Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review- X-MEN: FALL OF THE MUTANTS


X-MEN: FALL OF THE MUTANTS (Marvel, 2011; Hardcover)

Collects X-Factor #18-26, Captain America #39, Daredevil #252, Fantastic Four #312, Incredible Hulk #336, 337, 340, Power Pack #35, Uncanny X-Men #220-227, and New Mutants #55-61 (cover dates July, 1987- March, 1988)

Writers: Louise Simonson, Peter David, Ann Nocenti, Mark Gruenwald, Steve Engelhart, and Chris Claremont
Artists: Pencilers- Walter Simonson, June Brigman, Todd MacFarlane, Sal Buscema, Jon Bogdanove, John Romita, Jr., Kieron Dwyer, Keith Pollard, Marc Silverstri, Kerry Gammill, and Brett Blevins; Inkers- Bob Wiaceck, Randy Emberlin, Jim Sanders III, Hilary Barta, Al Williamson, Tone DeZuniga, Joe Sinnott, Dan Green, Todd MacFarlane, and Terry Austin

When is an Omnibus not an Omnibus? When it is the Fall Of The Mutants oversized hardcover. Clocking in at over 800 pages, this beast is an Omnibus in all but name as far as I'm concerned. While past trade paperback collections only collected the three main tie-in issues of each of the X-titles (9 issues total), reading that book felt like coming in 15 minutes late to a movie. The set up had already occurred and you spent the rest of the time trying to play catch up. This book goes in the opposite direction, adding so much of the set up that the plot sometimes feels lost by the time that you get there. It basically reads best in thirds (X-Factor and assorted tie-ins, Uncanny X-Men, and New Mutants).

The only issues that I bought when they originally came out were The Uncanny X-Men and Power Pack ones, and I honestly didn't feel like I was missing anything since this crossover didn't jump across each title. In all honesty, these crossovers and the emerging new breed of artists like Marc Silverstri soured me on the hobby. I was dropping comics throughout 1989, until by late 1989 or early 1990 I was done until Marvel Masterworks sucked me back in a dozen years ago. Look at me now...

"Artwork" by Marc Silvestri. 

Silverstri's layouts and storytelling ability are clear, but his artwork just leaves me cold. Wolverine was now the leader of the team and becoming overly wordy and heroic. Psylocke was still a British telepath. This was before that racist, Jim Lee, would change her into an Asian ninja. Can you imagine if someone today changed the ethnicity of an Asian character into a Caucasian? All Hell would break loose! I enjoyed the battle with Freedom Force, the Government-sanctioned renamed New Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants. This was back when Wolverine battling Sabretooth was exciting and new. Now it is as common as a cold and would cause me to fall asleep.

This was one of those “things will never be the same again!” type crossovers, back when those were still fresh and not the boring cliche which fans suffer through one after another after another. Storm gets her powers back, The X-Men “die”, and Cypher gets killed over in The New Mutants. Oops, quarter century old spoilers. Speaking of that title, going from June Brigman's clean, beautiful artwork to Brett Blevins' super-stylized art is jarring to say the least.

This was a pleasant enough trip down memory lane, back to the old world when things seemed to make more sense. I was 13 and 14 when this crossover went down. The Uncanny X-Men were one of my favorites back then. Now they are dead to me, ruined by careless writers. This book holds up well enough today and is better than anything currently being published with a 'X' in the title.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

I wonder if the corner was cut off of the film. This looks like a patch job done using a floppy.

The OCD zone- Triple dip! I bought (some of) the original issues, the 2002 trade paperback, and now this. I can't wait to rebuy the UXM issues when the Masterworks get there. Kill me now.
Linework and Color restoration: Pretty good for the most part. There are a few spots that look iffy but not bad.
Paper stock: Wonderful coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: While this has smyth sewn binding and lays mostly flat, it seems to lay flat in “chunks”, like this book is three books sewn into one. Weird.
Hardback cover notes: Faux leather casewrap with foil die stamps.

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