the Mutant Alpha back in an issue of the Defenders and then sent to Muir Island where Xavier had hoped that he would grow up into a functioning member of society. Seeing the new team have their asses handed to them by Magneto just shows that they still have a long way to go and they Magneto himself is a force to be reckoned with. Too much in the old days did I feel that the original X-Men beat him too easily. But now it shows that he truly is the villain that he was supposed to be.

There are also a couple of introductions in the series. To start with we have Jamie Madrox aka Multiple Man who although has never been a member of the X-Men is still an important character in the franchise. He is best known for his time with spin-off team X-Factor and he does have a strong fan base. He did first appear in Giant Size Fantastic Four #4 this is the first time that he is seen in an X-Men comic. If he was actually with the team he would me a one man army.

Muir Island is also introduced in this issue and it will be the setting for many events over the X-Men’s long history. A few come to mind is The Muir Island Saga, the Headquarters for future spin off team Excalibur and the escape of a particular mutant which will be mentioned later. There is no doubt that the island is very important to the series and has appeared many times in TV shows, games and films. I did share Cyclops’s view on the fact that he wasn’t told about it but it begins to show that Xavier keeps secrets from the team and that some of those will come back to really bite the team in the ass.

Another interesting character who is introduced in this issue is Corsair. Although not being stated in this issue he is the believed to be dead father of Cyclops although that will be revealed in a short time. He is like a Robin Hood character in outer space and he is the commander of a team known as the Starjammers. Although only Cho’od is introduced in this issue the rest will come along soon.

We also get a good look at the face of Lilandra in this issue and this time we actually know that it is her. She does keep her helmet on so that we don’t see her entire head but from her face we can definitely see that she is female and that she does look somewhat human despite her insect like helmet.

One other character who had a first brief mention in this issue is the mysterious Mutant X who will cause the X-Men a lot of trouble in their last adventure in the 1970’s. Definitely a great story that will be reviewed later on although we know Mutant X better as Proteus.

For the actual battle with Magneto it is good to see that he was able to take down Wolverine and Colossus so easily due to their obvious weaknesses against him. But I did notice that Wolverine only complained about his claws and not the fact that the rest of his skeleton is also metal. I believe at this point that the decision hadn’t been made to have Adamantium coated on Wolverine’s entire skeleton so it just shows that there are a lot of things not revealed yet about him (Like the lack of memories, healing factor etc).

One last thing to mention is that it is stated that Dragonfly from the Ani-Men escaped in this issue as well. Originally Cockrum had intended to use her later on in another series that showcased the women of Marvel Comics but it never came into fruition and thus she has faded into obscurity.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 9 out of 10. Definitely a great way to reintroduce Magneto and with everything that is happening in the issue it shows that the series is on its way to greatness

Next Issue

Marvel Team-Up Annual (Volume 1) #1 (A couple of posts late, I do apologise)

#7 Posted by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

She did have a crush on an agent of SHIELD during her Kitty Pryde Agent Of SHIELD LS

#8 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #103

Release Date- February 1977

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- Dave Cockrum

Major Notes

First cameo appearance of Emperor D’Ken

Brief Summary

The Fall Of The Tower

A group of Leprechauns are carrying the unconscious body of Nightcralwer away in a secret passage. They hear that the fighting has ended and assume that the X-Men have been defeated. But suddenly Nightcralwer wakes up struggles up to his feet surprised by what he sees. He realises that the X-Men have been captured and the leprechauns begin to explain that Black Tom Cassidy and Juggernaut came to the keep a month ago and kidnapped their families so that they would co-operate. The other leprechauns are being held in the dungeons and they also reveal that the pair were hired by Erik The Red to kill the X-Men. The leprechauns did catch wind of this and had a loyal try and contact Banshee. But he didn’t realise that Black Tom was after his life as well as the keep. They also tell Nightcrawler that he was invisible when he was in the shadows, at first the German mutant doesn’t believe them but when he tries it he sees that he is indeed invisible. Suddenly another leprechaun turns up telling the group that the X-Men have been taken to the lab and quickly he takes Nightcrawler away.

At the lab itself the X-Men have been put into various restraints designed for each individual team member. Black Tom and Juggernaut plan to torture the team until Xavier comes so that they can kill him. Nightcrawler overhears their plans and teleports away with an idea in mind.

