I have to confess to a great 1970s/’80s Marvel sin: I don’t love the X-Men. I did back when I was reading these books for the first time in the 1980s. They were great back then. Then the 1990s came along and we had such an explosion of mutant books that the stories became way too complicated, Wolverine was all over the place, and I just couldn’t follow it all. And that experience of having grown apart from the X-world is coloring my revisits for this site, where I’m trying to read ever Marvel book ever made—at least up until 1985 or so.
In these two issues, x-couple Havok and Polaris team up with Spidey to fight the Living Pharaoh, a villain who I’ve never found all that interesting. I don’t know why Havok gets title billing, rather than Polaris, but I chalk it up to sexism.
Anyway, it also features Beast, who makes a brief appearance by trying to help but getting sidetracked into the main X-Men comic book plotline against Mesmero.
See? Add a few mutants, and suddenly there’s all kinds of complexity and tie-ins.
Anyway, John Byrne gets to draw Havok and his powers are always cool to see on the page. By the next issue, Pharoah has turned into Living Monolith and Thor arrives to help.
Like I said, great art. The story is pretty good, although Spider-Man is almost unnecessary to the whole deal.
The last page announces John and Chris’ departure from MTU.
Creators: Chris Claremont and John Byrne
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.