I started reading x-men around issue 300 but as Jubilee was my favourite character I bought all the back issues starting with her appearance in 244 so I do actually have that story although I haven’t read that far back in a very long time. Will check it out after I finish up the roughly 500 issues I have to go in this current reread! Ouch
X-Men 62 - Lobdell/Raab & Pacheco
My only previous encounters with Shang Chi were the reprints in the back of Action Force as a kid and in a pretty naff arc in Brubaker’s Secret Avengers. That said, I quite liked the character. Contacted by an old pal, he journeys to Scotland.
He wasn’t expecting to be greeted by a horde of ninjas!
Or the X-Men and in particular a badly drawn Wolverine.
Ah, the old, don’t-make-me-pop-my-middle-claw routine.
Scott and Jean are staying hidden but not from Shang’s keen senses.
Not sure where he’s been hiding all these years but he’s never heard of the Hellfire club or knows any of these X-Men. Anyway, traditional good guy fight over and now the Elixir Vitae has been mentioned suddenly Shang seems to know what’s going on.
With Shang’s father dead, other clans have risen.
Not sure when Cyke and his team did all this research but ho hum.
Standing in their way are more ninjas. Is the supply endless?
It’s interesting to see the books Marvel was publishing back in 1997. Elektra and Ka-zar are classed as X-Men titles and surprisingly there are four Star Trek books. Thirty three monthlies in total.
X-Men 63 - Lobdell/Raab & Pacheco
Good old villain, explaining his powers and what his is going to do. Classic!
Is this a surprise reappearance? It seemed like the X-Men mentioned him in the last issue.
No fight here as they all talk cordially. Is Shaw working towards the greater good?
Rory Campbell deemed that Shaw with his greater resources was more likely to crack the legacy virus than Moira so gave him all the X-files on the subject matter.
Meanwhile,on a hunch, Sam has followed some surviving ninjas back to their base of operations.
And discovers their boss is The Kingpin, last seen in the excellent Fall from Grace (DD 297-300) and presumed dead.
X-Men 64 - Lobdell/Raab & Pacheco
The X-Men and Shang manage to find Sam and he’s in a bad spot.
Only two mutants in all of Asia? Wow that guy is naive.
Wait a minute, he’s a master of Sumo despite his massive bulk. Ben Raab clearly has never watched sumo.
Still no fighting but instead some Bond-villain style explanations.
Shaw turns up and it’s rumble time.
Not wanting anyone to have the Elixir Vitae, even though it could help with alegacy virus cure, Storm opts to destroy it, without consulting her team mates either.
Fight over, the X-Men depart but are confronted by some zero tolerance goons.
Looking at this three part story as a whole it was quite disappointing. Aside from some of the opening issue, Shang Chi barely appears and is just and afterthought and essentially a way of introducing the Elixir. Pacheco’s art if okay in places but for me is inked a little heavy and is a bit rough. He also struggles with some of the character poses. As for the script, Ben Raab is even worse at dialogue that when Lobdell has an off day. Not ideal.
Not only that, but there were two X-Men/Star Trek crossover comics. The TOS era one featured Gladiator punching the Enterprise. The TNG one got a sequel novel.
It’s starting to feel like Christmas. This is my third delivery today:
I don’t usually like it when they put new art on old collections, but in this particular case I’m glad they did
I almost bought the Superman one just for the Darwyn Cooke cover. Then, I remembered how painful it was to try to read those stories.
I have a copy on the way…mainly due to your vast enthusiasm a number of months back. I will let you know what I think. Although I think I’m going to read the Master of Kung Fu one first.
And that is a great cover.
That is pretty cool.
To give context, @Davidm and I had a discussion about Silver age Supergirl back when this omnibus was first announced. I have never read any of that stuff, but he seemed to love it and I am willing to give these things a try.
Oh, I’m not sure if it covered the same material. I just remembered really liking the cover in much the same way as this collection.
I finally gave up on my run of reading Hickman’s Marvel narrative.
Infinity was the last straw for me. While I loved Secret Avengers and SHIELD and enjoyed his FF stuff, I’ve found his Avengers run subpar. But then with Infinity…man, it’s just one big event/cataclysm after another across all his issues, and him inventing/pulling in random characters to serve a specific narrative purpose, and having a bunch of people communicate in pseudo military speak. It’s exhausting, and increasingly charmless.
To be fair, I’ve read about 5 years of comics in a couple of months and that may have worked against me. But a little humour, some nice character arcs, a quiet issue…some of that would be welcome. At times it read like early 2000s Ellis dialled up to 11.
