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Five Goofiest Moments in Uncanny X-Men #103-107

by  in Comic News Comment
Five Goofiest Moments in Uncanny X-Men #103-107

Every week, I’ll examine the five goofiest moments from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book series. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.

This week, we look at X-Men #103-107, written by Chris Claremont (with a fill-in by Bill Mantlo) and drawn by Dave Cockrum (pencils on #103-105, 107 and partial pencils on #106), Bob Brown (pencils on most of #106), Sam Grainger (inks on #103-104), Bob Layton (inks on #105), Tom Sutton (inks on #106) and Dan Green (inks on #107).

As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Not only were these writers certainly never imagining people still reading these comics decades after they were written, great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!). In this particular instance, we’re talking about the early days of one of the all-time great creative runs on a title. So this is not a real criticism of these stories – just pointing out the goofy parts of them. It’s all in good fun.


Claremont’s X-Men certainly often had a bit of what you would call “purple prose,” and that’s fair enough – it was a lot of what made the comics charming. However, I still got a kick out of the narrator’s use of “aye” in this page from #106…

I like comics where they seem like they’re been narrated by Ishmael from Moby Dick.

This bit from #104 is probably not all that goofy, I just like the fact that this plot thread was not addressed until something like 17 years later….

In #104, Cyclops momentarily forgot that he hangs out with Charles “Lies are what I do” Xavier. “Yeah, this one time, Professor X convinced us he was dead so he could ward off an alien invasion. But that’s nothing compared to not telling us about a mutant research center! That one takes the cake!”

#104 also gave us a glimpse of that conflicted anti-hero, Magneto, who thinks he’s killed Banshee…

which he’s doing because….why exactly? Because he’s pissed that Xavier held him when he was turned into an infant by someone else entirely? Because of that, he’s going to kill Banshee? Oooookay…

Speaking of Magneto, #104 is not the beginning of the habit comic book writers had of making up new uses of Magneto’s powers, but I think Claremont took it to a whole other level (culminating in the final story of his initial X-Men run where Magneto deflects Gambit’s playing card back at him – you know, magnetism totally affects paper!) This bit from #104 is a good example of how comic book writers had Magneto seemingly do anything…

“My force beams can’t get through his…magnetism! Everyone knows magnetism keeps out force beams!”

That’s a whole lot better than Eric the Red’s powers, which seem to be “whatever the story needs at that moment,” like in #104, re-aging Magneto…

Speaking of Eric the Red, clearly Claremont was making up his plots as he went along, which is totally fine, don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a problem with that at all. It just leads to funny moments like in #107 where he has to explain past stories that now really don’t have an explanation, so he just has Lilandra hang a lampshade on it…

“What? So we don’t know how he found Polaris. Whatever! Shut up!”

5. Less goofy the second time around

I featured the fact that Banshee’s castle in Ireland has LEPRECHAUNS in it at #1 the previous list of goofy moments (X-Men #98-102), so I can’t really feature it at the top this time around, but it is still goofy enough that I think it has to merit a top five showing.

4. You have to work on your bedside manner there, Charles…

In #105, Jean Grey’s parents discover for the first time that their daughter is a superhero. They then watch their daughter vanish into an interstellar portal. Naturally, their minds are spinning and they look to Xavier for guidance and comfort…good luck there, Greys!

“What is going on?!” “Calm down! Don’t panic! I just sent your daughter to her death. Don’t worry, I am really good at finding replacements when the X-Men all get killed.”

3. “Oh man, have I always had this tail?”

This is another one that also appeared in the last list, but this extended riff is even goofier. How did Nightcrawler never notice this power before?!?

And of course, it has almost never been used again ever since.

2. Making Onslaught seem good in comparison…

#106 was a weird issue. It was a fill-in issue by Bill Mantlo and Bob Brown that was never needed. It was set to be published sometime before #100, if need be. It was not needed at first, but Cockrum eventually did fall behind, so they re-worked the fill-in issue into a unseen flashback, with Claremont and Cockrum doing a framing sequence for the issue. One of the oddest part of the story is the fact that if it was set to possibly be published soon before #100, why did the editors let Mantlo write a story that was extremely similar in style to #100 (where the original X-Men seemingly fight the new X-Men)? In the issue, the original X-Men show up to fight the new team. So it being a flashback already sort of made #100 seem a bit weird, since no one on the X-Men said, “Wow, we’re fighting the original X-Men AGAIN? We just fought fake versions of the original X-Men the other day!” However, the goofiest aspect of the story is the revelation that the fake Original X-Men were manifestations of Xavier’s evil self, who dresses very comically…

I like that the X-Men are not even thrown by the fact that Xavier almost let his dreams kill them. “Oh, by the way, I have an evil self that can come out if I ever get sick and have bad dreams. You best keep me healthy, my X-Men!”

1. Wolverine’s name was first revealed by a leprechaun.

Just let that sit for awhile – the first time we learn Wolverine’s name is “Logan” is when a LEPRECHAUN tells us it…

Way too awesome to be believed. Especially that look that Wolverine gives! Priceless.

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