- Series: Marvel Masterworks: X-Men
- Hardcover: 279 pages
- Publisher: Marvel Enterprises (March 24, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785142223
- ISBN-13: 978-0785142225
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Marvel Masterworks 8: The X-Men (Marvel Masterworks: X-Men) Hardcover – March 24, 2010
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Marvel Masterworks: X-Men - Volume 8
You'll be forgiven for being confused about why there's an Avengers cover on an X-Men Masterworks anthology, particularly if you were raised in the time when the X-Men were one of the dominant entertainment properties on the planet. It's amazing to look back and realize how close to extinction Marvel's mutant heroes were at one time, not because of any diabolical plot by Magneto or the Sentinels, but because of low sales figures in the real world. After languishing on Marvel's B-list for years, the original X-Men comic suffered a humiliating downfall - throughout the early 1970s, the book was a lowly reprint title, re-running the same old episodes that fans hadn't wanted to read the first time around. Even in this stunted form, the book's schedule was haphazard and its fate uncertain. There were glimmers of life, though - guest appearances, team-ups, and what could have been called crossovers, if the X-Men still had a book of their own.
This is the second book gathering those random, far-flung X-adventures -- the first one (Volume 7) had superior stories, although this collection one is notable for the first, earth-shattering appearance of a feisty little Canadian firebrand named Wolverine, who memorably fought the Hulk to a standstill and quickly became a fan favorite. Also included are X-flavored episodes of the Avengers, the Defenders, Captain America and the Fantastic Four, as well as a couple more "Marvel Team-Up" issues with Spidey.
Eventually the fan reaction to these "missing years" adventures led to the restoration of the actual X-Men series in an epic reboot that made pop culture history. It's nice of Marvel to collect these "lost" stories together -- and incredible to remember how close they came to abandoning a group that later became a bazillion dollar franchise. Excelsior, indeed! (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
Also included in the book is an introduction that details this moment in Marvel publishing history by Steve Englehart and a cover gallery of X-Men 81-93 (these were the issues published in the early 1970s that were simply republications of earlier issues).
The strength of this volume (and the other Masterworks in the series) is the quality of the reproductions. Even if you were to track down the issues collected here, you would not see the crisp vibrant panels that you will see here. Also, like the other Masterworks, Volume 8 has a sewn binding and heavy-stock paper that will last for a long time.
In Masterworks 8 the X-men (and Magneto) fight with and against Marvel's stable of heroes. This seems to have allowed the creative minds who molded the X-men to explore the limits and limitations of their powers and personalities. Can Juggernaut best the Hulk? Just how many Avengers can Magneto handle? Iceman and the Human Torch: who would be extinguished first?
The superheroics of the 1970s seem a whole lot less corny than earlier X-men Masterworks which reprint X-men from the 1960s. However, they comics are still considerably less fully developed than modern issues. Masterwork 8 reads like an anthology of short, self-contained stories. The stories themselves are good reads, the art is great, and it is amazing how far the x-men have come in 35 years.