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The Greatest Christmas Stories Ever Told! – #3

by  in Comic News Comment
The Greatest Christmas Stories Ever Told! – #3

The countdown continues with 1980’s “Demon” from Uncanny X-Men #143 by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin…

In this story, the final issue of the acclaimed Chris Claremont/John Byrne/Terry Austin run on X-Men, Kitty Pryde is feeling the blues on Christmas Eve because she is without her family for the holidays. She is keeping up with her X-Men studies, though, in an impressively subtle piece of foreshadowing…

As mentioned, this was the last issue John Byrne co-plotted on the book before he left the title, and you can tell the difference between Byrne X-Men and post-Byrne X-Men really well in this sequence featuring Wolverine…

Byrne’s Wolverine is just like that – a guy who could go off on his best friend without even thinking about it. Post-Byrne Wolverine was, well, a Samurai. Not saying one way is better than the other, just noting that it is a significant difference.

So anyways, Kitty is alone and she is attacked by a demon (who was last seen forty or so issues ago – helpfully recapped in the beginning of the issue)…

The rest of the issue shows Kitty thinking on her feet as she manages to survive the demon’s attacks, until she finally figures out a way to stop it, using her training from earlier in the day (if you haven’t read this issue, you might want to stop reading this piece now)…

Isn’t it striking how well-crafted that sequence is, right down to the hand popping out of the flames? SUCH a great job by John Byrne.

Of course, this being a holiday issue, things end happily as Kitty’s parents show up (it turns out Xavier was going to get them to surprise Kitty) and we get a nice coda to the book…

If you’re going to leave a comic, this is as good of a way to leave as any! A very good issue.

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