1. I don’t know if I could have picked a worse issue of Uncanny X-Men to have been my first than issue #175, which I bought off the stands over 20 years ago. I don’t mean “worse” in terms of quality (it was fine, certainly better than the dire X-Men comics we’d see in the 90s), but worse in terms of “easily accessible to someone who has never read X-Men before, ever.”
Yeah, I know that seems to be a little late for a comics fan to be getting into the X-Men (I’d just entered my teenage years), but for superhero comics I was (and sorta still am) a diehard, incorrigible DC fan, so experimenting with those Marvel Comics was still fairly new to me back then.
But, you know, even for being the last part of an ongoing story (well, as much as a “last part” as any X-Men story seems to get), I didn’t have much problem getting into the narrative, understanding the basics of the characters and their relationships, and so on. Of course, that was almost certainly because of Chris Claremont’s writing style, which has the characters declaring their abilities and attitudes to each other, ad nauseam. Plus, X-Men as a whole was a heck of a lot less complicated back then, though I recall that people were complaining in ‘zines of the time about how convoluted the whole X-saga was. If they only knew what was coming….
Anyway, during the course of my workday on Saturday, I ended up glancing through a copy of #175 and started feeling nostalgic for the time when I was a young bright-eyed comics fan, and not the jaded and bitter old fart I’ve since become.