Uncanny X-Men #98-101
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #98, Uncanny X-Men #99, Uncanny X-Men #100, Uncanny X-Men #101
As Dan notes in the comments, we have cameos by Matt Murdock, Nick Fury, and Val Fontaine in that scan above. Also Chris Claremont on the right bottom, i think (or as Erik says in the Comments, maybe it's Dave Cockrum), and here's Stan Lee and Jack Kirby:
According to the MCP, you can find Julius Schwartz and Dave Cockrum in the book as well.
When Wolverine does his bah-humbug routine and Jean reflects on what a strange man he is, she says that the new team has been together "almost a year".
Nightcrawler (still using his Stark Image Inducer) and Colossus go stalking some chicks, which is kind of creepy. This is the first appearance of Nightcrawler's witchy woman Amanda Sefton.
Unfortunately Sentinels ruin the outing.
Wolverine, Banshee, and Jean are captured. Separately, Xavier, who was out boating with Peter Corbeau, is also captured.
Later, Lang and his team of scientists experiment on their captives. There's a feint in the direction of a plot that luckily was abandoned: the idea was going to be that Wolverine wasn't actually a mutant, but was a highly evolved wolverine created by the High Evolutionary.
Then Wolverine manages to break out of his restraints and reveals for the first time that his claws are part of his body, not his gloves.
However, after freeing Banshee and Jean and tearing through a wall to escape, they find that they are actually in a giant space station and they find themselves floating in space (which really should have killed them instantly).
Prompted by the NYC Sentinel attacks, a fresh wave of mutant hysteria breaks out across the country. New scenes added by the Classic X-Men reprints tie Lang to the Hellfire club. There is a power struggle going on between its current White King, Ned Buckman, and a new member, a mutant named Sebastian Shaw. Buckman tells Shaw that Lang's goal is to isolate the X-Factor in mutants so that the Hellfire Club can create its own super-powered individuals, but his true purpose is the elimination of all mutants. Things come to a head when a Sentinel appears at Shaw's home. Shaw has a clique of mutants that includes a Lourdes Chantel, a teleporter, a telepath named Emma Frost, and Harry Leland, who can control gravity but has a weak heart. Shaw also has an assistant named Tessa who talks as if she is a robot. Shaw himself converts kinetic energy into super-strength. The Sentinel kills Lourdes, which prompts Shaw and his followers to kill Buckman and take over the Hellfire Club.
Meanwhile, Corbeau shows up at the X-Mansion and, after figuring out that the Sentinels are not based on Earth, he commandeers a space shuttle for them.
The shuttle is attacked and damaged as it approaches the station. We find out that Storm's powers work in space.
The X-Men then raid the space station. The Sentinels in these stories suffer from Diminishing Threat Syndrome. It is explained that Lang's Mark III Sentinels are not as sturdy as the Trask originals, but that doesn't explain why the first few that attack in Manhattan were so tough. In any event, they easily fight their way through the base until they find themselves face to face with what appears to be the original team.
The first half of issue #100 is dedicated to the fight. During the course of it, Colossus and Wolverine execute a move they say they previously worked out in the Danger Room, the first Fastball Special.
Of course, the old X-Men are actually just X-Sentinels, which Wolverine eventually figures out.
Lang is killed in an explosion, in a way that is a direct action of Marvel Girl's.
To avoid her seeming like a killer, the Classic X-Men reprint inserts almost a full page of new scenes to remove Jean's culpability.
The X-Men have no way of returning home because their shuttle is damaged. As Corbeau says, some of the X-Men might have been able to survive the radiation on the way home, but none can pilot the ship. Jean solves that problem by absorbing Corbeau's knowledge and shielding herself with her telekinetics (she also has to subdue Scott). This is way beyond any power level she's already demonstrated.
The ship makes it to Earth and crashes in Jamaica Bay. After the other X-Men surface, Jean Grey reappears in a new costume, calling herself Phoenix.
The major retcon in between, of course, is that the Phoenix is not Jean Grey at all. As depicted in the back-up story for issue #100 (or Classic X-Men #8), Jean, dying of radiation poisoning, was approached by the Phoenix entity, which wanted to experience Jean's life. Jean's body is placed in a cocoon where it can heal, and the Phoenix Force essentially becomes Jean Grey.