A fraction of a second later Nightcrawler reappears in the lab but this time he has set his image inducer to look like Professor Xavier. Believing that he is the genuine article Juggernaut tries to attack him but Nightcrawler jumps out of the way. Black Tom is surprised to see that Xavier is seemingly walking. Before he can figure it out Nightcrawler kicks the villain before vaulting onto a nearby wall. Juggernaut realises that it is Nightcrawler and not really Xavier, enraged he punches the wall so hard it actually crumbles and the X-Man is buried in the rubble.

Storm sees the sky before her and uses a hurricane like gust of wind to free the team and send them outside the keep. Banshee is caught by Juggernaut before he is truly free but he is still unconscious. Storm is elated to be free but she has dropped Wolverine and Colossus on the ground.

Inside the keep the trapped Leprechauns see their chance to escape but they find an injured Nightcrawler in the rubble. On the outside Colossus cannot break the metal that is keeping Wolverine’s hands and feet bound. But Storm is able to use her lock picking skills to free Wolverine.

Meanwhile Black Tom and Juggernaut make their way up to the roof of the keep with Banshee as their prisoner. When they reach the top Juggernaut dangles Banshee over the side while Black Tom shots down a series of threats to the team. They have five minutes to get up to them and try and rescue him or else they will throw him down in pieces. Storm begins to fly up while Colossus throws Wolverine up to the top. The Russian mutant has to climb up the walls himself.

When Storm reaches the top a defence of energy cannons begin to fire at her. She is able to dodge the blasts and creates a violent thunderstorm to attack the cannons. But on the other side of the keep Wolverine has been thrown too far but a leprechaun appears to help him out. He states that he doesn’t believe in leprechauns while the Leprechaun reveals that he doesn’t believe in talking wolverines either.

Back to the top of the keep Black Tom is working at the computer for the defence systems which are compensating for Storm’s aerial moves. But while Banshee tries to figure out a way to be free Nightcrawler appears behind him and breaks the robes binding his hands. With Banshee’s hands free he removes the metal collar that blocks his mouth and uses a sonic scream on the ground under the Juggernaut causing the villain to fall through. When he gets up to go up the stairs he is confronted by Wolverine, Storm and Colossus.

Banshee and Black Tom engage in battle once again. Black Tom picks up family axe while Banshee picks up a sword. While the two battles are ongoing on top of the keep Banshee has no choice but to throw Black Tom over the side of the keep and he goes crashing towards the sea. Juggernauts sees this and rushes past the X-Men so that he can try and save his friend. He leaps into the ocean in hopes that he can help Black Tom and that is the last that they are both seen.

Over the next few hours Storm reverts the weather to normal but there is no sign of Black Tom’s or Juggernaut’s body. But in another location Erik the Red is being contacted by his Emperor D’Ken who informs him that Princess Lilandra will be arriving at Earth within a few weeks and that she cannot contact the X-Men. But Erik the Red assures him that he has allied himself with the X-Men’s oldest villain Magneto and that the team are as good as dead.

My Thoughts

Another good comic in a great run. Although not quite as good as some of the other comics in the run so far it is still a very good issue to read. I did notice that Professor Xavier, Cyclops and Jean Grey don’t actually appear in the comic it was still nice to have an entire issue focused on the new team. There is basically nothing to do with the upcoming major plot besides the very last panel which leaves the reader wanting to buy the next issue. (Damn Claremont knows how to do a cliff hangar).

To start with I was surprised that they would introduce leprechauns into the Marvel Universe. They haven’t really been used at all since but for the storyline in Ireland I guess that it makes sense to have them. Marvel have had practically every other mythical creature in their universe so it is not entirely surprising that they introduced Leprechauns.

Storm did play quite a big role in this issue but if I had to name one outstanding X-Man in particular it would have been Nightcrawler. In his own way he had actually saved the team from certain destruction. The only thing I have to question would be how was he able to set the image inducer to make him look like Xavier. Maybe it was already in there or if he had to do a bit of tinkering first until he got it right. He is intelligent but he doesn’t have the mental capacity to be able to set it entirely right but if that goes into too much detail it might spoil the story as a whole.

This issue is also the first time that we actually see Juggernaut concerned for someone else besides himself. He basically risked his own life to try and save Black Tom and in a way this makes him somewhat more realistic. There are very few villains in the real world who don’t like everybody. They would have someone who they would risk their own skins to save and it seems that Juggernaut is no different.

