A Bold New Era!
Despite the fact that it was thoroughly accurate, I was a little surprised a few months ago when I saw my blog described as providing commentary on "mostly older" comics. Admittedly, I post about the Silver Age like I think I'm the only one to notice that the Legion of Super-Heroes were jerks, but I always figured I had my fingers directly on the pulse of what's "hip" or "mod" in today's modern funnybooks.
So tonight, the ISB says NO! to the four-color delights of the sixties and seventies, and instead sets its sights on a bold new era of graphic storytelling! Because in the annals of sequential art, there is nothing more diametrically antithetical to Silver-Age DC than...
And yes, I'm well aware of the irony that this comic is now fifteen years old.
Anyway, X-Men #1 hit the stands in 1991 and sold over seven million copies to become the best-selling comic book of all time. Unfortunately, those seven million copies were all bought by what essentially amounts to thirty guys, and I'm reasonably certain that no one has ever read it all the way through. Why?
Because this comic book is incomprehensible.
Written at one of the high points of Chris Claremont's growing dementia, it's got more words per page than your average copy of, say, The Bible, and features inexplicable fan-favorite Jim Lee drawing Archie-esque crosshatching on Professor X's head and the kind of storytelling that would leave you wondering where the hell Gambit went, assuming that you could be bothered to care about Gambit at all. And since you're reading this here, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you can't.
To be fair, though, it's very well-colored and the paper quality is top-notch.
It all starts with a prologue involving a few Spaceships blasting at each other until Magneto, the crotchetiest of all mutants, shows up and tells everyone to quit screwin' around on his lawn.
Please note, for future reference, that Magneto's just kicking it out there in space with no protection from the harsh vacuum beyond that absolutely devastating head of hair. And yet, he's holding a five-minute conversation in space with the ill-defined Anne-Marie Cortez.
Needless to say, this spooks the folks back home pretty thoroughly, and they end up trying to get a handle on the situation by loading up a picture of Magneto that, assuming the dudes hanging around at the bottom of the panel are of average height, is well over two-hundred feet tall from the top of his head to the bottom of his pointy, diamond-shaped feet.
What exactly they can learn from a picture the size of a large yacht that couldn't quite be conveyed by an eight-by-ten glossy, I'll never know. Perhaps it's best if we just move on.
Finally, at around page six, the X-Men finally decide to show up, and, well, for sixteen years, there were only two ways to kick off a new story, and since they're not playing baseball, it's time for a trip to the Danger Room. In this case, most of the team was divided into two groups to assault the mansion and "tag" Professor X, which Wolverine does after ten full pages of Gambit making out with explosive robot Jean Greys, longwinded explanations of how everyone's powers work, and Cyclops desperately trying to display any sort of personality.
And then we get this...
...and that was about the time when I was reading this in seventh grade that I decided I fucking hate Cyclops.
Eventually, after a scuffle between humans and mutants up on Asteroid M--brought on, I suspect, by the fact that Magneto was kicking it in what essentially amounts to flowing silk footie pajamas--Magneto decides that his policy of isolationism isn't really getting him anywhere, and so decides to grab a few nuclear missiles from that submarine he sunk back in Uncanny X-Men #150. Because if there's anything recent events have taught us, nothing says "Peaceful Intentions" like getting ahold of some high-yeild nuclear missiles.
As you might expect, this aggression will not stand, man, and so the X-Men fly out to confront him in the middle of the ocean. Dynamic Fight Scene Action Action Go!
And mercifully, it ends there.
You know, just in case you were wondering why I usually stick to Bob Haney.