Uncanny X-Men #153
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #153
...with characters that closely mimic the current X-Men team.
A Phoenix analogue is the villain of the story, and in the fairy tale version, the X-Men are able to cure Phoenix and she lives happily ever after with Scott.
The rest of the X-Men listen outside Illyana 's door, and Scott is moved by the ending.
This is a cute little story that you wouldn't want to see repeated too often, but it's a nice break from the regular superhero stuff. Much more recently, Marvel produced a number of Marvel Fairy Tales loosely inspired by this issue.
(Click to embiggen the image above.)
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This has been moved back in time to account for a Tigra appearance in Uncanny X-Men #154-156; Tigra leaves the Avengers in Avengers #216. The X-Men are repairing the damage to their mansion from the previous arc, and Colossus says he thinks they'll be done "tomorrow". The X-Men are also shown repairing their Danger Room from the same attack in Micronauts #37, so most likely that should occur before this issue. The Danger Room is shown in use in UX #154.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #57
Inbound References (2): showCarol Danvers, Colossus, Cyclops, Magik, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Storm, Wolverine
This was the first issue of X-Men that contemporary critics paid much attention to after Byrne left the title--and the critics didn't much like it, nearly all complaining about Claremont returning to Dark Phoenix again.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 21, 2012 9:36 PM
Dave Cockrum wrote a letter to the Comics Journal in late 1982 claiming that this book was all his idea, and that Claremont 1)wanted Wolverine drawn like Clint Eastwood and 2)mostly cared about retelling the Dark Phoenix story. Cockrum didn't sound too pleased and I don't know if he worked with Claremont again.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 11, 2012 2:40 PM
Weird seeing Iliyana with a Fozzie doll; yeah it was 1981 but considering they all are the same company now it just feels almost scary.
Posted by: Ataru320 | April 30, 2013 7:25 PM
I liked this change of pace, a little breather issue.
Posted by: David Banes | November 2, 2013 5:19 PM
This issue does set up he idea that the X-Men can't afford to rebuild the mansion after the Hellfire Club's recent attack, which sets up the move to Magneto's haunted island.
The fairy tale gives us what might be two important insights into the Phoenix story: Xavier has a crystal that supposedly contains Jean's soul. Is that analogous to the holempathic crystal? If so, it may be an indication that Claremont had a back door to bring Jean back. The second, more important thing to note, though, is the description at the climax, where the Phoenix is presented as a cosmic force that possessed Jean, whose soul is separate from and opposed to it. This of course is what will eventually become canonical for the "real" continuity. Claremont seems to be opening some doors here, although I don't think he actually intended to bring Jean back.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 29, 2014 2:44 AM
I just noticed that the Blackbird was cast as "Lockheed the Dragon"...foreshadowing?
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 29, 2014 8:54 AM
I think it's just that she remembered the dragon in her story when she met a real dragon, and decided to re-use the name.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | August 29, 2014 12:23 PM
Also Claremont's interest in airplanes. The X-Men didn't have an SR-71 before he took over (I'm positive) and given that Lockheed was a major producer of aircraft, Maddy was right. Lockheed is a perfect name for a... cat?
Posted by: ChrisW | January 16, 2015 8:52 PM
If you want to know how much further Lockheed was probably realized, if you look close on the cover for this issue, there is a tiny dragon beneath the cover...sneaky stuff.
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 22, 2015 7:36 PM
One of my absolute favorite issues of all-time, one of the handful I kept when I deep-sixed my collection. I both love the analogy of it, but also the way it is told, with the various X-Men listening in (and particularly the reactions of Nightcrawler and Wolverine to their descriptions).
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 2, 2015 12:44 PM
Carol Danvers is wearing a t-shirt with DC's Captain Marvel/Shazam lightning bolt logo when she and Ororo stop to listen in on Kitty's story.
Posted by: xourherox | March 2, 2016 10:42 PM
Kitty's dialogue on the cover is a Monty Python reference.
The fantasy Lockheed was referenced again in the X-Men / New Teen Titans crossover. Changeling turns into him at Kitty's suggestion.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | March 25, 2018 6:01 AM
Coincidentally I was re-reading the earliest Marvel/DC crossovers this morning and trying to figure out how the Lockheed reference fit in. The destruction of Xavier's school and Scott's wanderings make the crossover impossible to pinpoint relative to Kitty's Fairy Tale, even though it somehow feels in continuity. Neat use of Changeling though.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 25, 2018 11:46 PM
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