I’ll read the Secret Wars mini because I want to see where his grand narrative ends up, but I can’t face another 30-40 issues of his Avengers.
To be honest, i vaguely remember the story treading water a bit post Infinity, but you probably should read the last couple of issues of New Avengers/Avengers if youre planning to read Secret Wars.
X-Men 65 - Lobdell & Pacheco
Operation Zero Tolerance is now in full swing but before we get to that there is a completely pointless appearance by the alternate Iron Man. Jean has been whipped over to his universe only to be brought straight back. It’s clearly just a plug for the Heroes Reborn stuff.
Cut back to our x-buddies and they’re in troubs!
Gyrich goes on tv to expailn what’s happening to a frightened and concerned joe public.
How vain is Bastion to give the new sentinels his face!
First appearance of Dr Celia Reyes. She’ll get caught up in all this mess no doubt.
Bastion’s origin still hasn’t been revealed but it seems tied to the x-men and perhaps more generally, mutants.
Bastion has entered the x-mansion and somehow manages to imperosnate the Prof. That can’t be good.
There’s a big problem with this ZT story line. It’s just spread across too many issues that it has become quite hard to follow. Well, that;s not entirely true, sure there’s this guy called Bastion who is heading up a government mutant response unit but we still don’t know his true agenda and more importantly, things happen in other books I’m not reading and the reader isn’t really given any blurb to get them up to speed.
Uncanny X-Men -1 - Lobdell & Hitch
Nice Kirby style cover from Ladronn for this minus 1 issue. Yes, that’s right, once DC took the zero and 1 million issue idea, Marvel opted for negative 1. Supposedly stories from before the MU began. Essentially they were just flashback books and not particularly enlightening ones at that.
Stan pops up to let us know what’s happening just in case this is the first x-book you’ve ever picked up off the shelf.
The story with centers on Rachel as she follows Sanctity through time.
It all makes sense to Rachel. I wish it did to me.
We see a young Bolivar Trask trying to help his son who could end up being a mutant.
Lawrence starts having visions.
On his computer we see a reference to the XII. Is that something to do with Apocalypse?
Sanctity has gone back in time to prevent the Trask’s doing something that will have a negative effect on the future. Oh course, isn’t that what al time travel’s about, changing the past for the sake of the future?
I’m not entirely sure why Marvel needed a whole event month to tell a bunch of flashback tales but ho hum. The art was fairly solid throughout and although I don’t feel like I suddenly have a better understanding of how the mutant cause was affected by the actions contained within, Lobdell does a good job of capturing the era.
X-Men -1 - Lobdell & Pacheco
Stan’s back with some pithy banter.
Wow, Charlie has been working out. Not sure about the speedos though.
Wanda and Pietro are working with Mags but aren’t aware he’s their father. When did they find out?
Choosing the derelict concentration camp of his youth as a meeting ground, Mags invites Xavier to talk and have it out.
To be honest it seems to be the same argurment and disagreements the two have been having for 30 plus years. Maybe that’s the whole point though. Each one is so steadfact in their beliefs and opinions that they are doomed to repeat the cycle indefinitely. (Perhaps X-Men 25 broke the cycle)
Mags zings Chuck with a biting did.
Not a bad issue but it did seem like it was retreading common ground we’ve all seen before. Also, I think I’m going off Carlos Pacheco’s art.
Uncanny X-Men 346 - Lobdell & Madureira
I hate it when they shove loads of blurbs and logos and stuff on the cover. Just makes it look cluttered.
Around this time Marvel introduced fold out covers that acted as a ‘catch-up’ section.
Yeah, you tell 'em JJJ!
I’m not sure Joe Mad went one issue without experimenting and trying out new stuff. I’m not a fan of the way he draws Spidey here.
Anyway, Marrow and Calisto show up to kidnap Gyrich.
Bastion drops in as he seemingly always does, undetected, and drops a bombshell on Jameo.
What’s a guy to do?!
Spidey stands up for the little guy. Well, the big government mutant hunting operation I mean.
Bizarrely, the Sentinels have some kind of scorched earth protocol where they want to destroy everyone not just mutants.
Jonah decides to destroy all the ‘evidence’ and research Bastion is handing him. What a hypocrite. Earlier he said it was all about discovering the facts. Why would he destroy documents before he’d had a chance to verify of deny their claims?
Not a great issue with up and down art and a story that does little more than trudge along with the boring Operation Zero Tolerance plot.
Uncanny X-Men 347 - Lobdell & Madureira
I forgot there was a bunch of X-Men stuck in space. Although now they appear to be somewhere not on earth. Gambit seems to be familiar with this creature called Grovel or Gravel or something like that. Hhmm.
