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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.

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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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Old 11-28-17, 03:05 PM   #609
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?



Master of Kung Fu Omnibus v1
(SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION 15-16, MASTER OF KUNG FU 17-37, GIANT-SIZE MASTER OF KUNG FU 1-4, GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN 2, and Material from IRON MAN ANNUAL 4)

Finally finished up volume 1 of MoKF. Like most who didn't buy these off the rack, I had never read these stories due to the fact that licensing problems kept Marvel from reprinting the series until now. That unavailability has given it a sort of mystique that I wasn't sure it could possibly live up to, but I was more than willing to give it a try. At the very least, I liked the idea of supporting Marvel's efforts in finally making these books a reality. Thankfully, the first volume delivered on most of my expectations.

The initial Englehart/Starlin issues are fun, with the debut issue being particularly strong. Marvel, however, was really only interested in exploiting the current kung-fu craze and insisted on more action/less character/more Fu Manchu. After the first third or so of the book the stories start becoming rather formulaic. There are some good issues and some bad and it's clear that new creative team Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy (Englehart and Starlin left due to creative differences) are still trying to figure out what the book should be. Then comes issue #29. Obviously Marvel saw the light and decided to let Moench and Gulacy start doing the sort of stories they wanted to do. The book becomes less of an episodic Kung-Fu tv series clone and more of a serialized, globe trotting James Bond/Enter the Dragon clone. The stories are more exciting and less routine. Gulacy's art immediately goes up a level. The only real bummer are the fill-in issues that plague Gulacy's run. Even though Moench was writing everything by this point, it's obvious that the non-Gulacy issues are just filler. #'s 36 & 37, which close out the volume, are particularly painful. Thankfully, from what I understand, this first volume is only scratching the surface. I'm eager to crack open the second volume as it supposedly contains the best of the Moench/Gulacy run.

All in all, this is a difficult recommendation. The series itself is so far easy to recommend, but as of right now, $125 omnibus volumes are the only way to read it. Marvel has solicited volume 1 of a new Epic Collection line, but who knows if they'll ever complete the entire run as they have with the omnibuses. As it is, that first epic volume is only slated to contain up through #28, which is the last issue before the series starts to get really good. I'm perfectly happy with my decision to dive into the omnibuses, but generally speaking I'm a fan of that format. I can see how it might be a tougher decision for others.
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Old 11-28-17, 03:13 PM   #610
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I've thought about that MoKF omnibus, but it would be a blind buy for me.
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Old 11-28-17, 03:51 PM   #611
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I bought all the MOKF and DHOKF omnibuses blind on the rumor that they wouldn't be released any other way, so the Epic announcement was kind of a disappointment. Glad to hear it's good reading, though.
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Old 11-28-17, 04:08 PM   #612
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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I bought all the MOKF and DHOKF omnibuses blind on the rumor that they wouldn't be released any other way, so the Epic announcement was kind of a disappointment. Glad to hear it's good reading, though.
I obviously have no idea what the agreement with Sax Rohmer was/is, but it was pretty well understood that these omnibuses were it. Marvel was going to fast track the whole series in the span a year and there was no guarantee they'd be seen again. I think the omnibuses did better than expected, so maybe the original agreement was changed. I still don't think there's any guarantee the whole series will come out in Epic. Until that happens (or until the whole thing is released digitally) I'm going to feel pretty good about my omnibuses. A bird in the hand so to speak.
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Old 11-29-17, 04:56 AM   #613
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I'd considered picking up the first few MoKF Ominoo earlier this year, but the timing wasn't right and I didn't want to commit to three or 4 volumes as a blind buy.

I would definitely give them a shot if they put them out in the Epic format.
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Old 11-29-17, 09:25 AM   #614
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I'm tempted by the MoKF omnibi, since they are still available cheaply, but would prefer digital on these if I knew they were coming.
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Old 11-29-17, 09:41 AM   #615
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I guess we'll get a sense of the digital status once the first Epic comes out in March. Typically Marvel has been releasing digital Epics day and date with the printed copies.
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Old 12-05-17, 05:25 PM   #616
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I didn't read this, since it hasn't come out yet, but is it just me or is Marvel scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to come up with collections they haven't done yet?

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/12...er-pachyderms/
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Old 12-06-17, 03:25 PM   #617
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?



