Colossus #1, Astonishing X-Men #14, 22

When it comes to the X-Men, I really don’t know anything that’s happened since 1993. Okay, I know about Onslaught and have gleaned a few things from reading Previews and “best of” lists over on CBR, but for the most part once I left the X-books after “Fatal Attractions” and “Blood Ties”, I didn’t really look back.

These three comics came to me courtesy of Marvel grab bags that I bought on a whim at my LCS. I’m pretty sure that whatever was on the front of the bag intrigued me (probably a Conan comic or something from the 1980s). These books just went on the pile and were buried pretty deep until recently when I finished my Titans run and decided to get through some of the more random books that I had.

The Colossus comic is from 1997 and is a one-shot special stars him and Meggan, the shape-shifting bombshell from Excalibur. Written by Ben Raab with art by Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary, it’s a story that takes place in France where the two of them seem to be trying to vacation together (although I don’t think that they’re a couple because I believe that at this point she’s still pining for a missing Captain Britain). But treachery abounds in the form of Arcade and his usual Murderworld games. The art is gorgeous because it’s Hitch and Neary, who were always solid and really deliver on The Ultimates a few years later. I’m not a huge fan of Arcade as an X-Men villain because I never liked his stories when I read them during Chris Claremont’s run, but I will say that he does seem to be a good villain for a character in a solo mini or special.

Fast-forwarding to 2006, there are two issues of Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run with art by John Cassaday. I’ve never been a fan at all of Joss Whedon, if I’m being completely honest. Outside of the first Avengers movie, I don’t find anything of his to be particularly great (sorry folks, not a fan of Buffy here). In fact, most of what I’ve read or watched from him has not aged well and reeks of a trying-too-hard self-awareness that got very tired very quickly back during the late 1990s and early 2000s. This? Kind of the same thing.

Now, I realize that in reading these issues, I’m dropping into the middle of a much longer storyline of which I’m missing several parts (and could have easily have filled in via Marvel Unlimited but decided not to). One huge event going on at this point is the romance of Scott Summers and Emma Frost. Or is she seducing him? It seemed to play a lot like the way Psylocke was flirting with Scott in the early 1990s. There’s some pretty good action, but the dialogue feels off, like it’s too “cute” or something–that is, if it’s not cringey in a mid-2000s sexist sort of way. Solid art, though.

So if anything, I got a decent amount of entertainment for what little I paid for these comics and was reminded of why I stopped reading the X-books back in the early 1990s and why I stopped my reread at the end of Chris Clarmeont’s time on the book.

Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?


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