It’s no surprise to anyone that the comic I’ve read most is an X-Men comic. It’s the comic book that the movie X-Men 2 was supposedly based on. I say supposedly because X-Men 2 has almost no resemblance to the graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills.
God Loves, Man Kills starts out with two children being murdered and strung up on a playground simply because they are mutants. Magneto finds them. At the time I first read it, I didn’t realize the multiple dimensions of Magneto as a character. He was just a villain. But right from the start of this, we see Magneto as a man of compassion for his people. We understand his motivation for fighting humans. In many ways, it makes more sense that Xavier’s insistence on working with them.
The story progresses with a group of X-Men including Xavier being captured by a Reverend Stryker. He treats mutants as an abomination to God. This culminates in a confrontation in a crowded arena. It’s one of the best Magneto moments ever. This book is a masterpiece and a great read thanks to writer Chris Claremont and artist Brent Anderson doing some of the best work of their careers.
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Tomorrow: Comic For Kids
– Jack Cameron
Like most kids, when I started collecting comics it was all about the characters. Eventually I noticed that not every Wolverine story was great and the reason for that was the creators. Some artists just don’t do the sort of art I enjoy. Some writers just don’t understand the characters they’re writing. This resulted in me paying attention to who is writing and who is drawing.
My first favorite creator was Chris Claremont. He wrote Uncanny X-Men for 17 years. It’s safe to say that without Chris Claremont, there would be no X-Men movies. In the early 1990s Claremont left Marvel due to creative differences. After a bit, he ended up working at Marvel’s competition doing a creator owned book called Sovereign Seven. It ran for 36 issues until Marvel wooed him back to them.
Sovereign Seven was about a group of heroes each from different doomed dimensions. Each other their worlds had been destroyed by the same thing. They had formed to put a stop to it. The characters were interesting and most of them were different enough that they didn’t entirely feel like recreated X-Men characters. Almost every issue had a pop culture cameo which was kind of amusing and it was a fun little book. It’s the only DC book I own the full run of. Good stuff.
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Tomorrow: A Guilty Pleasure Comic
– Jack Cameron
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for both Chris Claremont and the X-Men. But what Chris Claremont and Barry Windsor-Smith created in Uncanny X-Men #186 is legendary. In previous issues, Forge, a mutant who’s power is he can literally invent anything gave the government a gun that strips mutants of their powers. It was supposed to be used on fugitive and X-Man, Rogue. Fellow X-Man Storm got in the way. Storm awakes to find herself being cared for by Forge himself on the top floors of his building. Over the course of days they fall in love. And then she learns he’s the man responsible for taking her powers away and she leaves him. Storm is broken from the betrayal and loss of her powers. Forge is broken because he’s fallen in love with a woman who has every reason to hate him forever.
As good as the story is, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the incredible art by Barry Windsor-Smith. He creates little moments in this one issue that make it a simply amazing love story.
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– Jack Cameron
In Middle School I bought GI Joe comics from time to time to augment my action figure adventures. Then I let my friend Ted borrow them and he lost them. To make up for it, Ted gave me Uncanny X-Men 225-227. Otherwise known as The Fall of the Mutants. I had no idea who or what the X-Men were at the time. These stories by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri were like nothing I’d ever read. In the space of three issues, these heroes fought Native American gods, dinosaurs, cowboys, robots, and ultimately ended up sacrificing their lives saving the world. It was the most amazing story my twelve-year-old mind had ever read.
Within three months, Ted was asking me about the X-Men because I knew more than him. The first issue I bought on my own was Uncanny X-Men 239 which began another crossover called Inferno. I collected Uncanny X-Men pretty much ever since.
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– Jack Cameron