THE BOOK: The collected issues for this Marvel title include the following: X-Men issues 120-141; The Uncanny X-Men issues 142-144; and The X-Men Annual numbers 3-4. The new material in this book, and not included in the first two books I reviewed, are issues 120-137, 144, and annuals 3-4. So, what we see in terms of what's necessary for the time line of "Days of Future Past," and what IS included, are the primary two issues (141-142)—the other material is either back story leading up to the Future Past time line, or just additional material for you to enjoy in getting to know the characters or tangential story plots.
While the cover has a beautiful, full-color image, the issue, itself, is published in black and white, that is, no color—so don't be misled by the beautifully colored cover. The paper consists of inexpensive pulp paper; it is economical, but definitely not pretty. This book is radically different in appearance from the two previous books—the previous two are published in full color, and have beautiful glossy pages, gorgeous to the eye and appealing to the visual senses. And, while the pages in the Essential X-Men: Volume Two are eminently clear and readable, it lacks the beauty and artistic sensibilities the previous two books possess.
Two reasons exist why I selected this volume to include in the book review. First, the topic we are looking at, today, Days of Future Past, is part and parcel of this book. Additionally, since I am no "comics expert," I defer to those who do know comics; the experts list this volume as an essential book dealing with the story line of Days of Future Past—that's why volume 2, and not volume 1, is included in today's book review.
What is included in the Essential X-Men v.2? In the opening pages we are introduced to ALPHA FLIGHT (the Canadian group of super mutants, mentioned, above). Vindicator and crew (Sasquatch, Northstar, Shaman, Snowbird, and Aurora) seek to bring Wolverine back to their fold—against Wolverine's wishes—uh huh. You can guess how that goes.
Another sequence of issues deal extensively with the HELLFIRE CLUB (Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost [AKA The White Queen], Harry Leland, Donald Pierce [Cyborg], and Mastermind [AKA Jason Wyngard—Jean Grey's seducer to the darkside and creator of her new persona, THE BLACK QUEEN (see issue #132].). A little "aside," here, if you recall, in the movie, X-Men: First Class, the Hellfire Club was showcased when CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert follows Colonel Hendry into the Hellfire Club and sees, for the first time, several super mutants—in the book, Moira MacTaggert is a research geneticist and good friend of Charles Xavier.
While she is with Wyngard/Mastermind, Jean Grey mysteriously transforms into the Dark Phoenix. Thereafter, Jean and her fellow mutants struggle with her god-like powers, eventually, Jean sacrifices herself and she dies. (See issues #134-137)
The rest of the book includes the material I've already covered, above, only in black and white instead of in full color. The X-Men: Days of Future Past, is included (issues # 141-142), as are the other back story material (issues 138-143).
(3) The third book I've reviewed about the X-Men is called: Essential X-Men: Volume Two (Marvel Essentials v. 2): This black and white, pulp paper book is a great book if you want to economize. (mine cost $15.21). And to give the publishers credit, we do get a lot of issues here in one package. Still, I much prefer the beautiful editions, just above. The reading of this black and white edition was lacking in enjoyment that the other books provided. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.
I hope you have enjoyed today's rather long-winded blog post about the upcoming movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and, of course, the books that spawned the movie. With the advent of these super hero movies, we are bombarded in books and movies, certainly, but also in novelty items, like toys, collectible figurines, special editions or collector's editions of video or console or PC gaming, of clothing, bedding, hats, music CDs, and even PEZ dispensers.
I'm afraid that I've been sucked in by all the hype, too. I've decided to just roll with it. I saw a Wolverine PEZ dispenser and bought it just to have on my desk for inspiration as well as a sweet treat for myself while I've been drafting this blog post. I loved how much fun it was allowing myself to "get into" this blog post. I hope you've enjoyed reading about the books I selected for you today. Grab a book and learn just a little more about Days before it gets to the big screen. And...just a suggestion...grab a Wolverine PEZ and nibble while you read. Just...have some fun while you're doing it!
Thank you for joining me this week as we looked at some action books! Join me next week as we look at a new book and, hopefully, have some fun, too. Take care, my friends, and pick up a book and read just a bit.
If you would like to see the graphic images I included in my blog post, you can see the whole review (with all three X-Men books, together) as well as information about new characters in the movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past. See it on my blog at Sharon's Love of Books: http://sharonsloveofbooks.blogspot.co...
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