Project Wonderful

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Uncanny X-Men #170

This image is copyright 1983 Marvel Comics Group and is used as a Fair Use Review image only. Image will be removed upon request of Marvel Comics Group.

Uncanny X-Men #170, June, 1983
Story Title: "dancin' in the dark"
Cover Price: .60 cents

Writer: Chris Claremont
Pencils: Paul Smith
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Colorists: P. Becton & J. Casey
Leterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-In-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Art: Paul Smith

Major Characters:
Scott Summers (Cyclops), Madelyn Pryor, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Angel, Calisto, Sunder,Kitty Pryde, Caliban, Plague, Mystique, & a lrge group of Morlocks.

1983, that's a while ago for me and its when Uncanny X-Men became a part of my life. If you've read my first post you know the beginnings of this if not I'll explain. Somewhere around June 1983 I was 11 years old and I was at my grandparents house in New Orleans, Louisiana and by fate I guess, I just happened to be there when someone's subscription somehow found its way to my grandparents mailbox. They asked me if I wanted it and I said yes. I read it and I was blown away I never knew or at least I never understood before that superheroes existed like these. I had known about them in cartoons but this was different I never had the chance to read about them I had read Disney and Warner Bros. cartoon comics before but never Superheroes that I can remember and this marks the start of my comic book collecting life.

The story (SPOILERS):
There are three themes to this comic Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Madelyn Pryor are in the early stages of a dating relationship. They both express that they like each other and Scott is a bit confused by her overwhelming resemblance to the deceased Jean Grey (Phoenix). By the books end he shows Madelyn his secret mutant power of Force Beams that fire from his eyes.

Mystique appears briefly having strange nightmares about Jean grey and Jason Wyngarde. This doesn't reveal much but while talking to Destiny she realizes her daughter Rogue is missing.

The heart of the book is the part that got me hooked...MUTANTS...holy crap I never heard the word before but I'll remember it forever. A mutant is someone born with a special power or ability that may or may not want that power and may or may not be able to control it. Calisto (leader of the mutant group the Morlocks) has captured a group of X-Men and has intentions of being married to Angel whom she believes to be the most beautiful man in the world. Calisto has clipped his wings so he can not get away. Colossus, Nightcrawler and Storm have all been captured and Kitty Pryde sick with Plague is being held by Caliban who is obsessively in love with her.

The X-Men escape when Colossus changes into his organic steel form breaking his binds and I was blown away to see Nightcrawler teleport away with a BAMF! taking Calisto out of the way inciting several of the Morlocks to react aggressively. The X-Men are recaptured when Plague touches Storm and threatens to kill her if the X-Men do not surrender. Caliban brings the sick Kitty Pryde to Calisto who is indifferent to her illness and says "If the brat dies, she dies" with this Storm challenges Calisto to a duel.

Calisto informs Storm that this is a powerless duel and to the death. Both armed with knives the fight ensued and Storm made quick work of Calisto in a battle that lasted only moments using her cape to bind Calisto's knife hand and stabbing her through the heart. Storm did what was necessary to save Kitty Pryde and in doing so became the leader of the Morlocks.

Calisto did not die due to the aid of a Morlock healer (this occurs off panel).

My Review:
I love this comic because it introduced me to the X-Men and gave me something that let me know that lots of people are different in this world and were all trying to be accepted for who we are. Paul Smith's pencils are tight and when I think of 80's comics his style is what comes to mind. This comic book didn't have everything I could ever want in a comic book and surely isn't my favorite artwork of all-time and its not the best comic book I've ever read but it is the most important comic book I have ever laid eyes on, the story has stuck with me since I was eleven years old and the cover art is burned on my brain forever. I recommend this to any X-Men fan who has never gone back to the early days of the second team of X-Men. Chris Claremont is regarded as one of the best X-Men writers of all time and he kept X-Men fans happy for many years.

I give this a highly biased 10 out of 10

- Kevin P. Johnson

Copyright 2008 Kevin P. Johnson

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