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  #31  
Old 05-27-2010, 01:30 PM
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As sad as it was that Marvel decided to turn the X-Men back into straight-up superheroes, Whedon was the best man to take the job.
You know, if they'd just stuck with the idea, that would've been fine too.

But now they're back to the allegorical persecution stuff, and I'm all "wait, again?"

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If you're going to hate and antagonize any group; why choose the one that has a guy with eye-lasers or the girl who can control weather?

That just reeks of being a poor idea on multiple levels.
I think part of it is Marvel's whole fantasy-fulfillment thing, where the people who get picked upon get to show up the bullies.

But, yeah, if I was a member of the anti-Mutant-league or whomever, I'd be real careful about whom I'd try to lynch.
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  #32  
Old 05-27-2010, 01:47 PM
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From the Ashes is alright but it suffers badly from Chris Claremont Can't Move On from the Phoenix Saga Syndrome. A lot of people loved Paul Smith on art, but I've never understood what was special about him.
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  #33  
Old 05-27-2010, 01:52 PM
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From the Ashes is alright but it suffers badly from Chris Claremont Can't Move On from the Phoenix Saga Syndrome. A lot of people loved Paul Smith on art, but I've never understood what was special about him.

Nothing all that special on X-Men, but Golden Age is one of the best miniseries ever produced and his art is a major part of that.
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  #34  
Old 05-27-2010, 01:59 PM
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He did Golden Age? I'd have never guessed. His X-Men always looked too thin and clean.

example
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  #35  
Old 05-27-2010, 02:04 PM
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Yup, and therefore he's responsible for one of my favourite panels in comics, the "Alan Scott smoking a cigar with the weight of the world on his shoulders" shot that I linked to on JLR.
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  #36  
Old 05-27-2010, 02:09 PM
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Astonishing X-Men kinda sucked, sorry guys. You may like it if you're already a Whedon fan, but this is true of everything he does.
I second this. I was pretty excited to buy Astonishing after all the praise it got, and I thought it would be cool to see a cure story done right (since X3 did it, along with everything else, wrong). I actually thought the comic's treatment of it was even weaker than the movie's. Reading New X-Men especially threw it into relief; where all the big ideas in New X-Men are examined pretty exhaustively, the cure story in Astonishing is just kind of a side note before the climactic fight with that cat guy.

Also a bummer how they threw all the development of the Cyclops/Wolverine relationship out the window at the first opportunity just to leave them as petulant adolescents again.

I really enjoyed Weapon X. It's not particularly deep, but it's really amazingly drawn and effective in its disturbing way. Barry Windsor-Smith is a genius. It's only available in hardback but it's on the Marvel Digital site.
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  #37  
Old 05-27-2010, 02:17 PM
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Best X-Men is Jason Aaron writing Wolverine

I mean really, none of those other guys are a big deal. Especially now that that one guy is dead.

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Grant Morrison's New X-Men is very polarizing among its fans, yet it does a good job exploring the idea of mutants being the next stage of human evolution, exploring Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters as an actual school and establishing the team as more of a mutant search-and-rescue team than an all-out superhero team. Again, very hit-or-miss, so read at your own caution.
The whole notion of mutants as the "next step of humanity" has struck me as deeply counter intuitive to the whole notion of the X-Men. First of all, I don't think evolution works that way, second , the amount of mutations that had absolutely no benefits/negative impacts were pretty damn numerous. Not everyone was a saucey psychic seductress like Emma Frost. Not to mention that the whole "mutancy as a stand-in for pre-existing social problems" thing goes out the window when you start suggesting that in a couple of decades there won't be any non-mutants anymore.

Add that to some of Morrison's weird issues with being able to create a genuinely morally grey antagonist ("Magneto is just a senile old terrorist") and it's like...myehhh.
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  #38  
Old 05-27-2010, 05:46 PM
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I second this. I was pretty excited to buy Astonishing after all the praise it got, and I thought it would be cool to see a cure story done right (since X3 did it, along with everything else, wrong). I actually thought the comic's treatment of it was even weaker than the movie's. Reading New X-Men especially threw it into relief; where all the big ideas in New X-Men are examined pretty exhaustively, the cure story in Astonishing is just kind of a side note before the climactic fight with that cat guy.
Hahaha, I remember the 90s cartoon doing the cure storyline too. (the "doctor" was mystique working for apocalypse iirc.)
I've never liked the idea of a "cure" because it runs so counter-intuitive to what we know about mutants. They try to get over the idea of the powers being integral to their genetic makeup, but outside of Chamber I can't think of a time when missing powers has negatively affected mutants at an organic level. It's like, can your cure being tall? Yeah, but you'd be left without half of your legs.

