Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blue Ribbon Digest - the X-Men

Doug: We're back again with another opportunity for our readers to choose 7-8 issues of a beloved Bronze Age title to fill the covers of our own custom "Blue Ribbon Digest". If you missed our turn on the Avengers about 10 days ago, we charged readers with the task of choosing a handful of stories from the parameters of our interest -- 1970-1985. The stories need not be complete; some went that route, while others decided to get a nice sampling of writers and artists, characters and events. It's really up to you how you want to go about this.

Doug: I was giving this some thought ahead of writing today's post, considering what I thought was essential X-reading from that period. I think most of us would agree that Giant-Size X-Men #1 all the way through X-Men #143 is pretty darned essential; but what would give a reader a true appreciation of that era in the team's history? Whereas the last time we did this I would have used a smattering of Avengers issues, this time I think I'm going to zero in on one storyline and take your pulse on that.

Doug: If one were to open up a book of this sort and be faced with X-Men #111 and read consecutive issues through #117 I don't think you could lose. While many regard the "Dark Phoenix Saga" as the zenith of the Claremont/Byrne/Austin collaboration, and I would not disagree, I'd offer this run of seven issues as my X-Men primer. Think about it -- classic villains in Mesmero, Magneto, and Sauron, some real growth in characterization for all the team members, tie-ins between the current team and the original five, and concluding with a story featuring Professor X. Oh -- did I mention the art is spectacular? What's not to like?


Anonymous said...

I'd still like to concentrate on the Hellfire Club/Dark Phoenix saga. My choices would be X-Men #120, 132-137, 139 and 141 because I owned all those. The Dark Phoenix story is important for me as it was the first time I was reading a Marvel epic as it was happening rather than years behind as was the case with Marvel UK - they didn't print Gwen Stacy's death until 1976 but there was no internet then to spoil things so it was still a big shock !

William said...

OK Doug, people can buy your book, and then they pick up mine, which would continue the run with X-Men #118-124. These issues include several of my favorite 2-part X-Men stories, including X-Men #120-121, which features the first appearance of Alpha Flight. This run would take us right up to the Proteus Saga which began in issue #125.

Edo Bosnar said...

Again, I a lot (way too much) thought into this, and - again - tried to stick to the DC formula (i.e., not just reprinting a consecutive run of issues and/or one big long story arc).
I came up with a few:

X-men Digest 1 - Giant-size X-men #1, X-men #s 94-95, 109 (1st appearance of Vindicator), 117 (perfect story for a digest), 120-121 (1st appearance of Alpha Flight).

X-men digest 2 - X-men #s 123-124 (Arcade/Murderworld), X-men Annual #3 (Arkon attacks!), X-men #s 145-147 (Dr. Doom/Arcade), Annual #5 (more Arkon).

X-men digest 3, focusing more on individual members: X-men #139-140 (Wolverine & Nightcrawler vs. Wendigo in Canada), #143 (Kitty vs. the demon), #144 (Cyclops in the Everglades), Bizarre Adventures #27 (the Nightcrawler story, probably colored), Annual #4 (X-men go to Dante's Inferno), X-men #168 (focus on Kitty, "Prof. X is a jerk!" story).

Dr. Oyola said...

How about an all X-Babies digest? I know it goes beyond the Bronze Age, but it is all I can think of right now. . .

X-Men Annual #10
X-Men Annual #12
Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem (one-shot)
X-Men (Vol 2) #46-#47
X-Babies: Murderama

Ok, maybe not a good idea. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, if I was picking individual issues, I might go with: #122 (where Colossus had his crisis of faith and Wolvie helped him through it); #138(when Cyclops leaves and Kitty officially joins); #150 (the big fight against Magneto where he starts to rethink his philosophy); #159(vs. Dracula); #169-170(first appearance of the Morlocks); #183(Colossus vs. Juggernaut); and #200(Mageneto on trial).

If I was picking a consecutive run...maybe #150-158...the Magneto fight, the Hellfire Club, the Starjammers/Shi'ar, and the fight against Rogue at the Pentagon...a pretty good run.

Mike W.

Garett said...

Since it's a little slow with comments today, I'll recommend a good video:
Masters of Comic Book Art- 1987

1987 interviews with: Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Neal Adams, Berni Wrightson, Moebius, Frank Miller, Dave Sim, and Art Spiegelman. Hosted by Harlan Ellison and his pipe.

Anonymous said...

Might first Blue Ribbon digest would be The Sentinels. I know, for sure, X-Men 57-59 and 98-100. What I'm not sure about is whether to include X-Men 14, which introduces The Sentinels or Uncanny X-Men 151, which shows them at their other end. I guess this is why Doug gives us these assignments. To help us with our decision making skills. That Doug, always the teacher.

The Prowler (Present. Learning but not really liking it).

Anonymous said...

Hells yeah! Personally, I think the whole Claremont/Byrne/Austin run was great. What's not to love? Magneto, Alpha Flight, Ka-Zar, the Shi'ar, the Hellfire Club, the Dark Phoenix saga, and of course DOFP. It was never the same when Byrne left.

- Mike 'the 90s X-teams were a blur to me comics-wise' from Trinidad & Tobago.

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