Chris Claremont is credited with revitalizing the “X-Men” comics (he wrote them from 1975 to 1991), but he didn’t write the reboot kick-off “Giant-Size X-Men” #1. That was Len Wein, who created the new team such as Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler (Wein had previously created Wolverine to fight the Incredible Hulk, and recycled him to fill out the X-Men ranks). Claremont made these characters into who they are today, but he ultimately used Wein’s springboard.

Lilandra and the Shi’ar? They were one of Claremont’s first added wrinkles to the “X-Men” mythos and the cornerstone of his first major arc, “The Phoenix Saga.” In “X-Men” issue #97 (Claremont’s fourth issue, illustrated by Cockrum), Professor X starts having nightmares of an alien war. The X-Men also meet their old foe Erik the Red — which is perplexing because Erik the Red turned out to be Cyclops in disguise, but now the two come face-to-face.

These mysteries lay as mere seeds for a few issues while the X-Men fight Sentinels and Jean Grey is reborn as the Phoenix, but the payoff comes soon in “X-Men” #105. Xavier’s “dreams” are really telepathic contacts from Lilandra, who sensed his psychic signal from across the galaxy. Lilandra, now only a princess, is fleeing her brother, the mad Shi’ar Emperor D’Ken. Erik the Red is a Shi’ar agent sent by D’Ken to kill Xavier and Lilandra.

Due to their telepathic contact, Xavier and Lilandra are already in love by the time they meet face-to-face. The X-Men (the Phoenix in particular) in turn help Lilandra defeat D’Ken, who threatens the whole universe with his plan to possess the powerful M’Kraan Crystal.

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