I was surprised how weak Whedon's core ideas were. Breakworld? You have a library off great villains, and you choose to pull a lame new character out of your coat that brings nothing new to the mix? Well, okay. To be fair, Morrison was a multiple-time offender of bringing in a forgettable original non-character when a known quantity would suffice; Fantomex was practically his Poochie.

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Also a bummer how they threw all the development of the Cyclops/Wolverine relationship out the window at the first opportunity just to leave them as petulant adolescents again.
I know! So reactionary and dumb, just like the Colossus un-deading and the "okay actually we are superheroes wink " deal. It like he wanted to pay tribute to Claremont, and did so by being frustrating and writing bad stories centered around Kitty Pryde. His further cementing of Morrison's "Absolutely Fabulous" Emma Frost characterization told me that it was heading towards troubled waters.
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  #39  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:39 PM
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Oof, these suckers can be expensive. But it looks like it will be an enjoyable holiday weekend:



Interestingly, Essential X-Men, Vol. 1 was nowhere to be found at my local comic shops.

One stumbling point I ran across is the fact that Marvel recycles the titles "New Mutants" and "New X-Men" for different series. From what I can tell, "New X-Men" was used to title the more contemporary iteration of the "New Mutants" line after Morrison's run was over. Has anybody read the "Academy X" stories, or the spin-off "X-Force?"
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  #40  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mablem8 View Post
Oof, these suckers can be expensive. But it looks like it will be an enjoyable holiday weekend:



Interestingly, Essential X-Men, Vol. 1 was nowhere to be found at my local comic shops.
Well, Volume 2 has the entire Dark Phoenix arc, so not much of a loss.

However, Volume 1 has Magneto show up and reveal his evil plan to lock the X-Men into special chairs that give them the motar control of infants, and then having a really annoying robot nanny pamper them until they can take no more.

And that? That is just fine.
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  #41  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:40 PM
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However, Volume 1 has puppies.
God bless the Silver Age.
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  #42  
Old 05-27-2010, 09:23 PM
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Whedon on Astonishing took Claremont's tropes: mutant hysteria, alien adventures, self-created problems and the shadow team, and did 3 of the four of them better than Claremont ever did while keeping most of development from Morrison's run. Except for the fight at the beginning the Cyclops Wolverine "friendship" is still there, Frost remains a hero, and Beast's struggles about his humanity continue. Plus he brought back Colossus, who had one of the dumbest deaths in comics. The only problems with Astonishing X-Men is that the dangerous arc is weak and that Whedon never got to outdo Claremont on an possible alternate future story.

And while I wouldn't rush to get it, the Lee/Kirby stuff is not terrible, just some of their weaker work. But I'm not sure there is bad Jack Kirby.
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  #43  
Old 05-27-2010, 09:24 PM
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I know! So reactionary and dumb, just like the Colossus un-deading and the "okay actually we are superheroes wink " deal. It like he wanted to pay tribute to Claremont, and did so by being frustrating and writing bad stories centered around Kitty Pryde.
So were you expecting him to ignore the opportunity to write about another waifish girl with super-powers?
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  #44  
Old 05-31-2010, 09:00 AM
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Has anybody read the "Academy X" stories, or the spin-off "X-Force?"
Yeah, they're some fun stuff (I like DeFillipis / Weir as a writing team). Sort of like the Harry Potter with Mutants thing that Morrison kind of hinted at, although of course his take on it predated Harry Potter.

The catch is that after the first series ends they just come right out and actually divide the students into houses... er, squads.

But it was a good little universe-building series that went all to hell when someone thought it was a good idea to wipe out most of the mutants.

I don't think X-Force was a direct spin-off; I rode the series to its conclusion and I don't think X-Force was out until well after that.
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  #45  
Old 06-01-2010, 10:22 AM
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I was way into X-books back in middle school in the 90s, though I have sporadically followed them in recent years when I heard good things about a particular storyline.

A book I really enjoyed as a young 'un was the spin-off "Generation X", which featured Banshee and Emma Frost (as one of her first turns as a good guy) re-establishing the "School for Gifted Youngsters" as an actual school for young mutants instead of a palatial manor grown men and women would stalk around in spandex.

The book featured Jubilee and a host of new mutants discovered during the "Phalanx Covenant" crossover event trying to learn to control their powers and go on low key missions. Of course it was never that simple, but at the time I think I enjoyed the book more than the "main" X-books.

