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Reading X-Men! Tips and Advice?

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Reading X-Men! Tips and Advice?

Old 09-18-08, 12:37 PM
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Reading X-Men! Tips and Advice?

I've been trying to re-live a bunch of the X-Men comics and stories that I read when I was in elementary school, so I started by picking up some random TPB's I read around that age that I remember enjoying, including X-Cutioner's Song and Xtinction Agenda a few months back. After going on a small Batman kick thanks to Dark Knight, I decided to come back to X-Men.

I just got Mutant Massacre (never read) and Dark Phoenix Saga (have read, not for awhile) from Amazon, and realized "hmm, I should really be reading these chronologically" but saw that the following arcs Inferno and Fall of the Mutants are out of print.

I might go the Half.com route for those, but I'm undecided. Do these things come back in print? And where do I go from here? I already have Days of Future Past, and actually have most of the Fatal Attractions issues individually, which was pretty much where I stopped buying issues. There's Onslaught, Age of Apocalypse (which seems just like an alternate story, which I don't care as much about), House of M stuff. Any recommendations on what to read or what to pick up? Some of the recent artwork have been a turn off to me, but if the stories are excellent then I'll go through them.

Thanks!
Old 09-18-08, 01:05 PM
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if you can find one, pick up the Uncanny X-Men Omnibus volume 1 - it is probably the trade I most frequently pick up and read. It collects the first several years of Chris Claremonts run and since you already have the Dark Phoenix Saga you would have every issue of the first nearly five years of his run with the Omnibus + Phoenix Saga paperback.
Old 09-18-08, 01:27 PM
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If you don't mind reading it on a computer, the DVD-ROM that came out a year or so ago includes every issue of Uncanny X-men up to a certain point. You'll miss all the other books (X-Factor, Claremont/Lee's X-men, New Mutants, Gen X, etc.), but it's the economical way to go.

I didn't even realize there's an Uncanny X-Men Omnibus with Claremont's run...

Marvel seems to be on a tpb kick, so I think eventually all the crossovers will come back into print someday. I bought and reread the Age of Apocalypse storyline, which they rereleased in a few tpbs recently. It wasn't as good as I remembered, but despite being an alternate timeline, it's worth a read, IMHO.

Also, I think Morrison's run is collected in several hardcovers, as well as Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run.

As far as today's book: the only one I collect is X-Factor, which has Peter David's trademark humor, but a rotating cast of artists that can become distracting. I read through some of Bachalo's recent trades, as well as the Messiah Complex, and realized that the current X-men just aren't for me right now.
Old 09-18-08, 01:50 PM
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Yeah, i've read some comics on the computer before and decided it wasn't for me. I usually end up having to zoom and scroll so much that it becomes fairly annoying. Plus, I kind of dig having them in paper to read in the living room or on the bed or whatever so i'd like to avoid that route.

The Omnibus looks like an interesting route; I'm not as big a fan of that artwork, but I'll see if I can find a decent deal on it. Seeing how some of the characters get established could be interesting.

Any other recent stuff worth it? I've seen like.. Phoenix Endsong and Warsong at bookstores, and a few Wolverine books. I really dug Jim Lee's stuff and it looks like I can get the first 7 issues of the 2nd X-Men run (I think I have the first 2 singles) so that might be fun.
Old 09-18-08, 02:23 PM
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If you like Dark Phoenix, I recommend Days of Future Past tpb next. I blind-bought a couple volumes of Age of Apocalypse but got really confused and never finished the first one.
Old 09-18-08, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
If you like Dark Phoenix, I recommend Days of Future Past tpb next. I blind-bought a couple volumes of Age of Apocalypse but got really confused and never finished the first one.
Yeah, I read and own Days of Future Past, I didn't bold the title earlier above. I actually didn't care for that story, especially the part where they're running through that Dante's Inferno stuff. It was actually a big let down since I've heard that story mentioned so much.

