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Review: X-Men #115

X-Men #115 cover
Cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin

X-Men #115
Published and © by Marvel, November 1978

Title: “Visions of Death!”
Synopsis: The X-Men clash with Sauron in the Savage Land, then team with Ka-Zar to battle Garokk, the Petrified Man.

Writer (plot): Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Writer (script): Claremont
Penciler: Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: While still quite good, this second issue in the Savage Land isn’t as strong as the first (see review of X-Men #114). The first problem is that five pages are spent on a flashback; the story’s forward momentum falls prey to the convoluted back story of happenings in the Savage Land. The second problem is the X-Men’s sudden need to get back to civilization; after weeks of rest and recovery, Cyclops decides it’s time to bail when Ka-Zar needs help. Still, strong character moments, a great fight scene with Sauron and excellent art still make this issue a winner. 

Grade: A-

Second opinion: “Despite a predictable and needless appearance by Marvel’s so-called Jungle Lord, the rest of the issue is in its usual good form.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: Byrne and Austin drawing the X-Men battling Sauron in the Savage Land? Yes, please!

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 12p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “Choose your snowdrift, bub – loser buys the beer.” – Wolverine, partaking in a long tradition with Nightcrawler

Editor’s note: This review was written Dec. 13, 2021.

1 Comment

  1. Being a comic fan since 1971 – which is when I started not only haunting my known comic rack, but finding others in my little hometown of Ypsilandi, Michigan – I remember what it was like trying to find the next issue. In 1974, a “local” comic shop opened. But it required me to take a 2-hour+ bus ride round trip to get there and back. That’s a lot of time when you’re 12 or 13 or 14 or 15, even. Thing was, the hassle was so great at that time to keep obtaining subsequent issues of any comic, I quit. I sold my collection and focused on music at the time. While music has remained one of my greatest interests and has provided me with remarkable travel and performance opportunities, comics came back into my life in 1981 when a shop opened up across the street from my university. And they’ve been part of it ever since. Thing is, knowing how difficult it was to get from issue to issue, it was an absolute necessity to not only recap a story at the beginning of an issue, it was also necessary to remember that every comic is someone’s first issue. Between these two, I get why Shooter and Salicrup insisted that recaps have enough clarity to continue the story for a new reader. I honestly can’t ever fault any comic from pre-1984 for having a recap – extensive or not. Comic shops just weren’t the norm at that stage and it took a good deal of effort – even with a car and even with comic shops, sparse as they were – to find every issue of a title you were reading/collecting.

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