Despite the fact that she is a powerful entity, the Phoenix collapses after its appearance, and Xavier has her taken to a hospital. After a tense waiting period the X-Men are told she will be ok, but she is still in the hospital. Xavier strongly suggests that the rest of the X-Men (Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Banshee, Storm, and Colossus) go off on a vacation. (But a lot happens in between here. See the continuity consideration section below).
Banshee suggest that they go visit his old Irish castle, which he recently inherited. They arrive to find out that it's been taken over by Banshee's cousin Black Tom and the Juggernaut.
Marvel Chronology Project gives an appearance for Daredevil in issue #98, but i don't see him.
In issue #99, Colossus makes a reference to his brother Mikhail, a Soviet cosmonaut who died in a rocket explosion. Colossus stresses over the space shuttle launch because of his brother's death. He is not to be confused with the Mikhail Kutuzov listed in the Characters Appearing; that Mikhail is a scientist on the space station with Peter Corbeau.
While the Master Mold does not appear in this story, we know from Hulk annual #7 that he is around, and Lang attempts to transfer his mind to the Mold before the explosion that seemingly kills him. He fails, and SHIELD later finds him in a vegetative state, but the Master Mold will think that he is Lang.
The back-up story for issue #101 shows Nightcrawler meeting the ghost of a kid who died in the same hospital that Jean is recovering in.
The other back-ups show Jean preparing for her date with Scott...
...the behind-the-scenes goings-on at the Hellfire Club...
...and the Phoenix retcon as shown above.
The new pages in the Classic X-Men reprints merely expand on the scenes in the main stories and don't have any significant revisions, making me feel like they were intended just to fill out the expanded page count of the reprint books.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: The following is a quote from the Official Marvel Index to the X-Men #5:
"Unlikely as it may seem, at least two weeks pass between pages 6 and 7 of this story [Uncanny X-Men #101], a gap necessitated by the X-Men's appearances in Marvel Team-Up annual #1 and Marvel Team-Up #53. Because Phoenix appears in both of those stories, they must happen after page 6 of this story, and because Professor X experiences one of his nightmares in Marvel Team-Up annual #1, the stories must happen sometime before issue #105. Since most of the X-Men go on vacation to the British Isles before Phoenix is released from the hospital, the only gap that can accommodate those team-up appearances is the one in the story.
Continuity Insert? P - (Classic X-Men reprints add new material)
My Reprint: Classic X-Men #6, Classic X-Men #7, Classic X-Men #8, Classic X-Men #9
Inbound References (31): show
Professor X also appeared in Marvel Team-Up #51, testifying at the trial of the Wraith.
Wolverine's "enemy" line is from the Pogo comic strip.
Daredevil probably appears as Matt Murdock in a crowd scene in #98.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 21, 2011 11:58 PM
The idea of Logan as a hyper-evolved Wolverine is AWESOME. I am so disappointed they didn't go with that.
Posted by: James Nostack | August 22, 2011 9:37 PM
It's never too late for a retcon. Anything that writes Origin off as a memory implant, i'll accept.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 23, 2011 9:49 PM
Len Wein rejected the idea of a cosmically-powered Phoenix when he was EIC, claiming it made the rest of the X-Men superfluous, resulting in her temporary depowering. He also didn't want Phoenix decisively beating his character Firelord.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 8, 2012 6:55 PM
Re: writing Origin off as a memory implant, there's your next fix for my blog;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 9, 2012 2:13 AM
"Forget everything you've read: Wolverine is really a hyper-evolved rodent" might be too wild a theory even for your site, Nathan...
Posted by: fnord12 | April 9, 2012 10:08 PM
Not necessarily so but it's too well known.
However, I'm sure you could come up with something better anyway:)
I've always wanted to reveal that Logan's name is based on the wolverine god, Master Lox, who was the Algonquin equivalent of Loki.
My theory is that Loki had left Asgard and attempted to make a life for himself with a Norse tribe who had settled Ungava Bay as shown in the X-Men/ Alpha Flight.
During his time in Canada he had fallen in love with the Blackfoot, Sparrowhawk, and had adventures as the Amazing Skunk-Bear.
