Review: X-Men #103

X-Men #103 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum

X-Men #103
Published and © by Marvel, February 1977

Title: “The Fall of the Tower”
Synopsis: The X-Men emerge victorious from the clutches of Black Tom Cassidy and the Juggernaut … with a little help from leprechauns?

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

Review: The X-Men’s entire Irish vacation (see reviews of X-Men #101 and #102) falls short of the lofty standards established by the Chris Claremont/Dave Cockrum team. Pacing remains a central problem, with this issue completely ignoring the B story about Jean Grey’s recent rebirth. That might work if this all-battle issue was suitability compelling, but the presence of leprechauns continues to undermine the suspension of disbelief. (Readers learn Wolverine’s real name is Logan from a leprechaun, because “little people know a lot of things.”) Strong characterization, solid fight choreography and decent Cockrum art keep this grade from falling too far. 

Grade: B

Second opinion: “(Claremont) makes a smart move, placating impatient readers by beginning to tie several dangling plot threads together.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: The team continues to learn to fight together.
Not-so-cool factor: Still not digging the leprechauns of Cassidy Keep.

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

Character quotable: “Maybe leprechauns don’t believe in talkin’ wolverines, either.” – One of the leprechauns of Cassidy Keep, to a disbelieving Wolverine

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 14, 2021.

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