DescriptionJohn Byrne and Terry Austin - X-Men #138 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1980). This cover packed a powerful emotional punch for every Marvel fan who saw it, as it came on the heels of the shocking death of Jean Grey in the previous issue. Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, opts to take a leave of absence from the X-Men in the story, but not before the readers share his poignant reminiscence about the X-Men's early years and Scott's love for Jean. In addition to its significance in terms of the storyline, this piece is notable for depicting all of the surviving original X-Men (Angel, Beast and Iceman in addition to Cyclops) along with the new team. In the final art, the covers of numerous past issues of X-Men were printed behind the figures, adding to the sense of history communicated in the story. You can see John Byrne's cover suggestions in pencil, just above the figures of Professor X and company. A little-known aspect of the issue's history is that in the original version of #137 Jean Grey did not die, and Byrne actually penciled a version of #138 that began with a romantic interlude between Jean and Scott. But according to lore, Marvel editor Jim Shooter decreed that #137 had to end with Jean being punished for her crimes, which resulted in the end of #137 and the beginning of #138 being re-drawn. And the rest is comic book history. Now, the issue stands as a watershed moment in the history of the new X-Men, as the Phoenix saga which had dominated the book for several years was brought to a close, and a new era began in this story, with young Kitty Pryde arriving at Professor Xavier's school to begin her tutelage as an X-Man. This image represents Byrne and Terry Austin at their best, and their best was powerful stuff indeed! The image area measures 10" x 15" and the work is in Excellent condition. The logo, masthead, and title type are recent photocopy replacement art. A copy of the published comic is included with this lot. From the collection of "Mr. Ed" Lambert.
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