UNCANNY X-MEN #153, Marvel Comics, January 1982
Another comic that holds an important place in my heart is "Kitty's Fairy Tale" by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein. This, in fact, is the first comic I ever made a play out of.
You heard me. Uncanny X-Men #153 came into my life via one of those bagged two-packs you could get at your local department store. In this case, I got it at a just-opened Wal-Mart in Texas (it was a new thing back then, but already branded as pure evil... Wal-Mart, not Texas) and it came with a Marvel Super-Heroes issue reprinting a fight between Rhino and the Hulk that I didn't turn into play.
See, when we were kids, we were shipped off every summer to see our dad in the States, and there, divorced from everything that made me happy (i.e. my comic book collection), those 2 comics were all I had. I don't know how many times I read and reread "Kitty's Fairy Tale" (I do know how many times I read the Hulk story: exactly once).
And to justify my rereading it so much (toys we were obsessed with tended to be confiscated back on the ranch), us older kids turned it into a play for the younger kids starring various stuffed animals and action figures. And we had more than one show. We toured it. We translated it. It eventually turned up as a book-on-tape. Oh god, I wish I was kidding about any of this.
"But what's it about, Siskoid?" Ah, glad you asked. Behind the Monty Python cover, this is a simple and touching interlude during which Kitty Pryde (favorite X-Man, right there) improvises a bedtime story for Colossus' little sister (not yet grown up and hellbound). She uses the X-Men as characters, and gives a happy ending to the Phoenix Saga. It's sweet, and I didn't even know what they were talking about back then. It didn't matter. It was well-told, well-drawn, and full of light-hearted humor. It was Elseworlds before there were Elseworlds.
The dramatis personae is no doubt what made me do that thing I did:
Nightcrawler and Wolverine are just the funniest. Were I Wolverine, I'm not sure I would have agreed to a Wolverine & Kitty Pryde mini-series after this character assassination. After all, he says in this issue that "I don't like to feel silly". Is this silly, I ask you?
"I'm--MEAN!!" Hilarious, yes. Silly, no. This on the other hand...
...is more open to interpretation.
Come to think of it, Nightcrawler should probably sue her for turning him into an oversexed smurf. Love the smart-alecky Lockheed too. And you gotta love any comic that has Colossus with wings (thanks to the Storm genie):
Extra points for showing Carol Danvers, AKA Ms. Marvel in the actual Captain Marvel shirt:
And speaking of the faux Captain Marvel, this issue also has this ad for Twinkies that I have to reproduce here because it is so stupid (as is any Captain Marvel that doesn't shout Shazam).
Anyway, that's how on one evil summer, in one evil state (sorry, I'm--MEAN!!), one evil store sold me a little bit of goodness. And I'm not the only one who remembered this comic fondly, since artist Dave Cockrum returned to this imaginary world in the Nightcrawler mini-series.