Uncanny X-Men #102-103
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #102, Uncanny X-Men #103
They don't have much luck.
Storm, feeling claustrophobic, basically sits out the fight, reliving her 'origin' event that killed her family (expanded upon in the Classic X-Men reprint). She finally shakes it off after all her teammates fall, but her attack doesn't do a bit of good.
And then things get weird. This was hinted at all along, but now we get to actually see that, yes, there are leprechauns living in the castle, and they help Nightcrawler get away.
It's hard to take a story too seriously when it's got leprechauns, i'm sorry to say.
It's worth noting that in the original issues, Nightcrawler literally turned invisible in the dark, something that was later done away with, and a whole sequence was removed for the Classic X-Men reprint:
Nightcrawler learns that Black Tom and the Juggernaut are working for Eric the Red. The villains want to attract Xavier, so they torture the X-Men to try and get his mental attention. Nightcrawler shows up using his image inducer to pose as the Professor.
After another battle where the X-Men are freed (and Nightcrawler has to be rescued by leprechauns again) the X-Men finally win only when Banshee throws Black Tom into the ocean and the Juggernaut leaps after him.
By the way, Wolverine isn't too happy about the leprechauns either. They refer to Wolverine by the name "Logan" for the first time, and the leprechaun's final response is another remnant from the abandoned 'Wolverine is an actual Wolverine evolved by the High Evolutionary' plot...
Magneto shows up on Eric the Red's view screen while he's communicating with his ruler D'Ken.
Classic X-Men back-up stories:
Issue #102/10 shows the first Sabretooth birthday attack on Wolverine. It's a good story with art by John Bolton (like all of the back-ups so far). Sabretooth never fully appears on panel, but he murders innocent civilians to get at Wolverine and in the end Wolverine gets his throat torn out. Wolverine realizes that if he's going to be able to compete with Sabretooth (who he vaguely remembers) he's going to have to restrain his berserker side and learn to fight more like a "man". It takes place in NYC and i'm going to say it takes place some time while Jean is in the hospital during #101, possibly right before the scene where Wolverine shows up with flowers at the hospital.
Issue #103/11 is the first of the pointless stories that will plague the later Classic X-Men issues. It deals with Storm meeting an author in England who is contemplating suicide. He helps her to foil a street murderer. It likely takes place after the defeat of Black Tom and Juggernaut. Even though Issue #104 will show the X-Men attempting to secure a boat to travel to Scotland, it's entirely possible for Storm to have decided to fly to London from Banshee's Irish castle sometime in between.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Unfortunately these issues had to be split up mid-story in order to accommodate placement for the X-Men's appearances in Marvel Team-Up annual #1 and Marvel Team-Up #53 (see the Chronology note in the Uncanny X-Men #101 entry for details (and that's the last time i have to write that)).
Continuity Insert? P - (Classic X-Men reprints add new material)
My Reprint: Classic X-Men #10, Classic X-Men #11
Inbound References (9): show
I don't think the Leprechauns ever appeared again after this issue.
Some of Ororo's dialogue in #102 was censored from "Damn you!" to "Curse you!" when reprinted.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 11, 2011 7:17 AM
Some of the leprechauns appear again in Generation X 8-9.
Posted by: Michael | July 11, 2011 1:13 PM
Byrne later said that the "evolved wolverine" origin was dropped because of the similarity to Spider-Woman's first origin.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 18, 2012 4:24 PM
It's odd, though: if the talking wolverine line is meant literally, and not just as a joke about his code name, does it make sense that Wolverine also has a human name, which the leprechaun drops right before? I think both things are meant to be taken together: the leprechaun knows Wolvie's real, human identity, and when he expresses surprise, the leprechaun basically says, fine, call yourself a wolverine if that seems less silly.
The "evolved wolverine" idea must have been somebody's idea somewhere down the line, but I don't think it was ever Claremont's, and the full dialogue here suggests, if anything, Claremont may be poking fun at and discrediting the idea.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | February 12, 2013 1:36 AM
I read the leprechaun's dialogue as sarcasm rather than insinuation: Claremont here is ruling out the "evolved wolverine" origin. Not only would an evolved animal probably not have a real identity--Mr. Logan--but the juxtaposition of Logan's surprise at being named with the leprechaun's snark (to the effect of: calling yourself a wolverine instead of Logan is ridiculous) makes more sense to me than attaching a literal meaning to "taking wolverines."
Posted by: Walter Lawson | February 12, 2013 2:48 AM
FOOM#15 announced that Colossus would appear in a few issues of Len Wein's Hulk, but I guess that didn't happen.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 31, 2013 6:56 PM
Amazing Heroes #32 claimed that most of Storm's origin was lifted from Modesty Blaise.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 27, 2013 2:50 PM
Come on Padraic's acknowledgement of Logan's name makes it so obvious he ran capers with Wolverine back in his agent days.