You can obviously see where I'm going with this!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 10, 2012 8:57 PM
I've heard conflicting stories about the hyper-evolved wolverine thing. Wein denied it was ever planned, and it doesn't seem like an idea that would originate with Claremont. The refernce to Wolvie's odd readings (and note the Sentinels say he is a mutant) may have to do with his bionic claws and other not-yet-described enhancements.
Wolvie's gradually revealed backstory of amnesia, gov't conspiracy, and superhuman bionics is reputedly heavily inspired by the Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter series at DC published just before the X-Men relaunch. Given Claremont's penchant for "adapting" recent films or stories by other creators he liked (Frank Miller, over and over, in the '80s), I suspect this was his Wolvie's angle from the start.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | February 12, 2013 1:22 AM
The Secrets Behind the X-Men blog gives a lot of quotes on the Wolverine backstory here, http://secretsbehindthexmen.blogspot.com/2012/01/wolverines-secret-origin.html .
Posted by: Walter Lawson | February 23, 2013 12:36 AM
I believe that's supposed to be Matt Murdock at the bottom of the very first page.
Even if that's not conclusive, the characters to the far right are even more clearly supposed to be Nick Fury and Valentina.
Not sure about the other civilians.
Posted by: Dan H. | November 8, 2014 2:28 PM
d'oh... now that I re-check the "characters appearing" section, I see that you already have Valentina listed. I just checked for Nick before I wrote my previous comment.
Posted by: Dan H. | November 8, 2014 2:51 PM
I know those Sentinels were weak but damn it was a lot of fun watching the X-Men trash them. Cockrum's art makes the smashing catharthic.
Posted by: david banes | November 8, 2014 3:24 PM
Thanks, Dan. I don't know how i put in a tag for Val but not Fury. I've added him and Daredevil, and also added that scan and, for fun, a scan of Lee and Kirby's cameo.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 8, 2014 4:17 PM
If that's supposed to be Claremont (which it probably is) then all of the "background" characters in the foreground of that splash page are meant to be represent specific actual (or fictional) people... as I assume the woman with Claremont is meant to either be his real-life significant other or be an homage to someone else.
Also, not germane to the "characters appearing" section, but Clark and Lois show up on page two, along with someone who I assume is supposed to be Julie Schwartz.
Posted by: Dan H. | November 8, 2014 6:04 PM
In that first splash page, you can see Dr Doom skating in the background. Probably not enough to count as an appearance though.
Posted by: Hans Josefson | December 5, 2014 4:03 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | December 5, 2014 5:09 PM
Even Doom likes to take in some ice skating among the unwashed masses from time to time. No one judges Doom!
Posted by: Bill | December 5, 2014 6:13 PM
"He also didn't want Phoenix decisively beating his character Firelord."
Posted by: clyde | February 14, 2015 9:26 PM
Well, he was at DC, then, so what was he supposed to do?
Posted by: Michael | February 14, 2015 10:24 PM
X-Men 98 features Claremont's first dropped plot line. In issue 97 Scott's brother and his girlfriend were brainwashed and abducted by a violent alien, but there's no mention of any search for them, or even any concern. They just reappear in Marvel Team-Up some time later.
Posted by: Andrew | March 15, 2015 8:26 PM
That doesn't count as a dropped plotline- Scott mentions Alex and Lorna trying to kill him in issue 98, we see the brainwashed Alex and Lorna again in issue 104 and 105, and in issue 109, we find out Xavier de-brainwashed Alex and Lorna.
Posted by: Michael | March 15, 2015 8:51 PM
Given that ridiculous, but obviously necessary paragraph from the Index, I feel like an apology was owed, like when Byrne drew his apology over allowing the use of Tigra when she was tied up in a subplot.
In terms of Claremont, Comics Should Be Good recently did a post on Claremont's appearances in X-Men and suggested the bottom right is Cockrum and his wife and that Claremont isn't on the page. But the interesting thing on their scan is that the colors are quite different than the one on this page, and the person identified here as Matt Murdock looks to have blonde hair.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 20, 2015 12:05 PM
Eric, if you think an apology was owed for Marvel Team-Up Annual 1, then take a look at fnord's entry for Fantastic Four 176-178. It was like the people writing Fantastic Four forgot that Marvel Two-In-One was being published.
