Archive for the ‘Jean Grey’ Category

The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

March 5, 2015

Sentry-X-Men 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Mark Texiera
February 2001
****

Kirby & Lee’s original mutants help this mini’s Superman surrogate fight a loony ’60s-style foe in a pitch-perfect flashback. The art—here M-Tex, painterly yet dynamic—makes or breaks these Sentry one-shots. This one also shows off the protag’s simple, golden heroism better by showing less of him.

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued in The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
see also The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1

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X-Men: Omega #1 of 1

February 18, 2015

X-Men Omega 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
June 1995
****

Magneto sends a time-tossed hero into a cosmic crystal to restore the true X-universe. Waid’s tense, dramatic script masks Cruz’s errors (an unoriginal Ameri-manga artist, he’s the weak link here). Lobdell, the crossover’s mastermind, has done commendable work. Tho’ individual minis may’ve faltered, his cumulative plot & vision makes AoA  the pinnacle of mutant mags between Claremont and Morrison.

continued from The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from Factor X #4 of 4
continued from Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
continued from Generation Next #4 of 4
continued from Weapon X #4 of 4
continued from X-Calibre #4 of 4
continued from X-Man #4 of 4
continued from X-Universe #4 of 4
continued in X-Men Prime #1 of 1

X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

February 15, 2015

X-Man Chronicles 2 of 2Howard Mackie // Ian Churchill
June 1995
*

Generally, Age of Apocalypse is best when it implies a backstory as intricate as the actual X-books; X-M:C negates that feature by filling those gaps. #2 plays out the love triangle of Gambit, Rogue, & Magneto while their team fights a brute with ill-defined powers. The hammy script makes it impossible to care about these emotional adolescents; the era-standard art is awful settings and hypertrophied bodies with tribal tattoos & bad hair. This low point for the AoA doesn’t justify its existence.

last issue: X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

February 14, 2015

X-Men Chronicles 1 of 2Howard Mackie // Terry Dodson
March 1995
**

Chronicles replaces the quarterly X-mag for the Age of Apocalypse, a sort of What If…? riff on Days of Future Past, w/ a remit to provide backstory. The first mission of Magneto’s team: to prevent an evil mutant, Apocalypse, from stealing US nukes. Mackie, a hack, writes flat characterization & generic bombast. He fumbles the death of Scarlet Witch, meant to be a pivotal sacrifice & the end of innocence. Dodson, however, draws in a buoyant style that owes a quite a bit to ‘good girl’ art.

next issue: X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1

X-Man #4

February 9, 2015

X-Man 04Jeph Loeb // Steve Skroce
June 1995
**

Exposition time: a rebellious Darwinist splices the DNA of this alt-Earth’s Cyclops & Jean Grey to create a weaponized eugenic superman: the protagonist. The concept has a seed of mad-science brilliance, but it’s followed up by a ham-handed declaration of individuality delivered via punching.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: X-Man #3
next issue: X-Man #5

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

Weapon X #2 of 4

January 30, 2015

Weapon X 2 of 4Larry Hama // Adam Kubert
April 1995
**

In the AofApoc, Wolverine fights Reavers above London & loses Jean Grey. Hama offers a basic level of craft that most ’90s X-mags lack: clear characters, well-written action, & focused stakes. One flaw, of course, is the cynical love of violence. If only Kubert’s #2 son weren’t a Lee wannabe!

last issue: Weapon X #1 of 4
next issue: Weapon X #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Factor X #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

Weapon X #1 of 4

January 29, 2015

Weapon X 1 of 4Larry Hama // Adam Kubert
March 1995
***

In a mutant-run dystopia, Wolvie & Jean Grey provide cover for a human airlift rescue. Hama actually builds an arc into one issue, & also leverages the lame Logan/Cyclops/Jean triangle into a backstory that cost Logan a hand & Cyke an eye. *** despite confusing layouts, due to comically wild hair.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Weapon X #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

Factor X #4 of 4

January 28, 2015

Factor X 4 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
June 1995
***

Factor X lucks into significance, due mainly to a focus on Cyclops. His arc of redemption, facilitated by Jean Grey, ends w/ him leading a mutant prison to freedom! But the mini’s also had finer ideas than most of the second-tier AoA, like a Mengele “dark” Beast & the happy-go-lucky Bedlam Brothers.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

