AVENGERS/ X-MEN: BLOODTIES (Marvel, 2011; Hardcover)
Note: Actually released in 2012
Collects Avengers Nos. 368, 369, Avengers West Coast No. 101, Black Knight: Exodus, Uncanny X-Men No. 307, and X-Men No. 26 (cover dates November, 1993- December, 1996)
Writers: Bob Harras, Fabian Nicieza, Roy Thomas, Scott Lobodell, and Ben Raab
Artists: Pencilers- Steve Epting, Andy Kubert, Dave Ross, John Romita, Jr., jan Duursema, and Jim Cheung; Inkers- Tom Palmer, Matt Ryan, Tim Dzon, Dan Green, and Andy Lanning.
The 1990s were the gold rush for comics, with everyone hopping on board the bandwagon. Speculators were the norm, buying multiple copies of everything. Pretty much any comic book could sell well in the '90s. Print runs were enormous, and as such, these comics are essentially worthless and can be found in every bargain box across the country. My son has a few of these issues from dollar box diving and I read them to him. He wanted to read parts I, III, and IV of this crossover. Luckily for him I had this book rotting away in my backlog. To my 7 year old, these are “old comics”. I fear that he may grow up believing that this material is somehow classic.
This is the follow up to the
X-Tinction Agenda Fatal Attractions (thanks rifft!) crossover, another
hardcover which is rotting away in my backlog. Genosha's dirty little
secret is revealed, and the tensions between humans and mutates is so
thick that it is about to explode. Fabian Cortez kidnaps Crystal and
Quicksilver's baby, and Exodus steals the baby from him. Another
latter-day Metal-named group of villains, The Unforgiven, make a
brief appearance. I'm surprised that there wasn't a villain named
Overkill or Obituary. Lots of scratchy artwork and horrid over
writing later and both Avengers and X-Men fight side by side to
restore freedom to the mutates. Some bad costume redesigns and many
pouches later and victory goes to the heroes.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The late, great, lamented Marvel Premiere Classic line was a sort of junior Masterworks line, where modern material was presented in a high quality format but at a much lower MSRP than the Marvel Masterworks. The line reached well over 100 books but petered out for reasons too varied for me to even begin to guess.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: Fully rendered back dustjacket cover art (1 page).
Maximum Anniversary X-Perience (insert included in most Marvel Comics with a May, 1993 cover date) (14 pages).
Uncanny X-Men #307 Gold variant cover (1 page).
The Hunt For Magneto trading cards, shown 9 per page with the backs being shown on the opposite page (4 pages).
Avengers/ X-Men: Bloodties 1995 trade paperback cover by Klaus Janson (1 page).
Avengers/ X-Men: Bloodties 1995 trade paperback introduction by Ralph Macchio (1 page).
X-Men Anniversary Magazine (1993) cover by Brandon Peterson & Dan Panosian (1 page).
Avengers Anniversary Magazine (1993) cover by Steve Epting & Dan Panosian (1 page).
Marvel Age #122 cover by Joe Quesada, P. Craig Russell, & Joe Caponacco (1 page).
Marvel Age #122 cover by Kirk Jarvinen, Brad Vancata, & Michael Kraiger (1 page).
Marvel Age #122 inside back cover by Darren Auck & George Perez (1 page).
Marvel Age #129 cover by Adam Hughes (1 page).
Marvel Age #129 X-Men Anniversary insert poster by Liam Sharp, Mark Farmer, & Renee Witterstaetter (1 page).
Marvel Age #130 Avengers Anniversary insert poster by Liam Sharp, Mark Farmer, & Renee Witterstaetter (1 page).
Ramification “Bloodties”: The Avengers/ X-Men Crossover article from Marvel Age #129 (3 pages).
Linework and Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5. Things are about as good as they can get. This is '90s material, so it will never look good no matter which restoration techniques are used.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Beautiful, thick coated stock with a slight sheen. Compare this paper grade to what Marvel is using nowadays and you will see why folks are up in arms.
The paper used in this book has that sweet smell that only virgin Amazon rainforest trees can provide. The ink adds a delectable scent to it, a concoction of broken asbestos tiles, lead paint chips, mercury from recalled thermometers, and the secret ingredient: the blood, sweat, and tears of the Chinese children working the sweat shop printing presses. Sure, China has no regard for the environment and their people are forced to live in a smog filled environment under an oppressive Communist regime, but who cares about any of that so long as we get nice books at a price that we are willing to pay. What price a soul?
Note: New readers seem to be confused by my writing. No, I do not know for certain that the paper is sourced from virgin Amazon rainforest trees. Then again, I do not know for certain that they are not. Second, I am fairly sarcastic and this is tongue in cheek. If you take half of the stuff that I say seriously then you are missing the point. This is all shits and giggles as far as I am concerned. Relax, folks.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Smyth sewn binding, six stitches per signature, with the book block having room to flex in the casing. What that means in English is that the book lays flat.