Uncanny X-Men #161
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #161
Most of this issue is a flashback showing Xavier and Magneto meeting for the first time in Israel after WWII. Both have ties to a psychiatric hospital for Holocaust survivors. Magneto is introduced as "Magnus". No other name. Oddly, there's a panel in the reprint where Magnus' name has clearly been re-lettered, but i've verified that it's Magnus in the original as well. Someone was going to update the name but changed their mind?
Xavier helps a young woman named Gabrielle Haller recover from a catatonic state by psychically entering her mind. Magnus and Xavier begin their debates over how mutants and humanity should interact, and Xavier's sessions with Gabrielle become romantic (although Xavier says he's not in love, which reveals something of Xavier's character considering we know he'll father a child with Gabrielle).
Meanwhile, Hydra agents inform Baron Von Strucker that Gabrielle is now awake. Gabrielle apparently knows the location of some hidden gold, and Hyrda is sent in to capture her.
Magneto and Xavier user their powers to rescue Gabrielle, easily defeating Strucker even though he's got the Satan Claw.
At the end of the flashback, Xavier wakes up from his coma, feeling all better. It's assumed that he's fully recovered, but it will later turn out that the reason he's been sick is because he's got a brood egg in his belly.
The X-Men fly to Lilandra's ship to celebrate Xavier's recovery. The Starjammers, still unsure of their relationship with the Shi'ar, don't join them. Moments later, Deathbird arrives with a host of Brood, and the X-Men are quickly defeated.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The X-Men are all prisoners of the Brood at the end of this issue. They shouldn't appear in any other comics until they return to Earth in Uncanny X-Men #167. All Uncanny X-Men issues have been pushed backwards in publishing time because Uncanny X-Men #167 has to take place before Contest of Champions and Hulk #277-279.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #65
Inbound References (4): show
This is the first of Claremont's Indiana Jones homages. There'll be two more, X-Men 268, with Logan, Cap, ivan Petrovich, and Black Widow (as a kid) encountering Strucker and the Hand in 1941, and the late '90s X-Men: True Friends mini which has a time-traveling Shadowcat and Rachel Summers meet Logan, Mystique, Destiny, Strucker, Geist, and Amahl Farouk in 1936. I'm not sure continuity is consistent between the latter stories, as Strucker doesn't recognize Logan in '41 even though they had run into one another in '36. Logan also uses his claws in '36, which is problematic.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 3, 2012 10:59 PM
How does this serves as an Indiana Jones homage? This first tale takes place well into the 1950's or so. Should it not serve as a Nick Fury homage as Strucker debuted there?
Incidentally, some have suggested that a feasible revision for Magneto would involve the 1990's era Balkan conflicts.
Also, since Ruritania, Latveria, Transia, Bodavia, Symkaria, Morvania, etc. (perhaps Gerolstein as well?) stand as places for coups to occur, perhaps the various Axis legacy groups (Lord Darkwind, Dragon Lord, Sunrise Society, Sokkai Gakai, Yukio Mishima's Shield Society, etc.) plotted.
Posted by: PB210 | August 30, 2013 10:32 PM
Just conjuncture, but Jason Powell's discussion of Uncanny 268 in light of Last Crusade, http://geoffklock.blogspot.com/2010/05/uncanny-x-men-268.html, got me thinking about how this issue's "adventurer fights Nazis searching for treasure in the Holy Land" action has even more of an Indiana Jones vibe, and CC was certainly known to borrow from box-office blockbusters. In this an in Raiders, a dark-haired beauty has the key to the Nazis goal and has to be rescued. It's not a ripoff, but this story has the feel of one of the previous year's biggest pop-culture landmarks.
Having re-read Excalibur 22 recently, I see that Excalibur Specials 3 & 4, presenting the Shadow King's encounter with Rachel Summers before WWII, was meant to have been published before X-Men 268, which is notable in puzzling over the Logan/Strucker discrepancy between 268 and True Friends. But it'll be a while before Fnord's project gets there.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 31, 2013 4:53 PM
At the end of this issue, the X-Men will be thought dead for a few issues (a key plot point in the beginning of The New Mutants). Is there any group thought to be dead as much as the X-Men? There was the time after the Savage Land during the Byrne run, this time, the whole time they're down in Australia. It's one thing to have a character thought dead, but the whole team is thought dead on numerous occasions.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 5, 2015 8:50 PM
This happened even within issues. I think Nightcrawler was thought dead during the Black Tom/Juggernaut/leprechauns issue, Wolverine was thought dead when they invaded the Hellfire Club, and then again when the Hellfire Club took over Xaviers, Magneto thought Storm was dead in #150, they thought Scott, Ororo and Charley were dead in "God Loves, Man Kills," they thought Peter was killed by Deathbird, Mastermind made everybody think Scott was dead, the Morlocks made them think Kitty was dead, Juggernaut thought Dazzler was dead... Just to name a few.
Then there's all the other types of death used, killing everybody in "Days of Futures Past" and the Kulan Gath two-parter, X-Men running into their own corpses in Limbo, the Beyonder killing the New Mutants, Storm and Dracula, dying in "Fall of the Mutants," sending everybody through the Seige Perilous, Dani the Valkyrie...
