|'The Uncanny X-Men' #275 (April '91)|
This week’s “Comic Book of the Week” is “The Uncanny X-Men” #275, which was published by Marvel Comics in April 1991. This giant-sized issue was 48 pages long and featured a tri-fold cover that also doubled as a cool poster.
This issue's creative team included Chris Claremont, writer; Jim Lee, artist; Scott Williams, inker; Tom Orzechowski, letterer; Glynis Oliver and Joe Rosas, colorists; Bob Harras, editor; and Tom DeFalco, editor-in-chief. Lee, Williams and Rick Parker were the cover artists, and the issue sold for $1.50 at newsstands.
The title of this issue was “The Path Not Taken,” and for a special anniversary issue it contained a long list of good guys and villains. Members of the X-Men appearing in the issue were Banshee, Forge, Gambit, Jubilee, Psylocke, Storm and Wolverine. Bad guys in the comic included Barbarus, Brainchild, Deathbird, Gaza, Lupo, Col. Yuri Semyanov, Worm and Zaladane. Other well-known characters in the comic included Col. Nick Fury, Lilandra, Magneto, Rogue and Professor X.
The story begins in deep space, where members of the Starjammers are attacking an Apocalypse Class space vessel called the “Behemoth,” a flagship of the Shi’ar Imperial Fleet. The Starjammers are trying to win back the Shi-ar Throne for Lilandra, who has been supplanted by her sister, Deathbird. No sooner do they get aboard this giant ship, they find themselves face to face with members of Deathbird’s Imperial Guard. That group includes such formidable foes as Earthquake, Gladiator, Oracle, Smasher, Starbolt, Tempest, Titan and Warstar.
Elsewhere on the ship, the members of the X-Men are being held captive by the Manacle, a nasty green creature that renders each hero helpless while in its clutches. Wolverine and Jubilee eventually figure out how to get loose, and Wolverine then makes it his mission to take out Deathbird. She’s no pushover though and almost kills Wolverine. In fact, he probably would have died if not for his mutant healing abilities. The other X-Men help the Starjammers whip the Imperial Guard, and Wolverine captures Deathbird.
On Page 19, the action shifts to Earth, where Rogue, Ka-Zar, Nick Fury, agents of SHIELD and a bunch of Russians are flying over Antarctica’s “Savage Land” jungles in helicopters. Magneto’s flying alongside until he’s taken out by a traitorous Russian, who helps capture him for the evil Zaladane, who wants to take his powers. Everything falls apart though for Zaladane when Rogue helps him escape. Not only does he regain his powers, but he also kills Zaladane and blows up her fortress.
Back in space, Lilandra stands victorious amongst all her super-powered friends, and one of the most dramatic events of the issue occurs when Warlord removes his big, shiny helmet to reveal that he’s actually Professor Charles Xavier. However, all is not right with the professor because the issue ends with Xavier looming menacingly over prone and powerless members of the Imperial Guard and saying, “We should have no trouble with the X-Men. After all, am I not their revered mentor? They will do my bidding out of the love and respect they have for me. If they resist, I will simply crush them as easily as I have the Imperial Guard. By whatever means necessary, they will serve the cause… and when we have no further need of them… they will be DESTROYED!”
This comic (unless I’ve sold it) and others are available for purchase through Peacock’s Books on Amazon.com. If you’re interested in buying it, search for it there by title, issue number and date of publication.