Review: X-Men #102

X-Men #102 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum

X-Men #102
Published and © by Marvel, December 1976

Title: “Who Will Stop the Juggernaut?”
Synopsis: Lured into a trap in Banshee’s ancestral home, the X-Men battle Black Tom Cassidy and the Juggernaut.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Sam Grainger

Review: Following a string of several strong outings, this issue is a bit of a dud. The main battle between the new X-Men (sans leader Cyclops, who is off caring for a recovering Jean Grey) is solidly crafted, but is constantly interrupted by subplots and back story. While these many digressions serve the overall X-Men story arc, they undermine the danger and energy of this issue’s A story. Also: Leprechauns. Suspension of disbelief is such an important part of fiction – especially genre fiction. The addition of leprechauns to the mix completely undermines such suspension here.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “All-out battle with the Juggernaut nicely spiced with a flashback to Storm’s youth.” – Martin Lock, Comics Unlimited #41, November 1976

Cool factor: The glimpse into Storm’s past is welcome (just not in the middle of the major fight scene).
Not-so-cool factor: Umm, leprechauns? Really? Dude.
Notable: First use of Nightcrawler’s ability to turn invisible in shadows.

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

Character quotable: “How would you feel if you’d died. Then brought yourself back to life?” – Jean Grey, with the first hint of the trouble ahead

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 5, 2021.

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