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Old 11-14-17, 04:35 PM   #601
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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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.
Agreed, and while Loeb SUCKS, he did provide a lot of cool characters and scenarios for Lee to draw.
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Old 11-16-17, 02:33 PM   #602
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Because I can't seem to help myself, more 90's X-Men garbage...

X-Men: The Road to Onslaught v3
(Uncanny X-Men 329-332, Archangel 1, X-Men/Brood 1-2, X-Men Unlimited 10, X-Men 50-52, Wolverine 101, Xavier Institute Alumni Yearbook)

My main take away from reading these 3 Road to Onslaught volumes is that the writing is fine issue to issue and the art is nice enough for mid-90's art (as long as guys like Madureira and the Kubert brothers can be bothered to string together more than 2 consecutive issues without a fill-in), but the editorial is completely off the rails. The stories are obviously being made up as they go along. Plots start in one series and, if they're not dropped completely, they're finished in a completely different series. X-Men Unlimited #10 is where Dark Beast takes the place of 'our' Beast and infiltrates the X-Men (a HUGE plot point at the time). It's actually kind of a nice little self contained story but why this wasn't a part of one of the main series is beyond me. I take that back. It isn't beyond me. This was obviously Marvel's way of convincing readers that they needed to be buying X-Men Unlimited in addition to the other 20 ongoing x-titles. It's astounding to me that even if you were just committed to buying both monthly 'X-Men' books, you'd still have no earthly idea what was going on half the time. Uncanny 332 and Wolverine 101 also form another pointless crossover that isn't even really marketed as a crossover. It's just assumed you're going to buy both series. X-Men 50 is a big anniversary issue that starts in media res, so it's not quite clear what is going on. More Onslaught hints are dropped than you can shake a stick at, and by the end of the issue you still have no idea what is going on. And it's going to make even less sense in hindsight once Onslaught actually does show up because the story will have changed 12 times by the time they actually get to that point. Ugh. The Brood mini included here meant nothing within the big picture, but it has some decent Bryan Hitch art, follows up on an old Claremont story point, and reads coherently enough due to the fact that it's not in the Lobdell/Harras circle of suck. Fine enough for what it is, but I can't imagine anyone was asking for this at the time. That they released something like this in the middle of a giant crossover event just shows how desperate Marvel was to milk every last drop out of the X-Men fans while the company was burning down around them. Oh, and despite the fact that it's only 2 issues and is almost completely divorced from the main continuity, Hitch still needed help finishing the second issue.

NOTE: The Comixology/Amazon files for these Road to Onslaught trades (how I've been reading them) are clearly not the files for the actual trades and are just the individual digital issues slapped together with a cover image. This isn't totally uncommon for Comixology, but in the case of these books, the contents are just compiled in the order that they're listed in the description. They are NOT in the correct reading order as published in the physical volumes. And since Comixology's app is horrible for jumping back and forth through a book, these can be sort of a pain to read.

Wolverine Epic Collection v8 - The Dying Game
(Wolverine 87-100, Wolverine Annual '95, Wolverine: Knight of Terra)

This was during the period when Wolverine had the bone claws and is turning feral and coincides with the X-Men: Road to Onslaught volumes. I expected to hate this book with a fiery passion, but it really wasn't that much worse than the X-Men titles at the time. That may seem like damning with faint praise, but I've found the X-Men stories of this time to be mostly readable, if not a complete mess in a big-picture editorial sense (as noted above). Larry Hama is on record as not being completely on-board with the direction of the book at this point, but wanting to do the best he could with what he was given. He obviously has a good grasp on Wolverine's character, although the degree to which Logan is succumbing to his feral nature seems to waver on an issue by issue basis. Furthermore, while the storyline culminates in issue #100 with Wolverine basically becoming a dog, that particular plot point is almost treated as an isolated event that could've/would've happened regardless. The 2 years worth of angst leading up to it didn't really add up to much. Nor did the ever presence of various Landau, Luckman and Lake agents constantly blabbing about how these events represented some sort of cosmic moment in time that they needed to lead Wolverine through. Or something. I seriously have no idea what their involvement had to do with anything. The other big issue I had with this was Genesis (aka Tyler Dayspring, aka Cable's partner/son/nephew/?) being the big bad. He was Cable's primary nemesis at the time and most of the lead up to this story took place in the Cable solo series and an X-Men annual. All of a sudden he's obsessed with Wolverine, shows up, gets killed, and I'm not sure if he's ever appeared since. Oh well. At least the Dark Riders also got wiped out. They were some of the suckiest x-villains who ever did suck.

