Review: The Uncanny X-Men #150

The Uncanny X-Men #150 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein

The Uncanny X-Men #150
Published and © by Marvel, October 1981

Title: “I, Magneto …”
Synopsis: From within the Bermuda Triangle, Magneto delivers an ultimatum to humanity and the X-Men are literally powerless to stop him.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inkers: Joe Rubinstein and Bob Wiacek

Review: Magneto, the X-Men’s greatest foe since their first outing, gets a major character upgrade with this double-sized 150th issue. Long a one-dimensional character hellbent on mutant domination of the world, this version of the master of magnetism lays out a well-considered argument why humanity should be brought to heel. Steeped in Cold War politics, Magneto’s argument is also lent emotional gravitas by a newly revealed bit of back story: He is an Auschwitz survivor who will not stand by and let mutantkind be destroyed. The best issue so far of Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum’s second X-Men stint. 

Grade: A-

Second opinion: “It would be a year or two before the author is able to fully capitalize on this creative new take on the X-Men’s arch-nemesis, but once he does, the character will emerge as Claremont’s most sophisticated and complex psychological creation.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “With this tale, Claremont makes Magneto probably the most well-defined and fascinating supervillain in the Marvel Universe.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … “(Cockrum) seems to have no sense of where the dramatic parts of the story are, and, even when he does recognize them, he usually mistreats them.” – Matt Denn, Comics Coast to Coast #1, 1982

Cool factor: The shades of gray introduced to Magneto this issue would make him a far more compelling character for years to come.
Not-so-cool factor: Kitty’s new costume still has to go.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 30p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “In my zeal to remake the world, I have become much like those I have always hated and despised.” – Magneto, survivor

Editor’s note: This review was written April 10, 2023.

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