I like that cover.
Today, the X-Men are associated with going to other worlds, but this story was the first time we started to see them as a group that would be tied, heavily connected, to space adventures.
In this story, Carol Danvers becomes a big part of the team’s storyline, and the group meets Rogue for the first time–the evil mutant who permanently stole Danvers’ Ms. Marvel powers in one of my all-time favorite comic books of the 1980s, Avengers Annual #10.
Seriously, if you haven’t read this comic you need to find a copy and do it…Now. it’s drawn, by the way, by one of the least-remember, best artists of the 1980s: Michael Golden. And so Claremont ties his own Marvel Universe stories together–in this X-Men arc, he also included Ms. Marvel’s enemy, Deathbird.
It starts with Corsair arriving on Earth, pursued by a new alien weapon, the Sidrian Hunters.
Actually, it starts with Storm and Cyclops playing handball.
Then, a crash landing.
Corsair is pursued to Earth by the buggy guys on that great cover, above. The Sidri aliens.
The X-Men arrive to help.
After they kill a bunch of the buggy aliens, the aliens cluster together and form a giant spaceship.
After defeating it, Corsair tells them Lilandra is kidnapped and the X-Men need to go out into space to save her. Because the usurping leader of the Shi’Ar is going to destroy Earth.
This is when Scott learns that Corsair is his daddy–and he’s pissed because Storm knew and didn’t tell him.
The X-Men go off into space, teaming up with the Shi’Ar Imperial Guard.
Kitty Pryde finds a costume change machine.
The others try to get The Avengers’ help.
Wolverine is not playful.
But he does get kissed by Rogue.
Deathbird and the Brood invade Earth.
And Colossus is almost killed.
The Brood are here to kidnap the X-Men and put their eggs in them, because as mutants they are capable of becoming hosts.
Deathbird successfully kidnaps Professor X, and he’s taken to a prison cell with Lilandra.
The X-Men/Imperial Guard get together and save them.
During the rescue, Professor X is the “ball” in an odd sort of fastball special.
Scott accepts Corsair as his father.
And throughout, we learn more about Carol Danvers, until X-Men #158 where Rogue–the mutant who stole her powers–and she’s allied with Mystique.
Danvers erases her own past, a symbolic way of “owning” what Rogue did by taking away her abilities.
I can’t believe how great these stories were. And I can’t think of anything Marvel is doing right now that’s better. I mean, sure, there are comics that are much better written and some that have more realistic art, but in terms of a long story with character development, richness and depth? Who’s doing that these days?