There are precedents of course. Xavier faked his death for ages. And the whole series sort of revolves around a bird known only for dying and being reborn, but this is sort of creepy.
Larry Bodine might be the only character who actually stays dead.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 6, 2015 2:26 PM
@ChrisW - I meant the X-Men as a whole team ("The X-Men are dead!"), but of course you provide a whole lot of excellent examples. Nobody "dies" as often as the X-Men (which goes straight into the films as well - Jean in X2, brought back in the next film and killed again in the next film, brought back in DOFP, Scott, killed in Last Stand, brought back in DOFP, Xavier killed and brought back in Last Stand).
But Larry Bodine has to stay dead! New Mutants #45 is one of only about a dozen individual issues I actually kept because of Kitty's heartfelt speech after he died!
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 6, 2015 6:36 PM
It's just one of those 'once something has been seen, it cant be unseen' things. I have no objection to a good "You! But I killed you!" as the hero returns at the story's climax, and any villain who falls into his own deathtrap is obviously alive and well, but even beyond the three long 'the X-Men are dead' storylines, it's a constant part of Claremont's run.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 7, 2015 5:51 AM
"Nobody "dies" as often as the X-Men"
...which leads into the popular aphorism Claremont (and other writers, once he's established it as a cliche) has multiple characters mention on numerous occasions - "Mutant Heaven doesn't have pearly gates, only revolving doors."
Which makes me kind of curious - when was the first time someone used that phrase in a story? It would be kind of interesting to see at what point Claremont himself sort of came to be aware of just how often X-Men are mistakenly assumed to be dead (or ARE dead and later revived).
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | June 13, 2015 9:56 PM
Shouldn't this entry (UXM #161) be tagged with "Gabrielle Haller", and, indeed, listed as her first appearance?
Posted by: Stephen Frug | January 8, 2017 8:55 PM
My understanding is that fnord doesn't count flashbacks as appearances. This is absolutely Gabby's first appearance, but it doesn't count in the overall chronology because it's a flashback. I do think she should be tagged, and her first appearance should be noted, but it's fnord's site, and he's the one with the wisdom/insanity to bring it to life.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 12, 2017 3:27 AM
I've added a note in the Historical Significance section, but yes, she doesn't get a tag because she only appears in flashback.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 13, 2017 9:32 AM
Ah, sorry, I didn't know about the flashbacks-don't-count rule. Thanks for explaining.
Posted by: Stephen Frug | January 23, 2017 7:40 PM
There's just something wrong with Cockrum's faces.
Posted by: MindlessOne | April 21, 2017 4:33 PM
Any kind of therapist getting intimate with their patient is creepy and unethical at least, but telepathy takes it to the next level. Also battering down another person's mental defenses, urgh... of course the psychiatry/psychology of that era in general was not exactly stellar, so maybe it's authentic...
Posted by: Catherine | May 5, 2017 3:53 PM
Charles Xavier has been shown over the years to be, shall we say, inconsistent in his application of ethics. Hooking up with his patient isn't exactly surprising.
Posted by: J-Rod | May 5, 2017 4:41 PM
Was it ever satisfactorily explained how the Brood injected an egg into Xavier? It seems to me this should have been a very hard thing to do. He's Earth's most powerful telepath with his own mutant army around him. Is any effort done (in this or other issues) to justify it? Or does it happen (offstage?) simply because the plot needs it to happen?
Posted by: Chris | September 18, 2017 2:13 PM
I mentioned this on the x-men annual 6 entry but I believe the X-MEN second battle with Dracula takes place in between Xavier waking up and the party where the X-men are ambushed by Deathbird and the Brood. there has to be a timegap. I guess the next time I meet with Claremont, I;ll ask him
Posted by: rzerox21xx | September 18, 2017 2:38 PM
@Chris - Professor X gets captured by Deathbird (who's allied with the Brood) at the end of #155. Next issue has him coming out of sedation on her ship, having been infested with a Brood queen while unconscious.
Posted by: Mortificator | September 18, 2017 4:46 PM
I think "New Mutants" #2 gives us a satisfactory explanation, but I'm obviously in the minority on that.
Posted by: ChrisW | September 18, 2017 6:37 PM
With this story and the Brood Saga that starts at its end, Claremont really starts playing up the faults Xavier and Cyclops, and in turn dramatically playing up the strengths and specialness of Storm and Wolverine.
It's more pronounced in the upcoming multi-parter, but here, we have Xavier *telling himself* it's unethical to make out with his patient....and then justifying it anyway. Later, during the fight sequence, Magneto is decisive and effective, while Xavier is both brash and sentimental, and prove3s of little use.
He also starts to get arbitrary limits on his powers: not only can't he read Magnus's mind, which might be justified by those old Kirby/Lee stories where Magneto has some kind of psi talent, but he also somehow can;'t affect the mind of Baron Strucker, an ordinary human being.
It's especially evident given that a footnote places this flashback after the events shown in the flashback in #117; but the Xavier in that story was far more decisive, wise, and capable than this one. Claremont's views and goals for the Professor had clearly changed (really, somewhere back in the Dark Phoenix era), and this stuff seems in part like an effort to reflect that changing view.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 30, 2018 8:07 AM
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