In his first appearance he similarly appeared at the Californian mobile home of Tom and Linda Pritchett, and called Tom by name.
Yes, he's Elf with a Gun from Defenders #25.
The question remains what he and his crew scoping out in Cassidy Keep;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 12, 2015 1:07 AM
It's so weird to see an X-Men story with leprechauns... Talk about a genre clash. I guess it was a time where Claremont was still working out the tone for the book... I can't imagine something like that popping up the later parts of his run.
It's also weird to see this suddenly-dropped invisibility power of Kurt. I wonder if any readers asked about it further down the line?
Posted by: Piotr W | July 5, 2015 4:38 PM
In an early issue, John Byrne drew Nightcrawler in shadow and blended in with the background. That's about it.
The invisibility power was clearly just letting Dave Cockrum do stuff with his favorite character. An adult, looking the way Kurt does, has never in his life been in the shadows or noticing what happens to him? The power itself wasn't a problem, it's the way it was introduced.
As for the genre clash, that's actually a large part of what Claremont brought to the muties. Monsters like the N'Garai, fantasy like leprechauns and Kitty's Fairy Tale, romance like all the love subplots, space opera like the Brood and the M'kraan Crystal, teen angst like Kitty and the New Mutants, continuity references like using the Impossible Man or showing Xavier and Magneto used to be friends and fought HYDRA.
He wouldn't have done it later, but that's probably a function of how the editors interfered, and to a lesser extent how the characters themselves determined their stories. He was trying to do something with Gateway and the Dreamtime. He did introduce Wolverine to Captain America and Natasha Romanov back in 1941. Wolverine became the aged-and-ailing Bruce Wayne of "Dark Knight" and had a girl sidekick in a Robin costume. Excalibur met all sorts of fantasy creatures.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 6, 2015 5:31 PM
I don't know if I'd agree, Chris. I'd say that stuff like the X-Men fighting N'Garai and having space adventures is actually a standard Marvel Universe feature - the Avengers have had such cross-genre adventures for years. The 60s X-Men comics had all kinds of stuff in them, too. Meanwhile, Claremont has gradually moved the series from typical cross-genre superheroics to the realm of serious and dark sci-fi: the Brood are totally Alien-esque body horror, Genosha is a sci-fi dystopia, the Shadow King stuff is very dark, too. It was all part of the "voice" Claremont found for the book. I don't think he would've given us something so cheesy as the leprechauns at a later point in the book - not because the editors would've stopped him, but because it wouldn't have fit the tone he consciously developed anymore...
Posted by: Piotr W | July 6, 2015 7:02 PM
But that's what Excalibur was for, to give Claremont an outlet for his other cross-genre interests. He didn't include leprechauns, but can you deny that they'd have fit in perfectly? The "Cross-Time Caper" went from Conan-style sword and sorcery to manga to the entire Marvel Universe crammed into an "Act of Vengeance" to building up the Shadow King and if anything, suffered from too much diversity.
I don't think Claremont brought any new concepts to the table so much as he revolutionized the way we looked at old concepts. Stan Lee had combined genres too, monsters and romance and superheroes. Claremont was just accomplishing the same thing on a higher level, with the benefit of Stan's accomplishments. For comparison, there's Alan Moore's "Swamp Thing" which introduced many new concepts and new ways of telling stories to comics. Claremont did none of that, he just brought a deeper understanding of the characters and their stories to the books he worked on.
And I don't agree that Claremont consciously developed it. Maybe he did, but he was also very influenced by his artists [and the editors] and by this point he was just holding on, no matter who was in charge.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 6, 2015 9:43 PM
I miss the days when the X-Men could have space opera adventures.
Posted by: david banes | July 6, 2015 10:26 PM
I'm generally not a fan of cross-genre stuff because I find mixing genres don't usually come off well. Claremont's inclusion of such materials often irritated me. I'm not consistent though, when it comes off well I don't mind. But they should be used sparingly enough that those elements don't become part of the mythos. It should be seasoning, but not part of the meal.
Mutants are a science fiction concept, so I did not mind sci-fi elements like the Shi'Ar and space opera. Plus, the Shi'Ar were an important part of the Dark Phoenix Saga, so them showing up again weren't too bad. I disliked the Brood though, and Lila Cheney's space adventures were annoying. I could appreciate some space opera stuff, but not to the point where it seemed the X-Men were "natural" to it. They should seem more like fish out of water for it to work. Other characters are more appropriate for the space genre. And including Corsair as Cyclops' father was a big mistake.
