Review: X-Men #128

X-Men #128 cover
Cover by George Pérez and Terry Austin

X-Men #128
Published and © by Marvel, December 1979

Title: “The Action of the Tiger!”
Synopsis: As reality unravels in Scotland, the X-Men must go all out against Proteus before he becomes too strong to stop.

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

Review: Often, Chris Claremont’s X-Men are a dense thicket of subplots and character moments. But then there are issues like this: The payoff – all-out-action issues that race along like the climax of the best Hollywood summer blockbusters. That’s not to say there isn’t strong characterization; indeed, it is Claremont’s deft development of these characters that makes readers care so much. And the art  – by John Byrne and Terry Austin – is the perfect compliment. From reality-warping special effects to emotional character moments, the legendary X-Men art team consistently delivers. Bravo!

Grade: A

Second opinion: “X-Men #128 is one of the most cathartic of the Claremont/Byrne X-Men issues, a hugely satisfying win on all counts.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … “If this were someone’s first issue, it would be a good choice.” – Jim Johnson, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003

Cool factor: The pacing of the issue is breathtaking …
Not-so-cool factor: … with the exception of the back-story recap (an oft-necessary evil of the pre-trade-paperback era).

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’re mine, body and soul. Accept that … reality, Moira.” – Proteus, naughty son

Editor’s note: This review was written June 22, 2022.

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