JP On Gaming

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Under the Influence Day 19: X-Men 111

I must've been eight or nine years old. I was away at summer camp. Now that was a time that I generally disliked because I did not have access to my books (I missed the books more than my toy or my friends). My asthma was acting up and I was a chubby kid. I was alright at sports but had only limited stamina. However, on a rainy day, I decided to visit the "library" and see what I could find.

Going through the long list of girl's books, I chanced upon "X-Men #4". In those days, a small outfit translated the stories into French and collated 4 issues into one. So my X-Men 4 was really 111-115!

So the first impression I had of comics was the writing of Chris Claremont and the penciling of John Byrne.


That's right.

The best comic writer/artist ever. And I chanced upon it. The story was great for a newcomer: all the X-Men start out mesmerized and act like circus freaks. Beast discovers them one by one and the plot expands until we find Magneto! The storytelling, pacing and wheel-within-wheel way the plot has imprinted itself upon me. The plot flows seamlessly in a way that makes sense and in a gradual way. Such an awesome story arc. I just bought myself a new omnibus that includes the arc and just by flipping through the pages, I remember the plot fondly.

Since then I've been looking for that kind of awesome in my comics. For years I've been a fan of the X-men but I have not collected them regularly since the early 90s. Today's price is prohibitive: too pricy, not enough story. That's why I buy and read big omnibus collections from the 60s-80s.


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