Posted by: Michael | March 20, 2015 8:09 PM
Huh. Yep, Alex and Lorna are de-brainwashed in a word balloon and footnote in 109. I blinked and missed it.
Posted by: Andrew | March 20, 2015 9:39 PM
Michael, yeah, agreed, I just got to that today and it is a mess. But in this case, it was a bit more I think, as they used the whole team. It's always tricker when one character has their own book. When the Wolverine regular series came out, my feeling was, I'm gonna just ignored it and hope that nothing there impacts my issues of X-Men.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 20, 2015 10:39 PM
Wikipedia says that issue 99 contains the first appereance of Mikhail Rasputin. I do not have these issues anymore but I do not remember him there
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | March 21, 2015 6:37 PM
He doesn't APPEAR but this is the first time he's MENTIONED.
Posted by: Michael | March 21, 2015 7:00 PM
In classic x-men 7, is that the Eleventh Doctor who is the chairman of the hellfire club? LOL
Posted by: WolverineX | July 1, 2015 10:52 AM
I must point out an apparent error in the Official Marvel Index regarding the "JFK Mystery Deepens" headline in #101 (page 11, panel 1). Since the subhead reads, "Starcore Chief: No Comment," it is obviously a reference not to the recent Jester storyline in DAREDEVIL but to the fact that---as said chief, Peter Corbeau, observes on the previous page---"this [is] the second time the X-Men have made a mess of Kennedy Airport."
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | July 21, 2015 11:41 PM
It has been years since I read those stories, but as I recall, after spending a long time in limbo (figuratively, not literally) the comatose Steven Lang is later one of the individuals used to create the Phalanx.
So did Carol Danvers ever learn that Michael Rossi was not actually killed by the Sentinels?
Never read that Marvel Team-Up annual. I wasn't aware of how it was a huge continuity problem. And here I thought that kind of thing only started occurring in the late 1980s once Wolverine got his own ongoing series.
By the way, I'm surprised that John Byrne never tried to reveal that Steven Lang and Scott Lang were related. I mean, they have the same last name! If Norman Osborn and the Sandman are cousins simply because Ditko designed both characters with similar hair then Steven and Scott MUST be related if they have the same name! There can be NO coincidences! Everything needs a logical explanation!
Posted by: Ben Herman | August 16, 2015 3:51 PM
So this is where all the trouble started involving that overgrown turkey of a cosmic embodiment? Such a huge headache, from such a little mini-arc...
Posted by: D09 | June 11, 2016 3:50 PM
Carol found out Michael Rossi was still alive in MS. MARVEL II#33, after which she promptly found out a few issues later that he was a traitor and was only in a relationship with her so he could try and use her as a mole in the AFSO.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | June 11, 2016 4:43 PM
The original idea behind Phoenix was "If cosmic rays could turn ordinary humans into superhumans, what would they do to a mutant?". everything from here to X-Men 137 was written with that in mind, and any evil that Phoenix did was a result of prolonged mental breakdown caused by Mastermind unleashing Jean's id and the human mind being incapable of handling the sheer power Phoenix had.
It is a much better story than the retcon which established the Phoenix Force.
Posted by: Chris | June 11, 2016 5:30 PM
So what, it only goes to prove that Claremont can't write mentally stable women to save his life?
Posted by: D09 | June 11, 2016 6:03 PM
But don't the Shi'ar in this story already know about the Phoenix from their past? That would imply that there's more to Phoenix than just "mutant hit by cosmic rays"
Posted by: S | June 11, 2016 9:25 PM
D09, it's even funnier that as the cosmic rays break through in the last panel of #100, there's a "to be concluded" blurb. Almost 40 years later to the day, is there any sign of a conclusion yet?
Posted by: ChrisW | June 11, 2016 11:37 PM
S, I don't have any of my old (reprint) issues in front of me, but I don't believe the Shiar know anything about Phoenix at this time. When we eventually see a Shi'ar ship approach Earth and then flee, it is because their records indicate Earth repulsed Galactus. When Phoenix and the X-Men fight the Imperial Guard at the M'krann Crystal they are not worried or concerned. ONLY when Dark Phoenix attacks a Shi'ar ship and destroys the Broccoli headed people planet do the Shi'ar determine Phoenix is a threat.