I've always regretted not reading the 90's era X-Force books with Cable as the team lead. At the time I was pretty sure they sucked, but looking back, it sounds like a lot of messy comic fun featuring some of the less "refined" mutant heroes of the 90s.
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  #46  
Old 06-01-2010, 12:10 PM
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The Lobdell-Bachalo issues of Generation X are insane and probably the reason I have such a bug up my ass over the "one-dimensional Bitchy British Jean Grey" Emma. The Emma Frost in Gen X >>>>> any other Emma Frost.
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  #47  
Old 06-01-2010, 07:28 PM
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If a big purple-blue guy booming, "I am as far beyond mutants as they are beyond you!" isn't the best X-men, I don't want to know what is.
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  #48  
Old 06-02-2010, 12:23 PM
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Oh, man. Incredibly long geekout forthcoming. Recommendations are in bold...and I'll try to guard against critical spoilers where I can.

I would definitely echo the first four Essential X-Men volumes as my unqualified recommendation. They cover the best that Claremont had for the X-Men, right up to the point when things were starting to get a little dicey (e.g. Madeline Pryor, X-Men in Spaaaaaaaace).

Beyond that era, you get a steady descent into madness, including another fake death/reboot that transports the team in Australia, a gazillion mutant teams running around (including one led by Magneto, of all people), two different encounters with demons and/or Satan, and all sorts of mind-numbing insanity dealing with Genosha. The best way to approach the mid-to-late-80's run of the X-Men, if you ask me, is to forget that any of it happened at all.

(It's worth noting that this period of turbulence isn't unique to the X-Men but, rather, symbolizes a collective freakout from Marvel in response to a shift in comic book storytelling, spearheaded by The Dark Knight Returns and The Watchmen. Marvel writers everywhere seemed obsessed with blowing up their teams over and over again in grand, world-altering fashion, in an ongoing attempt to capture the Watchmen lightning in a bottle. It didn't work.)

Once you hit the 90's, things get a little bit better. The reason that X-Men #1 is one of the best selling comics of all time is because it represented a bit of a homecoming for the X-Men comic, a consolidation/cleanup of all of the insane continuity that happened over the last 5-10 years. You get a killer Jim Lee cover with Magneto at the forefront as the villain, As God Intended, facing off against the most appealing X-Men characters, each with fresh new character designs. It's the moment that Marvel decided to push the X-Men as their #1 go-to superhero team - because, despite every attempt to completely destroy the brand in the 80's, the X-Men were still probably their most marketable property - and they swung for the fences with multiple comic book series:

- A populist, action-driven line at establishing a newer, cleaner continuity for mass marketing appeal (X-Men)
- A more traditional, story-driven line with carefully-measured loyalty to old continuity (Uncanny X-Men)
- An EXTREME!!! military/vigilante offshoot to give the brand some edge (X-Force)
- A more light-hearted series (X-Factor) that effectively tied up everything else not covered by the first three series by acting as a repository for second-tier characters (Havok!) and unfortunate continuity requirements (We Have A Government-Approved Team of Mutants!).

Even when most of the big names from these books would leave town to form Image Comics, things still seemed like they were on their way back up and Marvel cashed in on that success with two killer crossovers:

- X-Cutioner's Song, which involved a mass-market assassination plot (Xavier), surprisingly-wise uses of continuity (the techno-organic virus, super-careful implications of the Summers family nonsense), and tons and tons of action.

- Fatal Attractions, which pitted the X-Men in one huge confrontation with Magneto that involved one major -- and completely brilliant -- betrayal, a virtually-mandatory character nerf, and a pretty intense escape sequence at the very end.

Almost immediately after that, things turn to absolute crap. You get a dreadful Avengers crossover, a straight-faced wedding between Cyclops and Jean Grey (because there was apparently nothing better to do), and a lukewarm mini-reboot that leans on uglier aspects of the late 80's continuity (Phalanx Covenant). Things get bad enough that they blow everything up again by having Charles Xavier get killed (again) in the past, sending everything to a bizarre alternate dimension where Wolverine only has one hand and Apocalypse talks waaaaay too much (Age of Apocalypse). After that, things resume sucking again, all the way through the Onslaught storyline, which virtually ruins the X-Men franchise for good and does a lot of collateral damage to other Marvel properties in the process.

That's where I got off the X-Men train and, beyond that period, I couldn't really tell you much. I haven't read Whedon's stuff or any of the Ultimate X-Men line (yet another reboot). Through, from a distance, it appears that all of the modern stuff outside of Whedon's work (e.g. Chuck Austen's hatchet job on Uncanny X-Men) has been embarrassingly bad.

