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How the hell can I start reading X-Men?

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Posts

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    New Excaliber was so weird... it just had these random villians show up for no reason, then just disappear. Like Dark Beast or Sugarman...

    fuck Xorneto.

    Sentry on
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    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Man.

    Sugarman.

    Such a bizarre creation.

    The Lovely Bastard on
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  • bobgorilabobgorila Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Ultimate X-men is pretty cool.

    bobgorila on
    I like my women how I like my coffee.

    Anally.
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Chuck Austen is either a huge idiot or a gigantic asshole (probably both) because his post-Morrison stories are nothing but a showcase of either him completley not understanding what Grant wrote or just plain not caring .

    Balefuego on
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  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    edited May 2007
    bobgorila wrote: »
    Ultimate X-men is pretty cool.

    Ultimate X-Men is the worst thing Kirkman's ever written

    DJ Eebs on
  • Tucanwarrior13Tucanwarrior13 Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Geebs wrote: »
    bobgorila wrote: »
    Ultimate X-men is pretty cool.

    Ultimate X-Men is the worst thing Kirkman's ever written

    I can honestly second that.

    Tucanwarrior13 on
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  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    I don't know how you could skip Here Comes Tommorow. It's the thematic lynchpin for the entire run.

    hughtron on
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  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    Also, New X-Men is notable because it's pretty much the only time in the last twenty-five years that X-Men was any kind of accessable.

    Astonishing X-Men is fun, well-written superheroes, but it's pretty much built for the guys who grew up with Byrne/Claremont.

    hughtron on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    hughtron wrote: »
    Also, New X-Men is notable because it's pretty much the only time in the last twenty-five years that X-Men was any kind of accessable.

    Astonishing X-Men is fun, well-written superheroes, but it's pretty much built for the guys who grew up with Byrne/Claremont.

    it's also the only x-book that tries to work with morrison's continuity, so you might as well read new x-men first anyway

    Servo on
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  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Also New X-Men is the only book that goes "Man, this character sucks" and then instead of going "let's give him/her a huge convoluted twisty backstory to increase interest!" they go "let's just kill 'em."

    EDIT Wait. Which New X-Men are we talking about? (Shut up. It's early.)

    Blackjack on
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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    I think getting up to speed ought to be less of a priority than reading the best stories you missed. I mean, at the end of the day, isn't the point to read good stories?

    Golded for massive truth. Catching up is nice, reading the best stories is where it's really at.

    And to that end, presented in roughly chronological order:

    Essential Classic X-Men 1 and 2 - The original X stories from the sixties, and the origins of classic villains like Lucifer and the Juggernaut. These stories are sometimes a bit loopy - the team started out as basically generic superheroes, fighting bank robbers and aliens and evil carnies (man, Stan Lee hated him some carnies) - but if you want to see how it all started, this is the only option, and it's still pretty swish stuff if you don't mind a bit of cheese.

    Essential X-Men 1-7 - The Chris Claremont era (1975ish-1991), which pretty much defined the team for the rest of time, starting with Giant-Sized X-Men #1 (which introduced Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and the majesty of Thunderbird) and brought in all the team dynamics and classic plotlines that you've probably seen in the movies, cartoon, video games, etc. - Magneto as a sympathetic bad guy? The Hellfire Club? The Shi'ar? The Phoenix? This is where it happened. These books are the necessary core of any serious X-collection.

    Essential X-Factor 1 - The original team (Cyclops, Jean, Beast, Iceman, and Angel) spun off into their own title in the mid-80s. It's a different feel from the main X-book, with more of a focus on relationships, but it's important reading as well, setting up the classic Mutant Massacre and Inferno storylines and featuring some gorgeous Walt Simonson art.

    X-Men: God Loves Man Kills - a mid-80s graphic novel pitting the X-Men against an anti-mutant televangelist. Its total seriousness hasn't aged as well as the normal X-comics but it's still an important entry in the franchise and features some really nice Brent Anderson pencils.

    X-Men: Inferno - for a long time the best of the X-crossovers. Cyclops's wife, Madelyne Pryor, goes insane after discovering she's a clone of Jean Grey and becomes the demonic Goblin Queen, opening up a portal to the netherworld and turning New York into a new suburb of Hell. Great story that ended a lot of ongoing plot threads (something more recent writers seem to have forgotten how to do) and had repercussions that extended through the rest of the Marvel universe (like the issue of Avengers where Jarvis battles man-eating mailboxes!).

    The Age of Apocalypse - one of the best of the post-Claremont stories. A villain travels back in time and murders young Xavier before he could found the X-Men, leading to a twisted alternate present where Apocalypse rules the world and the alternate X-Men are leading the rebellion against him. I wasn't huge on that late-90s wannabe-anime art but the story makes it all worthwhile.

    Grant Morrison's New X-Men - people keep mentioning it because it really is just that good. The huge oversized omnibus edition is the best value for the money (and you get all sorts of great bonus goodies, like Morrison's original story proposal and concept art) but if you can't find it or don't have that kind of liquid cash, the individual trades work too (although they're a bit of a rip at only like 4-5 issues per book).

    There are other books, of course - lots of others - but those should give you a good solid core from which to tackle the ongoing series. And, by and large, they represent the best the title has had to offer. You won't regret picking any of these up.

    [1] yes, I know Wolverine appeared before Giant Sized X-Men #1.

    [2] And was I the only one who was disappointed, after originally hearing that title, to find out that it referred to page count and was not, in fact, about a team of fifty-foot-tall heroes?

    Jacobkosh on
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  • CrimsondudeCrimsondude Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Wow.

    I haven't read an X-title in well over a decade (and then it became a matter of, as the OP asked, how the hell do you (re)start?), but damn... That's a great list.

    Crimsondude on
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