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Unnecessarily X-Essive — Everyone From Uncanny X-Men Volume 1

My God!

Artist, friend-of-the-Longbox, and all-around good guy Scott Modrzynski tipped me to this project several months ago. I thought it sounded madly ambitious then, and now that it’s done …

My God!

Seriously, just go take a look.

It really is All of the X-Men.

But it is so much more than that.

All of the X-Men, yes … but also every other damn character that appeared in Uncanny Volume 1.

You want the Abercrombie Orphanage Kids from Uncanny #25? They’re here. Geraldo Rivera from #99? Yep. How about Chris Claremont’s cameo from #105? Here. And of course, no X-Men collection would be truly complete without the Beach Goer from Uncanny #222, so you don’t have to ask — present and accounted for.

For all that is holy, just go and look at this thing.

Scott provided some insight on his tortured soul:

“There were some times this project made me so delirious that I’d see the X-shape of the characters as I closed my eyes, which has only ever happened to me after a long day of staring at waves on the beach.

“I almost quit entirely when I got to #190, because I loathed the thought of recreating the regular cast, Avengers and New Mutants as barbarians. At the time, I think it was the most characters I had to make in a single issue.


“That total was surpassed in #370 when I created a big chunk of Skrulls posing as Marvel heroes and villains – yes, I included every Skrull impostor that ever appears in the book, ditto for Mystique’s shape shifts – and once again in #514, during a crossover with Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers. In the latter two cases, I hit 30 unique characters/costumes in a single issue. So tedious …

“But for my own sick piece of mind, this was worth the long journey down memory lane. I love these characters, and a good number of their stories.”

We believe you, Scott. We. Believe. YOU.

Tell Scott what you think of this work at his site, Twitter, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. (I will post Scott’s specific room number at the asylum when that information is made public!)

Old Man Logan #1

OLD MAN LOGAN #1

Capsule Review

Wolverine is back from that depressing Mad Max/Old West alternate future where the bad guys won and a T-Rex runs around in a Venom suit. He’s disoriented and mad as hell. His future was filled with Very Bad People, and Logan is determined to do Very Bad Things to them here in his past, to make sure those later Very Bad Things never come to pass. Writer Jeff Lemire’s script sets up more like a limited series than a continuing run, with Logan having a hit list and maybe an issue or so to scratch each name off of it. (Considering some of the names on that list, I don’t see how this ends with anything but a fake-out). They’re going for a spaghetti western vibe but I thought the pace a bit too languid; artist Andrea Sorrentino borrows that distinctive Sergio Leone color palette but I found his pencils too rough-hewn, even for a post-apocalypse book. Sorrentino does some nice work with small inset panels emphasizing small actions, like Logan getting ready to pop his claws (or not), and I liked the two-page homage to Frank Miller’s Dark Knight, but overall it was just a bit too craggy for me. I guess they don’t mark these books as being for “mature readers” anymore, but this would qualify, if that’s your thing. (It isn’t mine).

Approachability For New Readers

Pretty disorienting. I read the original series way back when, so I could fill in the blanks, but you are pretty much on your own.

Read #2?

Nah … I don’t much like this nakedly murderous Wolverine.

Sales Rank

#6 January

Read more about the X-Men at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

Old Man Logan #1

 

Uncanny X-Men #1

UNCANNY X-MEN #1

Capsule Review

Marvel’s latest X-Men title is all about the hardcases. If the other X-Men books are about heroes the public thinks are bad guys, then what does that say about an X-Men book that really is about the bad guys? With the fallen-hero-as-villain trope so central to all things X-Men, there’s no limit to the characters who might stock this book, but writer Cullen Bunn and artist Greg Land stick with the usual suspects, to generally good effect. We get Magneto being melodramatic and hardcore, Sabertooth holding himself in check, Psylocke flashing her swords around, and Monet (who I don’t know at all) smiling all the time and delivering dialogue that felt just a bit too stagey. There’s also a brain-dead Angel who is more drone than superhero. The plot is clever and centers on Magneto’s typically slash-and-burn approach to solving the Inhuman-spawned Terrigen mist crisis that is threatening mutant-kind. The book hits a bad-guys-as-heroes tone that completely eluded the Illuminati reboot. The action is strong and the faces are full of expression. I was especially taken with Greg Land’s panel introducing Sabertooth, with the villain (hero?) crouched on the hood of a truck, and the driver’s panicked expression communicated through the frightened eyes framed in the truck’s rear-view mirror. This is the kind of book that has big panels and lots of action (and a two-page center-spread) which means you can read it in about five minutes … but it’s a pretty good five minutes.

Approachability For New Readers

No more or less clear than any other X-Men book.

Read #2?

You bet.

Sales Rank

(#10 January)

Read more about the X-Men at Longbox Graveyard

Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

 

Uncanny X-Men #1

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