Review: The Uncanny X-Men #148

The Uncanny X-Men #148 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum

The Uncanny X-Men #148
Published and © by Marvel, August 1981

Title: “Cry, Mutant!”
Synopsis: Storm, Kitty and friends head out for a night on the town and end up facing off against Caliban instead.

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

Review: Transition issues were the bane of many a series during the Bronze Age, but they also helped set the best superhero books apart. The New Teen Titans, the Levitz/Giffen-era Legion and, yes, Chris Claremont’s X-Men all excelled at these character-driven smorgasbords. Here, Angel leaves the team, Wolverine and Nightcrawler play tag for beer, Banshee meets his daughter, Cyclops and Lee run into a big bad, and an assortment of Claremont’s signature Strong Female Characters have a ladies’ night out and encounter a new mutant. This is a solid issue featuring incremental action and excellent character work.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “Noteworthy as the first X-Men issue to feature only female protagonists in the main action set piece. … A prime example of (Claremont’s) progressively feminist agenda.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “A pretty eclectic issue.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … “The first half of #148 is easily the best work that Claremont has done since Byrne’s departure. … Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the second half of the issue.” – Matt Denn, Comics Coast to Coast #1, 1982

Cool factor: Dave Cockrum provides solid art support …
Not-so-cool factor: … but struggles drawing Kitty Pryde.

Notable: First appearance of Caliban.
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: “He means no harm! He is… like you! Why do you hurt him?” – Caliban, master of the self-referential third person

Editor’s note: This review was written March 13, 2023.

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