Thursday, October 15, 2015


X-MEN: X-TINCTION AGENDA (Marvel, First Hardcover Printing, 2011; Hardcover)

Collects Uncanny X-Men #235-238, 270-272, New Mutants #95-97, and X-Factor #60-62 (cover dates Early October, 1988- January, 1991)

Writers: Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson
Artists: Pencilers- Jon Bogdanove, John Capanigro, Jim Lee, Rick Leonardi, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, and Guang Tap; Inkers- Terry Austin, Dan Green, Al Milgrom, Joe Rubinstein, P. Craig Russell, Art Thibert, and Scott Williams

The artwork in this book is a textbook example of everything that was wrong with 1990s mainstream comic books. Lee, Liefeld, and Silvestri's crimes against art are too numerous to name, suffice it to say that they set the medium back so far that it has only recovered in the past 5-10 years. These were the guys who got me to quit comics in late 1989/early 1990, as their work left me cold.

The writing is also pretty rough. While the concept is solid, the dialogue and third party narratives are so overwritten that this book was a chore to get through. I love the work of Claremont and Simonson, but this was not their finest hour. Things seem to go on and on and on for no good reason.

Quality '90s writing.

Now that I have gotten all of my gripes off of my chest, let's get down to business. Genosha is an island off of the coast of South Africa that has an economy and standard of living that is the envy of the world. This was a metaphor for Apartheid and the events that occurred in South Africa in the 1980s and early 1990s. Genosha has a dirty little secret, though. It has achieved all of this progress by forcing mutants into slavery by exposing them to a process that makes them into nearly mindless zombies called mutates. The problem was exposed when Wolverine, Rogue, and Madelyne Pryor were kidnapped (#235-238), resulting in X-Men intervention.

Bendis nailed it. 

Cameron Hodge was once the PR guy for X-Factor before being exposed as the head of the mutant hate group The Right. He was decapitated by Archangel (Angel) and his head was attached to a hideous robotic body by the demon N'astirh during the Inferno crossover. This brings us up to where he is now, as his spider-like magickal robot body has his human head attached to it, resulting in one of the butt-ugliest villain designs in the history of comics. Thanks '90s. Hodge was working with the Genegineer to turn the X-Men into mutates. He had part of the team kidnapped, which is where the long winded nine issue core crossover came from. Also in this crapfest Storm, who was regressed to a teenager somewhere along the way, is returned to adulthood in a way that makes about as much sense as anything else in this gobbledygook stew. Gambit and Cable are also present and totally suck ass.

Everyone was overly muscular in the '90s. Cyclops has normal human strength. Does Cyclops look like a normal human to you?

I am embarrassed to admit that this was a double dip. I had the old trade but upgraded to this book four years ago when I believed that I wanted a complete run of X-Men in collected editions. Marvel has since crapped things up (like legacy numbering and continuity) to a point where I no longer care. If none of it matters then it owning a complete run no longer matters to me and I am free to cherry pick eras to keep and collect. This era of the X-Men means a lot to 1990s kids, so add two points to my rating if you were 8-13 when these issues were originally on the stands.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2.75 out of 5.

The OCD zone- This is an oversized hardcover, a format that Marvel has largely abandoned. It is the same trim size as a Marvel Omnibus.
Linework and Color restoration: Very good overall, but let's face it; this is crap artwork and wouldn't look good if 4k scanning were possible.
Paper stock: Thick coated stock with a slight sheen. I wish that Marvel still used this stock as the norm for their high end hardcover collected editions.
Binding: Smyth sewn bounding, rounded casing. Book lays completely flat.

Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: Laminated dustjacket. Faux leather casewrap with foil stamping on the front and back cover. Marvel has done away with this on all of their modern hardcovers except for the Marvel Masterworks line. 

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