Uncanny X-Men #162-166
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #162, Uncanny X-Men #163, Uncanny X-Men #164, Uncanny X-Men #165, Uncanny X-Men #166
His healing factor kills the egg but a side effect gives his skin a disturbing insect-like texture.
Wolverine learned what the Brood eggs do by watching what happened to Fang, the Shi'ar Imperial Guardsman that Wolverine stole a costume from in their previous foray into space.
The other X-Men have been hypnotized and don't realize what's really going on, but they've all got eggs in their bellies as well. And, intrigued by Carol Danvers' genetic structure, the Brood experiment on her.
Wolverine helps the others escape...
...but Cyclops, not yet knowing about the eggs, won't let Wolverine kill the Brood Queen before they leave.
It turns out the Brood experiments unlocked a new set of super-powers for Carol, remarkably similar to the Phoenix's.
She renames herself Binary, and leaves the X-Men's ship to go extract vengeance on the Brood for the egg in her belly. Angry and unthinking, her exit accidentally destroys the ship's hull, leaving the X-Men in danger...
...but they manage to recover from that.
Back on Earth, Professor Xavier talks with Illyana Rasputin, but he's finding himself unusually uninterested in even determining if she's a mutant, or the fact that she's got a psychic shield and making vague references to powers that she has.
He's also not very interested when Xavier gets a letter from Mr. Fantastic regarding the mutant Karma they met a while back, but Moira manages to convince him to contact Reed by suggesting that if Xavier doesn't, Moira will turn Karma over to Magneto or Emma Frost's Massachusetts Academy so that she'll at least get some training, unlike Moira's own child Proteus. (Not sure why Reed thought writing a letter made sense, as opposed to picking up the phone.)
Storm is very freaked out by the egg in her belly, especially since she has sworn to never take a life. She resolves the conflict by deciding to take her own life, doing so by heading out into space.
Paul Smith's run begins on issue #165. For whatever reason, i really didn't like Cockrum's second run (although Wolverine's fight through the Brood world in issue #162 is a lot of fun), and Smith is a pleasant change.
Facing their own imminent deaths, the rest of the X-Men decide to go back and kill the Brood Queen after all.
As they are heading back, Wolverine stumbles upon Nightcrawler praying. This is the first display of Nightcrawler's religious nature, I believe (other than the time he used a makeshift cross to repel Dracula). Wolverine makes it clear that he's not at all religious.
It turns out that Storm didn't actually die. She was instead rescued by an Acanti - the space whales that the Brood use as spaceships.
Storm has actually merged with the Acanti...
...and she recruits the X-Men and Binary to rescue the rest of the Acanti rather than go after the Queen. The X-Men return to the Brood homeworld and go on the attack, although Cyclops is already turning.
They are helped by a small flying dragon that hunts the Brood for food. It's the first appearance of Kitty's "pet" dragon Lockheed, although it doesn't join up with them just yet.
The X-Men fight their way to the Acanti's crystal "soul", which cures the X-Men and also crystallizes the Brood Queen.
The Starjammers, who have been searching for the X-Men for some time, show up to help take the team home. On the way, the team realize that Xavier, back on Earth, has also been infected by the Brood.
This arc is a fun space adventure story, but like all the X-Men space stuff it seems "off theme" to me. Still good, though.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue begins a short time after the end of issue #161. No other X-Men appearances should take place between that issue and this arc. 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. Professor X recruits the New Mutants in their graphic novel debut and issues #1-3 of their series before the X-Men return home next issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #66, X-Men Classic #67, X-Men Classic #68, X-Men Classic #70 (#165 is an original)
Inbound References (8): show
The title to #162 refers to an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, and #166 is some state's motto(don't remember which state).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 12:36 AM
It's New Hampshire's motto.
Posted by: Michael | September 18, 2011 9:21 AM
I call this the end of the X-Men's golden age. Well, maybe that ended with Byrne leaving but even after that the X-Men were fun and they were a family. After that the modern, maybe even true, X-Men popped up and the stories got cynical and mean. Not to say they were bad, they were fantastic and awesome and found a true voice in fact, but I missed the X-Men being a family.
Posted by: David Banes | November 2, 2013 5:36 PM
Is it me, or does Illiana look a whole lot older than in the Kitty's Fairy Tale issue?
Posted by: Berend | February 12, 2014 8:10 PM
D'oh, I missed the issue where she gets stuck in Limbo, as I was following the Professor X tags. That's what I get for peeking ahead!
Posted by: Berend | February 14, 2014 11:49 PM
I may have already said this elsewhere, but I've always found Paul Smith's work during this period to be gorgeous. David Banes may be correct above where he wrote that this is the end of the X-Men's Golden Age....the final nail for me was issue 175.
Posted by: MOCK! | March 24, 2014 6:33 AM
The Acantis' crystal soul is a lot like the alien bug races' crystal soul in Marvel Preview 14, a Claremont Starlord story.
Although these stories depart from X-Men themes, they flag up a number of Claremont ones. Note that the brood control the Acanti using a "slaver virus." (A transmode variant, perhaps?) lots of body transformation/swapping themes as well, not only with the abroid but with Storm's Acanti merger/rebirth and Carol's transformation. Plus the shipified Acanti and Skysharks manifest Claremont's biology-technology merger trope.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 4, 2014 1:32 AM
The switch from Cockrum to Smith is a nice change. It's weird in this post because you go back and forth between the two. At this point, Smith, at the very least, draws the female characters much better than Cockrum does. This is the point where my brother started collecting X-Men and I started reading it in real time (as opposed to picking up the pieces later in Classic) and I would stick with it all the way through 300. A massive part of my childhood and Smith's pencils on Illyana and Kitty (especially in 168) are a big part of that. My guess is a lot of guys our age (I'm guessing fnord, that you're around my age) fell for Kitty during the Paul Smith run, as opposed to the Byrne run (where she's still a gangling teen) or Cockrum's run.