And who’s this spikey little urchin. The whole thing has a very Sam Keith Maxx look to it. Could it be a crossover?
Beast explains to Trish that he has no idea where they are. Helpful.
Cal is hurt and it seems leaves on the chest is the best known cure.
Whoa, is Joseph getting some memories back, and if so, will he like them?
Wait a minute. They did make it back to earth and all this alien planet nonsense is just that, holographic nonsense.
Hurry up and let us know what this big crime Gambit committed was.
Elsewhere, our mysterious stranger from the previous issue is set upon by local bigoted hicks. Of course he is.
Say hello to my little friends!
Spat has captured Gambit and is taking him off somewhere but that cajun is resourceful and he escapes.
At the end of the issue Mags bumps into a sweet looking robot nanny. wtf!
I was hoping that the Gambit mystery would have been wrapped up by now but in fact it’s just been strung out even further by adding new characters.
It gets wrapped up in #350. – they drag it out for a double-sized anniversary issue.
It was a pretty big deal at the time – everyone was waiting on this huge revelation in issue #350.They probably mention it in the letter columns?
Yeah, I read all the issues as they came out. Seems so long ago!
Aw, you didn’t like the art in that Spidey-guesting issue? I read and re-read that so many times; I think it’s one of Joe Mad’s best issues - just beautiful.
Though it did feature an example of Spidey’s Spider-sense in an odd way; a gun’s pointed at his face and because his sense doesn’t tingle he knows it’s out of bullets - is that how his power usually works?
That actually refers back to an old Claremont and Byrne story where Magneto reduced the X-Men to state where they could barely function and had the robot nanny care for them (as revenge for when he was reduced to being an infant).
I was a massive Joe Mad fan back in the day. Coming back to his x-men work twenty years later I find it all too inconsistent in terms of quality. I also think it was very much of it’s time. He was definitely a talented artist but I’m not sure I’d ever refer to his work as beautiful. I am however looking forward to re-reading Battle Chasers as I remember thinking that was his creative peak.
X-men 66 - Lobdell & Pacheco
When the cover proclaims, ‘becasue you demanded it’, does that mean one or two people wrote in? And hasn’t he only been gone about 2 issues anyway? Anyway, we open with a quick recap of current happenings.
And then we see hard boiled doc Celia Reyes in action.
Unfortunately this particular patient isn’t making the recovery she was expecting.
Whoa, she’s a mutant with a reactive force field.
Better do something quick doc before those sentinel countermeasures kick in.
Don’y worry, Ice guy is on the case and he’s come armed with bad dialogue!
The last page is a breakaway to Bastion, who seems to be everywhere all at once, and some captured X-Men. Unfortunately I don’t have Wolverine 115 so I need to guess at the conclusion to that story line.
X-Men 67 - Lobdell & Pacheco
Don’t worry, you haven’t missed something, that cover isn’t to scale it’s just metaphorical. Inside we see Israeli special agent Sabra come face to face with some sentinels are she goes snooping in my government files and finds something…interesting.
Nice action shot from Carlos as she lays the smack down.
Back at the hospital Bobby tries to calm Celia down. She seems sacred and reluctant to go with him, justifiably so, seeing as how she’s just been attacked and doesn’t know him from Adam.
At Op ZT HQ, Bastion still has the Prof incarcerated but now the tables are turning and Xavier tries some mind games.
Bobby and Celia make their way to Warren’s penthouse apartment only for the Bobster to suddenly find his powers negated by a sentinel posing as one of Warren’s old girlfriends.
Luckily, another one of Warren’s old flames shows up and blasts that no good fiend.
While all this is going on, Marrow has cut the power to the building and as more sentinels posing as cops approach, a deadly game of cat and mouse unfolds.
I quite liked this issue. The Sabra bits are well done and, although short lived, the books takes on an almost thriller/stalker/horror vibe when the lights go out and you don’t know who to trust and it’s quite effective. Pacheco probably draws his best issue so far.
Hi Ronnie, did you know this was originally the plan for either Superman 4 or 5? I think it might have been 5 as the producers probably approached shortly after Byrne’s massively successful relaunch in 86 and production on 4 would have been well underway by the time those numbers came in.
I’m not sure if it got to script stage, but there was certainly a treatment and Byrne later converted this into a comic script. I’ve never actually read it, which is weird as I love all three involved and, in artistic terms, they’re possibly the three most influential artists in the character’s history, though Alex Ross must surely lay claim there too in defining Superman’s look better than anyone outside of Swan, even in his very few Superman gigs.