UNCANNY X-MEN #160-167 (1982-1983): 1st Binary, S’ym, Lockheed

brood wolverine

Don’t feel bad Wolverine. Even the best of us get tired.  Especially with everything that happens in these issues. #160 has fill-in art by Brent Anderson, and it begins Magik’s connection to Belasco and Limbo.

It’s also the first appearance of S’ym.

#161 appears to be a filler story about Xavier and Erik’s friendship before they became Professor X and Magneto. They’re solid tales, and the big story that’s coming is seeded throughout, but it’s not until #162 that it really picks up speed.

But then, in #162, the space travel saga resumes, and we get the beginning of the Brood infection storyline.  The team has been infected with a virus that turns them into Broods, but Wolverine’s healing factor makes his transformation incomplete.  

While in space fighting the brood, they meet Lockheed for the first time and he becomes their mascot.

Then, in #164, we get Cockrum’s last issue.  In this storyline, we begin to see Carol Danvers (the depowered Ms. Marvel) experience some sort of transformation as well, which ultimately leads her to become Binary.

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Lots of transformations, lots of parallel storylines.  Great stuff again, Clarement, you genius you.

Also of note: Paul Smith’s stellar run begins over these issues. Dave Cockrum was great, so it’s sad to see him go, but Smith brings a new and different look to the team.

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Paul Smith, for many a top-10 X-artist, signs on for Storm’s Brood transformation, a double-sized Brood story conclusion.

The cover to issue #165 is i-freakin’-conic.

Wolverine is an athiest.

Also in this story: The new New Mutants comic gets a little recognition.  Professor X is more involved in world affairs now, so Moira offers to take up the “teacher” mantle.

The team goes to the Brood homeworld, and Kitty makes a Star Trek reference.

There, the team gets infected by the Brood and Wolverine makes a choice…

It’s a great character moment, heroically drawn by Smith.

And, in the end, Professor X “dies.”

But we all know he ain’t really dead.

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