If it is established Shi'ar "knew" of Phoenix at this time, it is probably a retcon.
People who know better, please correct me if I am wrong!
Posted by: Chris | June 11, 2016 11:42 PM
I have a vague memory of some reference to 'the Phoenix' during one of the Byrne issues - which I don't have handy either - but assuming I'm not totally wrong, that would be the only thing indicating the Shi'ar knew anything about Phoenix.
Yeah, the idea that the Phoenix Force is known throughout the universe apart from Jean Grey is almost certainly a retcon.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 12, 2016 12:30 AM
It is. In X-Men 137, page 4, in reference to Phoenix using her powers to save the universe from the Emperor, Lilandra says "She seemed a beneficent entity. Though we suspected the full extent of her power -- and feared it -- we did nothing. We believed -- I believed -- that Jean could cope with her near-infinite abilities."
Posted by: Andrew | June 12, 2016 4:36 PM
If the original idea behind Phoenix was that Marvel Girl absorbed a lot of cosmic rays and turned into her, then why didn't the same thing happen to Cyclops and Havok given that their energy blasts are also powered by cosmic rays?
Posted by: D09 | July 15, 2016 5:35 PM
Cosmic rays on earth passing through the magnetosphere/atmosphere doesn't cause people to get superpowers. It only happens in space in unshielded spacecraft pass that protective barrier. If you are looking for a coherent scientific explanation, you are not going to get one. This is comic books.
Posted by: Chris | July 15, 2016 10:32 PM
Apparently, no one yet, not even me, pointed out the blatant misuse of Sebastian Shaw's powers. He doesn't stronger just because he hits something - he gets stronger when something hits him. In theory, the wall falling on him would give him strength, but he wouldn't have had the strength to knock it down and his thought bubble is just flat out wrong.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 21, 2016 7:06 PM
Erik - according to the wiki entry on his powers -
Posted by: clyde | July 21, 2016 8:04 PM
Hate to double-post, but I would like to answer D09 -
"If the original idea behind Phoenix was that Marvel Girl absorbed a lot of cosmic rays and turned into her, then why didn't the same thing happen to Cyclops and Havok given that their energy blasts are also powered by cosmic rays?"
IIRC, everyone except Jean was in a shielded section of the shuttle specifically designed to prevent the cosmic rays getting through. It might very well have caused those two to become Phoenix as well.
Posted by: clyde | July 21, 2016 8:21 PM
I suppose I should have clarified my post: what I meant was that (based on the context of the original story/meaning by Claremont) shouldn't Cyclops and Havok have turned into Phoenix-type super-mutants due to all the cosmic ray energy that they've absorbed or does the change only happen with a big burst of energy (like what happened on the shuttle) rather than the slow absorption those two have been doing?
Posted by: D09 | July 30, 2016 9:24 PM
You might as well ask why Radioactive Man doesn't get cancer- something about their powers makes them immune to the side effects.
Posted by: Michael | July 30, 2016 10:47 PM
First of all, Havok wasn't there. He was back on Earth with Eric the Red. Second, Cyclops was in a shielded area. He was protected. Third, it's comic books. Might as well ask why Jean didn't give Peter Corbeau's knowledge to Colossus so he could fly the shuttle. Wouldn't be any "Iron Phoenix" coming from that. And fourth, Scott and Alex don't absorb a ton of energy on Earth because, um, it's Earth, and things are different here. If we can fight off Galactus, we can handle a couple of cosmic-ray-absorbing muties. They simply don't build up enough cosmic radiation to make a real difference.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 31, 2016 2:30 AM
Looking it over, the Christmas issue here was April, '76, and GSXM was May, '75; so somehow Claremont was probably thinking as if it was real time as opposed to Marvel Time. Then again it's also a bit weird it would take a year before the team took on a traditional X-threat such as the Sentinels. (its strange: they took on a living island, a demon, aliens and Count Nefaria...and yet nothing typical of the X-Men up to that point prior to the Sentinels here; at least the next set have the return of Juggernaut and Magneto)
Posted by: Ataru320 | December 21, 2016 10:25 PM
Sebastian Shaw has that relentless (I need to shave twice a day) testosterone quality, while he looks to out muscle any man in a primitive yet ostentatious act of uncanny strength. Soon after he steals your girl, who falls victim to his manly musk, uncanny Ricardo Montelban charm and a well trained love muscle. IMHO
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | May 11, 2018 11:22 PM
The backup story to #98 implies Jean is planning for her & Scott to consummate their relationship in their date tonight, but the date is interrupted by the Sentinels' attack.
