Classic X-Men #1 (2nd story)
Issue(s): Classic X-Men #1 (2nd story)
The back-up deals with the first night after the new X-Men rescue the original team from Krakoa. It's got some good character moments, including Angel hitting on Storm, Wolverine hitting on Jean...
....and getting into a fight with Angel over it...
...the old X-Men debating whether they should stay or go, the new X-Men getting to know each other and dealing with the hostility from the original members (especially Bobby).
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place soon after Giant Size X-Men #1.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: X-Men Rarities TPB
Inbound References (4): showAngel, Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Havok, Iceman, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Professor X, Storm, Sunfire, Thunderbird, Wolverine
Weirdly, Sunfire doesn't even make a one-panel cameo in the Claremont/Bolton story.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 20, 2011 10:14 PM
John Bolton's first Marvel work was on the U.K. Hulk Comic Weekly in 1979.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 15, 2012 6:29 PM
Ah, Claremont showing his complete lack of interest in Iceman as a character by making him a sulky, immature brat here.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 8, 2013 6:02 PM
I remember Iceman had a bit of a relapse on his opinion that X-Men entry requirement was becoming lax in the 00's. At the very least though, he did make a hasty apology to Nightcrawler about it in a "I didn't mean you" sort of way. Seeing this story here kind of adds a little insight into that little moment of tension.
Posted by: Max_Spider | September 19, 2013 3:52 PM
The weakest member of the original x-men(Iceman) is giving the new members, all of which could kill him, a hard time. He's unbelievible.
Posted by: doomsday | October 25, 2013 10:54 PM
I know Wolverine is "cooler" than Iceman and a writer's pet so he'll always come out on top, but really... Iceman is weaker? Than Wolverine? Than Thunderbird? Nightcrawler? Even Colossus wouldn't be much of a fight, "realistically". Thankfully realism isn't that important, but still... Character popularity isn't the same thing as "power level".
Posted by: Jay Patrick | October 25, 2013 11:49 PM
It was supposed to be a comical commet.
Posted by: doomsday | October 26, 2013 12:28 AM
I still don't like Iceman.
Posted by: doomsday | October 26, 2013 12:32 AM
Weakest member? Really? Think for a moment about his powers. He could form ice in someone's lungs or freeze their blood or pierce someone through the heart with an icicle. You think he's weak? He has to be as careful about using his powers as Cyclops and Havok does! His joking about hides the fact that he realizes he could kill someone frighteningly easily. Sorry but the weakest member of the original X-Men was Angel, not Iceman.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | October 26, 2013 1:44 PM
I guess nobody gets jokes anymore. I agree that Angel is the weakest.
Posted by: doomsday | October 26, 2013 2:00 PM
I sorry if I've offened any Iceman or Angel fans. I was attemping some humor.
Posted by: doomsday | October 26, 2013 2:04 PM
Doomsday, i'm sure no one is offended. Everybody loves a good Whoodwin argument, is all.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 26, 2013 3:57 PM
Well with that in mind, both Jays make a good point about Iceman. However the reason I think he is weak is because every writer he's under can't him or his powers interesting. If anyone wants to correct me, please feel free to.
Posted by: doomsday | October 26, 2013 4:03 PM
I'm not offended either. As a longtime fan of Iceman, I collected as much of his appearances as I could. Some writers do a much better job of showing off his powers and others just don't.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | October 27, 2013 10:14 PM
Classic X-Men was initially announced under the title "Uncanny Tales".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 18, 2014 5:03 PM
After decades, I'm still waiting for a writer/artist combo to show how truly powerful Iceman can be.
Posted by: A.Lloyd | October 2, 2014 2:24 AM
I really hate that scene with Wolverine and Jean. Logan is acting very creepy and date-rapey. Which I'll grant you is not completely out of character for him at that time. But Jean and Scott at that time were really in their "honeymoon" phase after years of mooning after each other, so the idea that she would be attracted to this short, cigar-chewing stranger with the weird haircut is ridiculous.
Posted by: Andrew | January 12, 2016 9:50 PM
Jay, I agree that Iceman could stab someone with an icicle, but he can't exactly kill people without trying the way Scott and Alex can. He could fire a storm of ice shards to shred things similar to Archangel. He could form a column of ice from his fist, effectively throwing a long-distance punch with more speed and mass than his own arm could manage. It's conceivable that he could freeze the moisture in someone's mouth, but I've never seen any indication that he can freeze things without touching them. He creates ice and snow, he doesn't control temperature.
I'm not the fan you are, so you may have comics where he does exactly that. Just my two cents.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 29, 2016 4:45 PM
ChrisW - Your opinion of Iceman is mostly correct up until the 80s, but from then on he has had power upgrades and there have been a number of stories where Iceman suddenly uses his power to his full potential, before other writers then forget about this and just have him doing the same old things again. These days he's apparently an "Omega level mutant" according to one of the writers, and he's able to become totally made of ice, absorb water and turn into an ice giant, survive being broken up into water vapour and then reform himself (a la Absorbing Man/Hydro Man), turn whole landscapes into ice etc.
