Review: The Uncanny X-Men #145

The Uncanny X-Men #145
Published and © by Marvel, May 1981

Title: “Kidnapped!”
Synopsis: Drawn into conflict with Doctor Doom by Arcade, the X-Men call in reinforcements to rescue their loved ones.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Joe Rubinstein

Review: For young readers who came on board during John Byrne’s tenure, Dave Cockrum’s return as regular X-Men artist doesn’t pack the nostalgic oomph it might have had for some. But Cockrum still draws a darn fine passel of mutants and Joe Rubinstein’s inks pair well enough. Writer Chris Claremont seems immediately inspired by the X-Men co-creator’s return, juggling characters and subplots with aplomb. And the pairing of Doctor Doom and Arcade works surprisingly well. After a single issue drop-off (see review on Uncanny X-Men #144), it feels like the era’s flagship superhero title is back on solid ground.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “(This) arc feels like a step backwards for The X-Men, an exercise in rote superhero tropes that can’t possibly stand in comparison to ‘Dark Phoenix’ or ‘Days of Future Past.’ ” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “(Cockrum’s) work this time around lacks the dynamic page layouts and flair that graced early issues. It’s not bad, just … not as good.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … “A shabby attempt by Claremont to jam as many characters into the book as possible.” – Matt Denn, Comics Coast to Coast #1, 1982 … “Some inspiration appears to have departed with John Byrne. Claremont only occasionally reaches former heights and Dave Cockrum as replacement artist seems unable to match his earlier work on the title” – Frank Plowright, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983 … “Cockrum returns for another more-than-credible run.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: That is a striking Doctor Doom cover.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 20p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “You have entered the lion’s den, X-Men. You will not leave it alive.” – Doctor Doom, not big on house guests

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 7, 2023.

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