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I salute you in this endeavor.

I think Uncanny X-Men is pretty awful until about #111. Byrnes art gets better, and the plots stop being about space guys and demons.

"I don't get what the turn-on is here".

I don't think there is one yet.

My memory is that people didn't get really excited about the X-Men until #125 or so, when lots of folks really locked in on it, and it kicked into a higher gear with the last panel of #133 through the first sequence in #134 and then again in those death-soaked issues #141-142.

Before that, it was considered a better than average superhero comic. I like a lot of things about Cockrum's art looking back, particularly how he made the team look like adults. I also like the flourishes he gave some of the powers, like the burning up sequence you didn't like.

I mean, X-Men did start to gain fans, even early on, but my sense now is that those people were responding for the most part to its relatively laid-back and sometimes outright odd pacing, which was a LOT different than other comics of its time. When you read comics back then and you'd been reading them for a while you were dying for more soap opera scenes, and X-Men had the most soap opera scenes.

The fact that Wolverine did gross, violent stuff can't be overrated as a contributing factor to its rise, also because of the context of the time. Do you remember that Spider-Man cover with the Punisher on it? The kids I knew really flipped out over that because of its acknowledgment of real-world violence. So Wolverine was a lot like that -- "why don't you dorks just kill some of these bad guys?" And he did. Frank Miller's Daredevil benefited in a similar way.

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