Writer Chris Claremont
Artists Dave Cockrum, Josef Rubinstein and Bob Wiacek
Letterers Tom Orzechowski and Jean Simek
Colorist Glynis Wein
Cover Dated October 1981
Before I start, let me just type this – this is an outstanding issue that starts Magneto’s redemption in such a way that – in fifty issues – we can believe that Magneto can be changed. Also great is that this issue proves how important Magneto is to the X-Men and how great of a threat he is, to the entire world.
Issue opens with Magneto addressing the world. He wants complete political control, or he will end life as we know it. The political figures he is addressing are – America’s President Ronald Reagan, Soviet leader Leonid Breshnev, English Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Deng Xiaping, General Secretary Hu Yaobang and King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz.
Thanks to Marvel Comics Database for hosting the information of the world leaders. I knew Reagan and Thatcher.
Once Magneto ends his transmission, he goes to talk to Lee Forrester and Cyclops, who doesn’t have his powers – thanks to the properties of Magneto’s island home. I do like the real moment of, after explaining his motivations, he asks Cyclops, who this Lee Forrester is, and why isn’t he with Jean Grey. Cyclops explains to his greatest enemy, that Jean died, on the moon. Magneto tries to sympathize with Scott but Scott swats him away. Scott doesn’t believe Magneto’s sincerity. Magneto shouts at him, his family use to be massive but now he is alone – due to Hitler and his Nazi scum.
Just then, before Magneto can mention Nazis, missiles are shot at the island. Magneto shuts them down and seeks out the vessel that fired them, Cyclops yells at him that Magneto can’t do that. Which seems silly, as that would make Magneto want to prove himself to the young pup.
Magneto projects himself onto the submarine, Lennigrad. He explains the situation, that they shouldn’t just follow orders and sinks the submarine. The soldiers, on board, never had a chance. In Moscow, generals are freaking out and want vengeance. Magneto beats them to that score and causes an eruption of magma to spill out onto Varykino’s Center Square. He does take measures to slow the path of the magma, so that the city can escape. Though I don’t think that headlines, the next day, will read as “Magneto — Hero?”
At sunset, Lee is trying to gather her wits. Scott comes to check in on her, she finds his courage – as he will be confronting Magneto – to be very sexy. As she should! They start making out, as we see a plane fly above them.
In the Blackbird, the plane’s controls get locked up. Wolverine, being an idiot, went to get a sandwich and loses his balance. Such a great touch, having Wolverine’s head “krak” Storm’s skull. Metal on bone, Storm is knocked out. Without Storm, the plane nose dives into the ocean.
Colossus, being the massive fool that he is, decides to armor up and break the control panel. That’s Colossus, the worst. Kitty is able to wake up Storm and she is about to create a wind current and gets the plane to make a softer landing, than it would have done, without her.
Xavier, Moira MacTarrgett and old friend, Peter Corbeau – astronaut, physicist, engineer, creator of the Starcore manned orbital solar laboratory- he’s a busy guy – are on a ship, trying to get to the island. Xavier loses touch with the X-Men, so they know they are heading in the right but dangerous, direction.
The X-Men, thanks to their scuba gear, are swimming to shore. They didn’t have enough of the air tanks, but Colossus wasn’t worried, as he doesn’t need to breathe. As they approach the island, Colossus loses control of his powers and transforms back to his human form. Imagine if there was a “What If Colossus died in Uncanny X-Men 150?” and how barely nothing would be changed? That would be a fun series to read.
Lee Forrester is enjoying the moonlight, she is thinking about how Scott can sleep through anything but he did confide in her about the X-Men, so she knows that help is on the way. She has made her mind and she will help Scott fight the powerful Magneto. Just then, a gloved hand grabs her handle and freaks her out.
Wolverine doesn’t give a shit about her, or her safety, as he assumes that she works for Magneto. Storm and Kurt break through the water and the X-Men refer to each other, as their hero names. So Lee figures out, these are the X-Men. Lee, quickly, tells them that she knows Scott, so they know that she’s pretty cool. Kitty is crying, as Colossus isn’t breathing. She is also confused, why his powers deactivated.
Cockrum does a great job of not hiding Kitty’s self-made costume, but also not spotlighting it, so the costume doesn’t distract from the important story. Wolverine breaths life back into Colossus.
Wolverine’s nose smells something familiar and goes to check it out.
Scott taps Logan on the shoulder and almost gets six claws to the chest. Scott is barely recognizable in that outfit, plus I imagine no one on this team, has seen him without his visor on. Wolverine does notice that his senses are dimmer.
Look at that big hug and even bigger smile, that Storm has for Scott! Note, that it is only a hug with their upper bodies, they are friends but they are not, great friends.
Kurt notices Scott’s eyes and Scott explains how their powers are deactivated. Scott also explains Magneto’s schemes. The X-Men know that the stakes have never been higher than now, and they are at their all time lowest. The odds are not in their favor, but that’s what it is like, with the X-Men.
For some reason, the team splits into two smaller teams – boys and girls. With the boys, Wolverine takes the time to mention how they never defeated Magneto, with their powers, so what chance do they have, now that they do not have their powers.
Scott also explains that the ladies’ “talents” wouldn’t be of much use, where they are going, as they head downstairs. Scott’s plan isn’t to confront Magneto, himself, but to shut down his plans. Scott wants the boys to break down the energy field, to restore their powers.
