Uncanny X-Men #53
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #53
...it's also pretty awesome.
Plotwise, it's just X-Men vs. Blastaar...
...but that's fine with me, because Blastaar is also awesome.
He arrives from the negative zone via a weird device of Professor Xavier's that Marvel Girl was trying out.
Some interesting (you might say weird) power tricks in this issue. Cyclops is able to fly after Blastaar by using his eyebeams for propulsion.
Iceman is able to send some frozen oxygen into the unconscious Beast's lungs.
And later he creates some ice statues that Marvel Girl controls telekinetically.
Jean continues to be elevated, power-wise and personality-wise. I liked this panel.
Major monologing when Blastaar and Beast talk to each other.
The issue ends with the X-Men under the impression that they have killed Blastaar, but they reason it's ok because as long as evil lives on in men's hearts, he isn't really dead. Erm, ok... whatever gets you through the night!
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The origin back-up from this issue is covered in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 5
Barry Smith didn't have lodgings in the USA at this time, so he drew this story in waiting rooms and on park benches.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 5, 2013 6:15 PM
Mark Gruenwald has a letter here.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 29, 2013 4:20 PM
Barry Smith's original rejected cover was printed in Alter Ego #120, but interestingly the cover date on it is December, and the logo prominently says "The Rage of Blastaar!" in the manner of the issues before #49. I now think the issue sequence was supposed to be #48(Sep.), Metoxo(Oct.), Angel/Dazzler story(Nov.), then Blastaar in Dec.--only to have an abrupt change in direction(probably sales-dictated)with the Drake/Steranko issues disrupting everything. Of course, that doesn't explain why the X-Men are all together again in this story...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 6, 2013 5:38 PM
Lending even more evidence to the "this issue was out of order" theory, it ends with the same "next month" blurb that ended #52-- "Cyclops Wanted: Dead or Alive!" That was supposed to be this month, but is instead held off until #54.
Posted by: Time Traveling Bunny | February 14, 2015 11:02 AM
Angel/Dazzler? (re: Mark)
Posted by: George Lochinski | June 18, 2016 9:58 AM
Mark means the Dazzler that's Warren's uncle:
Posted by: Michael | June 18, 2016 10:55 AM
Oh, ok. Right on. It's so crazy how weirdly convoluted things were behind the scenes on X-Men during this time. And yet, it feels like this is exactly the jumping-off point for Claremont when he finally took over. Love Havok, love Lorna, glad both of them made it in the book.
Posted by: George Lochinski | June 19, 2016 9:44 AM
I'd blame the inker more than the penciller for my stronger criticisms against the art here. Cramped panel layouts might arguably be attributed to the push towards conformity to a "Marvel house style" which was really starting to take hold during this time period.
Esposito can do better, his work here looks like it might be "house style" influenced as well, aping Sinnott.
Strongest criticism: Whose incredulous idea was it for us to try to imagine telekinetically animated ice sculptures? Must have been Drake or Windsor-Smith, I'm thinking most likely Drake.
Posted by: James Holt | October 15, 2016 9:19 AM
Re:Cyclops's power stunt: the funny think is that about 40 years laters a writer will have Havok performing trick under his power.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | October 16, 2016 9:43 AM
Checking out Marvel Girl's tootsies in the scan with her in the foreground, and since this is first BWS Marvel art Smith is still in his "skinny ankle period", I wonder if seeing this is where Rob Liefeld got his cues in how to "draw" feet.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 29, 2018 7:05 PM
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