Factor X #3 of 4

January 27, 2015

Factor X 3 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
May 1995
**

Jean Grey arrives from Weapon X to help Cyclops w/ his redemption. The elaborate interlacing of this Days of Future Past homage is its best part, tho’ even Factor X can feel like a set of plot points. Plus the ’90s focus on Scott S & Jean G means cornball dreck about their romantic destiny.

last issue: Factor X #2 of 4
next issue: Factor X #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Universe #1 of 2

X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

January 12, 2015

X-Men Alpha 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz & Steve Epting
February 1995
****

Think What If… Magneto formed the X-Men? The dystopian alt timeline is fun, & the era’s portentous prose & posturing panels lend themselves well to the sturm und drang (even if the project labors in Claremont’s shadow). Magneto, a glowering man of action, looks unhappy to be stuck into the Rogue/Gambit soap opera; Cyclops is a mutant princeling who awakens to the genocide & misery under Apocalypse.

continued from X-Men #41
continued from Cable #20
continued in The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in Factor X #1 of 4
continued in Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
continued in Generation Next #1 of 4
continued in Weapon X #1 of 4
continued in X-Calibre #1 of 4
continued in X-Man #1 of 4
continued in X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men #41

Cable #20

January 11, 2015

Cable 020Jeph Loeb // Ian Churchill
February 1995
**

The coda to an X-Men crossover adventure that ended in mission failure & resulted in the end of the universe! Cable‘s remit is to provide an elegiac sense of closure, but it’s all ’90s mutant whinging. Churchill, tho’ an Image-style hack, surprises by giving his char’s faces some personality!

see also The Uncanny X-Men #321
last issue: Cable #19
next issue: Cable #20

also indexed for Feb. ’95
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men #41
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

X-Men #41

January 10, 2015

X-Men 041Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert & Ron Garney
February 1995
***

Finale to an X-over that kills off a young Professor X to create an alternate future. Writer Lobdell & editor Harras deserve a story credit for #41, & so does Chris Claremont, who created (a) the Prof-Magneto friendship, (b) Xavier’s son Legion, & (c) the cosmic crystal that threatens the multiverse.

continued from The Uncanny X-Men #321
continued in X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
see also Cable #20
last issue: X-Men #40
next issue: X-Men #42

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

The Uncanny X-Men #321

January 9, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 321Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Ron Garney
February 1995
***

The illegit son of Professor X seduces his mother while psychically disguised as his father! It’s a provocative moment in a routine Terminator-type ’90s X-comic. Lobdell contrasts the arc’s Oedipal theme w/ his beloved Cyclops/Jean Grey/Cable triangle—his namby-pamby notion of a proper X-family.

continued from X-Men #40
continued in X-Men #41
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #320
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #322

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
X-Men #41
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

X-Men #40

January 8, 2015

X-Men 040Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
January 1995
**

Time-traveling amnesiac X-Men putz around post-war Israel as their modern comrades learn that mission failure means universal collapse. Nicieza artificially inflates the stakes via a chorus of Watchers, while the better Kubert son does mainline ’90s X-art (his Legion is unrecognizably off-model).

continued from The Uncanny X-Men #320
continued in The Uncanny X-Men #321
last issue: X-Men #39
next issue: X-Men #41

also indexed for Jan. ’95
The Uncanny X-Men #320

The Uncanny X-Men #320

January 7, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 320Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
January 1995
**

A true 4-part crossover, w/ even #’ed issues in adjectiveless X-Men. Professor X’s love-child aims to rewrite history in a bid for paternal validation. Originally a schizoid psychic in New Mutants, Legion is now just a ranting loon w/ the innate ability to time-travel—a random & convenient addition!

