By Chris Claremont and John Byrne with
Inker Terry Austin
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Colorist Bob Sharen
Cover Dated January 1980
Look at those names, all legends!
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to review a comic with the greatest fictional character of all time’s mother? And I don’t mean Claremont, or Byrne (pending on how you view it).
This is Theresa ‘Terri’ Pryde’s first appearance. It is also so many others’ first appearance.
So rare, outside of a first issue, that so much world building or character creation will happen within one comic.
I remember buying this comic at Wizard World Philly 2006. Then, it was only thirty dollars. I thought I was practically stealing it at that price.
This is, of course, Kitty Pryde’s first appearance. Some magazines will state it is Emma ‘White Queen’ Frost’s first appearance, listing her first – or worst, only listing her. Nowadays, with Morrison having put Emma back in the spotlight and Whedon using both characters, this comic will cost someone around one hundred dollars.
Those two ladies are not the only ones marking this their first appearance. Carmen Pryde, Kitty’s father, is another one.
Then there are the villains. Emma Frost shows up, so this is also the first appearance of the Hellfire Club. In the shadows are – Sebastian Shaw, Harry Leland and Donald Pierce.
The Massachusetts Academy is mentioned for the first time. Naturally, this is the first time we see the Hellfire Soldiers and the Hellfire Knights. I’m not sure if the knights really appear much outside the next few issues.
Like I wrote above, this comic really adds to the mythos like few comics before or after it.
This is by far, my favorite comic. Without it, I wouldn’t even be a fan of the X-Men. If it isn’t my favorite comic, then it is at the very least, the most significant comic in my collection. My most prized comic. If all of my comics burned up, a recurring nightmarish thought I’ve had for years, I would have to buy this comic first, if I were ever to rebuild my collection. Which I probably wouldn’t do. That is essentially the danger of collecting paper as a hobby. I don’t quite worry about flood or water damage as I do fire.
On Comixology, I own the Paul Smith nine issues and this issue. Along with several other Marvel comics that were free when Marvel ran that promotion that practically crashed Marvel.com and Comixology.
Onto the issue :
Inside front cover ad is for Crossman Airguns.
Issue starts with the X-Men leaving Muir Island. The X-Men having just defeated Proteus.
Bsnshee was injured in the fight, thus needs to heal. He will not be returning to the States.
Moira lost both her husband and son in the fight, so now she is susceptible to Sean’s charm.
Since they are down one member, Cyclops offers Multiple Man a place on the team. He feels he is just a Kansas farm boy at heart, not a superhero so he will stay behind to stay on as an assistant. Imagine if he had joined? In this bold new era the X-Men are about to enter.
I forget to mention before, so this is where my X-Men collection begins. I have Giant Size X-Men 1, but none until this issue. All that came before Uncanny 129, doesn’t matter unless it is repeated post this issue.
Cyclops turns to Alex and Polaris, before he can offer, Alex turns him down. They just want to be normal people.
Tough day for the X-Men Recruitment Office.
On the Blackbird, back home, the X-Men are – Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Wolverine, Colossus, Storm and Phoenix who is fooling people into thinking it is Jean.
Colossus is being a big baby about how he had to kill Proteus. Instead of thinking that he was being a bro to Banshee. Also, Proteus was going to kill everybody.
Their plane passes another, this one has Jason Wyngarde. Which also reminds me. This is the first part of what will be known as The Dark Phoenix Saga. It begins here with the mind games on Phoenix. I have always been more of a fan of the first half dealing with the Hellfire Club rather than the second half dealing with the Shi’ar. The trade collects 129 to 137. I have never understood why it doesn’t collect 138, the entire aftermath issue. So the X-Men go from the Proteus Saga to the Dark Phoenix Saga. In the comic, it isn’t billed as part one or anything, that comes after all of the fan reactions.
Wyngarde, who is secretly Mastermind, reestablishes contact with the Phoenix. Apparently this was happening in the previous storyline as she was contributing it to Proteus.
There is an ad for Hubba Bubba bubble gum.
