Right about here is where is starts to get really hard to break up X-Men books into individual posts. Perhaps even more than Steve Gerber on The Defenders, Chris Claremont refused to be constrained by the 20-page format of a floppy comic. Storylines constantly flow in and out of each other. Last issue, the X-Men were rescued from a circus where they had been captured. This issue we learn that the architect of their confinement was…
Remember the last time we saw Magneto? It was in Defenders #16, when the X-Men’s solo book was on hiatus. And remember what happened to him?
Yeah. He’s still pretty pissed about that.
So he’s putting Asteroid M back together and holding the X-Men captive in a volcano while he plans to destroy humanity.
To escape, the team digs downward in a magnetic force bubble…
…and ends up in The Savage Land.
There’s a very silly sequence where Ka-Zar literally defeats the entire team. But then it’s just good old-fashioned dinosaur fights.
Also, while they’re escaping, Storm picks the locks to their cells–which is the first time we see her skills a child thief manifested as an adult. It will become another layer of her very interesting character. We also learn, through flashbacks, that Professor X knew her as a kid when she picked his pocket in Africa.
Claremont would just thrown in little character moments like that, sprinkling them liberally throughout his stories.
Speaking of which…
Astute readers could see the Corsair-is-Scott’s-daddy storyline coming, but above is the first time we saw Cyclops looking the role of pirate. This is the sequence where he figures out Corsair is his dad. Claremont loved to use headshots with floating memories to catch us up on the complex, detailed storylines he would weave for months or years at a time. Here’s a sequence where Professor X reminisces about Moira MacTaggert.
When they get back from Savage Land, there’s a Japan adventure before the whole team reunites, and Misty Knight guest-stars.
And just like Savage Land means Ka-Zar, Japan means…
In these issues, we also learn that he speaks fluent Japanese, as the team does a brief stopover near Tokyo and Wolverine meets Mariko for the first time.
It’s also where we learn his real name is Logan.
Note: With issue #112, the X-Men return to a monthly book.
Creators: Claremont and John Byrne