The last panel of the story is a great set up for future X-Men stories and promises the return of the X-Men’s greatest villain Magneto. But it also the first time we see the face of D’Ken. He might have appeared in an earlier issue but it is never confirmed so for the time being this is the first cameo appearance of D’Ken. He is villain who doesn’t appear very often but he is still a great villain who in my mind has not been spoilt. He will definitely play an enormous role in the next big arc which will be forever fondly remembered by X-Men and general comic fans alike.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue a 7 out of 10. Might not be the highest rating in the run but definitely worth the read.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #104

#9 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #102

Release Date- December 1976

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- Dave Cockrum

Major Notes

First time Nightcrawler shows invisibility in shadows

Brief Summary

Who Will Stop The Juggernaut?

The Juggernaut attacks the X-Men in Cassidy Keep’s dungeons while Storm has collapsed in fear over her claustrophobia. At that time Banshee and Black Tom Cassidy engage in battle but since both men are immune to the others powers due to being blood relatives. Instead both men have to resort to using their fists instead.

Colossus turns his attentions on the near catatonic Storm but Wolverine tells him to forget her and concentrate on the Juggernaut. At first Colossus refuses so Wolverine uses his peak human strength to judo throw him into the Juggernaut. Colossus is angered by this and confronts Wolverine. But before the pair can square off Colossus is struck by Juggernaut leaving Wolverine to fend for himself. He is far from helpless as he uses his adamantium claws to attack Juggernaut. But while he keeps him busy Nightcrawler tries to tend to Storm who is still in complete panic over the enclosed space. But before he can snap Storm out of it he has to dodge a punch from Juggernaut and moves up a wall. With Nightcrawler seemingly gone Juggernaut turns his attentions on the helpless Storm but Nightcrawler teleports down and is able to distract the big brute.

Knowing everything that is happening around her Storm remembers back to her childhood. She was born in the US and her parents are an African princess and a US photojournalist. When she is six months old they move to Cairo. Five years later the Seuz War breaks out and the city of Cairo is being bombed by ally forces. One jet taking place in the bombardment is a French jet which has become damaged. The jet comes down right on top of Storm’s apartment causing it to completely collapse. She is buried under the rubble and is horrified to see the dead bodies of her parents.

She is eventually able to escape from the rubble but with nothing left she is forced to roam the streets of Cairo. Eventually she is picked up by a man named Achmed El Gibar who teaches her to become a thief. For years she is a master pickpocket but by her twelfth birthday an unknown force drives her down to Kenya and the walk takes her a full year. During her time I Kenya she discovers her mutant abilities and a short time after that is recruited by Professor Charles Xavier.

At the hospital in New York Xavier is picking up the mental distress of Storm. He sees the face of the Juggernaut and instantly realises that the New X-Men are in danger. He is in Jean’s hospital room along with Cyclops and Jean’s friend Misty Knight. Immediately Xavier requests that Cyclops meet him in the hallway. Jean and Misty talk a little more and suddenly Jean begins to glow as the two men leave.

Moments later Xavier and Cyclops are in the hallway and Xavier informs him about what is happening at Cassidy Keep. He instructs Cyclops to go and help the team but Cyclops turns him down stating that Jean is all that he is concerned of. Xavier is surprised by the answer ad when Cyclops tells him that it is time for the new team to fend for himself Xavier becomes enraged and shouts at his original student. The strain causes Xavier to have another vision based on his dream and he sees the face of the alien that he has seen I his dreams. Cyclops quickly rushes to his aid not sure exactly what has happened to his father figure.

Back at Cassidy Keep Nightcrawler is dodging Juggernaut’s blows but he cannot keep it up forever. Nightcrawler jumps onto a nearby wooden beam but he sees the Juggernaut strike down Wolverine. Nightcrawler is able to grab a nearby torch and forces it into the face of the villain actually harming him. But Black Tom sees what has happened and blasts him causing him to crash to the ground and is knocked out. No one notices that he is partially invisible as part of his body is within the shadows. Suddenly a small door opens and a group of small men see Nightcrawler and carry him through before the door closes once again.

Banshee continues to battle his cousin Black Tom who reveals that he and Juggernaut have been hired to kill the team. But in Banshee’s confusion he is struck several times by Black Tom’s stick knocking him out. With the team seemingly defeated Juggernaut wants to turn his attentions on locating Xavier but he is suddenly attacked by Colossus. The two engage in combat but after a heroic effort he is defeated by the Juggernaut. Storm realises that she is the only member of the team remaining and tries to use her powers. But Juggernaut uses a force beam to knock her out. With the team defeated Juggernaut and Black Tom plan to use them as bait to trap Xavier like a lamb to the slaughter.

