My Big Three X-books

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Post by NachtcGleiskette » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:38 pm

I've been wanting to write on this for a while. The past 10 years brought us some amazing work in the Xbooks, and some wonderful books have risen, and even better ones have fallen. For me, three books of the past decade stood out above the rest, and if my house were on fire these would be the books I'd save.

In no particular order:

1. X-men/Uncanny X-men First Class
Image
I had no interest in picking up X-men First Class. None. I didn't give a crap about the O5, and honestly I disliked most of them (Cyke and Beast, DIAF). However, in doing image searches here and there for whatever I was posting on CBR, I kept coming across these amazing panels from the book. I finally picked it up, and words cannot describe how wonderful it is. It's a beautifully written introduction to the X-men, by a guy who clearly loves them and knows what he's doing. Parker is magical on this book, and it's fun, lighthearted, and exciting. And the Colleen Coover stories in between are fabulous. Jean and Wanda going shopping and getting bugged by Pietro, the Professor screwing with the kids when they play on the Ouija board, Jean tracking a family of ducklings. I don't know what else to say except pick it up.

And I bundle in Uncanny here, because it involves the Giant Sized, which of course means Nightcrawler, and is every bit as amazing. Go get it!

2. X-Force/X-Statix
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I have NO idea why this book is no longer being written. I suppose I do, but it's a shame. It takes the whole mutant superhero concept and turns it on it's head. The X-men are persecuted, and yet they trudge on to save a world that hates them. X-Force, and later X-Statix, capitalize on that. They're in it for the money, plain and simple. They're celebrities, the have agents, they don't fight unless there's something to be gained. It's human nature played out in the pages. There are those who do for others, and there are those who do for others when others are sure to be watching. X-Statix are the latter. That's not to say they don't evolve and grow. They don't stay so shallow, but the heart of the team does. It's about fame and glamour, saving the world is second. Some of my favorite characters come from the pages of X-Statix - U Go Girl, for one. I highly recommend giving these a read. At very least, it's a ton of fun.

3. Exiles
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This should come as a surprise to no one. Exiles was - dare I say it - THE best book of the past decade when under the care of Judd Winick. Hands down. NOTHING comes close. I may be biased, as my girl Nocturne was born and raised in that book, however it is that book that made me love her. Winick handled that book with a care that you don't see everywhere else. He was able to write storylines that lasted months, or years, that you never even realized were being set up until the last minute. He wrote about progressive subjects - gays, abortion, etc - without being heavy handed or making any grand social statement. It simply was. These are hero's who are living a life that shouldn't exist, and this is how that effects them. Not "this is happening and OMG!" "This is happening and this is how these people cope." Amazing. The book was ALL about the characters, completely run by characterization, and everything else came secondary. Just in the case of my girl and her abortion, the effects of losing John and her decision to abort their baby lasted in the books for over 10 ISSUES. And it wasn't in your face. But it was there, and it was clear. I can go ON about this book forever, but I'm just gonna say this: Read until you see Bedard's name. If you decide to keep going, stop before Claremont. Or you will regret ever picking it up.

What're your top X-books of the 2000's? Or if you haven't been reading lately, of all time?

[Edited on 31/8/11 by NachtcGleiskette]
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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:09 pm

Oh wow...

Well if we're really gonna play this game I guess I gotta pull out 'dem big guns.

My top 3 are


Spider-Man: Noir

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I love a period piece especially when you take a character I love and throw him into a time-period that doesn't stand out as a place that he would normally belong to. But Spider-Man works wonderfully in the 1930's and with breathtaking artwork (wonderful use of shadows, reds, darks, etc...) and an edge-of-your-seat-mystery, wrapped up with some awesome socialist messages of peace and reform, this story is a can't miss. An absolute hit.

Image



Neil Gaiman's 1602
Best mini I've read in a long, long time. I still urget people who have never picked up a Marvel comic book, maybe even any comic book, to take a peek. Gaiman-novel fans love it, Marvel fans love it, period-piece fans love it. It's a great read with some beautiful artwork.

