UNCANNY X-MEN #122-124 (1979): 1st Colonel Alexei Vazhin


I do love me some Arcade.

Issue #122 is all about character development, with some very nice Storm sequences and a good bonding scene with Wolverine and Colossus.  Storm goes to Harlem and meets Luke Cage, who proceeds to tell her all about how black folks live in the ‘hood.

She also gets mugged.

Getting mugged happens all the time in late ’70s/early ’80s Marvel NYC. And having grown up in the Big Apple at that time, I can say…It’s pretty accurate.

Jean Grey meets Mastermind for the first time.

His mental manipulations will play a large part in her transformation into Phoenix and Hellfire Club’s Black Queen. From the beginning, his evil intent is clear…

Mastermind is a perv. I can’t say that I “like” when guys do this in Marvel’s comics–Purple Man also uses his abilities to commit rape–but I can say that it seems realistic. It’s impossible for me to believe that many men–perhaps most men–would do the same thing if they had such powers.

Meanwhile, we see Black Tom Cassidy and Juggernaut hiring Arcade, who first appeared in Marvel Team-Up, to create a death-trap maze just for the X-Men.

Uh…No, Juggy.  Charles Xavier doesn’t walk anywhere.

Then we get two great issues of X vs. Arcade. 

We see X-Men literally being used as pinballs and Wolverine fighting funhouse mirror versions of himself…

Arcade’s big games are basically just a more interesting version of Danger Room.

I hope eventually the Marvel movies do something like this. It’s so much fun.

All this and a gratuitous Spider-Man cameo.

Does anybody remember payphones?

There’s also nudity in this issue–Storm nipple!  But it got edited out.  Check out the full story here.

Finally, this issue is the first appearance of Colonel Vazhin–the Soviet Nick Fury.

Leave a Comment