This series, with John Byrne both scripting and doing some of the art, takes place during X-Men #67–93, when the title was on reprints.
The ’90s had several “gap filling” books like this. The quality was unreliable, but at least this one has John Byrne so…It’s pretty good. Albeit complicated as all heck. But then, so was Chris Claremont’s X-Men.
These initial issues have the team crashing into the Savage Land taking on Magneto’s mutates, picking up after X-Men #66–the series’ final issue before its extended reprint period. It’s fun. It’s hard to argue against dinosaur fights.
The story introduces Avia, a mutant (not a mutate) born in the Savage Land who rescues Angel after his plane crashes.
Angel crushes on her. She’s part of a winged race that works with the X-Men during the story. The race all have wings, but Avia looks different from them (she’s hotter), which makes her a mutant.
At the close of the Savage Land story, Avia goes with Angel and the X-Men.
We’re in the Savage Land, so of course there’s Ka-Zar. Also, curiously, Lorna takes the name Magenetrix.
And we learn the origin of Beast’s epithet: “Oh my stars and garters!”
As they are escaping, the team members get separate.
Beast lands in Africa.
Storm appears in the final panel, but we’ll cover that next post.
Also, Iceman has his own adventures during this story because he is separated from the team and is trying to work his way up to Antarctical to join them.