continued in X-Men #40
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #319
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #321

also indexed for Jan. ’95
X-Men #40

New X-Men #154

December 9, 2012

New X-Men 154Grant Morrison // Marc Silvestri
June 2004
****
Despite dodgy panels from Silvestri, Morrison sticks his finale with acrobatic beauty. The enemy of his entire run is finally unmasked: Sublime, a 3B-year-old viral consciousness that subverts evolution to survive! Jean G. ascends to godhead & defeats the villain w/ love by blessing Scott & Emma.
[last issue: New X-Men #153]
[next issue: New X-Men #155]

New X-Men #153

December 8, 2012

New X-Men 153Grant Morrison // Marc Silvestri
May 2004
*****
GM’s white-hot with hyper-compression, an abstruse style that, at its best, delivers complex plotting but doesn’t neglect emotional beats. Led by a rehabilitated Cass Nova (AKA Ernst!), a future X-team confronts Phoenix & the Beast—who’s infected by Sublime, a virus that thrives on mutant conflict!
[last issue: New X-Men #152]
[next issue: New X-Men #154]

New X-Men #152

December 7, 2012

New X-Men 152Grant Morrison // Marc Silvestri
late March 2004
*****
In the far future, the Beast wants to mass-produce life rather than letting evolution work. Morrison’s riff on Days of Future Past equals the original & surpasses its ’90s echo Age of Apocalypse. Silvestri also outdoes his past X-work, retaining the sturm & drang of Inferno but surer on shapes.
[last issue: New X-Men #151]
[next issue: New X-Men #153]

New X-Men #150

December 5, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
February 2004
***
A great cover! Magneto, humiliated, zaps the resurrected Phoenix w/ a touch & rips a hole in spacetime. Is Mags Xorn or visa-versa? It’s ambiguous but neither option feels plausible. Take the former as read—it’s a stronger theme. Zealotry & violence (by Bin Laden or Bush) is a failed philosophy.
[last issue: New X-Men #149]
[next issue: New X-Men #151]

New X-Men #149

December 4, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
January 2004
****

Tho’ Morrison probed Magneto’s X-role better in the Kid Omega arc; here he argues that the original Silver Age supervillain isn’t a radical, he’s a self-loathing reactionary. On another level, GM brings Beak’s arc to a scruffy head, as the youth stands up to the terrorist & joins the X-revolution.

last issue: New X-Men #148
next issue: New X-Men #150

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28

New X-Men #148

December 3, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
December 2003
***

A hurried issue in a compressed climax: this isn’t Morrison at his best. Logan & Jean piece a plot together from sketchy evidence & debatable retcons to the previous 2½ years of comics. But one nice bit of drama has Wolvie stab Jean in a mercy-kill; she then resurrects as they plunge into the sun!

last issue: New X-Men #147
next issue: New X-Men #149

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

New X-Men #146

December 1, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
early November 2003
**

Sometimes Morrison’s compressed storytelling works, but not in #146, where he rushes to end his X-epic prematurely. A big reveal undoes two of his strongest issues & best characters by conflating Xorn w/ the “late” Magneto. Still, Jiminez provides solid craft, incl. several silent pages in space.

last issue: New X-Men #145
next issue: New X-Men #147

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #147

New X-Men #141

November 26, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
July 2003
***
Super-cops solve the Murder of Emma Frost—& Phoenix resurrects her—but deeper mysteries are afoot. Like, who supplies the mutant vapo-steroid? A mole in the mansion! But the plot feels like wheel-spinning, the chars are duds, the only clever bit is the speedy gestation of Beak & Angel’s brood.
[last issue: New X-Men #140]
[next issue: New X-Men #142]

New X-Men #140

November 25, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
late June 2003
***
This issue, I think, is where the wheels come off Morrison’s run. X-Treme lends its cop protags to investigate the murder of Emma Frost. After her psyche was blasted by Jean Grey, Emma literally fell to pieces—a thousand diamond shards! Phoenix, however, easily proves her innocence via cosmic gaze.
[last issue: New X-Men #139]
[next issue: New X-Men #141]

New X-Men #139

November 24, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
early June 2003
****
If you find Quitely too mod, you might prefer Jimenez’s ’00s capes (w/ more N. Adams & Pérez in his matrix). As he stages the astral confrontation btw Jean & Emma, he sticks w/ super-realism rather than trying for surreal magic. Still, great to see real emotions behind those mutant love triangles!
[last issue: New X-Men #138]
[next issue: New X-Men #140]

