Writer Chris Claremont
Penciler Paul Smith
Inker Bob Wiacek
Colorist Glynis Wein
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Cover Dated October 1983
This issue is titled, Romances – because everyone is paired in this issue.
Issue opens with Scott and Madelyne on the Starjammers, as they watch an Earthrise. As they kiss, Corsair and Hepzibah show up as they had the same goal. Hepzibah asks if Scott would die for Madelyne. Hepzibah hints at a story of how she met his father and the almost sacrifice his father made for her.
I have to stop here and ask, how great is Paul Smith at drawing people? His men look like men, and his women look like women. Also, they don’t look like the same person, but with a different wig. Different body types and sizes, each unique in their own way.
The two couples walk to the bridge. Carol, as Binary, is going to join the Starjammers, as there is nothing on Earth for her. Which is great for the team, as they were mostly people with guns, Binary gives them a real power house. Scott still hasn’t decided if he is going as well.
Who is going for sure, is Lilandra. Xavier is still telling her about his legs and how it is all in his mind. Also, how he needs to stay to teach mutants. I wish we got a thought bubble from Lilandra, as she finally speaks up about her sister, Deathbird. Her empire is on the brink of civil war, she will be heading back with the Starjammers.
Lilandra is wearing this purple one piece bathing suit. I like to think one of the ladies at the mansion told her about how jumpsuits are not sexy.
Xavier and Lilandra start talking about Scott and Madelyne. Apparently, Maddie’s mind cannot be read by Xavier – it is a condition that is rare in humans.
Transitions to Scott and Madelyne, still in space. Scott is thinking about his self doubts and Maddie. She talks to him about the people who died in her plane crash. Are pilots usually the sole survivor of plane crashes? One would think it would be a passenger in the back of the plane. Either way, their conversation ends with Scott asking if she would come with him to the stars. Which is a pretty big commitment.
Wolverine is in Japan, giving back the honor sword Mariko gave him. We see that Silver Samurai is still healing and is now her right hand man.
We see Kitty reading a Marvel Star Wars comic, issue 73 (thanks UncannyXMen.net). She is wearing a green shirt, tucked into her jeans – this will come up later. She comments to Lockheed that C-3PO tells off Luke and Leia. Imagine being a C-3PO fan? It must be a hard life.
Also, thanks to Kiotr Fanpage for having the pictures shown in this review!
She tells Lockheed that she wants to show Colossus the comic. Lockheed immediately starts to nimble on her hair. She is flattered by his jealousy. It is a very sweet three panel sequence.
Kitty heads over to Colossus’ room, he is frustrated with his paintings. She knocks, he tells her to go away, and she phases through the wall. She wants him to take a break and accompany her to Storm’s room, the attic, to water Storm’s plants. She has a surprised for him.
Kitty tells him to close his eyes. We see some nice perspective panels of him through her eyes. I can get why a young lady like her would find him attractive, he’s tall, nice build, simple but not dumb. She jumps into his arms and kisses him. Throwing him into shock and they both fall to the floor.
That wasn’t the surprised and he closes his eyes again, now holding her. Kitty tells him to start walking, while covering his eyes, and she begins to phase both of them into the air.
They enter the attic, by phasing. Colossus being the untrusting fool that he is, wonders why they have not made it to the end of the hall, he sneaks a peak, in his shock, he breaks Kitty’s concentration and they both fall to the ground.
Kitty tells him that she has made a bunch of advancements in the Danger Room with Xavier, and is mastering her powers. She can phase objects as big as Colossus, and now she knows for sure she can phase and air walk objects as big as him. He comments about how impressive she is, she agrees. Then we get a wonderful paced sequence of panels where, like a movie, you can tell he wants to move in for a kiss and she does as well. I know I’ve stated this before, but it bears repeating, Paul Smith is a master story teller.
Storm is flying back to the mansion, notices someone is in her attic.
She lands, and the couple are both embarrassed and shocked. Kitty wants to phase out of there and Colossus is quick to tell her to not even dare to do it. That would be a fun conversation if she did phase away. Poor Colossus would have gotten a talking to from Storm, for sure. Kitty is shocked to see that Storm’s room is barren, no plants at all. There is a fun moment when Kitty asks what Storm is doing there, and her reply of “I live here.” I swear, if they were to film this, it would be so grand.