Image
Image

Ultimate Spider-Man

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Everyone knows how big an Ultimate Spider-Fan I am. I was in tears reading the final moments of Peter Parker, especially that funeral in the next issue. (Holy crap, I'm getting sick thinking about it... damn good writing Bendis).

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It is to this day still my favorite series of all time. One of the best runs any creative team has ever had on a comic series and it was my favorite character to boot. In fact, I can safely say that if it weren't for the Bendis/Bagley team up, I might not be as a big a Spider-Fan today as I am.

Another out of the ball-park home run is the entire "Wonderful Wizard of Oz" series. They're just starting up a new one now with Ozma of Oz hitting HC trades soon. Wizard of Oz itself is in TPB and now the immediate sequel to Wonderful Wizard is out as well on TPB (name escapes me.)
If not for Skottie Young's art however; this story would be bland and old-news.
Image

Not really a 2000's per say (being the first one must've come out in late 09/'10), but worth the mention.


[Edited on 31/8/11 by Ult_Sm86]
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Post by NachtcGleiskette » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:04 pm

Ult, the question was about X-books. Thanks for sharing, but it really wasn't what the thread was about :/
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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:07 pm

OoOoOoOoOOH! Hmm... You know in the early 2000's up until very recently, if Nightcrawler wasn't in it, I didn't really read it.

I will say that X-Men Noir was good though. And Weapon-X Noir had Nightcrawler in it and that was a very twisted take on our favorite blue-elf. I would highly suggest those (but again, more recent so probably not qualifying for what you're looking for still.)
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Post by Crawler » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:19 pm

I'm not going to post any super fancy pictures, but here are My Big Three X-Books of All-Time. It is also my top x-books of the last decade, as the only one I've read and want to mention is my number one over all. Think of it as my posting my top book of the decade with a bonus of my top book of the 90s and top book of the 80s. ;)


2000s: Exiles, from issue 1 to issue 45:
Great characterization all along the way, from the team's introduction (every character was new, with the exception of one, Blink) to the end of Winick's run. This is, of course, also the only book that my very favorite comic book character ever (sorry Nightcrawler), Morph, has ever appeared in. The characters weren't dark, for the most part, but they had issues, and every last one of them were not only interestingly damaged, but had fleshed out lives. The impressive thing is that those fleshed out lives all happened berfore the book began, and the book still didn't rely on flashbacks.

1990s: X-Calibre, Age of Apocalypse:
This only lasted for four issues, as part of the AoA crossover event. Still, it has stuck with me as one of my favorite series because of the story told and the quality writing. This was fairly early in Warren Ellis's career, but I've followed him ever since because of his work in this book. Of course, it didn't hurt that Nightcrawler was front and center, but the first time I read it I didn't know who Nightcrawler even was. This book was that good. In just four issues, it launched my Ellis fandom, my Nightcrawler fandom, and my obsession with post-apocalyptic and alternate reality stories.

1980s: Excalibur, issues 1-50:
Big, goofy funtimes. This was the book that could do everything that the other X-Books at the time couldn't. It was a small cast in a far away land with little contact with the rest of the X-World. This was good because they could do anything they wanted. The opening storyline was full of humor and magic and huge threats and small character moments and...it makes me want to read it again, just talking about it. Claremont and Davis worked wonders with the freedom that they had here...and I'd point to this run on this series as the primary reason for Nightcrawler fandom as a whole.

[Edited on 8-31-2011 by Crawler]
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Post by kladyelf » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:00 pm

I'm with Crawler on the Exiles and Excalibur issues... Alan Davis did such a *pretty* Nightcrawler... OK everyone else was pretty too, and the art was detailed and beautiful. And I wound up having such a huge soft spot for Morph

As for a third, it'd have to be spidey - but the runs and story arcs i like are scattershot (and in storage - and it's a pain to just vaguely say "the one with the..." but i'm going to have to) my latest pre-OMD was the Avengers-Spidey story arc.