As far as I know, Scott has never been shown to have a love interest before Jean, I'm not sure when he'd have had the opportunity what with spending most of his life either at Sinister's orphanage or being trained by Xavier.
So whether their first time is on a butte in New Mexico, or if they'd already "done it" earlier off-panel, what this means is that Cyclops, one of the most repressed people on the planet, lost his virginity to a god.
Scott Summers' first time was with the immortal universal force of life and passion, "the embodiment of the very passion of Creation – the spark that gave life to the Universe, the flame that will ultimately consume it". No wonder he's so messed up.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | June 25, 2018 12:29 PM
After Professor X dies in #42, the X-Men disband and Scott & Jean get jobs and move to New York. I always thought it was implied they were living together (although, I would have to dig out the issues to confirm that). Even if I am misremembering, it seems unlikely that two healthy young people, who have been a couple since the mid #30s, still haven't consummated their relationship by #98.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | June 26, 2018 4:46 AM
Oh I agree that they had been dating a while now & the idea they never "went the whole way" until after Jean became Phoenix is not totally convincing to me, though I can see that reading of it from Claremont's point of view, that he introduced the idea of sex into a previously chaste '60s comic.
Similarly, in Spider-Man during "Sins Past" it was claimed that Peter & Gwen never consummated their relationship, which doesn't convince me at all, & really that retcon was a mistake due to JMS having to change his original plans that Peter & Gwen had kids.
So really, both of those retcons of non-consummation are taking advantage of the fact that in 1960s comics teenage relationships weren't likely to be portrayed as obviously sexual. Spider-Man dated both Betty Brant & Mary Jane but was never shown kissing anyone until Gwen in issue #59, but that doesn't mean he never kissed the other two just because it wasn't shown on panel. I think Scott & Jean's first on-panel kiss happens in X-Men #94, they are never shown kissing before Claremont starts writing them, and the point is made in the original X-Men #98 here where we have Stan & Jack reacting to a passionate kiss between Scott & Jean.
I think I missed the hints that Scott & Jean were living together, though I'd be interested in knowing when they were. Byrne has said that Claremont was not overly familiar with the pre-Neal Adams X-Men issues so he may have missed some hints too.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | June 26, 2018 6:20 AM
In #138, Claremont & Byrne do establish that Scott & Jean kissed during issue #32, though by the sounds of it, the use of the history of the comic in that issue might have been down to Byrne rather than Claremont.
The fact that Scott & Jean were not very demonstrative on-panel before Claremont doesn't mean more wasn't going on, but it leaves it open for a retcon like this, and coming from Claremont with his long association with the characters, I can accept it slightly more than JMS' one.
Still, the fact that it is now "canon" that Peter & Gwen never slept with each other means that Peter's 1st time was probably with MJ in ASM #150, although again that's just the 1st "on-panel" suggestion. And similarly, in my head canon, do I think Scott & Jean hadn't had sex before #98? It seems unlikely, despite both of their repressions. They will have spent a lot of time together between #32 and #98.
But as a bit of fun, if you decide to accept this retcon from the Classic X-Men version of this issue, and you accept the retcon from FF #286 that Phoenix replaced Jean, then it means that the first time Scott had sex, it was with the Phoenix Force pretending to be Jean. (It also means that when Jean returns after FF #286, Scott has had sex with both Phoenix & Maddie but not yet with the real Jean. No wonder they're so messed up.)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | June 26, 2018 6:31 AM
For what it's worth, in X-Factor 18, the dialogue is about as explicit as possible that Jean and Scott never had sex- it was the Phoenix Scott had sex with.
Posted by: Michael | June 26, 2018 7:56 AM
Never thought about it that way before. If they're just dating, Gwen's hatred of Spider-Man is just stupid soap opera drama, but if they're that intimate, that would actually be... pretty awful.