New X-Men #138

November 23, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
May 2003
*****
Mutation, for Morrison as for Claremont, is the mag’s key theme. Kid O, hopped up on a mutant steroid inhalant, sublimates into psy-energy. Prof X, recognizing his failure, resigns as headmaster. But Emma F. refuses to change, even as her Cuckoos leave her &, for good measure, expose her affair w/ Cyke!
[last issue: New X-Men #137]
[next issue: New X-Men #139]

New X-Men #135

November 20, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
February 2003
****
W/ FQ’s return & GM’s renewed focus, this mag has found its swing. The Institute gets some welcome elaboration, foregrounding the student population and their challenges to authority. Kid Omega decides on violence & uppers as a mode of acting out; Xorn takes the “special” class on a camping trip.
[last issue: New X-Men #134]
[next issue: New X-Men #136]

New X-Men #133

November 18, 2012

Grant Morrison // Ethan van Scriver
December 2002
***
Prof X’s world tour gets interrupted, first by Pakistani terrorists & then by the Shi’ar (who intone a warning re: Phoenix). Meanwhile, Wolvie & Fantomex rescue an Afghani mutant from slavers. A low-watt issue. Points for contempo relevance but the girl is a blank slate. It’s all tease, no plot.
[last issue: New X-Men #132]
[next issue: New X-Men #134]

New X-Men #132

November 17, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
November 2002
****
Children of the late Magneto visit the toxic site of the Genoshan Sentinel massacre. Quicksilver & Toad erect a statue, while Polaris unearths a blackbox magno-recording of her father’s final words. Comic book allegory supplies the necessary distance for a respectful memorial to the 9/11 attacks.
[last issue: New X-Men #131]
[next issue: New X-Men #133]

New X-Men #131

November 16, 2012

Grant Morrison // John Paul Leon
late October 2002
****
GM writes an artful variation on the usual X-soap, contrasting a domestic drama with a comedic underplot. Cyclops initiates a psychic affair w/ bad girl Emma. JPL’s scratchy style doesn’t quite mine the surreal potential. Also, two unglamorous X-students, outcasts of the new mutants, hook up.
[last issue: New X-Men #130]
[next issue: New X-Men #132]

New X-Men #130

November 15, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
early October 2002
***
Kordey finally hits the right tone, a murky horrorshow. The Prof faces a fractal consciousness that infects by touch (Claremont-like psi-villainy!); Jean gets exposition from a mystery man. This super-conscientious objector is  Fantomex, AKA Weapon XIII—which makes Logan’s “Weapon X” the number 10!
[last issue: New X-Men #129]
[next issue: New X-Men #131]

New X-Men #129

November 14, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
September 2002
***

A new antihero—a suave French mutant named for Fantomas & costumed like Diabolik—improves greatly on Gambit. But imagine what JH Williams III could do w/ the master thief & his beaux arts UFO! Kordey’s just wrong for this mag. Another clever revision: Weapon X = 10, and big bad number XII is loose!

last issue: New X-Men #128
next issue: New X-Men #130

also indexed for Sept. ’02
Alias #11
Alias #12
Avengers #56

New X-Men #128

November 13, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
late August 2002
***

NXM double-ships this month! But #128 is much worse than #127. That’s due to Kordey, whose hideous chunky lines undercut the arc’s cosmopolitan tone & subtle psychology. Jean’s Phoenix & Scott’s inhibitions threaten the marriage. And in Europe, X-mutants stage a rescue op in the Channel Tunnel.

last issue: New X-Men #127
next issue: New X-Men #129

also indexed for Aug. ’02
Alias #10
Avengers #55
New X-Men #127

New X-Men #127

November 12, 2012

Grant Morrison // John Paul Leon
early August 2002
*****

New cast-member Xorn, a blue-nova boddhisatva in an iron mask, seeks a malformed mutant in Alphabet City. This one-off paints a finely detailed portrait w/ zen-like simplicity (ignore, please, GM’s upcoming reveal). JPL’s choppy pencils add an urban grit, better even than Maleev on contempo DD.

