Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1987 - Uncanny X-Men Annual #11

Uncanny X-Men Annual #11
“ Lost in the Funhouse”
Writer - Chris Claremont
Artists - Alan Davis and Paul Neary

This classic X-Men tale kicks off with a drunk and rowdy Wolverine making a scene at Professor Xavier’s School. Although with his healing factor, he’s having difficulties remaining as drunk as he’d like.

His best efforts still don’t dull the pain of the anniversary of the wedding he never had with Mariko. It’s a heart-wrenching scene with Wolverine struggling with his honour and desire to be with Mariko and his respect for Mariko who feels she can only be with him once she’s proved herself worthy of him.

Wolverine isn’t able to wallow in self-pity for long as a being known as the Horde attacks the mansion and easily defeats the X-Men.

Horde “recruits” the X-Men to break into a place called the Citadel of Light and Shadow to steal the Crystal of Ultimate Vision. The team enters the Citadel and the building itself taps into their fears and insecurities, putting each of them to the ultimate test.

Wolverine and Storm are the only two to make it to the Citadel’s inner-most chamber where they decide to try and grab the Crystal before Horde shows up. However, Horde anticipated their betrayal and kills Wolverine before he can reach the Crystal. But, a single drop of his blood splashes onto the Crystal and Wolverine rebuilds himself thanks to the Crystal which exponentially enhanced his healing factor.

The Crystal reveals Horde’s weakness and Wolverine defeats him. Wolverine resists the urge of the Crystal’s ultimate power and destroys the Crystal.

The X-Men find themselves back at the mansion while the Citadel rebuilds itself and we learn that it was simply a test. If a species passes this test, their race is permitted to evolve to their full potential. Interestingly, we see eternal guardians in the shape of the Skrulls and the Kree and can infer that these races have reached the end of their evolution.

This annual’s events occur between Uncanny X-Men #219 and 220 (Jul.-Aug 1987).

Alan Davis’ smooth and clean artwork captured one of my favourite versions of Wolverine. His art worked well for both Logan and his costumed alter ego.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #11 is a wonderful self-contained story with a lot of emotional energy and fun. Sadly, this was near the point I started to pull away from the X-Men as the Mutant Massacre event had disbanded my favourite X-Men team, one which would never be put back again. It just didn’t feel the same with Dazzler, Longshot, Psylocke, and Havok. One fun angle though that set the stage for the Excalibur series was the guest appearance by Captain Britain and Meggan.

If you can’t find the floppy, this story was reprinted in Essential X-Men Vol. 7, X-Men: Old Soldiers Trade Paperback, and the Captain Britain Omnibus.


  1. Thanks for the summary. This is a classic tale, and fun to read. I agree about the lineup, though. Yeesh. It just doesn't work as well with Longshot, Dazzler, and Psylocke (though I have a pretty big softspot for Havok).

  2. Thanks David. I always liked Havok as well, but felt Claremont never really got him right.

  3. This was a weird period for X-Men. One era ending, another lesser one beginning, with characters plugged in to fill roles. I like Havok, he's got a great mutant power, but Claremont always wrote him with too much of a chip on his shoulder. If Cyke was too brooding, Alex was the hothead bro out to prove he was a great Summers boy. Peter David seemed to grasp him as a hero a bit better in X-Factor.

    Still wish Alan Davis could've gotten a good X-Men run between JRJR and Silvestri instead of bits parts. Good post.

  4. Great memories, from one of my fav X-men annuals! Damn... you know you're getting old when you remember buying it new at the comic shop! Thanks again!

  5. You're more than welcome guys. It's great to hear your stories as well. If I recall correctly this was a late summer Annual. Seeing the Alan Davis cover I knew I was in for a treat!

  6. Davis was a great sub for the two previous Art Adams drawn Annuals. The Annual after this one was drawn by Adams again but it was part of the Evolutionary War event and during the decline of the franchise in my book.

  7. I liked this comic. However one miner complaint and one larger one. Wolverine can't get drunk to that degree depicted as his healing factor won't allow it. I presume when he drinks beer as he is wont to do, he merely gets a mild relaxing buzz. The big problem with this issue is that the colours were very weak and vapid and detracted from Davis' art. Horde was a very mediocre stereotyped villain.

  8. Hey Sparky, good points. On the drunk Wolverine, I think he was hamming it up to a certain degree, externalizing his inner turmoil. Horde was a rather forgettable villain.



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