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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

X-amining Classic X-Men #2 - Patreon First!

"First Friends"
October 1986

In a Nutshell
Storm and Jean Grey bond over a mugging. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: John Bolton
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Colors: Ian Laughlin
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Storm arrives at Jean Grey's New York City apartment, having been invited there so the two women could get to know one another better. When Jean asks Storm to change out of her X-Men uniform in order to protect their secret identities from her roommate, Storm simply removes the attire and stands in Jean's apartment naked. Jean explains she can't run around New York naked, and lends her a dress to wear, before the pair go out shopping. While shopping, a thief grabs Jean's purse. The two women give chase, but Storm hesitates when he enters the subway. In the subway tunnels, Jean is overwhelmed by all the thoughts in such an enclosed space, and the thief gets away. When she confronts Storm about not helping her, she pulls a memory of Storm being trapped and the knowledge of her claustrophobia from her mind. Feeling violated, Storm is enraged and flies off, triggering a thunderstorm in the process. Jean gives chase, and explains how sometimes she loses control of her powers, and can't filter out the thoughts of those around her. After apologizing, the women return to the ground, and Jean takes Storm by the hand as they enter the subway together. 

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  1. I really miss the way comics were written in the 80s through most of the 90s. I don't have an issue with decompressed story telling but I do miss the way characters were written. You don't really see friendships in comics anymore. People interact but it's more a product of sharing panel space than any genuine connections between the characters. Claremont might only have written a page of friendship but the way he wrote it made it feel like there was stuff happening off panel that was believable. It gave greater weight to the drama that was on panel. Of course, part of that may be just because there are so many characters now and writers are always creating new ones or switching teams up every 20 issues.

    Or maybe I'm just old and crabby.

    1. I agree 100%. Writers and artists used to work in office and be able to share and talk about things for the story. Writers had real world experience, many were military vets or at least had lived and worked in various places and had real relationships and had a good feeling of how people interacted.

      Comics today are often written by people with little to no real world experience. I dislike the decompressed storylines to fit a 6 book TPB. Most of that could be handled in a two-three books in the 80/90s.

  2. I enjoyed this story and its development of the informed Jean & Ororo friendship. I remember being startled about Ororo’s strong case of nudity. Jean’s comment about losing their powers is a reference to the present status quo (lacking Patreon I figure you already pointed that out).
    This isn’t the only time at this era where Storm felt shame over going stormy over an accident. IRON FIST#15 also had Storm attacking our hero over getting pied by a bowl of egg salad. When she realized the cause of her actions, the embarrassed Ororo wished she was dead.


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