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X-Men: Inferno – Excalibur (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

This weekend, we’re taking a look at one or two of the smaller Inferno crossovers. These issues are collected in the crossovers companion book.

It’s actually quite impressive to think of the mythology-building that Chris Claremont was responsible during his incredible run on Uncanny X-Men. The X-Men had, of course, been confined to reprints for years before Len Wein revived the concept in Giant-Sized X-Men #1, but Claremont guided Marvel’s merry mutants to the heights of success. I think it’s entirely appropriate that the first issue in his last arc, X-Men #1, remains the biggest-selling comic book of all time – cementing Claremont’s impact.

Even though many people would argue the X-Men only really exploded during the speculation bubble of the nineties, it’s remarkable just how much Claremont and his collaborators were expanding the line. By the end of the eighties, Uncanny X-Men had accumulated several satellite books. Of those, Claremont had the pleasure of working with renowned artist Bill Sienkiewicz on New Mutants, while Excalibur paired the scribe with Alan Davis, one of the most respected artists in the business.

What possessed them to come to New York?

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X-Men: Inferno – Fantastic Four (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

This weekend, we’re taking a look at one or two of the smaller Inferno crossovers. These issues are collected in the crossovers companion book.

I have to admit, one of the best things about these companion books collecting the tie-ins to mammoth crossovers like Acts of Vengeance or Inferno is that way that they seem to capture a particular moment in time. In the Inferno collection alone, you get a taste of Walt Simonson’s Avengers, Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil and Chris Claremont’s Excalibur. I will confess that I am woefully poorly versed in the history of The Fantastic Four, arguably Marvel’s “first family.” The issues collected here, for example, are my first sampling of Steve Englehart’s tenure on The Fantastic Four.

A good old fashioned death trap!

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X-Men: Inferno – Avengers (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

This weekend, we’re taking a look at one or two of the smaller Inferno crossovers. These issues are collected in the crossovers companion book.

In many ways, Chris Claremont’s Inferno can be read as something of a practice run for John Byrne’s Acts of Vengeance. Both were massive crossovers that spread across a significant portion of Marvel’s publishing line, demanding writers to tie their stories in to these big and over-arching events. While Inferno‘s reach was arguably more modest than that of Acts of Vengeance, it seemed that the demonic invasion of New York could not be contained to the X-Men books, and ended up impacting titles as diverse as The Fantastic Four and Daredevil. Walt Simonson’s Avengers tied into Inferno as well, making an interesting attempt to launch a new team against the backdrop of an X-Men event.

Meet the new team…

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X-Men: Inferno (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

I don’t like Inferno. There, I said it. There have been dry patches in Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run before, and some would argue that his work following Inferno would be quite esoteric, but Inferno has always represented, to me at least, the creative low-point of Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run. That doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate it for what it is, or acknowledge the care with which the writer crafted it, but it is just too much of a big random mess to really enjoy it. It’s a disjointed crossover that resolves the long-running Madelyne Pryor mystery that Claremont had been weaving through the book, but also features demons and goblins for some reason. It’s just a great big mess.

There’s a Storm comin’…

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