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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 59

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 conclude our special “Moments from Uncanny X-Men” theme week!

The last day of this theme week will be the last issue of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men run!

Enjoy!

Uncanny X-Men #143 follows Kitty Pryde as she is stuck by herself in the X-Mansion when a powerful demon attacks, in an homage to the film, Alien.

The moment where the demon shows up is quite striking by John Byrne…

After getting away from the Demon, Kitty tries various ideas until finally she comes up with one that works….

How awesome is that hand coming out of the flames?

This leads to a happy ending and the great final touch, as we re-visit what happened to the demon’s arm…

An excellent issue of Uncanny X-Men and a fine farewell to a great pairing on the book.

I’d pick the moment where the monster gets fried by the engines as THE moment, if I had to choose.

31 Comments

Was that before or after the first ALIEN-Movie?

Oops, I forgot to note that this is an homage, of sorts, to that film.

I think someone here was saying how they wished there were more captions in modern comics, but this to me typifies what’s wrong with captions in comics. I agree that the moment is cool, but it’s all supposed to happen quickly. The ‘wall of text’, to me, slows everything down. The words themselves are good, maybe a little technical for an action scene, but I don’t think they work here. They’d be great in a novel, but this isn’t a novel. Comics shouldn’t be novels, they should be comics.

Yeah, I agree. An abundance of captions filled with purple prose was definitely one of Claremont’s weaker points. The panels where Kitty burns away the monster would work much better without any explanatory captions at all, it’s not like we need the text to understand what’s happening there. Then again, in this era it was quite rare for American mainstream comics to have wordless panels, so I guess you can’t blame Claremont for doing what was expected of him. Though he could’ve at least put a little bit less text there.

I’m not sure I get what happened. Did the demon just crumble eventually? Or is that machine above the hand’s ashes supposed to signify something?

And maybe this is for a Comic Book Legends Revealed post, but isn’t the reason a lot of comics back then were wordy that writers got paid a per word rate?

I hate asking questions like this, but why didn’t she just phase and fly away?

Talk about wordy. Why use the word meter when you feel you need to translate it in a footnote?

Yeah . . .”homage.” Claremont loves homages.

And whoa on the faces on that last page. He was getting ready for his Winkerbean job.

Was this really an homage to the movie? Didn’t that demon come out of that cairn thing on the lawn from back before issue #100? That was from before Alien. I know the X-Men fought them, and one of them escaped or something. It’s been a while since I’ve read those issues, but I think the demons pre-dated the movie. This issue didn’t, of course, but the “character,” such as it is, did.

Or I could be completely wrong.

Crash-man, this was immediately after she joined the team. She couldn’t even phase properly yet, let alone know how to fly.

Also, he didn’t post the page where the demon does slash her, and still hurts her in her phased form. Just not as badly as if she hadn’t phased.

The Demons had appeared earlier, Greg, but they looked drastically different, not at all like the Alien from Alien.

So for them to not appear for six years, then appear a year after Alien, completely re-designed (and now visually similar to the alien from Alien) and in a comic with a plot reminiscent to Alien seems quite likely that an homage was intended.

Is that alien supposed to be a member of the Brood, or is it a different entity? If I remember correctly, the Brood were even more obviously copied from the Aliens: they looked like Aliens, they reproduced by laying eggs in host bodies, and so on.

Different entity.

And yeah, the Brood certainly seemed an homage of Alien, although I do not believe I’ve ever seen Claremont confirm that.

So Claremont had not only one but two different copies of Aliens in X-men? Kinda lazy, at least he could’ve made the Brood and this feller be the same species.

This fellow was a demon, though.

The Brood was a lot more direct than this, also. This only sort of evokes the feel of Alien (with a visually similar creature, of course) for a one-off story.

The Brood are a whole long term storyline and a long term villain (and again, I would not be surprised if Claremont were to argue that the Brood were not, in his mind, based on Alien).

But yeah, it is pretty odd. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A80AkkimBS0 For my video’s inspired by this coluemn. Thanks to Brian for many of these images.

When i was young, a wordy book like that didn´t bother me at all. Today, it makes me wonder ‘how could i ever read that?’.

i remember that issue and moment well. not to mention how scary when the fried alien popped up again near kitty. still scary seeing that again

Johhny the Boy

March 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Correct me if i’m wrong, but wasn’t this alien-esque fellow a member of the D’Bari?

Close. N’Garai.

So for them to not appear for six years, then appear a year after Alien, completely re-designed (and now visually similar to the alien from Alien) and in a comic with a plot reminiscent to Alien seems quite likely that an homage was intended.

According to an interview in the old Fantagraphics X-Men Companion, it was because Byrne told Claremont he was basing Kitty’s face on a young Sigourney Weaver. I am pretty sure the exact quote was “As soon as I said that, Chris lit up and said ‘Alien!’ and that’s where that story came from.”

Thanks for the confirmation, Greg!

Now it’s interesting, if Claremont would say that about this issue, I wonder why he’s been so mum on the Brood?

It wasn’t Claremont that confirmed that issue #143 was inspired by Alien, Brian. It was Byrne.

Just grabbed my copy of The X-Men Companion II off the shelf. Here is the quote that Greg was referring to:

Peter Sanderson: Now, how did the Demon story come about [#143]?

Byrne: [laughter] It came about the instant that I told Chris she [Kitty] was a young Sigourney Weaver. Chris said, “Why don’t we…” and I said “All right.” We decided just to do the last fifteen minutes of Alien and hoped originally that it would be a lot more subtle than the way it turned out. I thought that the reference to the movie in the book was a big mistake.

[…] I was trying to be as far from the alien as I could get, and still suggest it. I guess I failed., because a number of people have said how much it does look like it. When I drew it I thought I was being really clever [laughter].

Right, I mean Byrne is saying Claremont said “Alien!,” as though he had no problem with the idea of homaging Alien.

And yet he has been mum on the whole Brood/Alien thing.

Well, Byrne had nothing to do with the creation of the Brood. That was after he left and Cockrum came back on.

The N’Garai were really H.P. Lovecraft-type creatures who used to inhabit the Earth in prehistory and who were banished to another dimension. Other writers later tied them in with the Elder God Chthon, author of the Darkhold… the allusions to Cthulhu and the Necronomicon are pretty obvious. So, the N’Garai are not aliens per say, but demonic entities. But, yeah, Uncanny X-Men #143 is an obvious homage to the Ridley Scott film Alien.

I’m still not sure I get what happened.

I think the real moment here is when we get a handy conversion of meters to feet….

Seriously, I love, love, love old Uncanny X-Men on a sentimental, nostalgic basis (there was a time in my youth when I was obsessed with collecting the entire run), but some of it really does not hold up as well as one would hope.

This used to be one of my favorite issues of Uncanny when i was a lad, but after I grew up a bit and read it again, I realized how much Claremont ripped-off (not homaged, in my opinion but RIPPED-OFF, right down to the inceneration of the creature in the afterburners) a really great Ridley Scott deathtrap-suspense thriller. And that was the beginning of my loss of respect for him as a writer.

[…] issue of Uncanny X-Men and a fine farewell to a great pairing on the book.” — Brian Cronin, Comic Book Resources. … “The holiday spirit is fairly strong in this issue, and not just for corny reasons … 5 […]

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