I did, however, briefly come back for Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men, which isn't necessarily good as much as it is different. And, considering that the X-Men brand was effectively used up at that point, a different approach was certainly welcome. The problem is that it was still Grant Morrison, which means that the book starts to read like the last season of Star Trek:TNG, where the characters had nothing left to do but hallucinate and/or go crazy every other episode. Just utter, utter weirdness.

The X-Men battle Xavier's astral twin sister that he previously fought in the womb. Morrison does everything in his power to completely replace Jean Grey with Emma Frost, right down to sprite-swapping her into a romantic relationship with Cyclops. Some random guy with guns named Fantomex drops by and asks if Cyclops and Wolverine want to go on a field trip with him to spaaaaaace. Genosha gets plunged into war/destroyed/whatever again. Yet Another Team Of Young Mutants gets introduced with another random dude (Xorn) in charge. Magneto gets high on mutant-power-altering drugs and goes completely apesh*t, resulting in Jean Grey getting killed (in a scene that has got to be designed for sheer parody) and Wolverine lopping Magneto's head clean off with little or no fanfare. Then everybody flies into the future because those mutant-power-altering drugs were actually some kind of sentient bacteria that want to destroy evolution. Oooooooookay.

I think people look back fondly on the Morrison run because, by that point, people were just really tired of the X-Men, so they wanted to see somebody come in and completely wreck things with a sledgehammer. If you actually go back and read his work, though, I think you'll find a number of absolutely brilliant moments that can get easily lost within a lot of meandering nonsense. Morrison certainly blows things up well enough -- the retcons required to essentially undo his work are some of the most strained, awful retcons in X-Men history, which should tell you something -- but he never really builds anything meaningful in its stead either.
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  #49  
Old 06-02-2010, 03:11 PM
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I think people look back fondly on the Morrison run because, by that point, people were just really tired of the X-Men, so they wanted to see somebody come in and completely wreck things with a sledgehammer. If you actually go back and read his work, though, I think you'll find a number of absolutely brilliant moments that can get easily lost within a lot of meandering nonsense. Morrison certainly blows things up well enough -- the retcons required to essentially undo his work are some of the most strained, awful retcons in X-Men history, which should tell you something -- but he never really builds anything meaningful in its stead either.
People look back fondly on the Morrison run because it was a pretty good run in a book that had been absolutely terrible for a quarter of a century.

And on Claremont, I remember the point where I realized how bad his run actually was, which I will spoiler even though its a twenty plus year old bad comic. The X-Men were fighting the Hellfire club an Rachel Grey, Cyclops and Jeans kid from a possible future and at the time possessor of the Phoenix force, was going to kill Selene, the evil vampire member of the hellfire club who had been tormenting her, but Wolverine shows up and tells Rachel that the X-Men don't kill. She ignores him so he stabs her in the heart, which would have killed her save for Mojo's(Good God theres a terrible villain) helpers intervention. I put the book down and I didn't even consider reading any X-Men after that until Grant Morrison.
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  #50  
Old 06-02-2010, 04:23 PM
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The Wolverine/Rachel thing was the biggest what the fuck in X-Men history. It just relies so much on retarded comic book pussy morality. If we kill the mass-murdering vampire, is it not we who are the real monster???? What a completely stupid non-sequitor.

The Outback era is definitely weird. Claremont said he always liked the idea of the X-Men being a loose group constantly in flux in exotic locales, which is fine in theory but in practice meant trading off everything that made the premise compelling in favor of Space Adventures with the Brood and X-Men in Magic World.

The Brood, Shi'ar, Shadow King, Kitty Pride, Rachel -- these are Chris Claremont's Poochies. Learn to love them or get the fuck out. I read in a forum once that had he stayed on he was supposedly going to have the Shadow King be responsible for virtually everything that had ever happened in the book. Which tells you all you need to know about mid-era Claremont, really.

I will say that he was a fantastic idea man, even though his follow-through sucked. Nimrod, Warlock, Muir Island, The Right, Sabretooth, Marauders, the Reavers, Legion, Spiral, Body Shoppe, Lady Deathstrike, Mojoworld, Morlocks, Proteus -- all great concepts. I'll never figure out how you can come up with a character as interesting as Legion and the shunt him aside so everyone can go to Asgard or fight the Hellfire Club mk. III or whatever. Hmmm, an insanely powerful and neglected son of Professor X with multiple personality disorder... nope, no stories to be told there! The Right gets props for sheer weirdness with the smiley-face helmets; I think the character arc of Cameron Hodge speaks well of his abilities when he wasn't distracted, but I'm not sure how much of that was Louise Simonson.

