Thursday, June 6, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] Uncanny X-Men Volume 1 by Chris Claremont

Title: Uncanny X-Men Volume 1

Author:  Chris Claremont

Artist:  Dave Cockrum

Genre: Superheroes / Action / Adventure

Year Published: 1975

Year Read: 2011

Series: Uncanny X-Men #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 10+ (Scenes of Fighting)


Now, to be honest, I have grew up with the 90s X-Men cartoon series, so I have not really read any X-Men comics prior to the 90s, so reading “Uncanny X-Men” from Marvel Masterworks was a great look back to the 70s X-Men comics where the second generation X-Men (Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Cyclops, Banshee, Sunfire, and Nightcrawler) are first introduced in the X-Men franchise.

What is the story?

In this volume, Professor Xavier goes around the world to recruit new members for the X-Men team including Wolverine the tough Canadian fighter who has strong claws, Colossus the good natured Russian giant who can turn his skin to steel, Banshee, the Scottish hero who has a supersonic scream, Storm the African goddess who can manipulate weather, Nightcrawler the blue skinned demon, Thunderbird the Native American strong man and Sunfire, the Japanese warrior who can shoot fire out of his hands.  When Professor Xavier recruited this team, he sends them on their first mission on an island where the original X-Men are being held hostage. Can the new generation of X-Men rescue the original X-Men?

What I loved about this comic:

Chris Claremont’s writing:  Chris Claremont was known as the best writer of the X-Men franchise and this volume truly amazes me!  When I first read this volume, I was surprised that the second generation X-Men did not like each other at first, but when they started working with each other especially after the first mission; Chris Claremont wrote their eventual interactions with each other in such an intense and relating way that X-Men fans will definitely enjoy seeing.  I loved all the interactions between the characters, especially between Storm and Colossus as they seem to have a brother and sister like relationship with each other.  It was also seeing the original X-Men argue a bit with the newer generation and I loved the fact that each new X-Men member are from different countries as I love exploring diversity within a story and this volume did a fantastic job at explaining each character’s different nationality.  This volume also introduced several X-men characters that I was not familiar with during the 90s which included Thunderbird, Banshee and Sunfire and it was great seeing X-Men characters I have not seen before.

Dave Cockrum’s illustrations:  Dave Cockrum’s illustrations are beautifully done as each detail is done to each character such as giving the characters shocked expressions whenever they are fighting foes throughout this volume.  I loved the way that Dave Cockrum drew Storm and Colossus as Colossus’s head is somewhat squared shaped and his dark hair has a blue gleam that makes his appearance truly impressive and I loved his large and muscular appearance that we all know and love.  Storm’s appearance is truly beautiful as she has vibrant and flowing white hair and blue eyes that make her a truly impressive character to look at.  I also loved how Dave Cockrum illustrates the fight scenes as they were impressive, especially when the X-Men were fighting on the island of Krakoa.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:

The only problem I had with this book is that there was not enough character development with the characters and it seems a bit too old-fashioned for my tastes.  I guess because I grew up in the 90s, this volume did seem a bit old-fashioned to me with the illustrations.  But, the story was extremely interesting and it was great seeing the X-Men in their original glory, so this was a small issue for me.  Also, I wish that there was more to the characters then just introducing them to the cast as I like to know more about their background history.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Uncanny X-Men Volume One” was an interesting read for first time X-Men comic readers like me and I really enjoyed seeing the X-Men in their heyday and how they started out. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from the original X-Men comics!

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