We get our only non couple pairing, Kurt and Rogue. Rogue has taken over Jean’s old room. Which I like, we get the impression that the mansion is gigantic but really, how many bedrooms can there be? You get a new team member, they have to sleep somewhere, especially with the New Mutants taking up rooms as well. I would like to see a floor plan and see where everyone lives in respect to each other. That would be a fun image.
Kurt explains who Jean is and how she died on the moon. Rogue is making a nice recovery. I also like how Kurt is their resident nurse. He’s played that role a lot during this era, not so much afterwards though. Which is a shame, as it isn’t do to a lack of injuries.
Kurt leaves the room and sees that he has a package, Amanda has given him a plush doll of herself. So he has one of her and she had already had a plush Bamf of her own.
We cut to Madelyne and Scott, now on Earth and on a plane. Maddie jokes that it isn’t quite the same as being on a starship but she likes the view. Scott is still thinking about going with the Starjammers. What he isn’t thinking about anymore, is his relationship with Madelyne. We know this by the giant ring on her finger. Those two crazy kids are engaged!
Which is great and all, but how did he even afford that diamond engagement ring? He had only worked for his grandparents for a month, tops. I doubt he had money saved, and if he did, not that much, from his college radio days. He had an income from the time he served with Lee Forrester, that could have paid well. I recall someone telling me that Xavier did give them a stipend, which would make sense as somehow Kitty was able to buy that Star Wars comic. I wonder how much Xavier values their commitment to his life’s mission. How much do they get paid? I forget how much Avengers get paid, I know it wasn’t much, or at least, the number seemed pretty low to me for what they do for the world.
Scott leaves the cockpit to check on the passengers. He walks pass a priest. The priest gets Scott’s attention, and hands him a picture that he dropped. Scott looks at it, and it is a picture of Jean, from her trip to Greece, right before the Dark Phoenix Saga began. He thinks that it isn’t a picture he taken. Which brings up a question of, who took that picture? We know later that the priest is Mastermind, so it could have been a blank piece of paper with the image he wanted Scott to see. Scott never shows it to Maddie, or references to it ever again.
I do like how Jean has a certain hairstyle and Madelyne has her own hairstyle too. At least the creative team did that, it would have been too weird for them to have that in common.
In Alaska, we see Madelyne. She is hungry, and is hoping that Scott is as good of a cook as he claims. We see that Madelyne is wearing a green shirt, tucked into her jeans. Which is odd that two female characters, made the same clothes choice and fashion choice on top of that. I wonder if Smith drew them like that, and then Wein had fun with making sure it was the same color. That’s a story that will never be told.
We see that Mastermind, now in his Jason Wyngarde appearance, is smoking a cigarette and thinking that it is nice to put things into the next phase.
Madelyne sees Scott, again in deep thought. She starts to unpack some wine, and comments that they should skip dinner and fool around. This gets no reaction from Scott. So clearly something is wrong as Scott should have at least been tempted by the offer.
Scott gathers his strength, he gots to know. He needs to ask her a question, she jokes that he already asked her a question this morning and she said yes. Without missing a beat, he asks her, point blank, if she is Phoenix reborn. In a scene that should cement Maddie in everyone’s heart, she straight up punches him in an awesome panel. What a punch!
She knocks his glasses off, so of course, Scott’s first thought is that he can’t open his eyes as it would destroy Madelyne’s place. With his experience with these things happening, he always carries a back up set on him.
Scott starts to regret asking her that question. He starts to look around for her. He is not even sure why he asked her the question, hinting that it was probably Mastermind filling his head with doubts.
Scott shouts for her and in return, gets blasted with fire, knocking him to the ground for a second time in five minutes. From the shadows and the flames, we see Dark Phoenix, with an awesome “The time for talk, lover, is over.” With the meanest smirk, I ever did see! It is now on!
This is the second to last issue of Paul Smith’s legendary run and it is another masterpiece. Issue 175 is a tour de force!