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Old 04-04-17, 02:56 PM   #576
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I read the first Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth trade. The story is very straightforward without a lot of surprises, though the art is excellent. Hal Jordan can now make Green Lantern rings with his own willpower. It hits a lot of familiar notes for long-time GL fans.
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Old 04-16-17, 10:19 PM   #577
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Have had a good run of surprise autographed books lately. Tonight I read (again?) a great little indy book from 1999, the first collection of Astronauts in Trouble. Didn't expect to see the writer's signature on the title page, but there it was. I used to buy all of my books from Westfield Comics, and they occasionally worked deals with (usually lesser known or new) professionals to have books signed. Iirc, it was sometimes a surprise to get a signed book in your order, but usually it was advertised in their monthly catalog. Anyway, cool bonus on a great story. Like Warren Ellis said in the introduction, it really should be a big budget action movie.
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Old 05-10-17, 02:16 PM   #578
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

David Mack's Kabuki: Circle Of Blood
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Old 05-10-17, 03:52 PM   #579
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I've been reading the first volume of Rebirth's Harley Quinn. I am not the biggest Harley fan and probably enjoy her more in other mediums than actual comics. This was a blind buy that I think I regret. Turning Harley into a funny anti-hero divorced from Joker's circle isn't a direction I can get behind.

The first arc has Harley fighting alien-infected zombies with a couple of ridiculous sub-plots.
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Old 05-11-17, 08:57 AM   #580
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I've been reading the first volume of Rebirth's Harley Quinn. I am not the biggest Harley fan and probably enjoy her more in other mediums than actual comics. This was a blind buy that I think I regret. Turning Harley into a funny anti-hero divorced from Joker's circle isn't a direction I can get behind.

The first arc has Harley fighting alien-infected zombies with a couple of ridiculous sub-plots.
Just read both that book and the other new "Gang of Harleys" collection and I'll definitely not be continuing with either.

I just read Volume Two of the new "Green Arrow". I truly enjoyed the first volume, -it was one of my favorite "Rebirth" titles. I was disappointed with the latest collection, primarily because of the revolving door of artists used. While I still enjoy Herr Otto Schmidt's work on the series, he's only there for one issue, and the other artists are far too "cartoony" and the "story-telling" is lacking.

I also read "All-Star Batman", Volume One. Scott Snyder has a good idea here which would work well has a movie; it's a variation on the idea that the hero has to get another character from Point A to Point B while facing an ongoing army of killers along the way. However, while I'm generally a fan of John Romita Jr., his work is sloppy here (perhaps he was only doing rough layouts) and it just becomes a roll-call of villains rather than a series of propulsive action beats. Snyder does try to wedge a "character story" into the piece, but he has to re-invent "Two-Face" to a certain extent (as he has most of Batman's other key villains) and add yet more hitherto-unknown elements to Bruce Wayne's backstory. Of course, that's the weakness of having a character, -"Batman", -who's been written about so much and had his background scrambled and unscrambled in so many ways. It's just hard to care about him anymore.

Last edited by DWilson; 05-12-17 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-11-17, 01:55 PM   #581
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I'd say DC has maintained a more consistent characterization for Clark/Superman over the years than Batman. I'd even go so far to say that Batman comes off much differently in his own books than the team books. It's hard to really know Batman's core personality traits anymore once you get past his whole crusade on crime.
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Old 05-12-17, 08:46 AM   #582
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I borrowed "The Flintstones" collection out of curiosity and, -to my surprise, -enjoyed it quite a bit. It helps that Mark Russell and Steve Pugh are the sole creative team, something fairly rare for a DC book these days. Looking at some of the covers in the back by other artists, I can see where this book could go horribly wrong without a consistent team. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the political humor was fairly even-handed.
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Old 05-23-17, 03:31 PM   #583
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I just finished Wonder Woman (Rebirth) Volume Two. This collects the "Year One" storyline that's published in every other issue of the twice-monthly book. The story by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott is much lighter and more engaging than the other storyline by Rucka and Sharp (collected in Volume One).

