X-Men Masterworks Vol. 2 (Marvel Masterworks (Numbered)) Hardcover – 2 Apr 2008
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are a trio of classic multi-part stories in this collection. The first is the two-part story #12-13, "The Origin of Professor X!" and "Where Walks the Juggernaut!" After Magneto (#10), the Juggernaut was probably the second most important supervillain in the X-Man mythology, although compared to the master of magnetism everybody is a poor second. We also have the first appearance of the Sentinels in a trilogy (#14-16), characters that would end up in some of the best X-Men stories of all time, and another encounter with Magneto (#17-18). Then you can throw into the mix the Mimic (#19), who combines all of the powers of the original X-Men (think the Super Skrull), and the flashback story of how Professor X lost his legs (#20).
Actually, I was surprised how many good stories ended up in this collection. I would have said there was a big mix of hits and misses until Jim Steranko and Neal Adams showed up to draw "The X-Men," but you cannot dismiss the major characters who are introduced during this period. The sophomore year for the students at Charles Xavier's school was pretty good. Lee left this book on the upswing.
In issue 12 we start the Juggernaut saga and I must say that it is one of Stan's best efforts. He does a superb job of building up the suspense and drama not revealing Jug's true appearance as he bulldozes through the X-Men's defenses. Juggy's back story is typical Stan Lee overwrought with melodrama, but with a touch of pathos, which he did so well.
Next we have the intro of the Sentinel saga, the coinage of the slang word "muties", and the themes of mutant suspicion, paranoia, and hatred which have been the staple of X-Men plots for 40 years.
Magneto returns for a couple of issues. I must point out that even the youngest of readers probably figured out who the mystery attacker at the X-Men mansion was and it is a little humorous to have it be such a mystery to our heroes.
Werner Roth under the nom de plume of Jay Gavin does an excellent job though out. The books don't suffer much if anything when he takes over the reins from Kirby. The volume bogs down a tad with the last two stories written by Roy Thomas. Thomas would turn out to be a terrific writer; but when he started writing the books he took over from Stan; such as the X-Men and Avengers, he tended to over write filling each panel with as much dialog as he could cram in. Comics being a visual medium don't need jam packed word balloons to hinder the flow of the experience. But please don't let that stop you from buying and enjoying these essential stories in the X-Men mythos.
Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Volume 2 is a graphic novel that contains issues 11-21 of the original X-Men series that was written by Stan Lee in 1965-1966. However, Stan Lee was responsible for writing 11-19. While Roy Thomas did issues 20 & 21. Jack Kirby continued with the artwork but shared the duties with Werner Roth and Alex Toth.
Last volume introduced the X-Men team to include their nemesis Magneto along with each of their goals. This volume continues their feud with Magneto, but he soon takes a backseat for new character appearances and story lines. This second volume is a step in the right direction. Along with several new faces, there is more back story given on some characters and the seeds are planted for the possible romance between Marvel Girl and Cyclops. Overall, there's more character and story depth.
The writing is a lot better. The depth in the story begins to take form when humanity finally begins to fear the threat of mutants, and their fear eventually grows into anger. This motivates a man named Bolivar Trask to create the highly intelligent and formidable mutant killing robots called the Sentinels. Spanning over three issues, I found these stories to be the most exciting. Not only because some of the best action scenes in X-Men comics have been against the Sentinels, but because of the themes that are examined, as well as the destructive path they can possibly lead to: such as blind fanaticism and racial profiling. There's nothing more vile than to condemn an entire race for the mistakes and crimes of a few.
This volume introduces another long running X-Men villain named the Juggernaut. This character is driven by rage, is invulnerable to all forms of physical harm, and proves to be the X-Men's greatest challenge so far. This was another story which is a two parter that I really enjoyed due to the suspense. Even though I already had knowledge of the Juggernaut's abilities prior to reading this. I have to give credit to the writing for such incredible build up. I'm sure Juggernaut's first appearance must have been a sight to see for those whom were following the series at that time.
Another character called the Mimic has an interesting ability that lives up to his namesake. This story was good concerning action but I really didn't care for his drive. I feel the writing was cheaply done and I couldn't feel for this character. The action scenes throughout are mainly good due to the imagination, with the best battle to me being against the Juggernaut; but the battles against the Sentinels doesn't begin to compare with the later battles that takes place much later in the series. The artwork is still passable with some very clean coloring along with that dated feel.
Once again, as in the previous volume. The story lines are wrapped up so a cliffhanger isn't a worry. This means a speedy purchase of the next volume shouldn't really be considered unless you're a die hard fan. Although there has been some slight improvement in this batch of stories. I still wouldn't truly consider this to be high art. I think fans of that era will appreciate this more and collectors may also benefit.
Those who have grown up with some of the more mainstream X-Men, such as Wolverine, Gambit, Storm, & Rogue. I recommend the first book only for history sake, but keep in mind, these earlier stories are nowhere on the same level of the X-Men series from the mid to late 70's on up. Even though these stories are entertaining. I don't believe I'll be going back to them anytime soon.
Pros: Improves in many areas
Con: Room for a lot more improvement