Writer Chris Claremont
Artists Dave Cockrum & Joe Rubinstein
Letterer Joe Rosen
Colorist Glynis Wein
Cover Dated July 1990
Cover Artist Steve Lightle
Reprinted from Uncanny X-Men 145
Not that you would know that by reading the issue. I had to look it up on comicbookdb.
Inside front cover ad is for the excellent game, Wrath of the Black Manta. A game that I would play over any Ninja Gaiden game.
The cast of the issue is : Storm, Angel, Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Polaris, Havok and Banshee. Though half the team is recruited this issue.
The issue opens with Stevie Hunter and Storm at the Metropolitan Opera House. Storm is taking the place of Kitty Pryde, who is out sick with the flu. Stevie is having a good time. Storm, on the other hand, could be more pleasant. They are being watched by a person in a green cloak.
Storm wonders why she is so jealous of Stevie and Kitty’s friendship. Probably, because she grew up an orphan and raised as a thief.
I wonder if Stevie has picked up on the cold shoulder that Storm keeps giving her. Miss Locke enters the room and taps both of the ladies with some sort of electricity bolt.
Instinctively, Storm throws a cold wind at Miss Locke. Stevie is taken back by the mutie amongst her. The people in the booth next door feel the chill.
As Storm is on the verge passing out, Miss Locke explains the situation.
Doctor Doom has Arcade prisoner. Miss Locke wants the X-Men to help her get him back. To guarantee their aid, she went ahead and kidnapped their family members.
Jean’s parents, Moria MacTaggert, Candy Southern, Amanda Sefton have been captured. Also amongst them? Illyana Rasputin, making her first appearance since Giant Size X-Men. She’s also named for the first time here. I wonder if Claremont already has ruining her childhood up his sleeve?
Storm passes out.
When Storm wakes up, she turns her dress into her costume. Which I didn’t even think that was what it was. That Dave Cockrum, he knows how to costume design. I recognized the color scheme but to have the drape be her cloak, that is pretty awesome.
Storm starts thinking to herself (and not aloud, so once again, Storm and me have nothing in common) that she has to get their family back, but first she has to confirm that they are actually captured. Only Amanda’s apartment is close so she goes and investigates.
She goes to Amanda’s place and sees one of Arcade’s cards left on her pillow. So Miss Locke’s story checks out.
Not being satisfied, Storm goes to the Grey’s home. There, she sees they are missing. Also the weird orb that contains Jean’s personality that the Phoenix left behind (that’s my understanding of it) is still on their coffee table. I’m not sure if it is suppose to be able to respond to what is happening around the orb but it starts making weird faces at Storm. Pretty bizarre
Storm then heads home, retrieving a second Arcade card.
Xavier and the team calls Beast, who is a full fledged Avenger now. I wonder if he ever regrets not just staying with the team, or making the Avengers his default team? He would have had such a better time. That would make for a good What If?.
The most odd thing of the issue occurs. So this is really Uncanny X-Men 145, that came out in May of 1981. Fantastic Four 5 came out in July 1962. That’s 19 years of real time between those issues. Beast explains to Storm and the gang who Doctor Doom is. Have they never heard of him prior to this issue? I find that extremely hard to believe. Nightcrawler has heard of him via the circus folk he use to work along side of in Germany – which I imagine is Claremont’s way to playing up Doom’s gypsy background.
I get that this is probably just Claremont’s way to introducing Doom for any new readers who haven’t heard of him but ooof, is that an odd way to do it.
Beast tells the team that Doom is in Magneto’s league of power, which seems pretty generous to Magneto.
This might work to tell my experience with gypsies. I’m not a fan of them. Unless they are a race, then I am not a fan of certain ones, as I don’t want to come off as a racist. When I was a child, I didn’t respect the whole ‘fortune teller’ gimmick and the lady probably picked up on that at the state festival. She read a few cards, showed them to me and told me that I was going to die on August 23, 2023. She didn’t give me the date but told me this sequence of numbers that if I did it right (the memory of the math hasn’t stuck with me like the original plot and the date has). So that has messed me up and I want to say I was ten or eleven at the time.
My second experience with gypsies came on the last day of the Shakespearean Festival that a club I was part of went to in Phoenix. Money was running low and we were just trying to get back to the bus. This was circa May 2000, or right before it as I was definitely a senior at that point. This lady tried to get my attention and to buy a chocolate covered frozen banana. I like bananas but never been a huge chocolate fan. Plus it was frozen, I didn’t want to deal with all that and so I turn it down. She aggressively tried to bargain with me (not sure why it was so important to her) and I again turn her down. Then she placed a curse on me that whenever I see a chocolate cover frozen banana, I will instantly start desiring one and my mouth will start watering.
Which just typing all of that, has made my mouth water. It is so silly but I’ve been cursed! The only time I’ve seen one or had it offered to me is at the Prospect Avenue Dairy Queen. It was a sign on their drive through window. I read the sign and my mouth starts to water. Good thing they didn’t ask me if I wanted one!
So those two stories and Doctor Doom, are my only experience with gypsies.
What I need is a positive experience with a gypsy.
Now that is what I call a tangent.