Daredevil: Back in Black. Soulle and Garney have the unenviable task of following Waid and Samnee's long successful run with the character. They've gone back to a "darker" DD and the art is stylish and there's some nice character work. It feels as if they're trying to evoke the Netflix series, but it just didn't grab me. YMMV, definitely.
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Old 05-23-17, 04:22 PM   #584
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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I borrowed "The Flintstones" collection out of curiosity and, -to my surprise, -enjoyed it quite a bit. It helps that Mark Russell and Steve Pugh are the sole creative team, something fairly rare for a DC book these days. Looking at some of the covers in the back by other artists, I can see where this book could go horribly wrong without a consistent team. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the political humor was fairly even-handed.
I've only read Parker, Shaner, and Rude's Future Quest book from that line, but I loved it. A quality creative team really makes a difference in this age of crossovers and constant creative team shifts and changes.
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Old 07-24-17, 05:41 PM   #585
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Just getting back into comics after about 20 years out of the game.

Finished Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos TPB. Will start The Infinity Gauntlet next.

Picked up a few Omnibus' Age of Apocolypse, Onslaught, Astonishing X-MEN, New X-MEN, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Absolute Infinite Crisis, Batman: Nightfall, and The Death & Return of Superman.

Any other Omnibus' I should pick up? I was hoping to find my way back into Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Spider-Man, The Avengers and Justice League.
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Old 07-24-17, 09:07 PM   #586
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Finally read the Will Eisner book from 2000, Minor Miracles. Another wonderful set of tales from Dropsie Avenue. A bit smaltzy perhaps, but the art is still sublime, and I found myself smiling and getting emotionally attached several times throughout the book.

If I was stranded on an island with only one creator's work, it'd probably have to be Eisner.
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Old 07-24-17, 09:14 PM   #587
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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Just getting back into comics after about 20 years out of the game.

Finished Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos TPB. Will start The Infinity Gauntlet next.

Picked up a few Omnibus' Age of Apocolypse, Onslaught, Astonishing X-MEN, New X-MEN, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Absolute Infinite Crisis, Batman: Nightfall, and The Death & Return of Superman.

Any other Omnibus' I should pick up? I was hoping to find my way back into Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Spider-Man, The Avengers and Justice League.
Sounds like you've got plenty to keep you busy. Once you parse through those and figure out your favorites, it'd be easier to find recommendations.

But for Fantastic Four, I'd suggest the original run (especially after you get past the first 20 issues or so) or the Byrne run. For Daredevil, the Miller-Jansons run. For all the Marvels, it'd probably be worth exploring the Epic line because they're relatively inexpensive and have good chunks of content to sink your teeth into.
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Old 07-24-17, 09:50 PM   #588
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

The Mark Waid Daredevil Omnibus has been 60% off at InStockTrades for a while now. I've only read the first few issues of his run, but it was very highly regarded and a nice different take on the character from the usual grim Miller and Co. stuff of the last 35 years.

I've got three of the trades, but am wrestling with just grabbing the omni while it's cheap.

The Epic softcovers are AWESOME!. I've got a lot of that stuff in digital copies, but I'm still getting the paperbacks to read when I'm home. Love the form factor and the price.

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Old 07-25-17, 09:47 PM   #589
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenshiro View Post
Just getting back into comics after about 20 years out of the game.

Finished Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos TPB. Will start The Infinity Gauntlet next.

Picked up a few Omnibus' Age of Apocolypse, Onslaught, Astonishing X-MEN, New X-MEN, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Absolute Infinite Crisis, Batman: Nightfall, and The Death & Return of Superman.

Any other Omnibus' I should pick up? I was hoping to find my way back into Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Spider-Man, The Avengers and Justice League.
All-Star Superman, Identity Crisis, Batman: The Long Halloween, Sinestro Corps War, Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, Flashpoint, 52 omnibus, Forever Evil
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Old 08-11-17, 03:42 PM   #590
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I'm plowing through Peter David's Young Justice Volume 1 trade and enjoying it. While some of these characters aren't even around anymore like clone Superboy, there are solid group dynamics in the light reading material.
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Old 08-13-17, 06:36 PM   #591
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I haven't read an Elseworld story in quite awhile. I didn't realize this was published 17 years ago! Good read.

