Join me as I discuss Grant Morrison's New X-men. Like it or not the man managed to help save the x-men.
A little backstory before we begin. In early 2001 the first x-men movie was coming out. Right before this the x-books had really not been the flagship title that Joe Quesada wanted it to be.
If memory serves me right it was right after Cyclops had been found (Having just had apocolypse in him mind you) and he and logan were two of the only people left to defend the world against a new form of magneto who had risen in new fashion. The arc had finally wrapped up and we were truly left wondering: What was next?
Grant's first issue hit stands and fans truly were cuaght of guard, no costumes. The team now had streamlined realistic uniforms. Scott and Logan were returning from a mission in genosha with crazy hybrid sentinels. We wre introduced to a very deadly woman who at that time was only known as Cassandra nova. She was cold, calculating and as we soon found out the biological sister to charles xavier.
Speaking of Charles, we were introduced to a new Cerebro now highly advanced technology and renamed cerebra. Every mutant in the world was now trackable. Conducting the experiment with him were two of his closest students Hank Mckoy aka the beast who was rather starting to live up to his name, taking up a very catlike appearance. And Jean Grey who seemed to be more powerful then ever.
But these revelations were soon amped up as Ms. Nova was able to turn the sentinels on the whole of genosha, killing a popultion of over 16 million. only one survivor was found: Emma frost aka the white queen in a new secondary mutation.
Joining Grant for this reinvisioning of the team was constant collaborator Frank Quitely. Who's art was very unique and fitting for the series. Though Frank's speed came into question and we were soon introduced to many different artist's jumping in to the series to help. These artists consisted of many current big names such as Ethan Van Sciver who still to this day wont fully elaborate on what pushed him away from Marvel. But of course we all know he is now recognizable for his Green Lantern work with Geoff Johns.
Also joining the art team were people like Leinil francis yu who's art is currently heating up the summer's big event book Secret Invasion.Even Chris Bachalo who the last couple years has been doing several stints on x-men books. Even current amazing spiderman artist Phil Jimeniz was involved in the project.
There were moments where the jump from different artists was jarring but never to an extant that took you out of the over all story.
Grant was also able to pull in new characters like another weapon x graduate fantomex, the pitiful yet heroic beak, a second angel who's wings were more buggish, the stepford cuckoo's,Xorn who is now infamous and many more.
The shiar returned in force, a riot happened at xavier's, the mutant ppopulation grew to huge numbers, the phoenix force returned, xavier could walk again and Magneto pulled the biggest surprise on the x-men possible.
The series being the x-men still had the key underlying components of what being different meant, the fears of being alone, fighting for what you believe in, and snuck in messages about equality and peace.
And the big ending had time travel where we got to see a post apocalyptic future. 42 issues and truly redefining the x-men for years to come. Astonishing x-men seemed to be a direct follow up as Joss Whedon picked up the toys that grant set in motion for years to come.
Sure some people have a distaste for the run, others hated what seemed to be marvel's complete disrespect for what grant set up with certain characters (like letting magneto stay dead and the whole xorn mess) but what can't be denied is the impact this had on the x-men as a whole. It brought back old fans and just really gave the shot to the system that it really needed.
The Omnibus itself holds up surprisingly well with time, the binding is excellent. There is a forward by Mike Carey who currently writes x-men legacy. The bonus features at the end of the book feature grant's original pitch which makes for one of the most intelligent and interesting dissections of the x-men ever. There's a cover galley, sketch pages and the full run down of the "nuff said" issue in which there was no spoken dialogue.
It's definitely a personal favorite read and I hope others take the time to hunt down a copy of the run and enjoy it for themselves.
Later today I shall be seeing the Incredible Hulk and saturday I finally get to see Indiana Jones. Reviews shall probably follow. I'm not sure what I have planned next (though I really have to plan a day to post my columns, my schedule is way too erratic.)
Posted originally: 2008-06-13 06:34:54
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About the Author - Eric Ratcliffe
Eric Ratcliffe is the host of The Why I Love Comics podcast, as well as the writer of the long running and award winning webcomic New Comic Day! When not interviewing the biggest names in geek culture, Eric writes the occasional column about something he is enjoying or informing people about webseries, podcasts, gadgets or many other cool things. You can also find Eric on Email/twitter/facebook/youtube/steam/x-box live and many other social media avenues on the internet.
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