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Essential X-Men, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – May 21, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews
Book 1 of 9 in the Essential X-Men Series

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Paperback, May 21, 2008
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; New edition edition (May 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785132554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785132554
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Chris Claremont is best known for his work on Marvel Comics' The Uncanny X-Men, during which time it was the bestselling comic in the Western Hemisphere; he has sold more than 100 million comic books to date. Recent projects include the dark fantasy novel Dragon Moon and Sovereign SevenTM, a comic book series published by DC Comics. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.George Lucas is the founder of Lucasfilm Ltd., one of the world's leading entertainment companies. He created the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series. Among his story credits are THX 1138, American Graffiti, and the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. He lives in Marin County, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I missed out on comics as a kid. It wasn't that I was denied them, I just wasn't very interested, being more of a book kid.

Oh, I read a few, but very few of the sort of comics you probably think of when you think of comics. I read all the Tintin and Asterix books, for instance, and collections of Peanuts comics were among my favourite books, and still are. But as for American 'comic magazines', my only experience of them was a stack my grandparents once bought for me from a book exchange for a couple of dollars. Of those, I have vague but fond memories of some early 70s Batmans, and of what I presume were reprints of the famed EC horror comics. And I remember some fairly improbable claims about sea monkeys and X-ray glasses. But otherwise, my knowledge of comics is pretty much limited to what I've picked up on the Internet, where my interests often seem to bring me into contact with comics fans.

So comics are a gap in my pop culture knowledge that's been bugging me for a few years. Hence, when I saw these 'Essential' books going so cheap I bought one, picking the X-Men because I liked the movies. The 'Essential' series collects consecutive sequences of old Marvel comics, in cheap, poorly-made, monochrome editions, printed on thin grey paper like newspapers used to use, and with cheaply-glued covers that are likely to fall off within minutes (mine did, and I'm a careful handler of books). In other words, you probably won't be able to pass this down to your grandchildren unless you already have some. They are, however, cheap enough for some harmless ("Approved by the Comics Code"!) entertainment, or to satisfy your idle curiosity about what kind of things American comics are (or were).
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Format: Paperback
First - a warning - there's a very specific reason why this book, which ordinarily would warrant 5 stars, only get 4, and that's because it's printed on very cheap paper, in black & white and with a very soft and fragile cover.
There. Grumbles out of the way, this is THE place to start for those curious about the saga of the X-men, but can't be bothered to search out the original comic books in second hand stores and feel intimidated by the massive amount of other titles readily available.
Another thing, this really should be called "The Complete X-Men, vol. 1", not the "Essential", because this is the entire "modern day" saga, starting with Professor Xavier assembling the "new" team of X-men.
It's well deserved that this version of the X-Men became a leading force in modern comics, as Chris Claremonts writing, which was excellent throughout his entire spell with the series, for the first time brought focus to the STORY. Sure, there were good stories written within the field of super-hero comics (DC were better than Marvel, in my opinion), but this was the first time quality of writing became as much a tour de force as quality of drawing.
Later on, Claremont drew upon the (then) formidable talents of John Byrne, more or less re-defining what super-hero comics were about.
The fact that Claremont also managed to make all the characters, supporting cast included, come alive within the confines of the genre, rather than just including a card-board-cut-out supporting cast, stands as a testament to the quality of the series.
Long live the X-Men.
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Format: Paperback
I greeted the new and improved X-Men with less than open arms. I had been a big fan of the original Uncanny X-Men, which had gone out in a blaze of glory with comics drawn by Jim Steranko and Neal Adams. When Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum revived the title in 1975, after "X-Men" had been reduced to a reprint comic, I was not overly thrilled with the decision to jettison most of the original group. If Cyclops had not stayed then I might have given up on the title right then and there, but this was the old days when you could still buy every title in the Marvel universe for about five bucks (remember, this was when you could fill up your car and get change back on a $5 bill). So I stuck around and saw how Claremont, Cockrum, and John Byrne turned the "X-Men" into one of the premier comic books in the land.
The original strength of the X-Men was that their being hunted mutants served as a subtext for various issues involving social prejudice. Claremont and Cockrum put that in an international context by having Professor X go around the world to recruit his second generation of merry mutants recruiting from the mountains of Kenya to behind the Iron Curtain. This time around we find not only that the X-Men are no longer all white, they are also not all as young as before (Banshee qualifies more as a contemporary of Charles Xavier). Also thrown into the mix is their disparate temperaments; early issues always have Wolverine and Thunderbird in a contest to see who can blow up first.
This first volume in the "Essential X-Men" series (not to be confused with the single volume released of the "Essential Uncanny X-Men") contains "Giant Size X-Men" #1 and issues #94-119 of "X-Men.
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