Review: The Uncanny X-Men #159

The Uncanny X-Men #159 cover
Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

The Uncanny X-Men #159
Published and © by Marvel, July 1982

Title: “Night Screams!”
Synopsis: Kitty Pryde and the rest of the X-Men attempt to save Storm, who has fallen under Dracula’s thrall.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Bill Sienkiewicz
Inker: Bob Wiacek

Review: This is an odd outing built on mismatched elements. On the story side, this classic version of Dracula doesn’t really mesh with The Uncanny X-Men’s storyworld; this could pull some readers – this reviewer included – out of the story. This uncomfortable juxtaposition of characters is particularly noticeable as this iteration of the famous vampire doesn’t feel quite like the Marvel version who starred in the cult-favorite series, Tomb of Dracula. As for the art, a young Bill Sienkiewicz is just beginning to evolve his style from Neal Adams wannabe to something more striking and abstract. The results are stylish but inconsistent.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “(Bill Sienkiewicz adds) a sense of psychological depth and gravitas to what is basically a B-movie horror plot.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “Bill Sienkiewicz’s moody art gives this issue an interesting look.” – John Jackson Miller, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: Welcome to the mutant family, Bill Sienkiewicz.

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

Character quotable: “That’s the spirit, Elf. Make nice with the lady. As fer me, if ev’rything’s cool… I’m scrounging myself a brew.” – Wolverine, man on a mission

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

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