Review: X-Men #100

X-Men #100 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum

X-Men #100
Published and © by Marvel, August 1976

Title: “Greater Love Hath No X-Men …”
Synopsis: X-Men try to rescue X-Men but end up fighting … the X-Men? Sentinel shenanigans are afoot – perhaps with deadly consequences!

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Cockrum

Review: Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum really wanted this 100th issue to be awesome. And these legendary X-creators do come close. It’s pretty obvious from the get go that the original X-Men are doppelgängers of some kind. But once revealed, Claremont never explains how the X-Sentinels have the original X-Men’s memories. Wanting an emotionally charged X-Men-on-X-Men battle for this celebratory issue isn’t enough to make these quickly cooked-up foes make sense. But the concluding scene with Marvel Girl willingly sacrificing herself for the team has real emotional resonance, and Cockrum’s art is strong throughout. Not quite great, but another strong issue.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “Claremont serves up a climatic battle sequence, but the suspense doesn’t stop there.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 …“One of the best 100th issues I’ve seen.” – Richard Ashford, Comics Unlimited #45, July 1977 …  Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: While not the legendary battle suggested by the cover, the X-Men-on-X-Men action is still great fun.
Not-so-cool factor: Marvel Girl’s pointed dismissal of Wolverine’s concerns is just mean. 

Notable: First appearance of the “fastball special.” … There’s an LoC on the “X-Mail” letters page from future Eclipse publisher Dean Mullaney.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 30¢ variant of this issue, as well as a 10p British variant. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “You’d hound us without mercy, exterminate us – for no other reason than that we’re different from your conception of humanity!” – Cyclops, recognizing what would soon become a theme of many an X-villain

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 1, 2021.

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