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X-Men Epic Collection: Mutant Genesis Paperback – 12 December 2017
- ASIN : 1302903918
- Publisher : Marvel (12 December 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 472 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781302903916
- ISBN-13 : 978-1302903916
- Reading age : 9 years and up
- Item Weight : 726 g
- Dimensions : 16.83 x 1.91 x 26.04 cm
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
Having said all that, while this is an important X-Men Epic, much of the volume is taken up with issues of X-Factor, the mutant team formed of the original five X-Men. Some may disagree, but the decision to include them here is probably a good one - the stories collected here cover what happens to Cyclops's son Nathan in a confrontation with arch-villain Apocalypse, as well as showing how, when the dust settles after a climactic confrontation with the Shadow King, X-Factor and the X-Men merge into one pool of mutants, setting up the new Blue and Gold team status quo.
Also included are the crossovers from the mutant annuals from 1991, featuring the return of villain Proteus and dramatic developments for the semi-reformed villain team Freedom Force. They're okay, but nothing to write home about. The main meat here is the aforementioned Shadow King storyline and the first three issues of the new (adjectiveless) X-men series, featuring Claremont's last hurrah and art by then-superstar Jim Lee.
Considering how big the event was at the time, and X-Men #1 still holding the position of Biggest Selling Comic Issue Ever, it's amazing how quaint it all looks now. Featuring the new 14-strong X-Men team and their latest confrontation against nemesis and sometime-ally Magneto, it is fine work that really sets up the direction the X-books would take for the first half of the nineties. Although Claremont was almost certainly pushed rather than jumping, he still turns in a fine swansong for the characters he knew so well, and Lee's art is perhaps still the best of the period's distinctive style.
Extras are very pleasingly plentiful - we have lots of features from Marvel Age, and Lee art from Speakeasy, Amazing Heroes, Advance Comics, and Comics Interview, house ads announcing the new book, pinups from the Swimsuit Special, more Lee art from the Mighty Mutant Tour, and cover art from the Wrath of Apocalypse trade, Collectible Classics, the Mutant Genesis trade, relevant Essential X-Men volumes and the 20th anniversary celebration of X-Men #1. It's the kind of comprehensive package we've come to expect from the Epic line, making this volume an indispensable record for one of the X-Men's biggest turning points.
The storyline with Freedom Force was downright embarrassing and painful to read. It served absolutely no purpose other than being there for the sake of completion, and might as well have been excluded. Nothing positive to say here except that it killed off a few weak characters.
The X-Factor stories were better, but could have been much more. The rematch with Protheus, which also involved a heap of other mutant teams, was a disappointment and failed big time to live up to the far better first encounter with Protheus. The battle with Apocalypse for the fate of Cyclops' son was better, didn't live up to it's potential.
The X-Men story with The Shadow King was good, but frankly didn't age all that well. It felt like it had huge parts of the story cut and was quick to jump to the final battle. Claremont's final (at the time) work, a classic X-Men vs. Magneto story, is the highlight of the book - although Claremont uses a too conventient and, even for a comic book, somewhat unbelievable plot point to drive the story forward.
The artwork is a mixed bag. Jim Lee is, as always, exceptional. Portacio is decent as well, but the rest was mediocre at best.
All in all, I give the book 4/5 - mainly due to Claremont and Lee being fantastic, as always.