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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 57

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

In honor of our friend, AERose, we continue our special “Moments from Uncanny X-Men” theme week!

We continue with another nifty Paul Smith scene!

Enjoy!

To set up the scene, note that the X-Men went missing for awhile while they were prisoners of the Brood. Professor Xavier figured that they were dead. Eventually, he moves on and begins training a new class of young mutants known as, cleverly enough, the New Mutants.

However, the X-Men are not dead and they return home and after they take care of a pesky situation with an alien hosting inside of the Professor, the Professor explains how this new group of young mutants will affect the make-up of the X-Men.

Well, as the next issue box tells us, the next issue, Uncanny X-Men #168, features one of the most notable scenes/moments from Kitty Pryde’s comic history, and it happens to be the very first page of the comic!!

Awesomely designed by writer Chris Claremont and artist Paul Smith (who had JUST recently joined the book as the regular artist).

The rest of the issue involves some cute scenes of Kitty trying to think of ways to get Xavier to relent…

Before finally proving herself and getting put back on to the team, while also solidifying Lockheed’s place as Kitty’s friend/pet…

Great issue.

24 Comments

I’m not 100% aure, but this might have been my first X-comic. Anyway, another great choice. I loved this one. Claremont at his peak is simply untouchable.

HOLLA.

I forgot to mention it in the piece, but holy crap, look at the facial expression work Smith does in these pages!!! WOW.

look at the facial expression work Smith does in these pages!!! WOW.

Agreed. The more I think about it, yes this was my first X-book. I went to my cousin’s house and went into his longbox. I remember loving the Paul Smith goodness. I think my second X-book was the one when Rogue joined the team (“Hope you survive the experience!”) Unfortunately for both books I gave Wolvie the Australian/East London accent he had from spider-Man and his amazing friends. man do i love comics when done right.

I love in astonishing, Cassaday’s version of the paul smith page is used in the story brilliantly.

This is a very cool moment!

Definitely the most memorable Kitty dialogue that doesn’t contain the N word.

Yes it does. She says Nightcrawler in the panel where she beats the Prof at chess.

I’m surprised the Comics Code let her get away with that.

Am I the only person anywhere ever who’s not that impressed by Paul Smith?

Yes, he has his strengths — facial expressions, set piece layouts, clean linework. But his action scenes are often weak and sometimes suck, his sense of perspective can be way the hell off (look at Kitty’s head in that opening page) and he never did learn how to draw hair — it’s always a few wavy lines and, umm, let the colorist finish. Go and look at those panels again: do they, or do they not, look like they’re wearing Lego snap-on wigs?

I’m not saying he was a bad artist. But I find him a really flawed one.

Doug M.

yeah that facial expression work is amazing!

what’s REALLY funny about this ‘moment’ is how it’s taken for granted that the new mutants are lame :D

Thanks. Now I miss ‘Leave It To Chance’.
Harumph.

i remember the issue . the look of wondering if he would be eaten by a dragon by Xavier is priceless not to mention Kitty doing everything she can to change his mind. another cool moment

I really, really liked Paul Smith’s work on X-Men. So many issues in that run rank among my favourites. This one, the double size one vs. Mastermind, Wolverine vs. Silver Samurai. Good stuff.

“Am I the only person anywhere ever who’s not that impressed by Paul Smith?”

Yes.

Doug M. wonders:
“Am I the only person anywhere ever who’s not that impressed by Paul Smith?”
No, Doug M., you are not.

“what’s REALLY funny about this ‘moment’ is how it’s taken for granted that the new mutants are lame”

Gee, wonder why that might be.

While awesome stories, as a team they were lame compared to the X-Men. Remember that Kitty is a super-genius. She’s been operating fine with adults, and would be stifled having to work with the kids all the time.

Smith was the last really good artist to work with Claremont on the X-Men, on some of the last truly worthwhile storylines of Claremont’s run.
While I love some of JRJr’s work, his X-stint is nowhere near his best, and coincides with when Claremont was seriously starting to go off the rails, quality-wise (which I guess isn’t his fault, but sure doesn’t help).
After that, things start getting seriously ugly visually, with stories to match.

Have to respectfully disagree jack, I loved Jr Jr’s work, and I even liked Silvestri’s run. I’d call Silvestri the last really good artist to work with claremont.

While I love some of JRJr’s work, his X-stint is nowhere near his best, and coincides with when Claremont was seriously starting to go off the rails, quality-wise (which I guess isn’t his fault, but sure doesn’t help).

The JRjr caused me to drop the X-Men with occasional re-visits since. The title really did not play to his strengths at all. Claremont jumped the shark as writer around X-Men #200, but the art had turned me off by then.

Paul Smith may be my favorite X-Men artist. The title really seems to be well served by sleek, clean line work.

Good column as always Brian!

I was just reminded of something looking at those panels – I remember the first time I read these 80s X-Men stories they seemed to imply that Claremont was putting in preparation work for a future ‘secret history of Lockheed’ storyline (Lockheed being impervious to Xavier’s mental probes etc.).

Was this just me ‘discovering’ something that wasn’t there or was this covered at all later on? Or was it another of Claremont’s unresolved dangling threads?

I believe it was just an unresolved dangling thread, Chris.

“Sadly,” (quotes because, well, really, it’s not THAT big of a deal), Whedon decided for some reason to ret-con Lockheed’s origin, so anything that Claremont DID have planned is likely superseded by now.

Well, T, artists are if anything even more of a subjective thing than preference in writers, so I’ll just say I never cared for Silvestri’s style, but more in a not-my-cup-of-tea sense than in a he’s-a-no-talent sense. Quite some time ago someone said something along the lines of “while a competent artist, no artist sums up what I look for in comic art the least more than George Perez”; I think it was a contributor in an official post rather than a commenter, but I can’t remember. It might even have been Joe Rice, I’m not sure. Anyway, I’d have to say that’s how I feel about Silvestri.
JRJr: as I said, he’s done a lot that I like, but his X-run is my least favourite of all his work.
Also, let’s not forget, for all these artists (including Smith), nobody was done any favours by the fact that all the artists we’re discussing worked during the period with some of the shittiest printing in the history of comics, and the washed-out colours and white backgrounds sadly characteristic of the era.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm

The ‘flattery’ panel creeps me out.

I know what that dirty old bugger used to think about Jean Grey when she was a teen…

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