Continuity question: was it ever explained/addressed why Donald Pierce, cyborg mutant-hating bigot, joined up with a cabal of powerful evil mutants?
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  #51  
Old 06-02-2010, 04:45 PM
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Yeah, that whole mid-80's period is rife with completely bizarre plot contrivances, like Professor X nearly being killed as a result of a hate crime, but hiding it from the rest of the time until he gets reinjured, wherein he almost immediately decides to turn over leadership to Conveniently Reformed Magneto.

That particular incident also goes back to Wolverine's ascension as a big-time draw during this period, thanks to Claremont and Frank Miller's revision of the Wolverine character. Once they flipped the switch and spiked the Bad@$$ Anti-Hero meter with the "new" Wolverine, it became increasingly hard to reconcile his position with the X-Men, who were still tied to more traditional superheroics. So, you had situations like that, where Wolverine would perform some extreme act of violence or decide, on a whim, to just up and leave the team to go on some undoubtedly Bad@$$ field trip, and the rest of the team would be left to rationalize whatever that wacky Wolverine was up to, just so that he could still remain a part of the team.

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Continuity question: was it ever explained/addressed why Donald Pierce, cyborg mutant-hating bigot, joined up with a cabal of powerful evil mutants?
Well, Sebastian Shaw ended up funding the Sentinel program and Project Wideawake, so maybe self-persecution was one of the pre-requisites for membership in the Hellfire Club?
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  #52  
Old 06-02-2010, 05:10 PM
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That would explain the bondage and role-playing.
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  #53  
Old 06-03-2010, 10:36 AM
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People look back fondly on the Morrison run because it was a pretty good run in a book that had been absolutely terrible for a quarter of a century.
That's the thing about it: it's the X-Men for people who like the idea, but hated the books. People who actually thought the X-Men were good prior to Morrison coming in - and, frankly, god help their souls if they did - didn't like it as much.
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  #54  
Old 05-24-2016, 12:58 PM
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It's been six years since this thread.

In the meantime, have there been any modern X-Men (or other X-spinoff) runs in the years past Morrison and arguably Whedon that are worth reading? Or is the line still struggling?

(Also, if a mod sees this: it looks like this thread probably mostly belongs in the books forum.)
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  #55  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:09 PM
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The Marvel Now Uncanny X-Men and All-New X-Men books were pretty good. Both were done by Bendis though, so they were set up to be something amazing and then kind of peter out at some point (ANX gets crossover fever and kind of loses its focus after the Battle of the Atom event).

I'd highly recommend Cable & X-Force from a couple years ago as a short run thing that is X-adjacent. It's a really odd team (Cable, Dr. Nemesis, Colossus, Forge, Boom Boom, Domino), but it worked. I'd also suggest the most recent X-Factor for similar weird team that works reasons (also, Peter David), but it also got axed way too soon.
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  #56  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:12 PM
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I will treat this as a thread I was thinking about making and discuss the X-Men films and tv shows:

X-Men TAS: Classic! Captured my imagination as a child. When I found out the series lasted until 1997 in 2000 when the movie came out, that seemed impossibly recent because I think only watched the first few years.

X-Men: Evolution: I liked it. Goth Rogue was definitely up my alley at the time.

Wolverine and the X-men: At this point was an adult and believe it or not I found this children's cartoon wanting! I also had a prejudice against Wolverine at the time and didn't like the creators because they were behind the joyless slaughterfests in one of the junior X-Books at the time. (New X-Men: Young X-Men: The New Mutants or Something)

Generation X: I saw this one before I knew it was affiliated with the X-Men. Barely remember it. I got the entire run of Generation X for about 70$ as a birthday present near when it ended and goddammit I read it all. Give or take some random one-shot crossovers~

Mutant X: I never saw this. I know it's not really an X-Men thing. I loved the idea of the Mutant X comic bc I think alternate realities are cool and this one was metal-as-hell, but I take it it's actually crap?? Who would've thought.

I haven't read an X-Men comic in some time.

Of the X-Films: I haven't seen Wolverine: Origins.
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  #57  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:12 PM
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I have heard both Wolverine & the X-Men by Aaron and Uncanny X-Force by Remender are very good, but I haven't actually read them myself yet.
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  #58  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:13 PM
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I've read a bit of both. I think Uncanny X-Force looks very nice and has a good take on Apocalypse. (cute l'il boy)
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  #59  
Old 05-24-2016, 01:15 PM
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I actually really like all the teen spin-offs, although the last one that I read (but not the most recent) spent the last several years hilariously slaughtering so much of its young cast. How appealing!
yeah i definitely hated yost and kyle's book
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:21 PM
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Jeanie Jeanie is offline
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Spider-Man and the X-Men was both the best Spider-Man book and the best X-Men book in the last five years.
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marvel , rise from your grave!

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