As always, I can't recommend any of this to anyone, but I'm still having a blast reading these. I think it has to do with the fact that they still feel like the old X-Men comics that I loved, they just happen to be awful. A lot of the 21st century x-books are probably superior in both writing and art, but they feel like a totally different thing than what I grew up reading.
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Old 11-16-17, 04:20 PM   #603
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Yeah, I gave up on comics in the mid-'90s, during most of those runs, thinking I'd outgrown them, when in reality, they just sucked. A lot of the comics collections I've been reading from more recent decades are so much better, it's not even funny.
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Old 11-16-17, 10:14 PM   #604
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

Rocket1312, how far through the XMen run are you going to go. I can make it through the era you mentioned just out of nostalgia and love for Joe Mad, and even past that Pacheco and Lobdell can get me through the whole Cecilia Reyes/Maggot era, but even my love of Kia Asamiya can't get me through the Chuck Austen era. Read this synopsis instead: https://comicdomwrecks.wordpress.com...austens-x-men/
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Old 11-16-17, 11:16 PM   #605
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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Rocket1312, how far through the XMen run are you going to go. I can make it through the era you mentioned just out of nostalgia and love for Joe Mad, and even past that Pacheco and Lobdell can get me through the whole Cecilia Reyes/Maggot era, but even my love of Kia Asamiya can't get me through the Chuck Austen era. Read this synopsis instead: https://comicdomwrecks.wordpress.com...austens-x-men/
I stopped buying the books monthly sometime between AoA and Onslaught, but jumped back in when Morrison took over. I've read very little of the material from 1996-2001, so at the very least I hope to make it though that period. I've read the Austen run (have even re-read some of it) and at the very least I'll say that Austen seemed to have a vision for the book. That vision may have been awful, but my recollection is that it's mostly coherent and devoid of the editorial madness that plagues the 90's books. Whether or not I revisit that era is to be determined I guess. While I've been reading these 90's books, I've also been simultaneously re-reading the original Claremont run. I'm pretty familiar with most of the Claremont run, but the JRJR/Alan Davis era is a bit of a blindspot, as is New Mutants. So I might focus my efforts there when the time comes. I also haven't read anything post-Messiah Complex, so I might skip ahead to that point. Basically I'm just trying to fill in all my gaps.
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Old 11-17-17, 01:56 PM   #606
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

The X-Men were selling so well they became oversaturated and diluted with fans. I fear the same thing may be happening right now with Batman, which now makes up around 50% of all DC titles.
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Old 11-17-17, 04:13 PM   #607
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

To be fair, in the 90s everything was riddled with crossovers and nigh incomprehensible if you were just reading one title. In particular characters with multiple books like Spider-man and Superman were basically made for a reader to read a different title every week, which takes an amazing amount of editorial oversight but also makes for a disjointed at times story.

I don't remember exactly but I think Austen's run coincided with morrison's run, which is why it was more self contained and they didn't have all the crazy crossovers. But then you have stuff like Angel and a teenaged Husk taking off their clothes above Husk's parents. Heck, you have all these:
https://comicdomwrecks.wordpress.com...x-men-moments/

It's funny you complain about Batman being oversaturated and Bendis is now heading over to DC, since he fully embraced the popular characters. His Guardians basically included whoever he wanted to write as a member. He blatantly put Spider-man and Wolverine in his Avengers (and honestly, it worked).

As far as Xmen goes, I kind of agree that their popularity (and the popularity of the Image founders) kind of led to their ruin. I mean they were originally the outcasts, the underdogs, they were generally outmatched and hated everywhere they went, I mean at one point they were basically hiding out in Australia. When Lee, Portacio, Silvestri and Liefeld relaunched the books, they became more of a tactical team with a ton of members and a ton of titles. I'll admit as a kid I was super excited. But they completely lost being the underdog, and were more like any other superhero team. Morrison fully embraced this and made mutant culture a thing, which then kind of blew up when he left into entire cities of mutants. They tried to reign it back with M-day, but by then the X-men were pretty firmly entrenched with the rest of the Marvel Universe and nobody could really give a good explanation why mutants are persecuted and hated for being born that way while being exposed to cosmic rays or being given drugs by the government allowed you to be loved and adored by the public. Then you had the big Inhuman push, which just completely lost me.

Last edited by fujishig; 11-17-17 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 11-17-17, 04:34 PM   #608
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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I don't remember exactly but I think Austen's run coincided with morrison's run, which is why it was more self contained and they didn't have all the crazy crossovers. But then you have stuff like Angel and a teenaged Husk taking off their clothes above Husk's parents. Heck, you have all these:
https://comicdomwrecks.wordpress.com...x-men-moments/
Yes, Austen was writing Uncanny while Morrison was doing his own thing on New and Claremont was doing his own thing on X-Treme. He basically got stuck with all of the leftover characters after Morrison and Claremont had their picks. Then Whedon started Astonishing, picking up where Morrison left off on New, X-Treme was cancelled and Claremont continued his stories in Uncanny, and Austen moved to New. All three were more or less continuations of what came before, but Marvel felt the need to shuffle the titles around. I don't know if that's better or worse than swapping in a new adjective and restarting the numbering every time they change writers.
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