X-Men: The Complete Onslaught Epic v.1-4
(Cable 34-36, Uncanny X-Men 335-337, X-Force 57-58, X-Man 18-19, X-Men 53-57, Onslaught: X-Men, Onslaught: Marvel Universe, Onslaught: Epilogue, Avengers 401-402, Fantastic Four 415-416, Incredible Hulk 444-445, Wolverine 104-105, X-Factor 125-126, Excalibur 100, Sensational Spider-Man 8, Amazing Spider-Man 415, Green Goblin 12, Spider-Man 72, Iron Man 332, Punisher 11, Thor 502, X-Men: Road to Onslaught 1)

The thing that jumps out first and foremost is just how chaotic this all feels. Whatever craziness was going on at Marvel behind the scenes in 1996 in the wake of the industry crash and Marvel's impending bankruptcy is evident on the page. The story makes no sense and issue to issue there are more continuity gaffes than I can ever remember seeing in a crossover like this. I get the sense that literally no one was looking at any of these books before they went to print. There also doesn't seem to be any logic or flow to the reading order. Stuff just sort of happens and there's no real way to discern what books are the 'main' books and which ones are just the cash-ins. Even the trades can't get it right. X-Men Unlimited #11, which is the resolution to Rogue's time away from the team and tells the story of how she meets up with Joseph/Magneto before joing the fray with the rest of the X-Men, is skipped, yet some random issues of Punisher and Green Goblin (?!) are included because they happen to feature Sentinels. (XU #11 is included in the omnibus, so they at least got it right later on down the road.)

All that said, it probably doesn't even really matter becaue there's barely a story here at all. Some of the individual issues are solid, but for the most part it's just a lot of omnious overtures mixed with heroes standing around talking and making plans. As vague and as nebulous as villains like Sinister and Apocalypse are (both are of course present and accounted for, lurking in the shadows, because it wouldn't be a 90's X-Men crossover without them), Onslaught is even worse. I challenge anyone who has read the story to explain what it is he's even trying to accomplish or why.* His powers allow him to do pretty much anything he wants, and he's apparently made of pure psionic energy of some sort, yet the plan of attack always seems to just be to punch him, or the castle he's holed up in, really hard. None of this even begins to get into the fact that this crossover marked the end of the line for the original run of Marvel's core non-X/Spider heroes. I know Marvel has committed far more egregious acts against its own history/legacy in recent years, but seeing the final original run issue of Fantastic Four, the series that started it all, given over to a crappy 90's x-crossover still makes me sad for some reason.

As for positives, I will say that some of the art is nice. I don't necessarily love the manga-ish style in general, but Joe Mad's stuff is really striking. It's just so much more bold and confident than the third rate Image clones that populated most of the books at the time. Andy Kubert is another one I've never loved, but he does the over-the-top 90's style better than most. Like I mentioned earlier, I also think some of the individual issues are decent reads, even if they don't add up to much in the big picture. Mark Waid, who I had completely forgotten briefly replaced Fabian Nicieza on X-Men, shows that even the most asinine of stories can be made readable in the hands of a solid pro who knows how to construct a story. No surprise that he quit and/or was run out after only a few months. I also quite liked Peter David's second Hulk tie-in, even if the art is kind of crappy and not being a Hulk reader I had no clue what was going on with some of the sub-plots. All of this also indirectly led to Marvel's neo-classic revival in the late 90's, so I guess that's another positive. All in all though, I couldn't possibly recommend any of this other than to those who like the idea of a trainwreck. I enjoyed reading it for nostalgia's sake, but I can't imagine I'll be revisting anytime soon. I'm so glad that I only spent about $8 on the digital trades rather than spending $65+ on the omnibus.

*There's something called "X-Men: The Road to Onslaught" included at the end of the last volume which is mostly just a recap book including pages and summaries of stuff from the years leading up to the crossover. It's Kind of like the comic book equivalent of a clip show. Also included is presumably the writers' original thesis/concept/whatever for the Xavier/Onslaught reveal. It specifically details Onslaught's motivations going forward and even tries to retcon some of what led up to the reveal, which was necessary because Onslaught wasn't meant to be Xavier until late into the process. Not only is it kind of strange that Marvel actually published this, but even stranger is that what they had in mind kind of makes sense and might have even made for a decent story. I don't know if it was because of the Heroes Reborn stuff getting shoehorned into the story, or maybe just the general editorial chaos of the times, but almost none of this actually ended up on the page. I guess none of it is specifically contradicted by the published story either, so maybe Marvel put it out just to say "see, there was a point to all of this." Who knows.
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Old 12-06-17, 05:00 PM   #618
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

While I'm on a roll, more 90's crossover madness.



Avengers Epic Collection: Operation Galactic Storm
(Avengers 345-347, Avengers West Coast 80-82, Quasar 32-34, Wonder Man 7-9, Iron Man 278-279, Thor 445-446, Captain America 398-401

I had never read Operation Galactic Storm before. In fact, I specifically remember being a poor 12 year old and electing to stop buying Iron Man (a series I was reading monthly at that point) because there was no way I could afford to buy all of the crossover issues. Much like most 90's crossovers, I always assumed it sucked. However, I found it to be a nice throwback sort of story that fits in nicely in the grand scheme of "Marvel cosmic." I don't know if any of the themes and ideas brought up by the story carried over long term (there's much gnashing of teeth over whether or not the Avengers have the right to kill), but there's at least a little bit of meat to go with the obligatory fight scenes. The most interesting thing to me is that the individual titles within the crossover more or less maintain their identity. For example, the Wonder Man installments actually focus on Wonder Man. It makes the story feel somewhat episodic, but it actually kind of works. It especially helps with keeping the continuity of the story on track. It was clear that (unlike Onslaught) the editors knew what they were doing and everyone seems to be on the same page. There is one head scratching moment when Lilandra seemingly changes her mind between issues, but it doesn't take too much to explain that away.

