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É tudo o que eu sempre quis que a Panini trouxesse para o Brasil: As sagas mutantes compiladas em um volume único de cada saga. Até tentaram fazer isso por aqui mas num formato não muito feliz, como por exemplo a saga Inferno, que é composta por 6 volumes mas a saga propriamente dita só começa à partir da edição 4, o que eu acho uma desonestidade com o consumidor. Melhor seria trazer um "pequeno-omnibus" à partir da 4º edição (início da saga) como se propõe a série Milestones.
A principal vantagem desse formato sobre as omnibus Uncanny X-Men é que aqui entra somente o que interessa, as sagas! E também estão compiladas nele as outras revistas mutantes (X-Fator, Wolverine, Novos Mutantes, X-force, Geração X, Deadpool, etc.) te livrando do trabalho de ir atrás das outras e organizar a leitura.
As a kid in the 90s i was probably suckered by the shiny cardstock covers, but my favorite story was Generation Next which makes up 4 issues of this book. The initial stages of Generation X still are exciting to me, but they are kind of a product of their time. The art is good.
Much of the art of the book is. We got JRJR, Joe Mad, Andy Kubert, Steve Epting, and many others. Amanda Conner and Tony Daniel before they were big names also have an issue which is interesting to see earlier styles from.
The early Uncanny issues kind of drag on. Especially the two issues of Gambit and Storm (312-313). Should have just been one. The Final Sanction (Wolverine 85& Cable16) portion I thought was boring as an 8 year old, and they still are. I liked Larry Hama in GIJoe and earlier Wolverine issues, but here it's as if he struggled to come up with enough material to give a good pace. He must have also been trying to tie into the Cyclops and Phoenix comic that is not part of this book but their Wedding book.
I never had the Excalibur issues, so the Life Signs portion and prelude were a treat and I appreciate them more now. Fills in a lot of the story I've always been missing. Having been able to read more New Mutants and the X-Tinction Agenda helped understand the Douglock situation more. I wonder why issue 81 is not included, not sure what was in it, but just left a weird numerical gap.
I feel more issues should have been included because there are constant editorial captions that refer you to Uncanny issue 311 or 314, 315 and many others. I understand some issues are part of other stories, such as Fatal Attractions and the Wedding of Cyclops and Jean Grey which both happened very close to this event. But since these issues had to deal with Sabretooth or Emma Frost they seem relevant to this story and deserve more than a one page caption. Especially since we were given a lot of set up of the Ice Man/Emma Frost situation that came up a few more times over the years and would have featured in those issues.
They include the poster like foldouts from the original comics, but they put them on a single vertical page and it is hard to read. I think they were originally three to four pages. Should have been condensed to two pages not one in this collection. If you want to save space, could have put two in a horizontal layout across a two page spread. They are pretty interesting to fans so it's a bit of a disservice to us.
Overall, very 90s and X-Men so a big cast and constant changes and a lot of events while building up the next event. Also, not really about the big name X-Men, but the third string (Banshee, Rahne, Cannonball etc) and Emma Frost when she wasn't a core member, the other teams, and the next generation.
Phalanx Covenant is interesting as an X-Men crossover because rather than making the books depend on each other to tell one story they all kind of tell their own story that still ties into the Phalanx. So it starts with Uncanny following Storm and Gambit as they fight the Phalanx. But then they are captured anyways off panel, which is weird. Then we got to Excalibur discovering Douglock and a potential way to fight the Legacy Virus. Then we go to adjectiveless X-Men to introduce Generation X with Banshee and Emma Frost as their leaders. That stuff is great, but mostly because of the character work with Banshee, Sabretooth and Emma Frost. The new characters are pretty obviously being introduced as a marketing push and none of them really stick out, nor have they really grown with the franchise since. Then we get X-Force and X-Factor issues, which introduce the idea that the Phalanx are trying to summon the larger alien horde from space, having evolved past the parameters set for them by their bigoted human creators. This is a cool idea, but the ending falls flat. Jonathan Hickman would make better use of it decades later in House of X.
Finally, there are the Wolverine and Cable issues, which have good character work for those two as well as Cyclops and Jean. But plot wise, the holes are glaring. How were the X-Men captured off panel? Why is it that they can't be assimilated, but they can be infected with the techno-organic virus, which is basically the same thing? Why does destroying the Battlespire kill most of the Phalanx but not Stephen Lang and Cameron Hodge? And even the very creation of the Phalanx is vague - some dark group of mutant haters brought together Steven Lang, Cameron Hodge, Candy Southern, and Warlock's DNA? Well then where the heck are those mutant haters? Did they become Phalanx too?
The Phalanx themselves are neat - basically the X-Men's version of the Borg in the way that the Brood aped the Xenomorphs and Cable/Bishop/Stryfe aped Terminator. The techno-organic visual can get old after a while but as a Sci-Fi concept they work well. This is the longest one of these reviews I've ever done, but clearly, this collection offers a lot to think about. Overall I recommend it but know it's not without its problems.
This is a far-too jumbled attempt to collect the stories that led to and complete the Phalanx storyline. I tried to get through it and it was really a slog. Too many parts of stories jammed in that made the entoritey hard to follow.