Published and © by Marvel, April 1978
Title: “The ‘X’-Sanction!”
Synopsis: The X-Men’s Danger Room session takes a potentially deadly turn when Warhawk infiltrates the mansion and seizes control.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Tony DeZuniga
Art assist: Dave Cockrum
Review: Ouch. It didn’t take long to fall in love with the clean, sleek linework of the John Byrne/Terry Austin art team (see reviews of X-Men #108 and #109). Tony DeZuniga’s art is … not that. While the journeyman artist delivered some fine work during his career (particularly on DC’s Jonah Hex), his style is a terrible fit for the X-Men. This slight, done-in-one story had been a planned fill-in issue to allow Dave Cockrum to get the book on schedule. Luckily, the new, speedier team art team would use the break to soon take the X-Men monthly.
Second opinion: “One of Claremont’s great innovations was to make the ‘downtime’ for his superheroes as diverting, if not more so, then the scenes of the heroes in battle.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “DeZuniga does nice job rendering the X-Men, but his work looks unfairly second-rate when compared to that of Byrne or Cockrum.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003
Cool factor: The X-Men play baseball for the first time.
Not-so-cool factor: Little Me is still recovering from the first time around with this Tony DeZuniga fill-in issue.
Notable: According to the annual statement of ownership on the “X-Mail” letters page, X-Men had an average total paid circulation of 123,725 for the 12 months preceding Sept. 20, 1977.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 12p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.
Character quotable: “X-Men, is this a game or a debate? Play ball!!” – Professor X, umpire
Editor’s note: This review was written Oct. 10, 2021.