My posts are back! I actually enjoy writing and sometimes rambling on so even if nobody reads these things, it’s still kind of fun. Like talking to myself but without the weird stares from everybody around me. For those who are new, I’m currently reading through all of my X-Men comics in chronological order (or at least the best I can – it gets really messy once we pass out of the 90’s). That’s right…all 2000 of them. After all, there’s Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, New Mutants, X-Force, Alpha Flight, Uncanny X-Force, X-Factor, and the list goes on and on. I’m not going to post every single issue. Just an issue here and there, or maybe, in the case of a crossover, every issue in the crossover. Posting my thoughts on the issue, what I remember when it first came out, and a few scanned images. These images are scanned by myself, so nothing’s been taken from others. Also the idea of blogs are pretty new to me and I’m still figuring things out along the way. You’re welcome to make any suggestions. I hope you enjoy them!
When I first really started collecting X-Men, X-Tinction Agenda was over and it was a major pain in the rear to get some of these issues. At the time, Jim Lee was a major star. He still kind of is, but you have to understand that in the 90’s, anything that he touched was golden and nobody saw it coming so his Uncanny X-Men issues went for a lot of money (I remember #270 going for around $30 which, for a 13 year old kid with no job and only an allowance, that’s a huge amount of money). So I first read the entire X-Tinction Agenda as a Trade Paper Back. I had a few of the issues, but the first time I read #270 was in trade form, which wasn’t mainstream in 1990/1991. The only places I remember finding the collected books were at actual comic book stores. Couldn’t get them at Barnes and Noble back then.
This issue, dubbed “First Strike” kicks off a much shorter crossover than we had last seen. Inferno was fantastic, but spread for 4 months and had tie-ins into almost every major Marvel comic. X-Tinction Agenda was completely self contained in the x-universe, although later on they do show reactions from some others in the Marvel U. The villains are the Genoshans (we find out fairly early on as they stalk Storm and Jean), but their motivations appear to be simple revenge for the events in the first Genoshan crisis (pre-Inferno).
Even now, Jim Lee is still amazing. I loved his Jean Grey and did everything I could to get any image he did of her. This issue started with two old friends reuniting. Both had believed the other dead for a time. Jean was believed dead after the Dark Phoenix saga and Storm was believed dead twice (after Fall of the Mutants and again after Uncanny #248). Claremont was wordy, but his style was perfect for making you really care about these characters. Plus, to have an issue start out in the danger room was always great.
Funny thing about the danger room: I read somewhere that the idea of the danger room was more or less laziness. They figured with the danger room, they could always start the comic off with an action sequence if they ever needed to. And that’s exactly what was done here.
This was also the issue that returned Storm to the X-Men in the regular series (although she actually returned in 1990’s annual with Gambit).
The other thing I liked about this issue was the inclusion of the New Mutants. They had been away from the flagship title since the Mutant Massacre story. Of course, we also got Cable, but I guess it can’t all be good. This issue features a lot of stryfe between the teams, mostly because up until now, the New Mutants had free reign of the underground parts of the mansion.Again, at the time, I was just thrilled to see my favorite characters drawn by Jim Lee.
This issue slowly builds up as we see Genoshan magistrates keeping an eye on Storm. They head to the mansion and while the New Mutants and Storm are all enjoying themselves at the lake, the Genoshans attack! Storm drops Stevie Hunter (remember her?) into the hatch leading to the underground complex, locks it shut, and rushes to save the kids. Of course that’s when we see that the man leading the Genoshans is Havok, the X-Man who’s been missing since Uncanny #251!
As the New Mutants on the surface fall quickly to the Genoshan onslaught, the remaining mutants, along with the few X-Men below, rush to another exit (since Storm locked the hatch).
Again, it was great seeing Cannonball, who’s long been my favorite, drawn by Jim Lee. There aren’t many instances of that.
Of course, by the time they get to the surface, it’s too late. The New Mutants (sans Cable, Cannonball, and Sunspot) have vanished, along with Storm and every single Genoshan. And readers had to wait for a couple weeks to find out what the heck was going on. Of course, I just had to wait until I turned the page. Remember, I was reading this as part of a collected edition. I know, I know. I’m a cheater.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this issue, although the overall cross-over is very inconsistent. The art is really only amazing in the X-Men issues, although to be fair, Liefeld’s art wasn’t the worst part of the cross-over.
As a single issue, I highly recommend this issue. As a crossover, nostalgia requires that I place it a bit higher, but in reality, there are much better crossovers out there.
So please, let me know what you guys think. I like writing and rambling on and hope it’s interesting, especially for people that grew up with these as I did.