As the boys went down, the ladies went up. Storm picks a lock and gets them into the secured quarters of the castle. Kitty is looking for any type of computer, so that she can do the hacks. In no time, Kitty finds a computer, not only that, but she finds Magneto’s programming book, and Magneto’s coffee, which is still warm! Storm heads off to find Magneto. Once she is gone, Kitty realizes that the programming book is in, both, a foreign language and in code! One would be bad enough, but both!?!
There is a two page ad for Mile High Comics, which is pretty great. Uncanny X-Men issues 123, through 129 are only $5, buy them now!
Storm finds Magneto, in a very famous scene, and he is sleeping. We can see his manly chest and she marvels at the sight.
Da boyz see the massive computer displays and the machinery. They are dummys so they turn away from the computers and decide to wreck the machines. Wolverine starts to slice and dice. Wolverine slips off the side and Kurt doesn’t grab him. Kurt dives after him and, thanks to Kurt’s tail, clings to a pipe and Kurt saves the both of them.
Back with Storm and Magneto. She is inching closer to Magneto, debating if she should just slay him. While she debates, with knife in hand, Magneto wakes up and flings Storm out the window. Magneto creates his classic costume, out of the fibers in the air – which is pretty bad arse. During his haste, Xavier is able to mentally attack Magneto, both of them, pushing the other to the brink. Xavier suspects that Magneto is weakening, but instead, he was turning his attention to the screws of Xavier’s safety harness. Xavier (and his chair) are carried form the ship to the tower. I wonder if this is when Xavier gets the bright idea of a hoverchair but that’s still like twenty years from this issue.
Back with da boyz, Wolverine slashes the final structure. Colossus catches Wolverine, as he – again – almost falls to his death.
While da boyz are trying to celebrate, Magneto busts up their style and groove that they are use to. He has Xavier, Lee and Kitty, captive. To add insult to sweet injury, he waves a hand and reforms the structure, so the X-Men’s powers are back to zero use.
Magneto now has the entire team captive, Well, except for one, as Storm clings to sweet life. If it wasn’t for her cloak, she would be dead, right now.
Storm makes her to way to the computer terminal that Kitty had located. She takes a cue from da boyz and throws a chair at the computer. Scott, instantly feels his powers coming back and has to shut his eyes. Xavier knows what is up.
Cyclops blasts a dude, named Magneto. Scott dons his emergency visor, that the X-Men (for some reason) brought along with them. The X-Men are back in full force! Unfortunately, for them, they are still battling Magneto. Who, for my money, has the greatest powerset, of them all. Having power over metal, which is essentially everywhere, does make him the most powerful mutant.
Kurt takes a pipe to the back of Magneto’s head. Colossus punches a wall onto Magneto. Magneto lifts the debris off of himself, with ease. Cyclops Colossus and Wolverine try to triple team on Magneto, but he waves them off. Storm sends lightning bolts at him, and this is the first attack that catches his attention. Which makes sense, as they both have elemental powers. Storm sends a tornado to deal with Magneto.
Colossus, being worthless, but not to Magneto – is flung into Storm, knocking the two of them out. To make matters worst, Magneto flings Colossus into Cyclops.
Xavier tries to attack Magneto again, I’m not sure why his helmet isn’t working like it should. While distracted, Wolverine attacks Magneto, ripping Magneto’s helmet apart.
Cyclops tells Sprite to go hack Magneto’s computers, which serves the double purpose of getting her out of harms way.
Somehow, turning human, makes Colossus able to punch Magneto to the point where it can hurt him. Storm shoots lightning at Magneto, which charges him and drains her.
Kitty, gets excited about her mission – not knowing the overwhelming odds. Kitty walks through the computers, which fries the electronics.
Kurt saves Storm by teleporting the two of them away from the fight, falling into the ocean.
Magneto senses that his computers have been fried and goes to see out what caused the disturbance. He finds young Katherine Anne Pryde and tries to murder her.
What is awesome, is that this page is followed by Hulk v Phoomie Goonies, in a Hostess Fruit Pie ad. I guess that is an act break.
Magneto, in his blind rage, shuts Kitty Pryde down! This startles him to his senses and he can’t believe he almost killed a child. I don’t recall if they ever talk about this, once he joins the team, but I know I would have brought it up. Like, the very first time we got in an argument, I would be all “yeah, I guess you’re right, like that time you almost killed me” then he would have to let cede the point.
As Magneto is comparing himself to the Nazis, Storm comes flying into the room. If she wanted to kill him before, she is all set to do it now. Magneto, recognizing how far he has fallen, is cool with it.
Magneto becomes more human in those top three panels, than any character has ever been shown, in that amount of time. Storm wants her kitten back, and Magneto hands her over.
Then there is a time cut, which is odd but I imagine they didn’t want to commit two more pages of the entire team letting Magneto fly away but it is odd how he does just that.
Some time later, enough time for Wolverine First Class 12 to occur, the X-Men are relaxing on the beach. They deserve a break.
Kitty evokes Star Wars and lifts the sunken Blackbird. The team can’t believe their eyes! Of course, it is Colossus who is lifting it but what a great and fun way to end such an emotionally heavy issue.
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Most of the higher quality images come from Brian Cronin’s incredible “Month of Cool Avengers / X-Men Comic Moments”
Thanks for those!