Review: X-Men #139

X-Men #139 cover
Cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin

X-Men #139
Published and © by Marvel, November 1980

Title: “… Something Wicked This Way Comes!”
Synopsis: Kitty Pryde joins the X-Men while Wolverine (with Nightcrawler chaperoning) heads home to Canada to settle some unfinished business.

Writers (plot): Chris Claremont and John Byrne
Writer (script): Claremont
Penciler/co-plotter: Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: Still catching their breath from “The Dark Phoenix Saga” (see reviews), Chris Claremont and John Byrne serve up a smorgasbord of transitional elements. Angel returns to the X-Men while new mutant Kitty Pryde joins the team. Storm steps into the role of leader and a new supporting characters are introduced. Most importantly, Wolverine and Nightcrawler head to Canada to wrap up unfinished business. This side quest to the Great White North offers several nice character-development moments and sets up a rematch with Wendigo. The exceptional talent of the creative team makes this more than a standard transitional issue.

Grade: A

Second opinion: “No recommendation is needed, is it? … Face it, this one’s got it all!” – C.N. Padgett, BEM #30, November 1980 … “This era’s version of Wolverine – a man whose aura of mystery is the result not of amnesia, and/or brainwashing, but simply of taciturnity – is the classic edition.” – Jason Powell, “The Best There Is at What He Does: Examining Chris Claremont’s X-Men,” 2016

Cool factor: The times they are a-changin’ …
Not-so-cool factor: … sadly, in just four more issues, fans would learn just how much.

Notable: First appearance of Stevie Hunter and Heather Hudson.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 15p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable: “This caper isn’t just business, it’s personal …” – Logan, AKA Wolverine

Editor’s note: This review was written Nov. 28, 2022.

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