Uncanny X-Men :
The Chris Claremont - John Byrne Run

This article will give a comprehensive summary of the stories contained in Uncanny X-Men 108 to 143 - the Claremont-Byrne run. Please note that there will be spoilers throughout.


Issue 108 is the concluding issue of a previous story arc started by Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum. In this issue, Phoenix manifests cosmic-level powers as she prevents a neutron galaxy from exploding into our own universe. At the conclusion of this tale, the leadership of the Shi'ar Empire passes on to Lillandra but she cannot immediately ascend the throne. Lillandra, Professor Xavier and the X-Men head back to Earth.


As issue 109 opens the X-Men are taking a break. Wolverine chooses to relax by hunting alone. While doing so, he is attacked by Vindicator, leader of Alpha Flight. The combined might of Wolverine and the other X-Men prove too much for Vindicator as his attack is successfully repelled.


The Xavier mansion's security is breached by Warhawk, a Colossus-like superhuman sent by Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club. The X-Men manage to take him down and turns him over to the authorities with no idea who sent him or why.


Once again, the Mansion is infiltrated. This time by old X-Men foe Mesmero. Mesmero uses his powers to enslave the X-Men and set them to work in a Circus. Hank McCoy, the Beast, currently a member of the Avengers, finds it strange that no one is answering his calls to the Mansion. He goes there to find his old team missing. Hank manages to track them to the Circus and proceeds to set them free.

All this time, Mesmero's movements are being tracked by Magneto. At an opportune moment, Magneto defeats Mesmero and hold the X-Men hostage. He takes the X-Men to his Antarctic base where he imprisons them. Storm frees her fellow X-Men and a great battle with Magneto ensues. The battle ends with the collapse of the Antarctic base.


Using her power, Phoenix manages escape, taking the Beast with her. Thinking the other X-Men dead, the pair return to give the terrible news to Professor X.

Jean Grey travels to Muir Isle to deal with her grief.

The other X-Men have not perished. Using the twin powers of Cyclops and Banshee they manage to dig a tunnel under the ice and emerge into the Savage Land. In their turn, they believe that both Phoenix and the Beast have perished.

While in the Savage Land they confront Sauron and aid Ka-Zar against the machinations of the Petrified Man.


Distraught at the loss of most of his X-Men, Professor X decides to go with Lilandra to the Shi'ar Empire for her crowning as Majestrix Shi'ar. The Professor also remembers the events of his past when he dueled to the death with another telepath.


While travelling by boat from the Savage Land the X-Men encounter a powerful storm that threatens to capsize them. They are rescued by a Japanese freighter and are taken to Japan. They arrive just in time to help Sunfire and the Japanese government deal with the terrorist Moses Magnum. It is also here that Logan meets his great love Mariko and, in the battle with Moses Magnum, Banshee loses his powers.


On their way back from Japan, the X-Men are intercepted by Alpha Flight. The Canadian super-team demand that Wolverine go with them. After a lengthy battle, Wolverine agrees. But it is a dupe, Wolverine manages to escape from the Alpha Flight plane and rejoin the X-Men as they head back to the Mansion.


They find the mansion empty and the facilities have been powered down. As they go about restoring their home they are set upon by the minions of Arcade.

The X-Men are captured and forced to run the gauntlet at Murderworld. During this time Colossus succumbs to his weakness while Storm proves her strength. The X-Men eventually escape Arcade.


There is good cheer all around as the Professor returns to find his students alive. The team also travel to Muir Isle for a reunion with Jean Grey. The happy occasion is shattered by the escape of Moira's son - the homicidal mutant Proteus. After much difficulty, the X-Men manage to track and confront Proteus. He is so dangerous that the X-Men are forced to destroy him.


Back in the United States the X-Men are set upon by the Hellfire Club. One by one they are captured, with Jean Grey falling prey to the power of Mastermind. The tide is eventually turned by the deadly Wolverine who sets about freeing his teammates.


While trying to take control of Jean Grey, Mastermind has destroyed psychic checks on her power as Phoenix. This power very quickly goes out of control - Dark Phoenix is born.

Dark Phoenix destroys a star in her hunger and, in so doing, also destroys a planet of five billion inhabitants. She is resisted by the Shi'ar but proves too powerful. In the end, it is the power of Professor X that manages to hold the Phoenix power in check, but by then it is too late. Jean Grey stands accused of genocide. In order to defend her, the X-Men take on the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. The Guard has the X-Men outnumbered in a battle in the blue area of the moon. In the end, Jean Grey brings about her own death.


Cyclops leaves the X-Men.


Wolverine makes peace with Alpha Flight, and, together with Nightcrawler, they help the Canadian team track down and cure the mighty Wendigo.


In the distant future, Kitty Pryde travels back in time to prevent the assasination of Senator Kelly. This will, in turn, avoid a future where America is ruled by the despotic Sentinels.


Kitty is left alone in the house during Christmas and is attacked by a N'Garai demon. It is her baptism of fire as the newest X-Man.

Select from the list below for more details on these stories.

108 : Shi'ar

111-113 : Magneto

114-116 : Savage Land

117 : Professor X Psi-War

118-119 : Japan Earthquake

109, 120-121, 139-140 : Alpha Flight

122-124 : Arcade

125-128 : Proteus

110, 129-134 : Hellfire Club

135-137 : The Dark Phoenix Saga

138 : Cyclops Leaves

141-142 : Days of Future Past

143 : Christmas with Kitty

Other X-Men stories . . .

Posted by  Pete Albano - December 1, 2011

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