Marvel Unlimited is Marvel Comics’ member subscription service that gives members unlimited access to over 20,000 issues of Marvel’s classic and newer titles, delivered digitally through a desktop web browser and the mobile app.
We have been using Marvel Unlimited to re-acquaint ourselves with classic stories from Marvel Comics history. This time out, it’s Uncanny X-Men #94 & #95.
Hard to believe now but from 1970 to 1975, there was no public demand for new X-Men stories and thus issues ##67–93 consisted of reprints.
But in 1975, writer/editor Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum revived the X-Men with a new lineup in Giant-Size X-Men #1, which sold well enough to justify the continuation of the comic book beginning with #94, the first new story in 5 years!
Chris Claremont was brought in to be permanent writer with Wein as editor. Claremont would go on to write Uncanny X-Men for 16 years and turn the book into best-selling title in the comic book industry.
These two issues contained a two-part story detailing the mutants’ encounter with Count Nefaria. Nothing special in itself, except that the story establishes that the original X-Men decide to quit, leaving Cyclops to lead the new (international) team of Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Banshee and Thunderbird.
But what was significant was that true to the cover blurb of #95, an X-Men would indeed die, in this case, the tragic Apache Indian mutant Thunderbird. Though it appears that his death could have been avoided, this was something that would weigh heavily on Professor X and Cyclops in the stories to come and would be used to maximum dramatic effect.
… still there’s more …