Posted by: Andrew | June 26, 2018 8:09 AM
Peter does I think consider marrying Gwen a few times. The idea of Peter & Gwen never being intimate seems dumb to me, and I think to many other fans (especially joined with the retcon that she was intimate with Norman Osborn, a crazy sweating man who was a bad father to one of her friends). But the Captain Stacy angle is a legitimate interpretation as something Peter would blame himself for, I think Betty blaming him for her brother's death is one of the main things that splits them up.
I've just checked X-factor #18 and Michael is absolutely correct. Rusty & Skids are doubting whether to get together since it doesn't seem to have worked out well for Scott & Jean (& coincidentally to my "messed up" running gag, I was surprised to see Rusty even says "no wonder Scott's a nut case" when describing Scott's relationships with Phoenix & Maddie). Rusty goes to Scott and asks him "when you were a kid, if you and Jean, well, if you ever... you know..." and Scott responds saying back then they "loved each other very much, but things were different", they were being trained for combat & Xavier would "have frowned on any... extracurricular activity".
Scott then says "At least, I thought he would! Maybe I was wrong! Maybe it was just an excuse not to get close! Anyway, I spent my adolescence worshipping Jean in tortured silence! Our time for love came when we were older... on a butte in New Mexico"
Possibly Weezie was following up on the implications of this Classic X-Men story?
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | June 26, 2018 8:41 AM
"At least, I thought he would! Maybe I was wrong! Maybe it was just an excuse not to get close! Anyway, I spent my adolescence worshipping Jean in tortured silence! Our time for love came when we were older... on a butte in New Mexico"
Nothing happened until #132! Claremont & Byrne explicitly say that Jean is 24 when she dies (just a few weeks before the episode on the butte). They would have been a couple for about six years by that time. Neither character has ever shown any religious convictions. It just makes them seem a bit weird.
I suppose it supports my supposition that Jean's feelings for Scott were just a schoolgirl crush, and she was so over him by Giant-sized X-Men #1. Look at her actions, she leaves the X-Men, despite Cyclops choosing to stay. She flirts outrageously with Wolverine. Then she moves into a groovy singles pad with Misty Knight. Cyclops was about two weeks away from the "it's not you, it's me" conversation. Only she gets replaced with the Phoenix before she can put her plan in motion.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | June 26, 2018 12:39 PM
That physical intimacy is so scrupulously avoided during Marvel's Silver Age, would suggest to me that the audience is being invited to draw their own conclusions. If they wanted you to infer that Peter & Gwen or Scott & Jean were being chaste, then surely they could have thrown in a few scenes where Peter walks Gwen to her door, receives a peck on the cheek and departs. We never see anything like that. Some readers might choose to believe that is what's happening, but it is just as easy to believe the opposite.
Peter throwing in the aside about never having had sex with Gwen during Sins Past was a strange choice. It doesn't move the plot along one jot, and JMS must have known it would annoy at least some of his audience. Maybe, he feared future writers would ret-con the children as Peter's.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | June 26, 2018 1:20 PM
Yeah I'd thought that #132 was their first time that she'd been able to see Scott's eyes, not their first time full stop... X-Factor #18 does say they weren't kids anymore but I don't think Weezie was aware that they were meant to be 24.
After about #111, they do spend most of the time thinking the other is dead & are not reunited too long before #132, on the other hand they do say at some point in the early #100s that the new team has been together a year, so it's still got to be over a year between their (already very belated) first kiss on-panel and their consummation.
In fairness, Cyclops' powers do at least provide some reason for a lack of closeness, his worries that his eyes will kill someone keeping him apart from people. And without getting graphic, if he was getting intimate with someone I think he would have to be wearing his full visor, his sunglasses would be too risky... (now I'm kind of surprised that Claremont never depicted this, some sort of "wearing mask while doing it" is surely one of the few kinks he didn't feature at one point or another...)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | June 26, 2018 1:20 PM
Peter & Gwen don't have the same excuse to avoid intimacy that Scott does, though Michael's suggestion about Captain Stacy's death is interesting... at the funeral, Peter is wondering how he can look at her or touch her knowing he is partly responsible for her father's death, on the other hand he does continue to date her so that does improve over time, and it was her father's dying wish that he continue to love & look after her. (And it's one of those comic book drama conventions that Gwen seems to solely blame Spider-Man but never mentions Doctor Octopus.)
