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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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Fall of the Mutants: X-Factor (Review/Retrospective)

I’ll freely concede that I’m generally wary of Louise Simonson’s X-Factor. Her contributions to the Mutant Massacre were the weakest part of the crossover, and she didn’t exactly make Inferno an exceptionally readable event. While I can understand why some fans are fond of her writing, I’ve found the X-Factor I’ve read to generally be an awkward and heavy-handed attempt to emulate Chris Claremont’s patented soap opera stylings.

However, I will concede when I’m impressed, and Simonson has more than impressed me here. While I respect Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men tie-in to Fall of the Mutants more than I enjoy it, Simonson’s X-Factor feels like a much stronger offering, feeling like the book is really firing on all cylinders. Fall of the Mutants allows Simonson to bring all manner of plotlines to a head, tying together years of build-up into a fascinating, exciting and compelling pay-off. I have no qualms in suggesting that Simonson’s X-Factor is the highlight of this gigantic collection.

A wing and a prayer…

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