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Review: X-Men #117

X-Men #117 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum and Terry Austin

X-Men #117
Published and © by Marvel, January 1979

Title: “Psi War!”
Synopsis: As the main team of X-Men makes their way home, Professor X remembers an earlier, solo adventure.

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

Review: After an issue that was all A-plot (see review of X-Men #116), writer Chris Claremont luxuriates in the multiple plot elements of this smorgasbord issue. The X-Men team believed to be dead starts their journey home. Jean Grey moves out of the mansion – again. Professor Xavier recalls his younger adventures, including a battle to the death. Throw in some international settings, a few supporting characters and a taste of back story for Storm and you get a splendid Claremont confection. And, of course, X-art-team-supreme John Byrne and Terry Austin are on hand to ably illustrate it all. Good stuff!

Grade: A

Second opinion: “(This issue is) no less exciting for its lack of team interaction; quite the contrary” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: Transitional issues like this one are often filler, but Claremont and company nail it.
Not-so-cool factor: Amahl Farouk is icky.

Notable: First appearance of Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 12p British variant of this issue, as well as a Marvel Legends reprint. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “ I was in his mind when he died. It was like a guided tour of hell.” – Professor X, encountering his first evil mutant

Editor’s note: This review was written Dec. 30, 2021.

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