Review: X-Men #132

X-Men #132 cover
Cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin

X-Men #132
Published and © by Marvel, April 1980

Title: “And Hellfire Is Their Name!”
Synopsis: After regrouping in New Mexico, the X-Men attempt to infiltrate a Hellfire Club gala; it does not go well.

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

Review: Tired of being the hunted, the X-Men take the fight to the Hellfire Club. Things couldn’t go much worse. Once again, the new villains use superior intel to easily take down the mutant heroes. Of course, the Hellfire Club also has a secret weapon. While the Black Queen plot is no real surprise – there have been hints and full scenes leading to this moment for several months – it’s still jarring to see Jean Grey’s heel turn. Again, the mix of danger, emotional stakes and kink make this arc an intoxicating read unlike any superhero comic of its time.

Grade: A+

Second opinion: “Uncanny X-Men #132 is a marvelously structured chapter.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: The Hellfire Club is terrifying. So is the Black Queen.
Not-so-cool factor: Few Marvel villains have been as truly despicable as this iteration of Mastermind.

Wolverine rises from the sewer, a panel from X-Men #132
Wolverine rises from the sewer, as drawn by John Byrne and Terry Austin, from X-Men #132.

Notable: Includes one of the most iconic Wolverine panels of all time.
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: “Okay, suckers – you’ve taken yer best shot! Now it’s my turn!” – Wolverine, iconic

Editor’s note: This review was written June 23, 2022.

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