The characters just gelled, Spidey was accepted and there was so much story potential before the civil war and OMD and everything - one scene where Peter was arguing with himself in a mirror always makes me LOL.

Post OMD would have to be the Deadpool/Spidey team up - with Lady Stilt-Man *snerk*

It was funny, fast-moving and with little or no gore and actually had a Peter Parker I could *recognise* (art aside) :)
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Post by Slarti » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:12 pm

I'm totally on board with Exiles and Excalibur and everyone has summed up excellently everything that was great about both of those books. I'm proud to say I have the full run of the original Excalibur and all the Winick Exiles.

My other favorite is the first run of X-Factor. It was my introduction to the X-Men universe period, because my husband had the first 40 issues or so. It was Claremont at his best, making the original five real people. And come on, it's the book that brought back Jean Grey and introduced Apocalypse and Archangel! It's totally THE book that's sent ripples through continuity that they're still playing off of today.

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Post by NachtcGleiskette » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:53 am

I've never read the original Xfactor. I enjoyed Peter David's Xfactor for a while, but I dropped off after some CBR drama made it into the book. And I totally agree about Excalibur. Excalibur is so frikken good, it makes me forget how much I don't enjoy Claremont. To be fair, the man doesn't enjoy me either.
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Post by The Drastic Spastic » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:26 am

NachtcGleiskette wrote:I enjoyed Peter David's Xfactor for a while, but I dropped off after some CBR drama made it into the book.
Really? What was that? I quit reading shortly after the reboot thingy after the 50th issue. I just lost interest.

I don't have a big three X-books... or do I.

1. Morrison's X-Men - The first one to really screw around with the formula and make X-Men cool and different.
2. Excalibur/X-Calibre
3. Peter David's X-Factor

I think. I haven't thought about it for ages, it's possible I've completely forgotten something I once really liked.
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Post by NachtcGleiskette » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:23 am

The Drastic Spastic wrote: Really? What was that?
PAD got into it with some posters, specifically one of them who I was pretty good friends with. Then a few arcs later, he includes this troll character who in the book trolls some creators on some forum. It was a thinly veiled insult at the guy, which honestly just cracked everyone up.

I want to provide this as more proof that Uncanny FC is an amazing read. Wolverine's origins:

Image
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Post by littlebamf » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:35 am

Yeah, I am totally agreeing with the original Excaliburs and the X-Calibre mini. XC was about the onky AoA book I really enjoyed out of all the others. I just found it more easy to get absorbed in. Maybe it was because it was so separate from the general action.

I am also a great lover of the Exiles run, again up to about the 50 mark. Around there things just started to slide, it got weird and...yeah. I have never had enough money to keep buying a book for the sake of the name, so I dropped it. But, while it was good it was one of the books I really looked forward to picking up every month. My friend in school was casually into comics and generally I would buy the current issues and she'd pick up some back issues and then we'd go hang out at her house and drink pop, eat sweets and read all the comics and Exiles was one of those. So, as well as having some excellent storylines and characters, the book has some general sentimental value as well.

As for my third? Yeesh, that one is difficult. I have a lot of titles I've really enjoyed reading for really different reasons and a lot of comics I've wanted to pick up, but haven't been able to afford them. At a push I think I'll chicken out and say Uncanny X-men, but specifically 1980s Australian outback kinda period Uncanny, before the Siege Perilous anyway. Before that was a time (through trades) that I've really enjoyed so I'll say roughly from about the Mutant Massacre onwards to be a little more specific. That period in comics helped shape some characters who I've come to love over the years and I love looking back on the old stories from the 80s. I dont know if its just because I was born in the 80s, but a lot of stuff from that decade especially just captures my imagination.

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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:02 am

So I'm just starting to collect Excalibur and can safely say this is my favorite X-Book.

The Giant Size Uncanny X-Men: First Class was great, and most of First Class was fun. Some of it was a bit hokey, but that's okay.

