Review: X-Men #114

X-Men #114 cover
Cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin

X-Men #114
Published and © by Marvel, October 1978

Title: “Desolation”
Synopsis: Separated during battle, two groups of X-Men each think the other dead; the larger group convalesces in the Savage Land. 

Writer (plot): Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Writer (script): Claremont
Penciler: Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: Following an excellent, all-out battle issue (see review of X-Men #113), the definitive X-Men creative team gets a chance to show how to do a transitional issue well. With the X-Men separated into two groups post-battle, writer Chris Claremont leverages the situation to explore a wide range of character traits. With the exception of a couple pages, there is little actual action, but the story never lags. Meanwhile, the art team of John Byrne and Terry Austin prove every bit as adept at subtle character moments as they are with superheroics, and they handle the story’s different physical environments well.

Grade: A

Second opinion: “The break in the action provide the opportunity for much-missed character introspection.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: The X-Men feel more and more like real people every issue.
Not-so-cool factor: Karl Lykos is a creeper.

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: “Have a good time, bub. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, okay?” – Wolverine, with some questionable advice (at best!)

Editor’s note: This review was written Dec. 13, 2021.

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