The recent stuff has me intrigued, but i'm wary since they come in multiple books and seems to get awfully complicated.
Old 09-18-08, 05:42 PM
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I have no idea if this helps at all but I did help me. I joined a few posts together from another site that helped me understand what went on with it.

The Uncanny X-Men began in 1963 and lasted 66 issues before going to reprints until issue 94, when new stories began again, and has continued until this month's issue 500. There was a comic called Giant-Size X-Men 1 which you should read before issue 94, that introduced the new X-Men team. Until issue 114 the comic is just called The X-Men, but most people refer to the whole run as Uncanny X-Men.

A second X-Men title began in the early '90s called X-Men, and is still going but is now called X-Men Legacy (with issue 208), and for a short time this title was called New X-Men (from issues 114 to 156).

There are a lot of other X-Men comics, annuals, one-shots and mini-series etc but those two are the main ones.

-- the reprints in 67-93 are not neccessarily in order, so you're better off reading the originals and ignoring them unless you're a completist
-- there are also 2 annuals after the original run - Annual 1 (1970) King-Size Special 2 (1971) - both reprints
-- there is also a Giant-Size X-Men 2 which reprints some late issues in the first run - again you can ignore it
Old 09-18-08, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
As far as today's book: the only one I collect is X-Factor, which has Peter David's trademark humor, but a rotating cast of artists that can become distracting. I read through some of Bachalo's recent trades, as well as the Messiah Complex, and realized that the current X-men just aren't for me right now.
Sadly, this is where I'm headed. X-Factor continues to be good but I'm right at the point of dropping the rest of the X-titles. When I realize that, after reading these books for so long and I really have so little clue as to what's happening or who half (or more!) of the characters are, it's time for me to move on.

Not meaning to crap on your thread, but I really can't think of any X-men runs in the past 10-15 years I would recommend (except the current run of X-Factor. Get it, read it, love it)
Old 09-18-08, 08:13 PM
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You should probably try to read Uncanny X-Men #94 (and GS #1) up through about #280 or so. That's the Claremont run, and generally considered to be the X-Men's Golden Age.

In addition to the other "X" books from that era, which would be New Mutants #1-100, X-Factor #1-70, Excalibur #1-50 (or so) and Wolverine #1-50 (or so).

Most of these probably haven't reprinted in TPBs, and even if they have it's likely that a few are out of print.
Old 09-18-08, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bronkster View Post
Not meaning to crap on your thread, but I really can't think of any X-men runs in the past 10-15 years I would recommend (except the current run of X-Factor. Get it, read it, love it)
No, that's the kind of advice i'm looking for. I've kept up by glancing at Wikipedia regarding certain story arcs, and browsed at various TPB's at Barnes and Noble and Borders, and pretty much everything after (and maybe starting with?) Onslaught seemed to be convoluted and hard to follow. Seeing new characters in X-Man or Joseph made me groan and think "that's all they came up with? Do I want to read this?"

It helps that i'm starting with the classics; i've read (and own) sporadic issues of Uncanny during the 70's and 80's, including Giant Size so i'm not a stranger to the stories, but since i'm looking for the best way to read them it's hard to find the right compilations to pick up, especially in TPB form since that's been the easiest for me.

I think i'm going to keep an eye out for that Omnibus and hopefully find a decent deal. Is there a good or easy way to take a look at new X-Factor?
Old 09-18-08, 09:37 PM
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The whole Onslaught saga was awesome.
Old 09-18-08, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
Is there a good or easy way to take a look at new X-Factor?
a quick look on Ebay has a few auctions of the first 14-ish issues (always with one issue missing) for $14 - $16 bucks (plus shipping). That's not too bad a price if you like the original comics.
Old 09-19-08, 06:02 AM
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Age of apocalypse was awesome!


-Mike f7g8h1239xdmhz

Last edited by kaze0; 09-22-08 at 06:43 AM.
Old 09-19-08, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bronkster View Post
Sadly, this is where I'm headed. X-Factor continues to be good but I'm right at the point of dropping the rest of the X-titles. When I realize that, after reading these books for so long and I really have so little clue as to what's happening or who half (or more!) of the characters are, it's time for me to move on.

