Review: X-Men #126

X-Men #126 cover
Cover by Dave Cockrum and Terry Austin

X-Men #126
Published and © by Marvel, October 1979

Title: “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth … !”
Synopsis: The X-Men are reunited on Muir Island – and soon find themselves battling for their lives against Mutant X.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: And with this, the proper start of the Proteus saga, the legendary Chris Claremont/John Byrne/Terry Austin run enters into its golden era. For the next year and a half it would seem this creative team could do no wrong. Intricate plots, intimate characterization, new characters, escalating stakes. All with crisp, detailed art that perfectly serves the story. This is superhero storytelling at its very best. And this issue is a perfect jumping-on-board moment for what remains one of mainstream American comics all-time thrill rides. Enjoy!

Grade: A

Second opinion: “Uncanny X-Men #126-128 function with textbook efficiency as the units of a conventional three-act story structure.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “Byrne’s portrayal of this vampiric, reality-warping killer is downright scary.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: So. Much. Awesome.

Notable: First full appearance of Proteus.
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: “You call me Mutant X, but I have a better name! I … am … Proteus –” – Proteus, AKA Mutant X, AKA Kevin MacTaggert

Editor’s note: This review was written June 21, 2022 .

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