Review: The Uncanny X-Men #158

The Uncanny X-Men #158 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum

The Uncanny X-Men #158
Published and © by Marvel, June 1982

Title: “The Life That Late I Led …”
Synopsis: Carol Danvers helps the X-Men infiltrate the Pentagon, where they soon find themselves clashing with Rogue and Mystique!

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

Review: This issue is a fantastic example of what an exceptional comic-book writer Chris Claremont was during this era. So many Claremontisms on display: Strong female characters? Let’s make ’em stronger! Dangling plot threads from another title? Let’s absorb them into the X-Men! Speaking of subplots, how many can you wedge into a single issue? Professor X in peril. National political intrigue. Young love. And, oh yeah, the Starjammers. Yet none of it feels rushed as each character gets a chance to shine. Claremont is a master juggler and this issue is a fine example of him plying his craft.

Grade: A-

Second opinion: “(Rogue’s) battle with Wolverine, Storm and Nightcrawler is the first post-X-Men #143 action set-piece that doesn’t seem to exist even a little bit in John Byrne’s shadow.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “Claremont continues to rebuild his Ms. Marvel character after another writer’s disastrous story in Avengers #200.” – John Jackson Miller, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: Rogue!

Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “The nature of the beast, kiddo – to fear that which is different.” – Wolverine, dropping words of wisdom

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

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