Another big arc, another plane crash! This is also the first time we really get a good look at Princess Lilandra.
And this is the X-Men’s first outer-space epic story–the first in a grand tradition.
There’s a lot of action in these issues, including the first appearance of the man who we would soon be able to figure out is Scott Summers’ father, Corsair, the space pirate leader of the Starjammers.
In fact, we meet the whole team in these issues…
Scott Summers is starting to realize how powerful Jean Grey is, now that she has the phoenix force.
In fact, she goes toe to toe with Firelord, a former Galactus herald. As does the rest of the team.
To end it all, The X-Men and Starjammers must stop a mystical crystal from swallowing the universe. The Avengers and FF–and POTUS Jimmy Carter–know about it, but can’t join in the fight.
Issue #108 is John Byrne’s first, and he pays homage to Dave Cockrum.
To save it, Phoenix needs souls…
…It works and the team returns to Earth, where the Canada adventure can start, next issue, with the introduction of Alpha Flight.
But my favorite scene is, of course, this one….
“Oh no, not again!” Yes, another plane crash (and another I haven’t shown here, because, at some point, enough is enough). That makes just about one per issue since Chris Claremont started writing the book. I wonder if anyone was keeping tabs–because I didn’t see anything in the letter columns about it. But there was something interesting in the letters: Issue #106 is a fill-in by Mantlo and Bob Brown, with a Claremont/Cockrum framing sequence, and a very kind obituary for Brown.