Monday, November 26, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #131 (March 1980)

Title: Run For Your Life!
Cover: John Byrne, Terry Austin
Co-Plotters: Chris Claremont, John Byrne
Script: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: March 1980
Release Date: December 1979
Synopsis: After narrowly escaping the Hellfire Club's troops, Kitty Pryde runs for her life in the streets of Chicago. The X-Men intervene and defeat the villains pursuing the young mutant, returning to the safety of their skyship along the banks of Lake Michigan only after they convince Kitty that they're actually the good guys. Cyclops and Phoenix interrogate their Hellfire Club prisoners and learn about the shadowy organization and its plot against them, prompting Phoenix to ponder her dreams in which she's living the life of an ancestor who is married to a lord of the club. Cyclops, Dazzler, Nightcrawler, Phoenix and Kitty Pryde develop a plan to rescue Colossus, Storm, Wolverine and Professor Xavier and set out for the White Queen’s base at Frost Enterprises. Kitty Pryde infiltrates the base and frees Wolverine with her phasing powers while Cyclops and Dazzler create a distraction for the guards outside. Phoenix interrupts the White Queen in midst of a mental interrogation of Storm and the two foes engage in a battle that culminates in the destruction of the complex with Phoenix emerging as the victor and the White Queen missing in action. The team returns Kitty Pryde home in their civilian disguises to her relieved and enraged parents, who remarkably turn very friendly after a bit of mental manipulation by Phoenix. The issue closes with Cyclops and Storm noting that such behavior is out of character and worrying that there is a dark side to Phoenix that may be out of control.

This issue is a great middle act to the Hellfire Club Saga and serves up fantastic foreshadowing for the Dark Phoenix Saga to come. A few notable items come to mind after re-reading this issue for this review. First, Emma Frost is portrayed as a truly evil and sadistic character, so it's hard to imagine that Claremont or Byrne ever imagined her reforming and joining the forces of good later in the X-Men series. "All they'll find when they reach this chamber is a mindless thing, human only in physical form -- you, Storm." Yikes! Second, this issue offers Wolverine's first lethal encounter with the Hellfire Club soldiers after one of them shoots Kitty Pryde with a blaster. "Sucker, you just made the biggest mistake of your life.  And the last.  Snikt!" Think that's bad for the Hellfire Club goons? Just wait until issue #133! Third, on a more cheerful note, we see early signs of Kitty Pryde's crush on Colossus. "Eh? Why is Kitty staring at me?" "Wow, Peter -- You saved us all.  That was neat!" "It was?" Overall a great issue that truly withstands the test of time.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...