He could definitely always freeze things without touching them though, even in the 80s he was doing things like removing all the moisture from the room to kill an opponent in Defenders 132, and freezing entire buildings and/or Central Park in X-Factor.
I do dislike how he and Angel are portrayed in this issue, but I guess Claremont wanted a more dramatic explanation of the split between old and new X-Men. It doesn't bother me really.
One thing that has always bothered me is the retcon where suddenly Jean is interested in Logan too, which was never in the original comics. I guess this is partly Wolverine being "cooler" than he was in the original comics, but I've long suspected that it might also be that Claremont decided that the Scott who left his wife was no longer "worthy" of Jean, and that Jean should now also be interested in Logan who was worthy of her. (Rather than just being a psychopath with no friends, like he was in the original Cockrum issues.) Claremont has said things to the effect that he doesn't think any man is worthy of Ororo, so it's possible he may have felt similarly about Jean at this point.
Obviously there had been some rivalry between Scott and Logan, but this had been mostly resolved in the Proteus storyline, where Logan admits that Scott is more a man than he gave him credit for. (I always wondered if Claremont & Byrne were partly thinking of the scene in early Lee-Romita Spidey issues where Flash Thompson realises Peter Parker is more of a man than he gave him credit for.) After Scott leaves Maddie, Logan goes back to being slightly anti-Cyclops, and then we have the newly invented Scott-Jean-Logan love triangle with Jean interested in both of them, which went on to be a popular storyline in X-Men cartoons, and through them the movies. I wonder if that would have happened if Claremont had not introduced it here? Then again it seems a popular Young Adult trope nowadays that the female lead has to choose between two male rivals.
Posted by: Jonathan | January 30, 2016 6:40 AM
Yikes. That really doesn't fit into my conception of Iceman, but as I told Jay, if you've got the comics that show him doing this, I can't really contradict you. To me, Iceman shoots ice/snow and although some of the powers you describe make sense for the character, I don't see them for my version of Bobby. [Which, in the sense that the best version of a superhero is when you first met them, comes from "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends."] Depending on how you look at it, it's a bug or it's a feature.
I've posted somewhere else on this website, but I don't mind Bobby and Warren's portrayal in this issue. I think Claremont was just trying to show that they had a real reason to want to leave, and there's too much continuity going on to make everybody happy. Kurt juggling bottles, Sean saying 'throw one to Bobby.' "I'm not old enough to drink." Peter getting involved. This is a good character moment, even if you might think the characters are, well, out-of-character. Bobby should definitely be older than Peter.
I completely agree that Jean should not have any interest whatsoever in Wolverine, and I rather like your explanation for the retcon. Wolverine and Cyclops' rivalry makes perfect sense for the 'scrappy subordinate' versus the 'alpha male leader' storytelling trope. And it worked perfectly well. Dragging Jean into this as part of a love triangle - after the fact! - does nothing for anybody involved, and I have to think you're probably right that the only justification is that Claremont was retroactively trying to do something to justify Scott leaving Maddie.
Which is one of the worst things you could do to Madelyne Pryor as a character, and it's not like she hasn't had a miserable life as it is. Re-writing characters long before they ever met Maddie - by the same guy who turned Maddie into the Goblin Queen - just to justify why Maddie's husband would leave her for his high school girlfriend...
Even as Jean Grey's clone, Maddie doesn't deserve that. As Dark Phoenix Reborn and igniting an "Inferno," she doesn't deserve that. Just think, the world was nearly destroyed because Claremont (and his editors) ret-conned Scott, Jean and Wolvie. Scary stuff.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 31, 2016 1:59 AM
Although on a completely-different subject considering how often Claremont returned to the 'death of Phoenix" story, it's interesting that making Madelyne the Dark Phoenix Reborn was when he really started losing control, for an issue that begins with Logan and Jean swapping spit for one of my favorite comic books ever.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 31, 2016 2:08 AM
A lot of Claremont's X-titles come down to 'girls want bad boys' and looking to invert that with 'boys want bad girls.' Which is fine and dandy, but doesn't apply to everybody. Jean would see Wolverine as an unlikeable little runt and nothing he says or does would change that [although she might eventually see his value as a superhero.] She loves Scott. Nothing will change that. Good girl, good boy, match made in heaven. Wolverine would always be the unlikeable runt. A tale as old as time.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 31, 2016 2:35 AM
Idle thought: Could this explain why Claremont brought Havoc back to the team? If his first hundred issues were the story of Scott and Jean (and Madelyne) than trying to find a focal point under Jim Shooter's eye, the second hundred issues would be about Alex and Lorna.
