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The official site of the X-Men movie franchise!

Located at the official Marvel site, this page explores the X-Men through the pages of today's variety of mutant comics.

For the fans, by the fans, this site doesn't leave anything out in your search for mutant info.

Every page the Uncanny Chris Claremont ever wrote is resourced here, including a cover gallery of all his comics.



Original 27

  • First print: 11/88
  • Second print: 4/91
    Marvel Masterworks: X-Men Volume 2

    Reprints: X-Men #11-21

    (Vol. 7 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)

    Current In-Print Edition: Second Edition, First Print
    Original Release Date: 7/9/03

    REGULAR EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-0983-8 • List Price: $49.99
    VARIANT EDITION ISBN: 0-7851-1274-X • List Price: $54.99

    240 Pages

    Scripted by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas
    Pencilled by Jack Kirby, Werner Roth and Alex Toth
    Foreword by Stan Lee

    Buy From:
    AMAZON.COM USA: n/a • AMZ UK: n/a • AMZ CANADA: n/a
    TALES OF WONDER: $34.99

    Could it be that X-Men Vol. 2 isas good as Vol. 1? In the feature page essay for X-Men Masterworks Vol. 1, I mentioned that the first ten issues ofX-Men were "essential reading", and I implied that later comics in the series might not be able to stand up next to them.That somehow, the remainder of the X-Men Silver Age (especially the period before Steranko and Neal Adamscame on board for art chores!) were perhaps "optional."

    After rereading X-Men Masterworks Vol. 2 in preparation for this essay, I will now spend a little time emphaticallydisavowing any such implications. The X-Men comics reprinted in X-Men Masterworks Vol. 2 are not only important to the legacy of the X-Men, but they're great comics, too! For this writer, it was one sustained period of fun to reread these four-colorcomics, and just as much a thrill as the first flush of X-Men fandom one might have gotten reading the first ten stories.

    For one thing, Jack Kirby is still around! Heheld on through issue #11 for primary art chores, with inks by Chic Stone, one of his better delineators. By May of 1965, whenthat issue was published, Jack's attention was needed elsewhere in the Marvel stable, so for the next several issues he providedonly layouts. While Stan rummaged around the comics scene to find a permanent artist to pencil the X-Men, #12 had the honorof being providing pencilled characters by comics legend Alex Toth. This issue, which features the first appearance of the Juggernautand juicy details of Professor Xavier's origin, stands as one of the great Marvel comics of all time, and certainly one of its mostcreepy and suspenseful!

    With issue #13, a permanent penciller was on board, and it was none other than Jay Gavin! Well...not really. You see, Jay Gavinwas a pen-name for Werner Roth, who was forced to use the fake name as he was currently under contract with another comics company at the time. (Can't have that moonlighting, can we? Werner would put his real name in the credits starting withX-Men #23.) With five issues to get used to drawing the X-Men with Jack Kirby's outstanding layouts providing direction, Wernerslowly grew to make the X-Men his own. Like Don Heck, his work isn't looked back on as historically important or dynamic as Kirby, Ditko or other favorites, but there is something really cool about his figure work that I quite like. Smooth, rounded and cartoonish, Roth's linework had a knack for crafting goofy charm, as best exemplified in this book by Lucifer's army of robots in issue #21. Hardly threatening looking, they explode across the page like barrels being shot out of a catapult. And while his layouts may nothave been as cool as Kirby's (his rendition of Dominus, for example, surely would have been left in the dust by the King), he wasable to turn in panels of high drama. For an example, again, I turn your attention to issue #21, page nine. The third panel of the pageis a wonderfully suspenseful drawing, with Cyclops desperately clinging to a water pipe as he holds onto the girl he loves, the water torrents threatening to pull both down to their drowning deaths unless the Angel can fly to them in time! Before you consign one suchas Werner Roth to lesser status, realize that it's panels like that that show there's more to his talents than maybe you've considered!

    One other definitive creative change takes place in this run of X-Men comics, and that would be the installation of Roy Thomas as permanent writer. Since both he and Werner Roth would manthe X-Men for the next couple year's worth of issues, this is a significant change. With only a couple issues in this book to judge, Roygot his feet wet with a high degree of verbosity, let's just put it that way! This was one of his first comics jobs, and I'm sure the formerfanboy turned comics pro was beside himself with the idea that he was helping turn out a monthly team book.

    But what of the stories? Well, there are several majorones in this book. The most important would have to be the introduction of the Sentinels in X-Men #14, which is the first part of a three-partepic in which the seeds of anti-mutant hysteria really begin to come to the forefront. Previously only hinted at, this hysteria beginsto erupt in the actions of regular, normal people on the street. It's one thing for the X-Men to be attacked by Magneto or Lucifer, but quite anotherto be attacked by a normal citizen tossing a brick at them. This kind of hysteria is ominously synthesized in Bolivar Trask and his highly-publicanti-mutant mania. To protect mankind from its perceived threat, he created an army of giant robots called Sentinels that would hunt down, captureand then destroy mutants. Trask's arrogance takes him and his Sentinels in unexpected directions however, and the three-parter that wouldintroduce X-Men fandom to the Sentinels stands as one of Marvel's greatest dramas.

    Preceding that storyline is the two-parter that introduces Cain Marko, aka the Juggernaut. It also entices the reader with judicious samplings of the life of Charles Xavier, in which it is revealed that Marko and Xavier are half-brothers and share a common history. Other issues inX-Men Masterworks Vol. 2 include a key story in which the Stranger is introduced, and Magneto is whisked away by a universal power far greater than he! Also, the two-part Lucifer story reveals even more of Professor Xavier's secret origin, as the X-Men head out west to facethe evil space alien in a setting that surely could have been an inspiration for Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

    All in all, I have to proclaim this book as just as worthyof shelf space in a definitive X-Men library as Vol. 1 is. There's so much great stuff here, it would be a shame to miss out on it if you think theonly good stuff is the really early comics and the really late comics in the Silver Age run. I strongly recommend this volume.

    -- by Gormuu

    Issues Reprinted
    X-Men #11-21

    Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

    XMEN #11XMEN #12XMEN #13XMEN #14XMEN #15 XMEN 16
    XMEN #17XMEN #18XMEN #19XMEN #20XMEN #21


    All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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