Now Jean believes that it is the Phoenix’s vast power, for some reason, transporting her to an ancestor. Roger Stern, the editor and Avengers legend, lets us know this happened twice before – issues 125 and 126. These editor notes are the reason I fell in love with Tom Brevoort over with Kurt Busiek’s Avengers run and those satellite titles. I wish we still got those today.
While Phoenix is exploring this new world, a nice gentleman comes along that reminds her of Scott, as Scott is checking in on her. Scott discusses how much he misses her when he thought she was dead, back in issue 113. They discuss his brief relationship with Colleen Wing. Scott states that all of his life, he has been losing people. He doesn’t mention that they all come back, except his mother.
When he thought Jean was dead, he couldn’t even function. They make out.
They get back to the mansion. The plane registers an intruder. The X-Men come barging in to find Xavier.
There are ads for rock shirts, whoppers and ROM action figure.
Days pass. Phoenix has read Xavier’s mind. He is there has he is concern about her increase power and her ability to control it.
Phoenix and Scott are walking when Wolverine comes out of the Danger Room complaining about Xavier’s training methods. Xavier is treating these latest X-Men as if they were the fresh face Original Five X-Men.
Scott knew this would happen, he didn’t expect it to be this fast. Scott confronts Xavier, explaining how Scott treats the team like peers, but he is the field leader. Xavier tells Scott that his intensity is for shit and he is a weak leader.
Scott tries to think of another tactic when Cerebro detects two mutants.
There are ads for a Marvel Holiday Special offer and an ad for Bubble Yum.
Page 14. We see that the Hellfire Club has a camera inside of Cerebro. Also, we get the three members in shadow. The last panel is Emma’s first appearance.
Shaw’s plan is to contact the two new mutants and try to recruit them.
Next, history is made!
Page 15, I become a lifelong fan of a character, Kitty Pryde. She is living in a suburb of Chicago, Deerfield, Illinois. Deerfield is twenty-five miles northwest of Chicago. The Prydes live on Central Avenue. She is introduced as Katherine Pryde. Kitty is thirteen years old. It is summer time and about noon. Kitty is coming home from a dance class.
The day before, the Prydes must have received two calls and didn’t mind double booking the two school institution.
The Prydes conclude their meeting with Ms. Frost. I wonder why they suspect two schools all of a sudden want to recruit their young daughter to live on the east coast. Did they send out feelers?
Terri Pryde wonders why Kitty is home so soon. Kitty states that she’s been having those headaches again. Terri
Kitty goes to her room, and starts thinking. Her parents must be serious about splitting up, if they are considering sending her to an out of state school. She doesn’t like that idea as she has friends here. I wonder how many and if she has secretly kept in touch with them, this whole time. I doubt it as one rule with joining the X-Men, is that you have to give up everything outside of being an X-Man.
Kitty doesn’t like Frost, she gave her the creeps. Frost looked at her like she was something to eat.
There is a two page ad for Star Wars action figures.
Kitty lays down. Starts getting another headache, and falls through the floor and lands in the living room.
The Prydes and Frost come inside right then. Terri is embarrassed. Kitty makes up the excuse that her shoe got snagged on the carpet and she tripped.
Carmen calls her, Kitten, as she runs upstairs, she claims she has homework.
The Prydes walk Emma to the door, apologising for their daughter’s odd behavior. Emma tells them, she understands as Kitty is young and in an awkward phase.
Emma passes Xavier and three X-Men, all in civilian clothes – Wolverine, Storm and Colossus. Wolverine takes note of Emma, that she looks good but makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. And that guy has a bunch of hair back there, so that is stating something.
The Prydes welcome the X-Men inside. Kitty sees them and they look like an odd grouping to her. Except for the big farmer boy, he looks good to her.
For some reason, Carmen thinks it is a good idea to send Kitty off with three adults to the local malt shoppe. Also, that she should be the only student under the age of 18 at this school, at least Emma’s school has students her own age. Emma’s school is training future mutant terrorists, so you lose some.
