Uncanny X-Men #213 – Reviews Of Old Comics
This week, we re-visit Marvel Comics in the 1980s once again with the Uncanny X-Men. This is one of those pivotal issues in the title’s history. As is the case with most pivotal X-Men issues, it involves Wolverine. This issue marked the point where Sabretooth became one of Wolverine’s primary foes, and by extension, a major foe for the X-Men.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciller: Alan Davis
Inker: Paul Neary
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Psylocke is using her telepathic abilities to assist the X-Men after a series of attacks by the Marauders, who targeted the mutant Morlocks. The fight has left the X-Men very much affected, with Nightcrawler in a coma, Colossus paralyzed, and Shadowcat becoming more and more ghost-like as her form drifts further and further apart.The New Mutants are missing and the Morlock tunnels have been swept clean by a plasma wave, sweeping it clean of life.
There is tense discussion among the X-Men and their allies in the tunnels. Storm recognizes that the plasma wave was caused by lightning (NOTE: It was, by Thor) which enrages Callisto with the thought that Storm may have been the cause, even subconsciously. Magneto wants to find the missing New Mutants and considers the request to join the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. Psylocke offers to telepathically search for the New Mutants, but Storm wants her efforts focused on keeping the mansion secure for the protection of the injured X-Men and Morlocks. When Psylocke tries to focus on an intruder to the mansion a psychic feedback leaves her unconscious.
In Los Angeles, Dazzler is passing incognito as a member of Lila Cheney’s band but the influence of the psychic entity Malice prompts her to make radical changes to her style.
At the mansion Rogue is sneak attacked by Sabretooth, who renders her unconscious. Psylocke awakens just in time to avoid attack from Sabretooth. She attacks, but is too weak to do much harm, so she leads him on a chase that takes them away from the Infirmary on the lower levels. The chase leads to Storm’s Attic where Sabretooth gets the upper hand, but Psylocke has stalled for long enough to allow the X-Men to return. Wolverine battles him throughout the grounds of the school, occupying him long enough for Psylocke to probe past Sabretooth’s psychic defenses and get information on the Marauders and their mysterious leader. Sabretooth evades capture by jumping off of a cliff into the water.
The next morning, the X-Men decide to send the wounded to Muir Isle to avoid them being the targets of another Marauders attack. They also welcome Psylocke to the team after the extreme valor she showed fighting Sabretooth.
The story is really good. Despite being the last part of a multi-issue, multi-title crossover, it reads perfectly well on its own. Chris Claremont has a tendency to be verbose, but it never seems distracting, and lets the reader in on Psylocke’s strategy. It could be confused that Callisto has joined the X-Men except for the fact that she doesn’t participate in the battle with Sabretooth. Psylocke really shines, although there’s no recap of how she came to live with the X-Men. For all of its flaws the story is more or less straightforward with only one cutaway for the Dazzler/Malice subplot that was resolved in the very next issue.
Alan Davis is a great artist. His mastery of a fluid anatomy is remarkable, and the storytelling is extremely well done. He doesn’t quite give a consistent look to Sabretooth’s features, but he’s consistent enough that it’s not jarring. there are a few places where it seems that Paul Neary wasn’t as tight over Alan Davis’s pencils, but in some places, the collaboration shows the signs of the symbiosis it has become over the years.
This issue has been collected in a few places, and is easily available digitally through Marvel Unlimited. Check below for some of the collections that it’s in. A copy of the issue itself can be pricey, depending upon the condition it’s in. If you find it in any type of bargain bin, then snap it up, immediately. Even in the lower grades, it’ll cost you a few dollars without it being a bargain.
FINAL RATING: 8.5 (out of a possible 10)