My Thoughts

Well again a good read and enjoyable comic book. There are a few things that I’ll point out but they’re not exactly faults just stating a couple of facts.

First thing I’ll mention that it is almost unbelievable to see the X-Men defeated by Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy. I think that if it happened nowadays (If Banshee was still alive) the team would have been able to take them down with some ease. But at this moment in time the team are still getting used to working with one another and the exact limits of their mutant abilities have yet to be fully revealed. But still I think that Juggernaut and Black Tom would have still given them a good run for their money.

I’ll talk briefly about seeing certain powers that don’t seem to be used much anymore. The first is that Nightcrawler can make himself invisible by remaining in the shadows. I think it is touched upon a couple of times but not enough in my book. It is an interesting twist to his mutant abilities and you could even call it a secondary mutant power. The other power is Juggernaut using what I think is called a crimson force. It is something that once again has been mainly dropped by other writers much like Magneto’s minor telepathic abilities. Nowadays Juggernaut is purely given superhuman strength and nothing else.

It was also interesting to see Storm’s upbringing and the origin of her claustrophobia. It gives another dimension to the character and makes her seem more than just a drawing. It shows a small patch of her life before joining the X-Men and despite its briefness to give us an insight on the mind-set of the character. I know that future issues will look more into her past in Cairo after the death of her parents but it will reveal more about the character and the fact that she has met Xavier before.

One character who makes an appearance in this comic book is Misty Knight. She is a minor character in the Marvel Universe and if memory serves she has some robotic components that give her super strength and speed. I find her appearance in this comic a little random and the fact there is stated to be a friendship between her and Jean. The pair never appeared together before unless I’ve missed something.

To focus a little on Xavier I was surprised to see his outburst, calling Cyclops an ungrateful cur. It reminded me a little of the character at the very beginning of the series as he was written by Stan Lee. Also seeing him look in the mirror and see Lilandra makes the reader want to know what the hell is exactly happening with these dreams but it will all lead to something that fans will never forget.

The only thing I don’t like about the X-Men comics of this period is that there is hardly any of them. We have gone through the entire year of 1976 in six issues where nowadays it would be sixty or seventy issues of the main five core X-Men titles (ANXM, XM, UXM, WATXM, AXM and not including side comics like Wolverine or X-Force) to go through an entire year of X-Men comics. It does make the franchise easier to follow but at least the issues are good quality.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. Another great issue that brings the reader in and make them buy the next issue.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #103

#10 Edited by Hysteria (295 posts) - - Show Bio

Issue Information

Title- X-Men (Volume 1) #101

Release Date- October 1976

Writer- Chris Claremont

Artist- Dave Cockrum

Major Notes

First appearance of Phoenix and first full appearance of Black Tom Cassidy

Brief Summary

Like A Phoenix, From The Ashes

The Shuttle begins to plummet down to Earth. The X-Men are still alive thanks to the heroic sacrifice of Jean Grey. The shuttle approaches JFK airport but it is travelling too fast for a safe landing and as it touches down it begins to break up. The main part of the shuttle bursts its way through a metal fence and into the Jamaica Bay. The shuttle begins to sink but one by one the X-Men begin to surface along with Doctor Peter Corbeau.

A few moments later the X-Men realise that Jean hasn’t surfaced. Cyclops wishes to dive down and find her but he is stopped by Nightcrawler that due to the radiation and the impact of the crash that there is no hope of her surviving. Suddenly the team notice something rising up from the water and they are all surprised to see Jean fly up out of the water wearing a green and gold costume and calling herself Phoenix. But the strain of everything takes its toll on her and she collapses into the water. Cyclops is there to prevent her from drowning but he realises that she is hardly breathing and that her pulse is very weak. Quickly the team make the short swim to the shore and see the damage that has been caused to the airport thanks to the crash.

The next day Wolverine is at a newsstand buying a bouquet of flowers before making his way to the hospital. Professor Xavier has been able to manipulate the memories of everyone involved in the crash, they all think that Peter Corbeau is the only survivor. As Wolverine enters the hospital he is surprised to see the other X-Men there along with Xavier and Moira MacTaggart. They are all greatly concerned for Jean who is being treated as they speak. Moira suggests that Xavier use his telepathy to help Jean but he tells her that he cannot over extend his powers without him experiencing the dream once more. Manipulating the memories of all those people almost caused a seizure. Cyclops sits by himself thinking about the years that he wasted being too nervous to date Jean. He feels hopeless if he were to lose her.