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Old 08-13-17, 07:56 PM   #592
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Loving DC's Absolute line, so far I've picked up:

Superman: For Tomorrow

Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, Court of Owls, Dark Victory, Haunted Knight, HUSH, All-Star Batman & Robin

Green Lantern: Rebirth, Sinestro Corps. War

and Watchmen.
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Old 11-09-17, 02:48 PM   #593
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

This thread has kind of died, so I figured I'd update it with some of the stuff I've been reading over the last 6 months or so:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate B/W Collection v.1-5

Outside of some short stories and anthology stuff, these 5 volumes represent the entirety of the original Eastman/Laird Mirage run (there were many fill-in issues by other writers/artists that aren't considered 'canon'). Despite being a big Turtles fan as a kid, and absolutely loving the current IDW series, I had never actually read these stories. Without getting too in-depth (the Eastman/Laird team is really fascinating and there's a lot there that could be discussed), I'll just say that I really enjoyed them. A lot of the stories have been recycled so many times in the various cartoons/movies/comics that I was was pretty familiar with all of it, but it still felt fresh to me. No matter how rough around the edges (and believe me, some of the edges are rough), the excitement and the creativity just leaps off the page. Even if you're not otherwise a TMNT fan, I think there's value in reading these just for their place in comics history.

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection 17, 20-22

Other than Kraven's Last Hunt, which is featured in v.17 (and is great), these all sort of blur together. 20-22 represent the bulk of the post-MacFarlane, pre-Maximum Carnage/Clone Saga era. It's not a particularly memorable era, and there's a lot of junk (Round Robin, I'm looking at you), but there a few fun stories if you're nostalgic for this era in comics (as I am). It's funny though, when I was an 11-12 year old reading comics during this time I didn't read a lot of Spider-Man, but when I did it was 'Amazing' or nothing. However, when reading these volumes I found myself gravitating more towards the included Gerry Conway penned Spectacular and Web issues and I kind of hope that run is collected a little more comprehensively outside of the crossovers some day. The writing and the characterization just feels a lot more substanial than what Michelinie was doing in the main book. In the end most of these stories are pretty ephemeral. I read them. I enjoyed some of them. I forgot most of them. Unless you're a completist, have nostalgia for late 80's/early 90's comics, or can get these cheap, there's not much here to recommend. Kraven's Last Hunt is a classic, but you can get that in a much cheaper package without the filler.

Batman (New 52) v.1-8

I still have the last two volumes to finish, but I think overall I'm mixed on the Snyder/Capullo run that so many people seem to love. Court of Owls is a great start, but some of the Joker stuff gets a bit ridiculous. Gordon as the robot Batman didn't exactly set my world on fire either. I do appreciate that the run seems mostly self contained. Having read nothing else from the New 52, I didn't feel like I was missing anything. I tried to read the Death of the Family tie ins, but they were brutal and thankfully it didn't matter a bit whether or not I skipped them. I do have a bit of a quibble with the way DC collected this run. Instead of just presenting the issues in order, as published, they moved around some of the one-offs and fill-ins so that arcs wouldn't be broken up over volumes. When you throw in the time jumps of Zero Year and the various back-up stories that seem kind of haphazardly mixed in, I wasn't always sure what exactly I was reading. I know the idea is that these read like self contained graphic novels and not compilations of previously published work, but I don't really care for it.

Usagi Yojimbo Saga v.1

I'd never read any Usagi Yojimbo before this and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'm not sure the episodic nature of the stories really lend themselves to these massive collections (things really start to blur together after reading too many of these at once), but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy reading them. The art is spectacular and the way Sakai weaves in actual Japanese history is pretty neat. At this point I can't say I'm a diehard Usagi fan or anything, but I feel like anytime I pick up one of these books I'm going to get at the very least a solid, entertaining story.

Captain America Masterworks v.1-2

I'd read most of these early silver age Cap stories before, but over the last few years I've become a bigger and bigger Cap fan (I thought he was super lame as a kid) and I'm trying to read his entire run in order. I prefer the modern day stories featuring SHIELD, Agent 13 and the like to the WWII ones, but pretty much anytime Jack Kirby is involved, these are great. The non-Kirby stories are a lot less appealing, but still fun. The early Tales of Suspense stories are only 8 or 12 pages long, so they're pretty breezy for the most part. They aren't nearly at the level of sophistication of what was being done on Fantastic Four or Amazing Spider-Man at the time, but for whatever it's worth, I think this might be my favorite Marvel silver age series.

