Monday, August 24, 2020

Marvel Immersion Project: Uncanny X-Men #106-111

This week's run includes a major personnel change in the art department.  Before we get there...
Dave Cockrum - Wikipedia
via Wikipedia
Dave Cockrum was born November 11, 1943 in Pendleton, Oregon.  He grew up an Air Force brat, then joined the Navy himself when he graduated high school.  Before Marvel, he revamped the Legion of Super-Heroes at DC.  For the X-Men, he was the co-creator of Nightcrawler, Storm and Colossus.

Cockrum died November 26, 2006 of complications from diabetes.

My Recent Reads

Uncanny X-Men #106
Originally Published August 1, 1977
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Dave Cockrum
  • New X-Men are pitted against old X-Men (haven't we already done this?) in the Danger Room, though the old ones are actually mental constructs generated by Charles Xavier's evil entity.
  • Another brawl.  I'm getting tired of this, especially since it pulls us away from another story that was actually starting to get interesting.
  • Then it occurred to me: this is what comic book writers do when they're struggling to meet a deadline.  They throw up some meaningless drivel with lots of action in order to buy time for the next chapter in a story arc.  This is what Steve Gerber, Howard the Duck's co-creator, could never quite manage.

Uncanny X-Men #107
October 1, 1977
  • The issue's title is an homage to Star Trek: "Where No X-Man Has Gone Before."
  • You know what this series needs?  More characters!  How about 20 new ones all at once?
  • Please forgive me, I've been a little confused about who's who in the gradually developing Starjammer/Lilandra story (see here).   Lilandra isn't a Starjammer.  She is a Shi'ar.  So are her brother, the Emperor, and Eric the Red who has been making trouble for the X-Men for several issues now.  The Starjammers, meanwhile, are space pirates, natives of various worlds (including one Earthling, as we shall learn in time).  They met one another as Shi'ar slaves.  So, to catch you (myself) up on the current story:
    • Lilandra is trying to stop her brother from gaining the M'Kraan Crystal which would grant him absolute power.
    • She has enlisted the help of the X-Men who have just followed her through a stargate.
    • Eric the Red is on the Emperor's side.
    • The Starjammers are on Lilandra's.
  • Got it?  I think I do...
  • When D'Ken, the Emperor, refuses to hand the captured Lilandra over to Cyclops, the X-Men do battle with the Imperial Guard, a colorful crew.  I wasn't exactly kidding about the 20 new characters.  The Imperial Guard is led by Gladiator.
Kallark (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
Gladiator via Marvel Database
  • The battle is going against our friends but the Starjammers come to their rescue.  We meet some new characters among their ranks as well:
Hepzibah (comics) - Wikipedia
via Wikipedia
    • Hepzibah
Raza Longknife (Earth-161) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
    • Raza

Uncanny X-Men #108
December 1, 1977
Claremont/John Byrne
  • This is John Byrne's first X-Men issue and that is a very big deal.  Claremont and Byrne were the dream team.
  • The battle over the M'Kraan Crystal continues. Everyone ends up inside the crystal.  Jane Grey bales everyone out again and gets everyone home.  Before they take off, though, she also tells Corsair she knows he's Scott's father.
  • Dave Cockrum gets a very nice tribute on the last page.

Uncanny X-Men #109
February 1, 1978
James Hudson (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Weapon Alpha is introduced.  Eventually, he will be better known as Guardian and lead a Canadian-based team called Alpha Flight.
  • Alpha is after Wolverine, still classified by the Canadians as a rogue agent.

Uncanny X-Men #110
April 1, 1978
Claremont/Tony DeZuniga
  • The X-Men play softball!
  • Another Danger Room gone berserk story.  This time, Warhawk is the troublemaker.  

Uncanny X-Men #111
June 1, 1978
Mesmero (Vincent) (Earth-616) | Marvel Database | Fandom
via Marvel Database
  • Mesmero has hypnotized all of the current X-Men and is keeping them as carnival performers.  The Beast, worried that he hasn't heard from them, comes to see what's going on.  He saves them.  Actually, it's Jean who saves everyone - again.
  • On the last page, it is revealed that - who else? - Magneto is behind the whole operation.


  1. All of these heroes look so fascinating! Have a lovely week!

  2. Yeah, Byrne will go on to be one of the major players in comic books. I like his art much better at this point in his career than what it turned into later.

    1. I'll discuss this more this week but there's no question there's been an upgrade since Byrne took over - easily the best I've seen in this run since Kirby.

  3. ...revamped the Legion of Super-Heroes at DC.

    That use to be one of my favorite comics! Being a really sad nerdy kid, I had a thing for Saturn Girl.

    1. I have long been intrigued by the Legion but definitely can't say I know them. There was a Doctor Who crossover for a while, I think. Maybe someday when I need a break from Marvel...