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X-Men by Jim Lee and Chris Claremont (and Whilce Portacio) Omnibus, Vol. 2 (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.

Gotta say this for the man — he knows how to make an exit.

– Archangel, X-Men #3 (Claremont’s last issue)

And so, this is the end. The end of Claremont’s quite simply epic run on the X-Men books. It’s amazing to look back on the writer’s output today, and simply try to consider the size of his contribution to the franchise. While he departed the books as they were at the height of their appeal (X-Men #1 famously being the best-selling comic book of all time), it’s hard to argue that X-Men ever would have reached that height without Claremont’s vision and style. While the writer undoubtedly had his weaknesses, I think his contributions to the medium are rather undervalued. While writers like Alan Moore and Frank Miller reinvented comic books, I think that Claremont was an expert at incorporating those radical changes into his work, and a writer who managed to secure the support of his fans by giving the X-Men a sense of pop culture resonance that a lot of subsequent writers tried and failed to capture.

Through X-tremes…

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X-Men by Jim Lee and Chris Claremont (and Marc Silvestri) Omnibus, Vol. 1 (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.

If the nineties could be said to belong to any particular comic book franchise, they belonged to the X-Men. Marvel has done a great job collecting classic X-Men storylines in oversized hardcover, already having more than half of Chris Claremont’s very long run available in the format. Reading his work collected here, I find myself frequently conflicted – I can’t decide whether the writer was one of the best long-form storytellers in the medium, or whether he was writing by the seat of his pants. A lot of the threads he ties together might not wrap up satisfactory, but his overarching stories suggest an incredible amount of planning. As the author led the Uncanny X-Men into the nineties, the title seems almost in chaos, but the most carefully organised chaos imaginable.

We all have our crosses to bear…

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