Review: The Uncanny X-Men #167

The Uncanny X-Men #167 cover
Cover by Paul Smith

The Uncanny X-Men #167
Published and © by Marvel, March 1983

Title: “The Goldilocks Syndrome (Or: ‘Who’s Been Sleeping In My Head?’)”
Synopsis: Professor X is impregnated with a Brood Queen; have the X-Men returned to Earth in time to stop the transformation?

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Paul Smith
Inker: Bob Wiacek

Review: It took more than a year but the original Brood saga finally comes to an end with this exceptional finale. Writer Chris Claremont leans into the series’ strengths here, starting with an excellent – and terrifying – action sequence, then moving on to an extended, character-driven denouement. Along the way, he introduces the X-Men to the New Mutants, tweaks the status quo of several characters, and sets up the Fantastic Four’s “Trial of Reed Richards” storyline. On the art side, Paul Smith continues to establish himself as the next great X-artist, equally gifted at action and character scenes. Powerful stuff throughout.

Grade: A

Second opinion: “(Claremont will) opine years later in his ‘X-Men Visionaries’ volume that ‘the key element in (the series’) longevity and success (is): these are not superheroes. Foremost and always, these are people.’ That philosophy has its seeds in Claremont’s very earliest work on the comic, but emphatically takes root right here.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “Xavier’s infestation, long hinted at, does put his decision to organize the New Mutants in a decidedly suspicious light.” – John Jackson Miller, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … “The X-Men seem to gain a newfound vitality.” – Robert Fleming, Fantasy Advertiser #92, August-September 1985

Cool factor: At his peak, no one wrote superteams better than Chris Claremont.

Notable: Guest-starring the New Mutants and guest appearance by the Fantastic Four. … According to Brian Cronin at CBR.com, Chris Claremont’s use of the Fantastic Four in this story was not planned in advance and John Byrne responded with the classic “Trial of Reed Richards” storyline that culminates in Fantastic Four #262.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there are also Mark Jewelers and Lakeside Tattooz variants.

Character quotable: “We’ve come a far piece for this scrap, Sleazy … we don’t intend ta lose!” – Wolverine, taking no prisoners

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 4, 2024.

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