It almost becomes a comedy of errors when you look at the actual comics, but Alex becomes an X-Man just as Lorna becomes evil. He goes through a 'my brother's wife' subplot, while she helps introduce the Mr. Sinister concept. He was supposed to be a major part of the Genoshan freedom fighters, and she was obviously a major part of the Shadow King's plot.
And, um, this is because Jean suddenly returned Wolverine's stalker-like interest in her. It's true. I have pictures. Not pictures you could show your parents, but they're still totally hot.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 31, 2016 2:50 AM
I think that a major reason Claremont brought Alex into the X-Men was to put him and Maddie together- Lorna is quickly possessed by Malice and a few issues later, we have scenes of Maddie crying on Alex's shoulder. So that seems to have been his intent from the beginning.
Posted by: Michael | January 31, 2016 9:13 AM
Totally agree about Alex and Maddie. Just my speculation that Claremont was trying to think in the long-term, furthering the Summers family, figuring out what to do with Maddie now that Jean is back, and he definitely had long-range plans for Lorna.
[I still go back to the first Claremont "X-Men" storyline where it's specified that Erik the Red only learned of the X-Men through Lorna, and refused to say how he learned of her. Saving Cape Citadel from Magneto? Saving Washington DC from Count Nefaria? Invited to the Baxter Building for a wedding reception? That big fight with the Sentinels? The Shi'ar really don't look for competence in their forward observers, do they? Obviously not, because the ship chasing Lilandra only learns that Galactus has visited Earth several times and it's still here while they're busy attacking. Isn't that the sort of thing Erik should have been telling them all along?]
I'm just speculating that Claremont intended a long-range plot with Alex and Lorna, and worked Maddie into it, and it was possibly a counterpoint to Scott and Jean. Didn't work out so well, but he tried.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 31, 2016 10:32 PM
@ChrisW: I totally agree with you that Claremont had much bigger plans for Lorna, the first hint yes being Eric the Red learning of the X-Men through her and not Alex as most fans mistakenly claim. Just what were she and Alex really set to unearth through their geological research in the Diablo mountain range in California (it can't have been nothing as this is after all comics we’re talking about;). Also remember Eric was the one who gave her the codename Polaris; which she retained which when you think about it is rather odd when you consider it was a villain that named her this. This was obviously anticipating Mister Sinister's later comment to her in Uncanny X-Men #239 that she was the "unchanging pole star"! Obviously Malice was her twin sister… but as to Eric the Red foreseeing her power and destiny, we still need a resolution.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | February 1, 2016 3:13 AM
"Peter getting involved. This is a good character moment, even if you might think the characters are, well, out-of-character. Bobby should definitely be older than Peter."
While I do think Bobby is supposed to be older than he's portrayed here, I think it's meant to highlight the culture gap--the new X-Men are from countries where the legal drinking age is lower, and under-aged drinking is not a big deal, (Or at least how it was understood at the time). Bobby could be 20 years old, while Kurt and Peter are 17.
Posted by: rabartlett | April 13, 2018 11:36 PM
I am not sure it is out of character for Jean to show an interest in Logan. This coincides with Jean choosing to leave the X-Men and starting a new life. She moves to New York, starts sharing an apartment with Misty Knight and begins to be a bit more independent. It looks like the age-old story - childhood sweethearts get older and begin to grow apart. She is that girl that you meet on the first day at university, who tells you she is engaged to a boy back home, then dumps him before the Christmas break.
Of course, Jean becomes/is replaced by the Phoenix and this draws her back into her old life. At such a traumatic time it is understandable that she clings to her old relationship with good old dependable Cyclops. Would they still be together if she hadn't become the Phoenix? I doubt it.
When she returns from the dead, the cycle is repeated. She goes back to what she has always known - being a superhero and Cyclops partner - rather than trying to establish a new life. But in the circumstances of this issue (Jean deciding to leave the X-Men), it would be perfectly believable that she would be attracted to Wolverine.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | April 14, 2018 2:42 AM
@Bernard, that is probably a factor of how confortable one is with the retcon before being exposed to it.
In the original late 1970s stories the attraction is strictly unilateral.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 30, 2018 4:36 AM
I am not sure I would say "completely unilateral." There are hints. When Wolverine breaks Mesmero's control over her, or when, as the Dark Phoenix, she begs him to kill her. There is a bit more going on than the average co-worker relationship. Granted, it is not overt, but I don't think you could say the above story directly contradicts anything told before.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | April 30, 2018 8:51 AM
There are plenty of hints that Wolverine wants to believe that they are attracted to each other. And I suppose it is fortunate for him that the cocoon retcon means that Jean has just barely met him until she comes back circa X-Factor #1.
Frankly, you can make a far stronger case that Scott is attracted to Ororo than any for Jean having an attraction to Wolverine. Until 1989, when there is suddenly this uncontrollable attraction during Inferno.
Sorry, but it is all retcon.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 30, 2018 7:26 PM
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