Not meaning to crap on your thread, but I really can't think of any X-men runs in the past 10-15 years I would recommend (except the current run of X-Factor. Get it, read it, love it)
Really? I thought Morrison's run on New X-Men was ok, and it went in an entirely different direction than the X-titles had been going in... it's also largely self-contained. Ditto with Whedon's Astonishing X-men run, which reads much, much better collected, rather than having to wait an eternity between books.

Also, Allred's X-force/X-Statix run always seemed to be highly recommended, though I never got around to reading it (hoping for a big collection soon).

Unfortunately, IMHO it's best to avoid completely Claremont's return to the X-men... I don't know what happened, but I haven't really enjoyed his stuff since he left the first time (come to think of it, I feel similarly about Byrne).

When I picked up the recent Messiah Complex trade, which at the time was the lastest "everything-changes-here-so-jump-on-board" crossover, I was really confused as to who all these new X-men and Hellions and whatnot were.
Old 09-20-08, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
Yeah, I read and own Days of Future Past, I didn't bold the title earlier above. I actually didn't care for that story, especially the part where they're running through that Dante's Inferno stuff. It was actually a big let down since I've heard that story mentioned so much.
Sorry, you did mention that and I missed it. Most of my frame of reference was from when they were in that awful reprint period in the '70s, really a book in limbo. Then buying #94 off the drugstore shelf and getting that fresh burst of energy (I picked up GS#1 later) was pretty exciting. I probably got to issue 150 or so before I stopped reading comics. Years later I started reading the trades, and I really got into the first Astonishing X-Men tpb, less so after that.
Old 09-20-08, 02:52 AM
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Yeah to echo what's said above I would generally stay away from everything published right now trade wise except perhaps x-factor and the best way to see if you'll enjoy that is to pick up the "Madrox" trade by Peter David. It was a mini from a few years back that essentially serves to set up the series. Some changes were made before the launch of the series but tonally they are a vary close match.

As for Days of Future Past the story you seem really not enjoy is something added into the trade much later (and only to bulk it up a bit - UXM Annual #4). The real story is only the two issues UXM 141 and 142 which were probably just the first two issues of the trade you read depending on which edition you bought. I probably sound like a claremont fanboy but the early part of his run is simply some of the best mainstream comics of the 70s.
Old 09-24-08, 01:33 PM
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You can get these on eBay for next to nothing.
Old 09-24-08, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by madcougar View Post
You can get these on eBay for next to nothing.
Which? The X-Factor stuff?

After taking a look I'm really trying to hunt down a good deal on Inferno and Fall of the Mutants now, and then i'll probably look at Onslaught. Part of the appeal for me is reading the stories and history of all the X-Men i know and familiar with so I wanted to read things like the introduction of new characters (like Rogue, Gambit, Psylocke) or major events like Angel's transform to Archangel.
Old 09-25-08, 12:23 AM
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Just to throw in my quick two cents again, Inferno is a much better trade than Fall of the Mutants IMO and better reflects the australian period of the X-men. Rogue's joining the team (and slowly being accepted) is part of the story in my favorite trade, From the Ashes (the wonderful Chris Claremont/Paul Smith issues). Sadly I don't think Gambit's introduction is in trade form yet, but his second appearance in UXM 267 (and a better story than his first in 266) should be avail. pretty cheap. Psylocke is introduced in a New Mutants annual that isn't collected but her joining the team (and also slowly being accepted) is part of Mutant Massacre which of course you have. Keep us updated with the reading. I'd love to hear which of these old stories you enjoy upon (re)visiting them.
Old 09-25-08, 10:00 AM
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Unfortunately, you're going to miss a lot if you're just reading collections of the big crossovers.