The hours pass and before the team know it a full day has passed until doctors update them of Jean’s condition. The team are thrilled to hear that Jean will pull through but she needs a lot of rest and her friends. Nightcrawler has spotted that Cyclops has gone into Jean’s room. He is about to enter but sees Cyclops tearful at her side and decides to leave the man be and quietly shuts the door.

Now after the news of Jean Xavier tells the X-Men that they are to go on a vacation while she recovers. Wolverine is angered by this and refuses to leave her side, but Xavier assures him that Jean will be taken care of by himself and Cyclops. With both men tending Jean there would be no one left to run the team and after the events of the past few weeks the team need a break. At that point Banshee reveals that he has just inherited his ancestral home of Cassidy Keep and that it would be the ideal place for the X-Men to take their vacation.

Days later after a cross Atlantic plane journey and then a long train trip the five New X-Men drive up to Cassidy Keep. The roads are very bumpy and the team aren’t really enjoying the ride but Banshee assures them that the roads are safe. It is not too long before they actually reach Cassidy Keep and the team marvel over the large medieval looking castle.

But as the X-Men approach the main entrance they are being watched on the screen by Banshee’s cousin Black Tom Cassidy. He has plans for the team and orders his unwilling servant Eamon to make the team comfortable. At first he is unwilling to carry out this command but after a sharp strike with his stick and a reminder of what’s at stake Black Tom is able to convince him to carry out his orders.

The X-Men enter the main hall and they take in the grandeur of it all although Storm doesn’t like feeling so enclosed. She is shown to her room by Eamon who tells her that there will be a formal dinner at eight. In her room Storm uses her powers to strip her clothes off before putting on a formal gown along with a long coat. It is a short while before Nightcrawler teleports into the room. She is surprised to see that he is not in formal wear but he reminds her of his image inducer. First he sets it to make him look like Clark Gable, then one of the Marx Brothers before settling on his usual Errol Flynn look. Storm then reveals her own dress and Nightcrawler stares at wonder at her beauty before escorting her to the dinner.

The rest of the team also change into formal wear and they all meet up to make their way to the dining room. But suddenly a large trap door opens up below them sending the team down a shoot. Quickly the team gear up into their costumes as the reach the ground but the next thing they see is Black Tom Cassidy sitting at a throne with Juggernaut standing by his side. Both are prepared to kill the X-Men but as they prepare to fight back Storm collapses in fear as she is in an enclosed space and she begins to panic.

My Thoughts

Well this is where all the Phoenix business that will affect the X-Men for the better part of four decades all started. It is definitely something that is directly tied to the X-Men and has been used over and over in TV series, films alternate reality comics, games and so on. It is an angle that I think is overused much like the symbiotes in the Spider-Man franchise. But through the years it all comes to head with this issue. From reading this issue the reader has no indication just how big the Phoenix angle will be for the rest of the X-Men series afterwards. When used right the Phoenix angle makes a phenomenal story but written wrong it can lead people the wrong way.

Also making his first full appearance in this issue is minor X-Men villain Black Tom Cassidy. He has not really been used too much over the years but the issue also shows the friendship that he has with Juggernaut. It also marks the first time that he meets the new X-Men and as we see in the next issue that he takes on Colossus in the first of several battles between the pair.

Seeing Jean rise out of the water in the manner that she did really shows that times are changing for the team. Already the cheesiness of the 60’s and moving onto more serious stories that will make the series so fond with fans. The series is really on the up at the moment and with issues like this it is plain to see this.

One thing I did take some issue in was Nightcrawler teleporting into Storm’s room when he knew that she was changing. There was a good chance that he might have stumbled upon her while she lacked clothes. I thought that he would have looked before he leapt if you know what I mean. Nightcrawler is supposed to be a conservative person so I doubt that he would have just teleported in there if he didn’t know if she was changing. I did notice that it was close to dinner and that she had time change but there was no guarantee. I wonder if knocking on a door was ever invented in Germany.

I think this is also the first time that we ever saw Wolverine show any kind of real affections towards Jean. She must mean a lot to him for him to actually buy a bouquet of flowers for her. It was funny to see him throw them away when he realised that he wasn’t the only person there to see her. I think that he might have tried to steal a kiss if no one else was there to see it. But he will have other opportunities that will drive a wedge between himself and Cyclops.

In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. Not quite as good as the last issue but still a damn good read.

Next Issue

X-Men (Volume 1) #102