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Uncanny X-Men #142 (1981, February)

April 16, 2013

This issue marks the comic being officially titled Uncanny X-Men, though that had been on the cover for years. The conclusion of Days of Future Past, “Mind Out of Time!”

Mind Out of Time

Everything about this cover is awesome.

We start in the past, with a quick recap about the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and then the fighting starts. While they fight the X-Men, Xavier explains to Moira about Kate Pryde. Mystique leads them away as a cop, then gases them. Kate flashes back to the events from the previous issue, and we cut to the X-Men of the future as they make their way for the Baxter Building. Storm takes out a Sentinel guarding the door. Rachel stays below with the unconscious Kitty, and comments that the timeswitch may only create an alternate reality, rather than changing their existing one. This is, of course, exactly what happened. This is Earth-811, as opposed to Earth-616, the main continuity. Anyway, Wolverine, Storm and Colossus head up the elevator.

Back in the past, the X-Men aren’t doing well. Storm creates a hurricane to blow everyone out of the Senate, and Rick and Joanie – apparently from Doonesbury, according to CBR – comment on it. The National Guard arrives and makes things even worse. A pair of Nightcrawlers start fighting, and Wolverine prepares to wade in with his claws, but Storm orders him to sheathe them. Colossus uses Wolverine as a fulcrum, and a steel beam as a lever, to toss Blob into the air, then punch him out of the fight. Nightcrawler manages to take out Mystique, who makes a cryptic comment about them being alike, and calls him by name. With the Brotherhood defeated, the X-Men realize they can’t find Kitty/Kate.

Future. The three X-Men reach the Sentinel control centre, with one Sentinel inside. Colossus throws Wolverine (Fastball Special Tracker: 7), but the Sentinel turns and blasts him. Wolverine’s dead. Storm scrags it, but more arrive. She and Colossus deal with another, but she gets impaled from behind. Colossus goes berserk. Down below, Rachel feels Colossus’s death.

Back to the past. Destiny’s cornered Senator Kelly, and is about to shoot him with her crossbow. Kate dives through, knocking her aim off and saving Kelly. Then, her mind is ripped out. Kitty’s confused, and passes out. Everything’s explained to her later in the Blackbird, and she remembers nothing.

In the epilogue, Kelly and Sebastian Shaw meet with the president, who authorizes Project: Wideawake, a secret project headed up by Henry Peter Gyrich. Their first task: New Sentinels.

This is a fantastic issue. The deaths in the future are horrifying and heartbreaking. The fighting in the present is exciting. Storm begins the process of becoming a leader, asserting her will over Wolverine. The new Brotherhood are great foils for the X-Men. Some nice hints are dropped in regards to Mystique and Nightcrawler. Storm’s concern over her leadership is actually kinda interesting, given the leader she grows into. The only weak spots in this issue are the in-story recaps, which were just a problem of the time. The fact that this two-parter followed so soon after the Dark Phoenix Saga should give an indication of how ridiculously good the Claremont/Byrne team was. Sadly, the next issue is Byrne’s last on the book. Luckily, it’s another awesome issue.

 

Edit: Just a quick thing. I forgot to mention that this same month saw the first appearance of Sabra, in Incredible Hulk #256, by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. The issue itself was yet another “who’s the real monster” story, of the sort that became so frustratingly common in this series at the time. Still, Sabra’s cool. I’d like to see more of her, actually. She should be in an ongoing book. Maybe she could join the Avengers.

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