- Copertina rigida: 296 pagine
- Editore: Marvel Enterprises; 01 edizione (2 aprile 2008)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0785117873
- ISBN-13: 978-0785117872
- Peso di spedizione: 921 g
Marvel Masterworks X-men 5 (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 2 apr 2008
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Book by Thomas Roy Friedrich Gary Drake Arnold
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But I feel that it also reflects an essential period of development for the X-Men series, in particular because it includes origin stories for Iceman and Beast, and also because it fell under the influence of many different writers and artists. The stories in this volume were penned by four writers and six different artists, an array of creative talent that includes six eventual Eisner Hall of Famers.
The fact that there were two stories in each issue means that a lot of ground is covered in this volume. There are a total of 26 stories, including eleven X-Men main features plus secondary stories, an Avengers comic, and three extra Angel stories. The inclusion of the secondary stories means the main features are only 15 pages in length, so the action at times feels rushed. However, in most cases (especially the two origin story arcs), the secondary story definitely makes it worthwhile.
The volume begins when Professor Xavier has just "died" in X-Men #43, and the team must face their first challenge without him against, of all villains, Magneto. This first arc lasts for four issues (X-Men #43-45, Avengers #53) and was the X-Men's first-ever crossover story with another title. At the conclusion of the arc, the unfortunate choice was made to break up the team and feature only a subset of characters in each issue. Luckily, this lasted only two issues before the start of another 4-part arc (X-Men #49-#52), featuring the introduction of Lorna Dane as (possibly) Magneto's daughter.
Jim Steranko's artwork on two of the issues in this arc is visually striking compared to the more traditional efforts of Werner Roth, who penciled most of the stories in this volume, often in partnership with layout artist Don Heck.
The backup stories include pages "from the X-Men Family Album", demonstrating the powers of various team members (Cyclops, Iceman, Beast), as well as two multi-part arcs telling the origin stories of Iceman and Beast.
Beyond the 12 full issues, extra features include three solo Angel stories penned by Jerry Siegel in 1967 but published later in Ka-Zar #2 and #3 and Marvel Tales #30 from 1970-71. The verbiage on Amazon ambiguously suggests that those entire issues are included, but it's only the Angel tales.
The book also includes two pages of original art from Steranko and inker John Tartaglione from X-Men #50 and #51 as well as a page from the never-published (but teased at the end of X-Men #49) story involving Beast and Iceman against Metoxo the Lava Man. There are also three pages that were added to X-Men #45 when it was re-published in Marvel Triple Action #45. The introduction by Roy Thomas provides a lot of insight into the creative process at the time, as Marvel scrambled to support an ever-increasing number of titles.
"That'll be the day--like when the Mets win the pennant without assassinatin' the other nine teams!" - Human Torch, guest appearing in the X-Men #47, published in August 1968 (the Mets won the World Series the following year).
"Silence, you sniveling sycophant!" - Magneto addressing Toad in X-Men #43, just one of many disdainful remarks to his loyal assistant.
This volume opens with Roy Thomas' swan song -- a 3 part battle against archfoe Magneto featuring the Avengers, drawn by George Tuska and the magnificent John Buscema. The unfortunate decision to break up the X-Men afterwards, though, worsens the book, causing it to lose what focus it had. But all is not lost. The legendary Jim Steranko pipes aboard for two issues and three covers. This is the shot in the arm the book needed. The interior work is not Steranko's best -- he is ill-served by inker John Tartaglione, nor does he mesh with writer Arnold Drake, going from a text-heavy opening page of his first issue to a double-page spread of a futuristic secret base. However, Steranko's covers and innovative layouts allow you to read more into the issues than is evident. The "Magneto's Daughter" storyline concludes with art by Don Heck at the top of his game and a surprise I don't believe ANYONE ever saw coming. The last story features early artwork by Barry Smith in his pre-Conan, heavily Kirbyesque style.
Despite the mushy middle, either of the two major storylines -- the X-Men / Magneto / Avengers battle or "Magneto's Daughter" is reason enough to purchase this volume.