With that said, the crossover goes on WAY too long. 19 parts was at least 5-7 too many. Not nearly enough happens to justify the length. Maybe if I were reading week to week it wouldn't seem as big a deal, but doing it in 2 or 3 sittings was a real chore. And while I generally liked the story, the whole affair is somewhat pedestrian. I can't imagine this is anyone's favorite story for anything other than nostalgic reasons. Also, this came out in early 1992, which was sort of an awkward time, artistically speaking, at Marvel. The previous generation of stars like John Byrne, Walt Simonson, Frank Miller and Barry Smith, among others, had mostly moved on. However, the guys who had replaced them (the Image crew) had also just picked up and left. At a time when there were seemingly new titles being launched on a weekly basis, Marvel was in a bit of a talent drought. Also, Image had yet to take over the world at that point, so the guys they did have were still doing a vague amalgamation of Marvel's 80's house style and Jim Lee, rather than going full on insane 90's. All that is to say is that the art isn't the total 90's poop show it could have been had it been published a year later, but it's also not that solid, clean, classical Marvel storytelling either. It's just sort of mediocre.

In the end, I was glad to have finally read this. If you like the Avengers, and in particular enjoy stuff like the Kree/Skrull war, you'll get some mileage out of this. It's probably one of the last vaguely memorable Avengers moments until the Busiek/Perez relaunch of the late 90's. Just don't expect to be telling your grandkids about it someday and you'll be fine.
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Old 12-06-17, 05:25 PM   #619
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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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!
Still reading this - it's surprisingly good!

I say surprisingly, because I had heard nothing about this run during it or even until this omnibus came out - probably because I'm much more of a Marvel guy.

If you like Batman at all, I highly recommend it!
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Old 12-06-17, 05:54 PM   #620
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I've seen that Batman series but it really wasn't on my radar. Taking note of it for future consideration.
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Old 12-07-17, 10:53 AM   #621
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?



The Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol. 2
(UNCANNY X-MEN 132-153, ANNUAL 4-5, AVENGERS ANNUAL 10, MARVEL FANFARE 1-4, MARVEL TREASURY EDITION 26-27, MARVEL TEAM-UP 100, BIZARRE ADVENTURES 27, PHOENIX: THE UNTOLD STORY 1)

This is probably the 3rd or 4th time through this material for me and there's not much to say that hasn't been said before. Claremont/Byrne/Austin was the best this book ever got and it's really a shame that they couldn't have worked together longer. Reading this as I've also been reading through a bunch of 90's X-Men makes me yearn for the day that there was only one x-book driven by a single creative vision. Sigh.

I will say that I was struck with just how much Claremont struggled to keep things going in the immediate aftermath of Byrne's departure. Coming off of Dark Phoenix and Days of Future Past will do that, I guess, but the series really feels like it's spinning it's wheels for a while. Issue #150 is notable as a huge step in Claremont's re-imagining of Magneto (probably his greatest accomplishment on the x-books post-Byrne), but otherwise that first year or so is just sort of blah. Part of that might be just how Kitty-centric it is. I can't say I'm a huge fan. My recollection is that things pick up considerably when the Brood show up in volume 3, and I know Paul Smith's run is loved by many, though I never quite understood the love myself. I'm looking forward to revisiting it either way.

If you're interested in the X-Men and have never read it, this is a no-brainer. Although I will say that reading omnibus v.1 and the first 300 or so pages of v.2 (through #143, Byrne's final issue) is probably all you need if you're just looking to read the really good stuff.
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Old 12-09-17, 12:11 PM   #622
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?



Spider-Man: Tombstone v.1
(Spectacular Spider-Man 137-150, Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 8)

This is from the Conway/Sal Buscema run on Spectacular that coincided with Michelinie/MacFarlane on Amazing. The MacFarlane stuff is legendary for all the reasons that everyone already knows, but it's not that interesting of a read. I'm just a casual Spidey fan, but I much preferred this book. It's nothing special, just good, solid super-hero comics with some nice focus on Spider-Man's supporting cast. I don't love Sal B. inking himself (I don't think the reproduction on this book does his thin, wispy inking lines any favors), but it's nice to be able to read a long run with a stable creative team and no fill-ins. There's a bit of business tying up loose ends from the original 70's clone saga that I didn't totally understand (I've never read those stories), but otherwise this was fun and I hope they continue to collect this run.