X-Men: The Road to Onslaught v.1

When I was first introduced to comics in the early 90's it was all X-Men all the time. I jumped in with the Jim Lee X-Men #1 and pretty much rode that train all the way to Age of Apocalypse, after which I mostly lost interest until the Grant Morrison revamp. This volume is the immediate aftermath to Age of Apocalypse and about halfway through I hit the point where I originally stopped buying X-Men monthly. At the time I think I just stopped buying them because I was in high school and I had better things to do, but you could make the argument that this is where the franchise's wheels completely came off. The biggest problem (besides a lot of really ugly 90's art) is that nothing of interest ever happens. At this point the x-titles were fully immersed in annual event mode and the issues in between those events mostly served as time filler. This was also a period in which there was pretty tight continuity between all the x-titles and if you weren't reading all of them, a lot of the sub-plots made no sense (a lot of them made no sense anyway). For all intents and purposes the blue and gold designations were null and void and characters would just sort of wander from one book to the other. None of the books seemed to have an identity of its own. Oh, and Wolverine was turning feral and living in the woods. All that said, I weirdly kind of enjoyed reading this and I'm eager to read the next volume. It's 100% junk, and I don't recommend it to anyone, but it makes me nostalgic and fills in a lot of my X-Men gaps.
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Old 11-09-17, 02:54 PM   #594
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

That is a perfect summary of that X-Men era in the 1990s. It's what would ultimately kill my interest in the X-Men titles. Marvel took the golden goose and overcooked it.
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Old 11-10-17, 10:32 AM   #595
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Catching up during a short vacation so I grabbed:

Nailbiter Volume 4: Blood Lust
Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race
The Walking Dead Volume 28
Lazarus Volume 5
East Of West Volume 7
Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins
The Walking Dead Volume 27: The Whisperer War
Nailbiter Volume 5: Bound By Blood
Nailbiter Volume 6: The Bloody Truth
Descender Volume 4: Orbital Mechanics
Royal City Volume 1: Next Of Kin
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Old 11-10-17, 10:59 AM   #596
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Just got and started the new Batman & Robin Omnibus by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason



Good stuff so far!

And at over 1,200 pages, I'll be at it for a while!
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Old 11-12-17, 04:16 PM   #597
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I don't know the full specifics but apparently DC messed up a couple of pages in the Justice League International Omnibus. A second printing is supposed to correct the errors.

That is one thing, DC has gotten sloppy with their larger trades in recent years.
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Old 11-12-17, 06:09 PM   #598
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

These are the printing errors.

A couple missing word balloons and two swapped pages.
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Old 11-13-17, 04:29 PM   #599
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Batman: Hush

The fact that Jim Lee was doing a monthly book for the first time in years was actually what got me back into reading comics in 2003 after some time away. I enjoyed it at the time, while freely acknowledging some of it's deficiencies. I hadn't read this since it was originally published and I was curious how it has held up. The main attraction is obviously the art. You either like Jim Lee or you don't. Jim Lee was my favorite artist as a kid and this is some of his best stuff. It works perfectly fine as a Lee showcase. The story is a poor-man's Long Halloween, but I found it to be mostly engaging until the last couple of issues when Hush's identity is revealed. I don't know if DC mandated a change of direction or what, but it seems pretty obvious to me that the original intention was that Jason Todd was going to be Hush. DC ended up bringing him back anyway like a year later, which just made the published ending to Hush that much more disappointing.

Cable and X-Force Classic v1 (Cable 21-28, X-Force 44-48)

This is the immeidate follow-up to Age of Apocalypse for these two books. It represents a big turning point for X-Force as Jeph Loeb takes over for Fabian Nicieza (Loeb was already writing Cable) and kills all of his running plot threads and basically does a soft reboot. The team moves into the X-mansion, gets new matching uniforms and Cannonball "graduates" to the X-Men. This is also when Cable more or less makes his transition from gun-toting poster boy of the extreme 90's, into the more thoughtful, world weary career soldier just looking for a little peace and love, a characterization that far out-lived his original incarnation.

