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X-Men: The Complete Onslaught Epic, Book 1 Paperback – December 20, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I grew up in the 80's/90's. I was in Elementary school when the X-Men cartoon first aired. To me and my generation, that was our X-Men. We bought the toys, watched the show, read comics like "X-Cutioner's Song" and loved every minute of it. I think Onslaught marks the end of our era. "Fatal Attractions" was the highpoint, and "Onslaught" was the swan song. There was a lot that I remember and liked about this story. For my generation, Onslaught is a quiet classic.
However, for those who grew up in the 60's/70's, Onslaught is one of those moments that burns them. They can't stand the bizarre, ridiculous plot twists, and cheap shocks. From an unbiased standpoint, I can see their point. This is not the X-Men they grew up with. This is not their style. It was our style.
Essentially, the X-Men are facing a mysterious threat known as Onslaught that has been haunting them since the end of the "Age of Apocalypse". In this book, Onslaught is revealed and his plans for evolution and domination are set in motion. The story brings in the entire Marvel Universe and this was essentially the prelude to the Heroes Reborn series that relaunched Captain America, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, & the Avengers.
At $30, the price is a bit high and should only be considered by people who know what they're getting into. My only disappointment with the book is the lack of material from the months of build-up to the story. In the original trades, the book starts with the Juggernaut story where he first utters the name "Onslaught". I think that would have been a nice addition to this new release.
This really is a nostalgia book. Those who grew up with this era, should have a lot of fun remembering this story. Those who were already adults when this came out will loath it. Those who recently started reading comics recently will find it simplistic and lacking depth. Choose your path!
Onslaught is written as a nigh-unbeatable villain, and the stories contained in Volume 1 of The Complete Onslaught Epic get repetitive after a while, as Onslaught (who is designed as a Frankenstein's monster built from parts of Magneto, Juggernaut, and a Sentinel) continually defeats the X-men, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. The earliest stories attempt to play coy with Onslaught's identity, but it's as obvious as the identity of the villain in Police Academy 6 and revealed fairly early on. Stories of the dark side of Professor X's mental abilities were done before and after Onslaught, and better too (most notably in Chris Claremont's and Grant Morrison's runs). Also, the behavior of some characters in this volume might be confusing to some readers: Magneto is an amnesiac clone, Wolverine is feral and has bone claws, Beast has been replaced by his evil doppleganger from the Age of Apocalypse, etc. The quality of the art varies, since so many creative teams from so many different Marvel titles are involved. What sums up Onslaught for me is a brief scene when Professor X summons the X-men to a meeting. This meeting is depicted as a double-splash page with each member of the team entering in an action pose.
But when he finally showed up and we got to the action, then my interest was re-kindled and I was once again enjoying what made these comics great! I enjoyed seeing comics that I missed back in the 90's that involved the Fantastic Four, The Hulk, and Cable. Plus in the pages of the Fantastic Four, we get a little inside joke where Franklin is looking through Marvel Overpower cards, I have to admit that made me chuckle!
If you enjoyed these comics back in the 90's, you will certainly enjoy this trip down memory lane!
But now that it's here, I feel like I'm being ripped off. Again, the series is being presented across four volumes. There's significantly less content here, so each volume is signigicantly smaller. That's not too bad seeing how the AoA volumes really were so heavy that they were a little hard to read and I was constantly worrying about the spine. However, the powers that be have decided that the 29.99 price point should stick. We're talking 68% of the pages from the AoA books, but at %100 of the price.
Ah, well... it's still cheaper than getting the individual issues or the original TPBs...