Review: The Uncanny X-Men #149

The Uncanny X-Men #149 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein

The Uncanny X-Men #149
Published and © by Marvel, September 1981

Title: And the Dead Shall Bury the Living!
Synopsis: The X-Men travel to Magneto’s supposedly abandoned Antarctic lair and find themselves battling its keeper … Garokk, the Petrified Man! 

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

Review: The regular creative tandem of Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum team for this solid-though-not-spectacular X-outing. The “surprise” return of B-list villain Garokk offers little in the way of tension, but Claremont delivers his typically strong character work. He also uses this one-off story to continue the development of promising new mutant Kitty Pryde; the character reads as both a refreshingly typical teen and a promising addition to the team. On the art side, Cockrum has settled into a better-than-average-but-not-quite-A-list groove. Throw in a terrifying cliffhanger twist and it’s easy to see why the era’s fans kept coming back for more.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “Claremont’s output in the immediate post-Byrne months lacks that sense of passion.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “Whatever. Next issue, please.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … “As bad as #148 was, #149 came very close to equaling its mediocrity.” – Matt Denn, Comics Coast to Coast #1, 1982

Cool factor: Kitty acting like a teen and designing her own costume.
Not-so-cool factor: But, oh, that costume.

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: “Preeeee-senting the all new, all different, altogether stunning – Sprite!” – Kitty Pryde, budding fashion designer (or not!)

Editor’s note: This review was written April 8, 2023.

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