X-Men #117 (1979, January)
OK, it’s been a few days, but it’s time to get back to my X-Men reviews. Today’s issue is titled “Psi War!”
The X-Men are stuck in a bad storm in the Drake Passage south of Cape Horn. Storm’s using her powers to keep it from being any worse than it is. They’re finally picked up by a Japanese ship. Back in Westchester, Jean leaves the Mansion,and Lilandra brings Xavier some coffee. Xavier’s thinking back to the beginning. His relationship with Moira, her dumping him, him bumming around the Mediterranean, and finally, Cairo. There, a young girl with white hair and blue eyes picks his pocket. Yep, it was Storm. He stopped her with a force bolt and retrieved his wallet, then got hit with a psychic bolt. He went into a nearby saloon.
There, Amahl Farouk entered. They had a telepathic conversation, where Farouk offered to let Xavier join him, but Xavier refused. They prepared to do astral battle. Farouk created an astral battleground, then covered himself in armour and attacked with a psychic sword. Farouk’s attack curled around and hit him in the back, and in the real world, Xavier’s real back was burned. Finally, Xavier stopped fighting on Farouk’s level. He focused his power inward, then shot it out like a laser into Farouk’s mind, killing him, both astrally, and in the real world.
Xavier finishes his story, and Lilanda asks him to join her in space. He agrees.
There’s a final page of Misty saying goodbye to Jean at the airport, on her way to her own flight, and Jean realizing that she’s truly alone for the first time in her life.
This issue kinda feels like filler, I’m afraid to say. Xavier’s story is really cool, but I don’t see much point for it at this point. Farouk’s great, though. He really does come across as truly evil. The psychic battle is great. Very exciting.
One thing I will say is that the final page may have been a mistake. It shows that Misty knows Jean is alive. She’ll be seeing the other X-Men before too long, but apparently never mentions to them that she saw Jean. Especially since Scott and Colleen Wing start getting close. You’d think Misty would at least ask if something happened between Scott and Jean. On another note, I really wish Misty and Colleen had remained good friends with the X-Men. I’d love to see scenes of Storm having lunch with Misty, or Wolverine sparring with Colleen. Oh well.
Anyway, overall, this issue just didn’t do much for me. It introduced Farouk, the future Shadow King, and that’s good. But it feels like it could’ve been done in a better issue.