Uncanny X-Men #143
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #143
She manages to kill it, but in the process destroys the Danger Room, the Blackbird, Storm's attic, and much of the mansion.
It's depicted as a kind of rite of passage test for her. It's a bit suspicious... why was Kitty left all alone, and how did a N'Garai demon manage to break through and onto the Mansion grounds again? This is just a few issues after Kitty passed her first Danger Room test without even really trying. But there's nothing really in the story to indicate that Xavier set things up on purpose.
Earlier in the issue, before the X-Men leave, we get some nice character moments. Wolverine freaks out when Nightcrawler kisses Mariko.
It's interesting to see Wolverine acknowledge that there's something wrong with his behavior. In his earlier "berserker rages" he never acknowledged that he's done anything wrong.
Also, Kitty kisses Colossus.
Kitty's parents visit the school at the end of the issue, but by then Kitty has composed herself and there's no indication that she's just killed a monstrous demon.
Meanwhile, Scott Summer's wanderings lead him to Captain Lee Forrester.
This is John Byrne's final issue on X-Men.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: We have to be cautious with any X-Men guest appearances around the time of this issue to ensure that they aren't shown in the Danger Room or using the Blackbird until at least issue #149.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #47
Inbound References (8): show
That scene of Wolverine freaking out was ridiculous, and Byrne or Claremont or both of them said it was in reaction to an order by Shooter (I believe), and that they both found it ridiculous. Read in context it really does make no sense.
Posted by: Paul | May 6, 2013 1:42 PM
This was the first comic book I ever bought. My cousin and I decided we wanted to read a comic book series, and had to choose one. The issue with the "big monster" on the cover made me decide I would choose X-Men.
I've always loved the N'Garai. It was probably based on them showing up in the first comic book I read.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 20, 2013 8:35 PM
@ChrisKafka: Wow, you should read my theories on Claremont's extensive N'Garai use through all his titles:)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | July 24, 2013 7:48 AM
Kurt Busiek has a letter in this issue saying he'd been reading X-Men almost from the start but quit with issue #138 because of how dark Claremont was making the series.
(There's also a letter from a guy at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | February 16, 2014 12:23 AM
Maybe nobody's mentioned it because it's so obvious, but this whole issue is an homage to Ridley Scott's Alien.
Posted by: Andrew | January 4, 2015 6:20 AM
Yeah, Byrne said he thought if he drew it in the right way he hoped it wouldn't be obvious it was an Alien ripoff, but he didn't know Claremont would have Kitty refer to the movie, and then he thought they'd get sued. Hadn't noticed before, but Lee Forrester's speech pattern in that panel reminds me of Madelyne's later speech pattern. I guess they were both Claremont women who did "male" jobs. As commented above, the scene with Wolverine attacking Nightcrawler is normally commented to be out of character due to Shooter telling them to show Logan being savage, and Shooter does show a very savage Wolvie in Secret Wars, slicing up Molecule Man's stomach and chopping off Absorbing Man's arm. On the other hand, it might not be that out of character, as in Back Issue 4 Byrne says the "definitive" Wolverine was that he might disembowel Kitty without thinking and then go back to eating his breakfast (if Kitty had said something in the wrong voice), while Claremont said people were kept on their toes round Wolverine and if they were slightly off he could turn into "Dark Wolverine" (wow, am I glad that he was never called that in the comics). Obviously Claremont soon starts making Wolverine a character of honour who can be trusted to mentor Kitty/Jubilee etc without disembowelling them, and I guess one of the secrets to his popularity is he can act however you want: is he a slice and dice berserker or a perfectly trained, composed ninja/secret agent, or an honourable father figure who stops others from killing (notably X-Men 207, but also other occasions in Claremont's run. Always seemed a bit confused to me, "I kill people but you shouldn't") and the custodian for Xavier's dream (the Days Of Future Present annual backup, and more recently as a guy who runs the Jean Grey school).
Posted by: Jonathan | July 5, 2015 7:02 AM
It just occurred to me to Google "Aleytys", because what the hell kind of a name is that? I discovered two things which I'd like to share with the group. First it's the name of a protagonist in the "Diadem" novels of one Jo Clayton that had been published around this time. They're of the science fantasy genre Claremont loves so much, and the plot of "Irsud" sounds a whole lot like the upcoming Brood saga. Second, according to kabalarians.com, having this name "causes tension and allied problems in the female organs."
Posted by: Andrew | January 15, 2017 4:51 PM
I've also heard that this was suppose to be a "take" (of sorts) on Alien (which makes some sense, since Byrne acknowledged he drew Kitty as a young Sigourney Weaver.)
Also, I think the "rite of passage" is supposed to be unofficial. It shows Kitty the importance of all those "boring" study/training sessions and that being an X-Man is "serious business". This also serves as a preemptive justification for why a pubescent girl is allowed on an adult team (something that Uncanny #168) will reinforce.) There's a tendancy to suspect that "the kid" off the group will be "the load" or dead-weight and I think they wanted to establish quickly that she was not just some "tag-along."
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 18, 2017 10:52 PM
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