In ASM #101, I think the first Spider-Man issue not scripted by Stan, Roy Thomas has Gwen invite Peter to watch "I Am Curious (Yellow)" with her, she does suggest "you could cover my eyes during the spicy parts" but I think that is a young woman fearing judgement if she seems too keen to see what was essentially the first mainstream film that everyone watched for the sex scenes. I suspect Stan might have had this changed if he'd seen the reference before it went to print.
Possibly though if X-Men hadn't been cancelled by that point, we might have seen Roy sneak similar "come on, they must be doing it" references into Scott & Jean's relationship, but we'll never know.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | June 26, 2018 1:44 PM
Scott and Jean also have an odd "break" period ahead of #132, where Scott seems to have given Coleen Wing his apartment key. He has a later line that Colleen is "a friend -- nothing more," but that doesn't mean that nothing happened.
Their romance seems to have been less "school crush" and more "slowly drawn together, despite fits and starts." Jean goes off to college and there's a while where it looks like Ted Roberts will be her love interest, but she's drawn back to the X=Men and Scott, and when the team briefly breaks up, they move to the same city and are clearly romantically involved.
The idea tbat they're romantically involved in some way apparently lasts through the cancellation/Hidden Years era, but the early All-New All-Different era plays up Cyclops as a tortured loner, so things with Jean seem to have cooled off. Then Phoenix replaces Jean, and even so, Scoitt's maybe running around with Colleen Wing while "Jean" is being stalked/seduced by Jason Wyngarde. And then they come back together (from Scott's perspective) and have an adult romance. Then "Jean" dies and Scott mourns, has a short fling with Lee Forrester, and eventually finds Maddy.
The tough bit is that Jean, in early X-Factor issues, does seem to think there's an old romance with Scott to go back to. That suggests that at the time of her cocooning, she saw Scott and herself as a couple, or at least as people headed back into coupledom. And then Inferno gives her all the Phoenix memories....
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 26, 2018 2:41 PM
Peter throwing in the aside about never having had sex with Gwen during Sins Past was a strange choice. It doesn't move the plot along one jot, and JMS must have known it would annoy at least some of his audience. Maybe, he feared future writers would ret-con the children as Peter's.
Off-topic for this page, but JMS's original plan for the story was that they were Perter's kids; it was Marvel editorial that forced this change.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 26, 2018 2:46 PM
"Break" meaning Scott thought Jean and Hank were dead and somehow failed to notice that Hank was operating publicly as an Avenger.
Posted by: Michael | June 26, 2018 8:03 PM
When the original stories were written in the 1960s, it was pre-sexual revolution. It was not unusual for couples to wait until marriage or engagement before engaging in sex. Of course, people also got married much younger back then. So Scott and Jean (or Peter and Gwen) being chaste would not have been unusual. But starting in the late sixties and early seventies, birth control started becoming more and more available although it was supposed to be limited to married couples only. It didn't become legal everywhere for everyone in the US until 1972. So when the original New X-Men stories came out in the mid to late seventies, it would have been a lot more natural to imply couples were having sex.
So it's only because of the sliding timescale that people would think Scott and Jean (or Peter and Gwen) not having sex in their teenage years (or even early twenties) as strange.
Certainly there were people who had pre-marital sex prior to publicly available birth control that women controlled, but it was called the sexual revolution for a reason.
Posted by: Chris | June 26, 2018 11:25 PM
There is some debate about quite how much impact the Sexual Revolution really had on people's lives. Studies such as the Kinsey Report would suggest that people in the 'Fifties were not particularly chaste. They just didn't talk about it as much.
Still, that is not really the point. Marvel has a sliding time scale. When Claremont, Simonson or JMS refer to Scott's & Jean's or Peter's & Gwen's past together. They are referencing events that were meant to have happened five or six years ago.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | June 27, 2018 1:25 PM
Posted by: kveto | June 27, 2018 2:17 PM
Why the first “Fastball Special” was not done in a time-sequenced panel arrangement is beyond me. They must not have had any idea that this was going to become a patented maneuver...?
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | July 18, 2018 11:38 PM
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