Review: The Uncanny X-Men #155

The Uncanny X-Men #155 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum and Bob Wiacek

The Uncanny X-Men #155
Published and © by Marvel, March 1982

Title: “First Blood”
Synopsis: The Shi’ar come to Earth as the X-Men (and guest-star Tigra) battle Deathbird and her new allies – the Brood!

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Bob Wiacek

Review: It’s hard to describe from today’s vantage point – where every character seems to be killed and resurrected on a near-regular basis – how terrifying this cover was for readers back in the day. In the wake of “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” X-fans knew Chris Claremont was playing for keeps and the stakes for Marvel’s mutant heroes felt real. In addition to Colossus’ dire circumstances, this issue is packed with well-choreographed action and Claremont’s trademark brand of superhero soap opera. Throw in above-average art from Dave Cockrum and Bob Wiacek and the X-Men were rounding back into fine form heading into 1982.

Grade: A-

Second opinion: “Claremont penchant for cribbing from pop culture was strong. However, the brood is an early example of a reciprocal process, the tend to occur in the many instances of Clermont various assimilations.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “Kind of a harsh issue for a first time X-Men reader to come in on (as this writer did).” – John Jackson Miller, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: There’s so much going on!
Not-so-cool factor: Breathe, Claremont, breathe!

Notable: First appearance of the Brood. … Guest-starring Tigra.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “Are you sure you weren’t motivated by guilt, and shame at coming face-to-face with the children you’d deserted?!” – Cyclops, not taking the whole “dad’s alive!” thing very wall

Editor’s note: This review was written June 14, 2023.

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