last issue: New X-Men #126
next issue: New X-Men #128

also indexed for Aug. ’02
Alias #10
Avengers #55
New X-Men #128

New X-Men #126

November 11, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
July 2002
****

Jean Grey, Phoenix once more, stashes Prof X’s mind among mutantkind to act as a booby-trap. Defeated by teamwork, his evil twin (& Jungian psi-beast) Cassandra Nova is to be rehabilitated! A superb finale to Morrison’s first year on NXM, a top-notch first act—despite Kordey’s fill-in art.

last issue: New X-Men #125
next issue: New X-Men #127

also indexed for Jul. ’02
Alias #9
Avengers #54

New X-Men #125

November 10, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
June 2002
***

Cyke & Xorn stage an orbital jailbreak; on Earth, the students & teachers make separate contingency plans. The plot threads harmonize rather than locking step. And the dialogue is pitch-perfect, which overcomes the squishy faces. Even Kordey, despite his ugly manner, can relate the story okay.

last issue: New X-Men #124
next issue: New X-Men #126

also indexed for Jun. ’02
Alias #8
Avengers #53

New X-Men #124

November 9, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
May 2002
**

Kordey’s back. His sloppy rush job detracts heavily—bewildering that Marvel would publish a flagship that looks this bad—but it only needs to depict a brawl btw the team & super-aliens. GM’s script carries the momentum, absent its usual depth. But this is the nadir of his superb X-work.

last issue: New X-Men #123
next issue: New X-Men #125

also indexed for May ’02
Alias #7
Avengers #52

New X-Men #123

November 8, 2012

Grant Morrison // Ethan van Scriver & Tom Derenick
April 2002
****

Diverse hands don’t detract from Morrison’s momentum. Jean Grey presents the X-campus as a utopia of human/mutant culture. Cue an alien invasion—the masterplan of archfoe Cassandra Nova, whose nano-Sentinels have also infected the team! Even the student body gets its share of plot beats.

last issue: New X-Men #122
next issue: New X-Men #124

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
Avengers #51

New X-Men #122

November 7, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
March 2002
*****

A heady ish packed w/ action, suspense, even character beats. Backed by FQ, GM intros a dozen new ideas, but he presumes you’ll keep up! The team’s catching up too, on Cass Nova: a bodiless consciousness who stole Prof X’s body. She, meanwhile, has demolished the mag’s galactic empire, the Shi’ar!

last issue: New X-Men #121
next issue: New X-Men #123

also indexed for Mar. ’02
Alias #5
Avengers #50

New X-Men #121

November 6, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
February 2002
*****

Mandated by Marvel to produce a wordless issue, GM & FQ create avant-pop, one of the greatest single issues of the X-Men ever. No mere gimmick, they convey a pivotal story beat (Prof X fought his evil twin in utero) using silence to build a surreal astral space for the heroines’ psychic journey.

last issue: New X-Men #120
next issue: New X-Men #122

also indexed for Feb. ’02
Alias #4
Avengers #49

New X-Men #120

November 5, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
January 2002
***

The U-Men are reduced to opera buffa racists by Jean Grey, who catches fire w/ Phoenix Force. Her ascension tingles the reader’s spine, tho’ hasty fill-in art obscures the action & undercuts the sense of awe that GM intends. Compare to Quitely’s numinous cover: Phoenix as modern Byzantine icon.

last issue: New X-Men #119
next issue: New X-Men #121

also indexed for Jan. ’02
Alias #3
Avengers #48

New X-Men #119

November 4, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
December 2001
**

Kordey, tonally the opposite of Morrison, shreds the mag’s mod-pop adventure w/ rough, murky pencils. A close read salvages a few concepts & story beats tho’. Jean Grey preps for lone battle to defend the school. A roadhouse bigot pulls a shotgun & sob story on Logan & his new teen protege.