Also, a great intro for Lockheed. I love that the Brood are so terrified of him, but given that he'll eat a whole nest of Sidri in his next appearance, they're right to be scared.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 6, 2015 6:40 AM
In general, the X-men's lack of curiosity is odd (like no one thinking to ask Wolverine what his real names is), but Xavier's lack of interest in or concern for a girl who literally grew up in Hell is nothing short of insane.
Posted by: Andrew | May 17, 2015 9:02 PM
Andrew, I think Xavier's lack of concern for Illyana is supposed to be a result of his infection by the Brood.
Posted by: Michael | May 17, 2015 9:46 PM
I was wondering: why no tag for the Brood as a race? Somebody (like me, for once ;)) might be interested in finding all of the race's appearances...
Posted by: Piotr W | June 5, 2015 7:09 PM
Similar answer to the one in the comments here. I should put this in the Q&A. I can definitely see the value in wanting to track appearances of an alien race.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 5, 2015 7:42 PM
Thanks for your answer. :) I think that making such a tag could really be useful, especially in the case of races like the Brood, which don't really have many distinctive characters. All of these bugs are just one collective menace...
By the way, let me say that the Brood are one of these X-Men concepts that I find really disturbing on some level. Everything about them is just... vicious. In a way, they stick out like a sore thumb in these (relatively) early X-Men stories, something very dark and gross among more typical superhero stories...
Posted by: Piotr W | June 5, 2015 8:39 PM
Worth mentioning that issue 165 states that Kitty's 14th birthday has passed during this story. She gets a party in Special Edition X-Men, which I see is on the 'What's Missing' page as a continuity insert? Can't see why, as it came out in '83.
Posted by: Dave77 | May 30, 2016 2:27 AM
Lots of wonderful stuff here- and Angela Dawn, upon seeing Paul Smith's Nightcrawler, had to laugh and say "I could've gotten into that when I was a teen-'I wonder how cute some fuzzy blue babies would be!' He (Paul) doesn't see the characters as ugly...he draws the beauty he sees in them."
Posted by: Cecil | May 30, 2016 7:09 AM
Is issue 162 the first appearance of the catchphrase,"I'm the best there at what I do, but what I do best isn't very nice"
Posted by: George Lochinski | April 19, 2017 4:53 PM
He used that phrase in Wolverine #1, which carried a September '82 publication date as opposed to UXM #162's October '82 date. Chronologically, the Wolverine mini-series takes place later, of course.
Posted by: Dan H. | April 19, 2017 9:29 PM
Oh wow, I hadn't even realized that mini-series had come out that early...
Posted by: George Lochinski | April 21, 2017 6:12 AM
I do like the idea of the brood as parasites in space whales, but man the soul crystal cleansing business sure is hippy dippy.
Wolverine has a good showing here.
Posted by: MindlessOne | April 21, 2017 9:01 PM
#165 was originally announced as being double-sized.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2017 11:36 AM
This book is so great.
Only the constant arguments about "we will not kill, we are X-Men!!" get a bit tiring, especially when they are talking about deadly parasitic space bugs.
Also at this point in my chronological X-men reading, I am glad that this website exists. I am starting to get a little lost in all the X-books. And it's gonna get a lot worse...
Posted by: Karel | September 23, 2017 1:35 PM
Regarding Lockheed, it seems like Paul Smith has a special fondness for small dragons . He included another one in the series he co-created with James Robinson, "Leave It To Chance" published by Image Comic in the 90`s---
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | May 2, 2018 6:25 PM
I've never been very fond of this story: it seems like the plot devices come fast and frequently, and the resolution requires not one but four deus ex machina elements -- the magic Acanti soul that can do anything, Storm's super-specialness being played up to the point that she can become Force ghost and do what Jeanix couldn't in reclaiming her humanity after an empowering rebirth, Carol turning into Binary and developing vast cosmic power, and the Starjammers turning up "in the nick of time" (as the story itself lampshades). It also doesn't help that the Brood are deadly dull except as physical threats: monodimensionally evil, but also too talky to come across as alien and creepy.
More generally, the book's been turning harder and harder towards "dark fantasy" since at least issue #159, and Claremont seems to be recentering it away from the Silver Age elements -- Cyclops is the weak link throughout this story, Xavier is corrupted, and the series has little to do with mutant rights -- and towards the new characters and his pet themes. There are a few sequences that signal this: Cyclops's breakdown regarding Professor X, where Storm responds to his tantrum and request for solace with "foolish man, you had but to ask;" and Wolverine doing the hard work of keeping a Dark secret from the team for their own good and (for what seems the first time in the series) referring to Cyclops as "the boy." In the end, it's Logan's toughness and Storm's spirituality that save the team.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 30, 2018 8:17 AM
Omar, I agree with you. Claremont has a lot of strengths as a writer, but also several weaknesses some of whom are prominently displayed here. The sudden reversal by deus ex machina that the heroes are able to stumble into is a major problem for him. The resolution is not being organic either to the characters or the story. This happens a lot in his stories as he wants to eat his cake and have it too (enact permanent changes to indulge his whims, but then turn everything back to normal because he obviously has to). So the heroes simply get lucky, as opposed to figuring out the solution on their own.
There's a lot of enjoyable moments in this storyline, but it fails to conclude satisfactorily, and it is a major interruption of what should be the focus of the book. X-Men are supheroes, and they've dealt with alien threats before so some elements are OK. But this is a major departure.
Posted by: Chris | June 30, 2018 1:31 PM
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