These are mostly mediocre stories that you may or may not enjoy depending on how much investment you have in the characters and/or how much the new status quo bothers you. Nicieza's X-Force was probably my favorite of the post-Image x-titles, so I can't say I'm a huge fan of the reboot. Moving into the mansion pretty much reduces the team to the status of "X-Men jr.," which is silly since Generation X had literally just been launched to fill that role. Cannonball, who had become a fairly competent leader in the hands of Nicieza, is now a backwater bumble-fuck who doesn't even try to hide his wide-eyed hero-worship of the 'real' X-Men, despite the fact that he'd been around them for years at that point. You also have the running sub-plot of Boom Boom's infatuation with the mentally incapacitated Sabretooth, who was also living at the mansion. There's actually some decent psychology behind this relationship, yet it results in one of the stupider issues in this run as the team holds an intervention to prevent Boom Boom from bringing Sabretooth milk, like she's some sort of addict. Even worse, despite being an X-Force character, the bulk of the Boom Boom story plays out in the other concurrent x-titles. The Cable stories are what they are. There's some decent characterization with Cable and Domino, but that book always felt superfluous. There's no reason why a separate Cable title ever needed to exist other than the fact that people were willing to buy it.

X-Men: The Road to Onslaught v2 (X-Men/Clandestine 1-2; Uncanny X-Men 327-328, Annual '95, X-Men 46-49, X-Men Unlimited 9, Sabretooth Special 1)

This volume picks up where v1 leaves off and is perfectly representative of the strengths and weakness of the Scott Lobdell era. The two Uncanny issues are surprisingly strong stand-alone stories, one of which is the beginning of a major long term plot thread (return of Magneto) and another which is the culmination of one (the aforementioned Sabretooth living in the mansion). The Magneto story is the introduction of the the de-aged, amnesiac Magneto, who now goes by the name Joesph. I have no idea what the original intentions of the story were, but it was made pretty explicit that Joseph was in fact the de-aged Magneto. That part wasn't really up for debate. This story dragged on and on with no real purpose until finally I think they revealed that he was a clone or something, which made absolutely no sense in retrospect.

The Sabretooth in the mansion story had been going on for years at this point. Just prior to Age of Apocalypse, Wolverine had attacked him and given him brain damage, leaving him in a state of childlike innocence. The various writers had been teasing the readers for months by making it unclear whether this was his true state or whether he was faking in order to do who knows what. I don't know if this was originally a Nicieza storyline and his abrupt departure from the x-titles necessitated a hasty wrap up or what, but all of a sudden Sabretooth has regained all of his mental faculties and Xavier has decided not to help him anymore as he's feels he's completely irredeemable. What follows is a nice little story, in and of itself, with Sabretooth taunting Boom Boom and tricking her into freeing him from his cell. The problem, of course, is that it more less renders the previous 2 years of storylines moot. All that time spent on Sabretooths potential rehabilitation and in the end they decide to just hit the reset button and go back to how things were. Welcome to X-Men in the 90's.

Moving on, the included issues of "adjectiveless" X-Men mostly revolve around Bishop and the memories of the AoA timeline that have been tormenting him since reality was restored. Dark Beast and (ugh) Sugar Man, two carryovers from AoA, get dragged into this and are both retconned into having major roles in X-Men history (though a lot of the Sugar Man stuff is actually in the Cable and X-Force volume detailed above). Sugar Man is AWFUL, but Dark Beast is mildly interesting. Of course he's made to look like a complete moron when it's revealed that despite the fact that he had been monitoring and studying the X-Men for decades in order to find Bishop (for reasons that are stupid, by the way), and had repeatedly gone on and on about how everyone from the AoA timeline has a couterpart in our timeline, he's absolutely flabbergasted when he sees that there is another Beast. The same Beast who, in-universe, is probably the most public and recognizable of all the X-Men. There's also some silliness with the x-babies which really only serves to remind us that Dazzler and Longshot are still out there somewhere. Not that any of it is ever followed up on.

As for the rest of the book, the Clandestine mini-series is fun enough but is really more of a Clandestine story than an X-Men story. I have no prior knowledge of Clandestine, so I can't say whether this is a good Calndestine story or not, but the Alan Davis art is nice. The included annual and the X-Men Unlimited issue are complete throwaways and the Sabretooth special is the immediate follow-up to his story in Uncanny. There's no reason it needed to be a special one-shot and not just another regular issue, but again, that's what you get with 90's X-Men.
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Last edited by rocket1312; 11-13-17 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 11-14-17, 04:25 PM   #600
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Jim Lee's art in Hush is magnificent. It's a so-so story with a few very cool moments, but you can tell that Jim Lee poured his soul into Hush's art. For one of the most popular comic book artists of all time, it's his best work.
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