Review: X-Men #119

X-Men #119 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum and Terry Austin

X-Men #119
Published and © by Marvel, March 1979

Title: “’Twas the Night Before Christmas …”
Synopsis: The X-Men and Sunfire infiltrate Moses Magnum’s island fortress in a desperate effort to save Japan.

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

Review: Inker Terry Austin rejoins the creative team following a one-month hiatus (see review of X-Men #118) and this series quickly returns to form. John Byrne’s art rarely looks better than it does paired with Austin’s meticulous, detailed line, and the two deliver excellent work here. Byrne’s is equally adept at pacing action and intimate character work, making him he perfect artist for Chris Claremont’s superhero-soap-opera scripts. While Moses Magnum is a bit of a B-list villain, this issue still pops thanks to the synergy of one of the Bronze Age’s best creative teams. 

Grade: A-

Second opinion: “Nothing Earth-shattering happens this time around, but Claremont does subtly begin to take steps towards shaking up the teams statu’s quo.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: Claremont. Byrne. Austin.
Not-so-cool factor: Moses Magnum is a bit of a tool.

Notable: Guest-starring Sunfire and the Daughters of the Dragon.
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: “I am not the man I was, X-Men. Indeed, I am no longer a man. I am – POWER!!” – Moses Magnum, with a very Claremontian declaration

Editor’s note: This review was written March 24, 2022.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.