Monday, August 20, 2012

Extra! Extra! X-Men Edition

As promises, here's some suggested reading dealing with the X-Men!

X-Men: First Class
This seems like a good place to start. As a comic series, First Class started as an 8 run mini-series that, as far as I can tell, got a regular series (and barely related movie title) due to popularity.

The series follows the original X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Iceman, and Beast) through untold stories that happened during the early years of the comics. You don't need to have read the original series, but they will make a few references to other events that occurred.

The writing, art, and story lines are all fantastic, and, while I haven't completed the entire series yet, I have found it very enjoyable. This is a 9/10 for me.

Issues to Collect: Volume 1 #1-8 (that is a good sample to see if you want to keep reading, which I would suggest that you do).

The Amazing X-Men: Age of Apocalypse
If you are surprised to find this on here, you don't know me or this blog very well! I love post apocalyptic setting and this just happens to be one ruled over by a guy names Apocalypse!

This is the story of world if Charles Xavier had been killed before founding the X-Men. Apoc takes over and turns the world into a Mutant run hellhole, with the only safe place being Europe. Humans are a race on the way to extinction and the nastiest mutants around rule in their stead.

The protagonists, then, are teams of X-Men founded by none other than Magneto himself, who doesn't agree with Apoc's extreme (and murderous) views. The team feaured in this book is made up of Quicksilver and Storm (the leaders), Dazzler, Banshee, Iceman, and Exodus. They're tasked with helping evacuate humans through Maine to Europe, but things get more complicated every step of the way.

The original AoA event was pretty interesting -- ever X-book that was out at the time suddenly became set in this bleak timeline and featured completely different versions of the most recognizable faces (Cyclops is actually on of Apoc's top lieutenants, for example). The story lines converged eventually, leading to the end of the event and the Age of Apocalypse... except we've been shown since then that the universe of AoA is alive and kicking, with all new heroes and problems.

This run, specifically, gets an 8/10 from me.

Issues to Collect: #1-4, and the other X-books set during this time would be good additions too (especially issues Alpha and Omega, which tied the series together).

X-Men: World War Hulk
The world should have known better than to make Hulk mad! The "Illuminati", of which Charles Xavier was part, decided that the Hulk was too big a threat to remain on Earth.

When Hulk eventually got back, he was none too pleased.

This mini-series has Hulk planning to take his vengeance on Xavier, by killing him and anyone that gets in his way.

It's mostly an action packed run, but that can be good from time to time. It also has one of my favorite versus match ups: Wolverine vs. Hulk. The way the fight ends is pretty damn decisive for once, too.

This short series is an 8/10 for me.

Issues to Collect: #1-3, and the main World War Hulk line would be pretty good to get too.

Fatal Attractions
This specific item is a cross-over story line that hit all the major X-books out at the time.

The story is that Magneto, along with his Acolytes, return and the confrontation with the X-Men begins anew.

As a series, it is best known for the issue in which Magneto forcefully rips the adamantium from Wolverine's bones.

Unfortunately, I can't comment on more than that or give it an official rating -- I'm missing one issue and refuse to read the others until I have it. It's on here because it is one of my most anticipated story lines to read. I'll edit this with a scoring when I finally find the last title (ironically, the Wolverine issue).

If it helps, all the covers have are wrap-around and have a hologram component.

Issues to Collect: X-Factor #92, X-Force #25, Uncanny X-Men #304, X-Men (Volume 2) #25, Wolverine (Volume 2) #75, Excalibur #71.

House of M
Similar to AoA, this Marvel Event features an alternate timeline in which Mutants have become the dominant species and "pure" humans are second class citizens. Unlike AoA, this reality is ruled over by the "House of M", which is to say Magneto and his family. It is created by the Scarlet Witch's powers when she goes a bit nuts. Her reasons for going crazy are a bit complicated, so I'll leave it there.

The major Marvel characters are all given different origins and supposedly given versions of their lives that they'd have wished for (IE, Spidey is a movie star married to Gwen Stacy and has his Uncle Ben as an agent). Mutants have great lives and humans, while second class citizens, are able to function and rise in society (Tony Stark being the major example).

The main House of M story line starts with Wolverine realizing that reality has been changed -- due to the mess his mind has become through past manipulations, he alone retained all his original memories (I think that's the explanation given). His mission is to gather the heroes, make them remember, and then force Scarlet Witch to turn things back to normal.

This, of course, happens, but with catastrophic results -- a whispered phrase, "No more Mutants."

The event gets a solid 8/10 from me.

Issues to Collect: #1-8, and I also enjoyed the Spider-Man (#1-5) and Iron Man (#1-3) tie ins.

You may notice I'm missing some great X-Men events/story lines. That's because I probably haven't read them, to be completely honest. If you can, please suggest some! I'm already collecting Ultimate X-Men, but any other suggestions would be welcome.

Next week: I will due Spider-Man suggestions, based on my top 5 favorite costumes. This is due to the fact that I will be taking "50 Shades of Spidey" post down for maintenance while I try to work some issues out. Swing by Wednesday for some Video Game updates!

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