At the Malt Shoppe. Logan is reading some magazines, and by reading, I mean looking at Pentahouse and Colossus is standing too close to him. The owner doesn’t like Logan reading them as this isn’t a library. It must also be when the magazines were not sealed in a bag.
There is an ad for Elastic Hulk and Spider-Man that the Hulk one was featured on an episode of Comic Book Men.
There is another ad for ROM the comic by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.
Ororo and Kitty are at a booth. I really like the two panels on top of the page with Kitty’s face all bright eyed and full of wonder and Ororo being amazed with how much life Kitty has. Ororo asks if Kitty has heard of the X-Men, she has and she thinks they are awesome superheroes. Kitty then figures out that she is amongst the X-Men! Xavier told Storm it was okay to let Kitty in on the secret. Kitty is so excited. Ororo can’t help but love the child, when she was at that age, she was making her way across the desert.
Kitty also comments on how beautiful Storm is, with her white hair and blue eyes, she is a wonder to look at. As far as Storm knows, she is one of a kind. I’ll say!
As everybody is enjoying themselves, minus the store owner, Hellfire Knights come crashing through a wall! One of them unleashes a flamethrower onto Colossus, who just turn to steel seconds prior. The flame is so hot that he can still feel it. Another Knight is attacking Wolverine, whose claws can’t cut it as it has a force field. The Knights are built to attack each X-Men individually.
Kitty gets scared from the violence and starts trying to back away, while still in the booth. She backs away so much that she phases through the wall. This is the first time she has done it with her eyes open so she knows how she keeps doing that now. Kitty passes out, as her powers drain her energy.
Wolverine, in classic comic book wisdom, decides they need to switch up opponents. The three X-Men make short work of the Hellfire Knights. Storm wonders what happen to Kitty, but figures she left when everybody else did. Just then, they all get zapped by a psychic attack. We keep hearing how much the X-Men are trained against such attacks, but I wonder if that comes after this issue. We will have to keep track of that. We know by 141, that only Kitty hasn’t received the training yet, thus making Days of Future Past possible.
The X-Men are knocked out. Emma Frost and Hellfire Club soldiers show up to clean up. The soldiers wonder what should happen to the knights. Emma tells them that the knights know the price of failure as their armors explodes. Those fellas are dead.
There is a Hostess ad starring Human Torch in the Icemaster.
In the hovercraft, Emma tells the soldiers to strip the X-Men of their costumes and to check for hidden items, as they know Storm keeps hidden lockpicks hidden in her headdress and cape. Clearly the Hellfire Club knows a great deal regarding the X-Men. They are prepared for them. What I really like about this panel, which is huge in the middle of the page is that Emma gives the order but we are shown that the soldiers are already doing it. Wolverine and Colossus’ shirts are off and Storm’s cape is being removed.
Emma isn’t worried about Kitty, as they know where she lives.
Issue ends with a hero in the making. Kitty has summoned the courage and mastery of her powers and has phased through the hovercraft’s wall. She is going to try to save the X-Men!
Back cover ad is for Lego, which apparently got the back cover to many comics during the 80s.
Such an amazing debut of two important characters into the X-Men Mythos!
I am planning on covering issue 130 for Father’s Day unless I do it before then so come back!
. . .
On this Mother’s Day, I want to send out a special shout to a few mothers.
First, my own mother, Diana, for delivering me and being the best mother I could ever ask for.
Second, my lovely and beautiful wife, Kristie, who was pregnant with our son last year, so we had a small Pre-Mother’s Day but gets to enjoy her first proper mother’s day. Thank you for the self-sacrifice for the past year as being pregnant wasn’t a fun experience, most of the time. Thank you for our son, Walker Dennis Klein, we sure did make a cute baby! We only have him as you made it possible as you did all of the hard work and the easy work. Thanks for letting me feel like I did anything even if it was small tasks.
. . .
Also, don’t forget husbands – Every Mother’s Day needs a Mother’s Night! A lyric I can’t stop having repeated in my head. Thanks YouTuber thelonelyisland for hosting the video!