I love Wolverine’s response to the issue. He wants to send a clear message, find Arcade and Miss Locke and kill them and show their bodies publicly. The family members of the X-Men are officially off limits. I wonder if their kidnapping is why the X-Men start making it an (un)official policy to ditch family members as soon as they get a uniform.
Xavier thinks that might be a little rash. Storm likes the idea, maybe not killing them but definitely doing something to protect their families. Which is odd as both Storm and Wolverine don’t have anyone to kidnap at this point. I guess Heather Hudson could have been an option but then Alpha Flight would have gotten involved. Though this does backfire as the X-Men seek out old members to divide and conquer.
Rio Diablo. Havok and Polaris are enjoying being post-grad students and being in love. They are erecting a satellite dish (or a windmill) when Xavier shows up via an astral projection. Havok makes the decision to help Xavier and the X-Men, without consulting with Polaris first. Which annoys her once Xavier’s floating head is gone. If it ever really is gone.
Angel had already sent a plane so that would have been an awkward call to make to have the pilot and rest of the crew to turn around.
Kitty’s parents were not taken either. I wonder if it is because they are divorce (or soon to be) and would have been harder to get. Perhaps?
Iceman is invited, he just finished his college paper. Probably for an accounting class.
Banshee, already on a plane, gets visited via a full body astral form of Xavier. Banshee agrees. I guess they got Moria while Sean nor Multiple Man was paying attention.
Xavier tells the X-Men he reached out to Cyclops but a magnetic force blocked his attempt. Which is an awesome foreshadowing leading up to the big 150th issue.
This also transitions us to Cyclops, with a bandage over his eyes as he found out he wasn’t wearing his glasses. I guess the bandage is there just so people don’t keep asking him why his eyes are closed. Lee Forrester shows up, concern about his eyes – as they are bandaged up. Their ship got wrecked and are now on a mysterious island.
The X-Men, both present and old, are finally united at the Mansion. Storm’s plan is to split in two teams –
Murderworld – Havok, Polaris, Iceman and Banshee. Poor Sean is going to be a fourth wheel to that trio. Though I’m sure at this point, Bobby has given up on all chances to get with Magneto’s baby girl.
Latveria – Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus and Angel.
I had to read this thing a couple times but Colossus never even mentions (or is shown) being enraged that his sister has been held captive.
There is also a clear A-Team / B-Team happening there.
Beast did offer to help out but Xavier told him to stick with his Avenger buddies. Pretty cool that thanks to the Orb, this comic did have all the Original X-Men and most of the other ones appear in one issue. Only one missing is Sunspot – if he even counts. Because of how much he didn’t want to be part of the team.
Havok realizes he hasn’t worked with Banshee and suggests they do a quick Danger Room session. This causes the proper X-Men to smile. Kitty destroyed the Danger Room, plus the jet and most of the mansion (one would think Havok would have noticed all of that damage by now) just two issues ago. So this is probably taking place in January of whatever year this is Marvel-time.
Referring of Kitty –
Poor Kitty, out with the flu. Probably just exhausted from the fight of her life!
The X-Men leave in the rebuilt Blackbird (priorities!)
Once they get to Latveria, Storm just goes through the front door. She’s not a lady to be messed with. This impresses the dudes on the plane.
Nightcrawler starts taking out guards around the outside perimeter. This lets Angel bring in the rest of the team. They find Arcade’s cell and it is empty.
Doctor Doom shows up and confronts Storm. He offers her some lunch. He knows she is there just to distract him but why miss out on some lovely company. This just adds to the whole ‘all enemies find Storm attractive’ trope.
Also, John Bryne will later reveal this Doom to be a mere Doombot, thought I should include that somewhere here.
At lunch, Storm is surprised to see that Arcade is also there as a guest. Now Storm knows something is up.
Meanwhile, the boys are fighting robot guards that are meant to fight the Fantastic Four.
There is an ad for Dick Tracy, written / directed / starring Warren Beatty. What I love about the film is the production design. Which I didn’t appreciate until I rewatched the film a year ago. Production Designer Richard Sylibert and Set Director Rick Simpson more than deserved the Best Art Direction Oscar that year. They had the beautiful idea to only use the same nine colors and the exact shade of that color. Whenever you see yellow, it is Yellow-56 everytime – from clothes to items. Makes everything pop and blend in, all at the same time. It really is genius.
Storm tries to fight Doom and he throws a grenade at her that encapsulates her in stone form. Which is going to really trigger her claustrophobia.
The guys show up, they are mad and charge at Doom. He lightning strikes them and they fall. Except for Colossus – proving he’s good for something. Doom is above fighting with him and just chokes him out.
The next issues of X-Men Classic I am going to review are issues 63 and 64. So I will just have to spoil the storyline for you and tell you that the X-Men make it out alive and well and get their family members back as well.
I bought this issue to fill in the one hole in my Arcade collection that I had. I don’t own nearly enough of his but the appearances he has that Kitty has also, I now own all of them. Which isn’t something that is easy to brag about.
The last house ad is for the 1990 Marvel Annuals – which tell the Days of Future Present storyline. I still need Uncanny X-Men Annual 14, for my collection and to know how that story ends.