Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: Neal Adams
Reprinting: X-Men Vol. 1 #9 and #25, and 1 page of #27; and Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #28.
The big draw of this comic is the new story by current Astonishing X-Men writer Joss Whedon and legendary artist Neal Adams. Taking place between chapters 1 and 2 of Giant-Size X-Men #1, Wolverine tells the new team that they must fight until one of them dies. Turns out itís just a trick to see what they can do. It lasts eight pages.
Yeah, thatís right. An eight page story. To Whedonís credit, he gets a lot done in eight pages. We get a little character-specific dialogue and a brawl. I canít help thinking Wolverine was a real jerk here. Then again, he was a jerk back in 1975. I think this story fits in with the tone of the old story. Neal Adams, Iím sorry to say, disappoints. His figures are still impressive. The heroesí motions are fluid and lively. Where Adams stumbles is his inking. Thereís just too much of it. Excessive cross-hatching and too many little lines distract from the action. Considering when this story takes place, a cleaner, simpler style would have worked better. I wish Dave Cockrum was able to draw the story as intended. Just look at that cover!
Luckily, the rest of this book is a solid winner. We get reprints of the Silver Age X-Menís greatest battles. The teen mutants take on the Avengers in a story considered one of the greatest Marvel comics ever made. Puppetmaster and the Thinker take control of Prof. Xís mind and command the X-men to attack the Fantastic Four. Finally, our students mistake Spider-Man for a threat sent by the mysterious Factor 3.
So thatís two issues of Stan Lee/Jack Kirby magic, a Roy Thomas/Werner Roth joint, and 62 pages of superguys wailing on each other. Easily worth $5.
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