Captain America Masterworks v.3
(Captain America 101-113)

As a kid I thought Captain America was lame. However, the older I get and the more of his stories I read, the more I've really come to enjoy the character. I've said it before, but I think these Cap stories are my favorite of the Lee/Kirby ouvre. FF and Thor are probably more impressive on balance, but these are tons of fun. Kirby was just killing it at this point and it almost doesn't matter if the stories themselves are good or not. Then, at the end of the book, Steranko shows up and seemingly catapults the medium forward 20 years in the span of a couple months. It doesn't get much better than this. The only real negative is the constant need to force Rick Jones into these stories. Words cannot express how much I loathe that character. I've never read much Hulk, so maybe he's fine there. Marvel should had kept him there.
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Old 12-09-17, 02:50 PM   #623
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post


The Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol. 2
(UNCANNY X-MEN 132-153, ANNUAL 4-5, AVENGERS ANNUAL 10, MARVEL FANFARE 1-4, MARVEL TREASURY EDITION 26-27, MARVEL TEAM-UP 100, BIZARRE ADVENTURES 27, PHOENIX: THE UNTOLD STORY 1)

This is probably the 3rd or 4th time through this material for me and there's not much to say that hasn't been said before. Claremont/Byrne/Austin was the best this book ever got and it's really a shame that they couldn't have worked together longer. Reading this as I've also been reading through a bunch of 90's X-Men makes me yearn for the day that there was only one x-book driven by a single creative vision. Sigh.

I will say that I was struck with just how much Claremont struggled to keep things going in the immediate aftermath of Byrne's departure. Coming off of Dark Phoenix and Days of Future Past will do that, I guess, but the series really feels like it's spinning it's wheels for a while. Issue #150 is notable as a huge step in Claremont's re-imagining of Magneto (probably his greatest accomplishment on the x-books post-Byrne), but otherwise that first year or so is just sort of blah. Part of that might be just how Kitty-centric it is. I can't say I'm a huge fan. My recollection is that things pick up considerably when the Brood show up in volume 3, and I know Paul Smith's run is loved by many, though I never quite understood the love myself. I'm looking forward to revisiting it either way.

If you're interested in the X-Men and have never read it, this is a no-brainer. Although I will say that reading omnibus v.1 and the first 300 or so pages of v.2 (through #143, Byrne's final issue) is probably all you need if you're just looking to read the really good stuff.
You should pick up the Classic X-Men omnibus that just came out as a companion to that collection.

I'm reading at the moment Justice League: Volume 4 from the New 52 era. Written by Geoff Johns, it runs up into Trinity War. This is an arc trying to break new members into the Justice League like Element Woman (a derivative Metamorpho rip-off) and a female Atom I've never heard of before.

It's solid superhero storytelling, if trying a bit too hard to emulate the funny ensemble cast of Giffen's Justice League.
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Old 12-09-17, 09:59 PM   #624
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

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You should pick up the Classic X-Men omnibus that just came out as a companion to that collection.
Oh definitely. It's next on my list. I just picked up the new Deadpool/X-Force
omnibus as well as Master of Kung-Fu 3 & 4, so it'll probably have to wait until after the new year. I'm eager to hear how it is though. It's over 1000 pages, which seems like an awful lot for what's in there. Are the new and re-edited pages given some sort of context? How about the back-up stories? My assumption is that the book is presented more as an appendix or a companion rather than a standalone, readable volume.
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Old 12-09-17, 11:21 PM   #625
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Re: What's the last TPB/Graphic Novel you read?

I loved Operation Galactic Storm when it came out, though it was definitely a money grab. I thought Iron Man's space armor was so cool. I didn't mind the length, especially next to something like the Kree Skrull war which looking back was so tiny. What's funny about that era art wise is that I thought the Avengers art by Epting was so run of the mill, and years later his runs in Crossgen and Captain America were incredible,many I've always wondered if it was time crunch, inking, or just evolution of his art. In comparison Jeff Johnson on Wonder Man and Greg Capullo on Quasar were just putting out stellar stuff.

When I was a kid my mom collected comics and she had incredible taste, so we had the whole Claremont/Byrne run in single issue form. Of course, we thought of comics as largely disposable so they were kept in paper grocery bags stacked up out of order, and as a kid I never could follow the continuity as much. Until they released Dark Phoenix Saga as one of the only trade paperbacks of the era. I read that volume again and again, and I still think of that as the highlight of the run.

I'm also reading the new 52 justice league John's title in digital single issue form, and it does go kind of off the rails when they introduce these secondary characters for seemingly no reason. I think they also spin off Green Arrow and Trevor into a separate JLA title which doesn't help at all.
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