last issue: New X-Men #118
next issue: New X-Men #120

also indexed for Dec. ’01
Alias #2
Avengers #47

New X-Men #118

November 3, 2012

Grant Morrison // Ethan van Scriver
November 2001
***

A cornerstone of this X-era is mutant popularity. Non-glam mutants like Beast & Beak got spotlit last ish; in #118, a chubby teen gets thrown out by her bigoted dad for growing bug wings. Less successful is GM’s riff on anti-mutant cadres: meet the U-Men, vivisecting mutants for post-human uplift.

last issue: New X-Men #117
next issue: New X-Men #119

also indexed for Nov. ’01
Alias #1
Avengers #46
Avengers: The Ultron Imperative

New X-Men #117

November 2, 2012

Grant Morrison // Ethan van Scriver
October 2001
****

EvS, a melodramatic realist in the N. Adams vein, is no Quitely. Fortunately, Morrison offsets him w/ lots of good new ideas. Beast is key, caring about his uglier students, fighting a psi-attack of self-loathing over his devolution. His attacker: Cassandra Nova, super-mutant & Xavier’s evil twin!

continued from New X-Men Annual 2001
last issue: New X-Men #116
next issue: New X-Men #118

also indexed for Oct. ’01
Avengers #45

New X-Men Annual 2001

November 1, 2012

Grant Morrison // Leinel Yu
September 2001
****

The team investigates an alliance btw Red China, a US pharm corp, & a self-help guru whose pro-mutant stance covers an evil agenda. Organ harvesting, international espionage, a beatific mutant w/ a star for a brain: GM’s ’01 Annual tells a rare X-tale that feels essential & a la mode, if not quite coherent. Yu flips the page for letterbox effect, tho’ his raspy layouts echo GM’s style for + and -.

continued from New X-Men #116
continued in New X-Men #117
last issue: X-Men Annual 2000

also indexed for Sept. ’01
Avengers #44
Avengers Annual 2001
New X-Men #116

New X-Men #116

October 31, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
September 2001
*****

This arc’s villain, Cassandra Nova, is the next wave, a hyper-species all her own, helping to drive evolution (personal & biological) by forcing change. And so our heroes mutate! Emma Frost gets diamond-hard skin; Prof X unclosets himself; even Cyclops is different, unhappy in his “perfect” X-marriage.

continued in New X-Men Annual 2001
last issue: New X-Men #115
next issue: New X-Men #117

also indexed for Sept. ’01
Avengers #44
Avengers Annual 2001
New X-Men Annual 2001

New X-Men #115

October 30, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
August 2001
*****

A hyper-brilliant megalomaniac (a drag doppelganger of Xavier, note) sends her magpie Sentinels to demolish the mutant utopia of Genosha. Published just after the terrorist attacks of 2001, this issue cuts close to the bone. Yet NXM gains currency from the tension btw its dayglo style & genocide.

last issue: New X-Men #114
next issue: New X-Men #116

also indexed for Aug. ’01
Avengers #43

New X-Men #114

October 29, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
July 2001
*****

A sinister geneticist psi-attacks Professor X in his sanctum sanctorum, part of her plan to commit mutant genocide. Themes of evolution & survival intertwine like DNA; futuristic tech & hip new unis add a fashion-forward cool; an idle Sentinel factory looms over a jungle like an abandoned Mayan god.

last issue: X-Men #113
next issue: New X-Men #115

also indexed for Jul. ’01
Avengers #42

The Avengers #3

June 4, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1964
*****
In a Marvel irony, the teams’ foe in #3 used to be a teammate. The Hulk’s antisocial demeanor earns him attn from the original antihero, Namor—who defeats the surly monster in an underwater wrestling match! But the duo can’t cooperate when they challenge the Avengers to a battle royale under Gibraltar.
[see also Journey into Mystery #112]
[last issue: The Avengers #2]
[next issue: The Avengers #4]

The Mighty Thor #374

April 21, 2011

Walt Simonson // Sal Buscema
December 1986
****
Thor crosses paths w/ The Mutant Massacre,  perhaps the strongest X-over of all time & certainly the tightest. In a noble climax, he builds a funeral pyre for the sewer-dwelling Morlocks. And in augury of a big Simonson event, Thor faces the Death Goddess & learns he’s neither invulnerable nor mortal!
[last issue: The Mighty Thor #373]
[next issue: The Mighty Thor #375]