I didn't like the inclusion of any of the magical elements though. Amanda Sefton, the Ngarai, Magick and Limbo, and such never did it for me. They always seemed like intrusions that didn't fit. The Annual with Dracula particularly did not work. When such fantasy concepts took place in a science fiction veneer, like their adventures in the Savage Land, I was fine with it. I was fine with Lost Civilizations in the Savage Land. I couldn't tolerate Nova Roma in the Amazon though. It stuck out too much while the Savage Land at least was 1) an established concept, and 2) actually out of the place in Antarctica to limits its effects elsewhere. At the same time, I had no problem with Juggernaut's power being from a magic ruby. It was more traditional four color comics type magic, and other than as the source of his powers, Juggy wasn't particularly "magical" or "fantasy".
Occasional light humor is OK provided it is a downtime type issue, a holiday type special, or is some unique thing. When it crosses over with traditional stories - like the leprechauns do with this Black/Tom Juggernaut fight, it just seems ridiculous.
Posted by: Chris | July 15, 2016 1:26 AM
Crossing genres isn't easy. When it works, it works and everybody loves it. "Casablanca" is a romance. There's war and spies and intrigue and musical numbers and the only real question is whether or not Rick and Ilsa wind up together. They don't, which makes the movie even better.
When crossing genres doesn't work, it just doesn't work. It might work for me, but if it doesn't work for you, then there's no way for us to convince each other. In the long run it might be different, but in the short run one of us says "This comic sucks because...!" and the other is saying "You're wrong, this comic is great because...!" Half the fun of dealing with comics fans is arguing about this stuff.
Of the examples you cite, it's very easy to agree with every single one of them that they're inappropriate and should never have been included. And it's easy to point to examples of how those inappropriate additions went wrong and ruined the series. Once the X-Men spend a year in space fighting various alien forces, there's no way to see them as mutant superheroes ever again. And Corsair being the founding X-Man's father [not counting Jean Grey or other retcons] is just stupid, I quite agree.
I like the addition of new genres to superheroes, I think comics needs more of it. But there's the price of losing the audience that already exists, and I am not the sort of person who would urge comics creators to ditch the audience they have in favor of one they might have if they get things right. As much as I love Claremont's work, if I'd had an editorial position at Marvel in the early 1980s, I'd have probably told him to knock off all that extra stuff and get back to basics.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 16, 2016 2:09 AM
From these issues, I have no idea what is Tom Cassidy's actual power.
They talk about his and Banshee powers canceling themselves... But what IS his power in the first place? I don't remember actually seeing that.
Also leprechauns are fine with me.
Posted by: Karel | October 15, 2016 11:41 AM
His power is the ability to channel energy blasts through his cane (it's later described as any wood, not just his cane.) He zaps Kurt once in this story.
Posted by: Michael | October 15, 2016 2:42 PM
So the "plant based powers" came later? (And how in the Hell do you evolve from channeling cane energy to THAT?)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | October 16, 2016 9:38 AM
When Black Tom was introduced his power was shooting energy blasts from his cane. It was later clarified that his mutant ability was the ability to channel energy blasts through anything wood (because the idea that his power only worked with a wooden cane was just silly.)Later on, in X-Force 4, Black Tom is shot by Cable and then falls, and is badly injured. Deadpool takes Black Tom to Tolliver/Tyler, Cable's son. Tyler saves Black Tom's life by turning him into a tree-creature. Originally, this just meant he could channel his energy blasts through the wood that was now part of his body. But later, writers gave him additional plant-based powers.
Posted by: Michael | October 16, 2016 10:35 AM
I think I've read it described as "organic matter" not just wood but perhaps I'm mistaken. At any rate, the last I saw him was during I thin Chuck Austen's run where he was literally a tree monster. That was the story where Juggernaut --who had already been slowly trying to reform for years -- finally joins the X-Men. Basically with no Tom he had no reason to remain a criminal.
Posted by: Jeff | January 15, 2017 12:59 PM
You would think after Cockrum was denied his Legion of Superheroes Nightcrawler debut at DC, that he would object to having him involved with Leprechauns now that he is one of the coolest X-Men...
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | July 19, 2018 12:00 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if the leprechauns were Cockrum's idea. Claremont & Cockrum were co-plotting in the 1st run.
Also, Cockrum came up with the idea for "Kitty's Fairy Tale" in the 2nd run, featuring the Bamfs, cutesy tiny people versions of Nightcrawler, & then wrote the Nightcrawler limited series which features Nightcrawler hanging out with two different "tiny people" races of himself, the Boggles & the Bamfs (who I think are from a universe where if someone tells a fairytale it turns out to be real).
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 19, 2018 2:42 AM
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