The X-Titles, at that time, were fairly complex pieces of serial narrative. The big crossovers like Massacre, Fall, and Inferno were the payoffs for stories that built for months and sometimes years.
Old 09-25-08, 11:19 AM
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Yeah, there's a ton of stuff that's not collected: Psylocke was actually introduced in Captain Britain, and the Psylocke that most people are familiar with became Asian in Acts of Vengeance (I don't remember what the deal was with her and Kwannon or whatever).

Like I said before, get the X-men DVD Rom, which collects every issue of Uncanny, including annuals, up to maybe a year or so ago. That, combined with the crossovers you're already getting, should be a good start (mainly because the uncanny issues where there are massive crossovers are hard to follow without reading the other books).
Old 09-25-08, 11:58 AM
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Hmm...I love the X-Men, though I will say Age of Apocalypse is what got me into reading comics. Even though it's an 'alternate' it still ranks as one of the top 3 storylines for me.

1) Dark Phoenix Saga
2) Days of Future Past
3) Age of Apocalypse

I liked AoA because of the different books and missions, yet they all tied in together...also, I like seeing different versions of characters I love. Other storylines I liked were Mutant Massacre, Fatal Attractions, House of M (only the base story...the peripherals were godawful...this story could have been one of the best of all-time had it not been for the poor showing on the non-main titles), the original X-Factor 1-30 or so and probably X-Cutioner's song. Also recommend anything during Jim Lee's run...great artwork and some good storylines even in one-shots like Wolverine and Captain America in WWII.

One thing I HATED, though some liked it, was Morrison's run. That guy can suck my dick. Everything post-Jean Grey with the sickening striped shirt sucks, IMHO. Well, save for the awesome cover of Logan and Phoenix lip-locked, but even the story itself was a let-down. I loved Onslaught, too, though...the word carved psychically on Jean's forehead was one of my faves.

Enjoy it! I'm 3 issues shy of a complete UXM run...it's my favorite series, even though it has been a let-down the last 7 or 8 years or so.
Old 09-25-08, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Unfortunately, you're going to miss a lot if you're just reading collections of the big crossovers.

The X-Titles, at that time, were fairly complex pieces of serial narrative. The big crossovers like Massacre, Fall, and Inferno were the payoffs for stories that built for months and sometimes years.
Luckily I think I know enough about all the character and story histories that I won't lose too much. I know a lot of stories are ingrained by smaller events or occurances that happen earlier and seem inconsequential, but that really isn't a concern for me. Plus, I really enjoy the ease of reading these as collections.

Recently though, i finished re-reading Dark Phoenix a few days ago and recently started Mutant Massacre. Dark Phoenix actually seemed less epic then I remembered it from when I last read it 15 years ago. Maybe it's because i've seen the story retold a few times in the X-Men Animated Series and to a lesser extent X3. What's funny though, is that it actually made me think that X3 didn't do THAT bad of a job conveying the story, which is typically blasphemy for a lot of people. Oh well

The artwork in Mutant Massacre is kind of a turn off for me, but I'm more interested since it's a story I haven't read before.
Old 09-25-08, 01:04 PM
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When it got resolicited in 2006, I picked up the Mutant Massacre tpb, and it wasn't as "epic" as I remember it... hardly a massacre at all, really.
Old 09-30-08, 01:36 PM
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I finished reading Mutant Massacre last night. Overall it was pretty decent, but the parts with Thor and Power Pack were fairly lame and stupid, especially since only a small part of Thor actually had anything to do with the story.

The art was pretty bad, but I'm just not a fan of the art style in general of a lot of older comics. It made the Wolverine/Sabretooth less enjoyable then I had hoped. Still, I actually thought it was a pretty good massacre, especially when they showed a panel with the hanger being pretty much a morgue. Sadly, it means a lot less when I don't know who any of the morlocks that die are versus actually recognizable mutants. The crummy thing is that unlike some of the other trades that are pretty self contained with an entire story, this seemed to end abruptly since the Marauders just come, kill a bunch of dudes, and leave with nothing else really happening or resolved.

Now to figure out what to read next...

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