Published and © by Marvel, August 1977
Title: “Dark Shroud of the Past!”
Synopsis: Trapped in a fever dream, Professor X relives a previous battle between new X-Men and old.
Writers: Chris Claremont and Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Bob Brown and Dave Cockrum
Inker: Tom Sutton
Review: Oh, no, it’s the foe few heroes can overcome: The Dreaded Deadline Doom! After several months of building to the X-Men’s first encounter with the Shi’ar, the big payoff moment is nowhere to be seen. Instead, we have a flashback story from from a different creative team. Regular writer Chris Claremont takes a stab a weaving this inventory tale into his current saga, but the seams are jagged at best. And the dramatic tension of this new-vs.-old-team showdown is further undermined by similar events in X-Men #100 (see review). Add some pedestrian art and this issue is a dud.
Second opinion: “An inventory story … which progresses the storyline not one bit.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “Best if politely endured and then forgotten.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003
Cool factor: Umm …
Not-so-cool factor: Fill-in issues rarely bring the cool factor.
Notable: According to Chris Claremont on the “X-Mail” letters page, this fill-in issue was caused, in part, by Dave Cockrum’s desire to be involved with John Carter, Warlord of Mars #1.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 35¢ variant of this issue.… According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.
Character quotable: “The sanctity of my mind is very precious to me.” – Professor X, not known for feeling the same way about others
Editor’s note: This review was written June 23, 2021.