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 Implant? P - (Classic X-Men reprints add new material)
Reprinted In: Classic X-Men #10, Classic X-Men #11
Inbound References (6): 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.
Some of the leprechauns appear again in Generation X 8-9.
Byrne later said that the "evolved wolverine" origin was dropped because of the similarity to Spider-Woman's first origin.
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.
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."
FOOM#15 announced that Colossus would appear in a few issues of Len Wein's Hulk, but I guess that didn't happen.
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