X-Calibre is feeling more dated than some of Excalibur but it's still fun. I had no idea Warren Ellis had written it. That's crazy, I do not see him as the sort of guy who would write this stuff.

It's interesting how the more of it I read, the more I realize that there was a style for the time period as well as a style within the writer. He does not write like that anymore.

Though I suppose you could argue the part I'm talking about (excessive narration) could be a product of heavy editing. Maybe that's what Marvel wanted to see in the '90's? I dunno. I wasn't really aware of stuff like narrative in the early '90's, y'know? :toothy

[Edited on 20/9/11 by Ult_Sm86]
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Post by NachtcGleiskette » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:03 pm

Ult_Sm86 wrote:So I'm just starting to collect Excalibur and can safely say this is my favorite X-Book.

The Giant Size Uncanny X-Men: First Class was great, and most of First Class was fun. Some of it was a bit hokey, but that's okay.

X-Calibre is feeling more dated than some of Excalibur but it's still fun. I had no idea Warren Ellis had written it. That's crazy, I do not see him as the sort of guy who would write this stuff.

It's interesting how the more of it I read, the more I realize that there was a style for the time period as well as a style within the writer. He does not write like that anymore.
You frequent a Nightcrawler board and you are just now getting into Excalibur?! Holy crap! You have missed out for faaaaar too long. Excalibur is solid gold.

And First Class was certainly a bit hokey, but it was all fun. Comics can frequently take themselves too seriously (and there is certainly a massive fan base for the more serious stuff) but I love a little light fun now and again. And First Class and Xforce-Xstatix really provided that for me.
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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:52 am

LOL! I realize this.

I always knew about it, and I'd read maybe an issue or two in my day, but I'd never sat down and really read them. My thing for Nightcrawler started in the most poser way possible -- X-2. Between that and X-Men Evolution, I loved him. I know I had been aware of the character before that, but not aware of how cool he really was.

I have to say X-Force was awesome (the Yost run, I do have some classic stuff with Cable though and it's a horizontal print comic... very weird). Sex & Violence was really awesome too.

Has anyone ever read the X-Men Manga Series?
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Post by TechPrincess » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:24 am

Thanks to Nacht, I will now be picking up First Class for my own enjoyment on my next monthly trip to the comic shop. :)

So far, I only actively read Generation Hope. I tried X-Force... but eh, just wasn't for me. Don't know why, but ah well. Plenty of others to read. :D So I can't really do a top 3 x titles lol, so top 1!!!

1. Generation Hope! - Totally awesome. I love the flow and the layout. The characters intrigue me, and it is the ONLY comics I've EVER purchased, so it must be rocking awesome. :)
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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:56 am

When UXF picks up Nightcrawler, I think we can expect the title to get a lot more interesting. Right now the cast doesn't have diverse enough personalities. Very grim, cynical, crew.

I keep hearing good things about Generation Hope, but I can't get myself to spend the money on it. Anyone know if/when the trades come(came) out?
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Post by Wahnsinn » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:50 am

The first GH trade is out, and that has the first 5 issues. I imagine the second comes out in January and includes issues 6-12. Amazon is your friend. ;)

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Post by Elwing » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:58 pm

Well, the first X-book I got into was actually Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo's Generation X. After that I started picking up the paperbacks with the old Claremont Uncannies, with art by Cockrum and Byrne. The later Uncanny X-men issues dit not appeal to me, and I bought up anything I could find of Alan Davis' Excalibur(which was by that time already quite old and in the 1 guilder bin).
So that'll be the top 3 for me. Huh, I'm getting old...Haven't really bought comics in years, maybe this is the right time to give it another try.
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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:00 am

The X-Men Liberators Limited Series was a blast.

Easily up there as one of my top three now. The combination of three great, varying, characters made for a tremendous read. I honestly have to say that the three-way-bromance of Nightcrawler, Wolverine, & Colossus is near-awesome.
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