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Uncanny X-Men #111: Review

Jun 1978
Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Uncanny X-Men #111 Review by (July 10, 2024)

Review: I’ve always found this issue to be very fun and memorable. Beast discovers the X-Men being used as carnival attractions and has to figure out what’s going on. It’s always nice to see Beast return to his X-Men roots, though it’s a little weird he wasn’t sure at first if it really was the X-Men. For one, he saw them once already, though briefly, and for another, how many people look like the X-Men? They’re all pretty conspicuous. Oh well. Wolverine gets a cool moment, being the first one to break free of the mind control they’re under and having a very entertaining interaction with a guy he intimidates to get information from. (“I’m gonna count to five, then I’ll pop my claws. One. Four. Fi-“) While it turns out that Mesmero, a fairly minor X-Villain was behind everything this issue, he is quickly usurped by the Master of the Final Page Reveal (after Doctor Doom), Magneto, promising some truly epic things to come. Overall, a very fun issue, with some great art by John Byrne, acting as a surprise lead-in to a very cool and classic Magneto story!

Comments: Beast is contacted by Polaris about Havok’s kidnapping, which is followed up on in Marvel Team-Up #70.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Uncanny X-Men #111 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our issue begins in the middle, in Sullivan County, Texas, where a bewildered Beast finds himself staring in disbelief at a traveling circus. Banshee is acting as the carnival barker and the rest of the X-Men are presented as freakshow attractions for the public to scoff and marvel at. Storm and Nightcrawler are presented as a goddess and a demon, Wolverine as a savage man-beast, and Colossus as a strongman. Beast continues to wander around the circus, in order to gather more information. He doesn’t know the new X-Men very well and so can’t be absolutely certain that it’s them yet. He thinks about what led him here, having gotten a message from Lorna Dane that Havok had gone missing. When Lorna couldn’t reach the X-Men, she called Beast, who investigated the mansion and found that it had been deserted for weeks. He used Cerebro to track the X-Men, leading him to this circus, though he still can’t help wondering if it possibly made a mistake.

He then comes upon a trapeze show, with Jean Grey as the apparent star, using the stage name Miz Destiny. After missing her performing partner’s grab, Beast is first shocked, before witnessing “Miz Destiny” float safely down to the ground. Beast goes to her dressing room afterwards to try and get some answers. She has no idea what Beast is talking about when he tries talking to her, and Cyclops appears to escort Beast out. Beast decks Cyke out of the trailer, where he then calls for help, causing the entire circus to attack Beast. Beast avoids the other circus workers, ducking into the freakshow tent holding Wolverine to regroup and figure out what to do. Beast has reasonably assumed that something is affecting the X-Men’s minds and plans to call his other Avengers teammates to come help.

Just then, however, he gets hit from behind by Colossus. Too groggy from the punch, Beast quickly gets overwhelmed by the rest and dragged off to meet their boss. It’s there that Beast discovers that Mesmero is behind everything. Turns out he had ambushed Jean at Grand Central Station, before she led him back to the mansion, where he was able to brainwash the others and set them up here. Back with Wolverine, he struggles against his chains, something instinctual within him rebelling against the mind control. With great strain, he finally frees himself and intimidates a worker into telling him what’s going on. Wolverine then breaks through the wall of Jean’s trailer, clocking Cyclops when he tries to grab him. Hoping that a primal, instinctual reaction will break her control as it did with his, he slaps her repeatedly, until she finally reacts, transforming into Phoenix and blasting him across the room. Now back to her senses, Jean checks on Wolverine and he tells her that they need to free the others from Mesmero’s control.

Speaking of whom, Mesmero tries to mind control Beast as well, who does an admirable job of fighting him off. When one of the workers storms in to tell Mesmero that the X-Men are free, his control slips, allowing Beast to break free. Before he can capitalize on it though, Beast is knocked out by an unseen assailant, someone who Mesmero reacts in surprise to seeing. Outside, the X-Men make quick work of the circus workers, before heading for the man in charge. The X-Men confront Mesmero, who then falls over unconscious, to their shock! Then, from the shadows, we see his attacker, and the X-Men react in shock and worry, as none other than Magneto reveals himself, here to settle his unfinished business, and announcing that the final victory shall be his! To be continued!

John Byrne
Terry Austin
Mary Titus
Dave Cockrum (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Sean Cassidy)

(Hank McCoy)

(Piotr Rasputin)

(Scott Summers)

(Kurt Wagner)

(Jean Grey)

(Ororo Munroe)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Mesmero.

> Uncanny X-Men: Book info and issue index

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