alpha x men reviews

alpha x men reviews

Ginseng Extract : It can help reduce mood swings and eradicate stress, thereby a person can choose a soothing, pleasurable and enjoyable sexual experience.

Alpha X Men Male Enhancement Reviews

Alpha X Men may be a male enhancement supplement that claims to supply men numerous different sexual health benefits. It claims to reinforce the dimensions, boost performance and offer long-lasting results.

It claims that it's got natural Alpha X Men Male Enhancement ingredients that are effective and clinically proven to figure better. The supplement works by boosting blood flow within the body and specifically towards the male cock to assist enhance steady erections.

Another strength of this type of collection is the way it showcases the litany of talent at Marvel in the mid-’90s. Writers like Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, Fabian Nicieza, Jeph Loeb, Larry Hama and Warren Ellis do some of their best X-Men work, being able to create and develop their own takes on these iconic characters. The artistic talent is also breathtaking to behold — in the years following the departure of some of Marvel’s biggest talent to Image Comics, it is clear that by 1995 they had found firm footing with the innovative talent featured here. I have always loved the Andy Kubert work from this era, with his epic character poses and attention to detail. But the standout work from this era goes to Roger Cruz, Chris Bachalo and Joe Madureira. Each of these artists created some of their most iconic images during this arc, and the designs they effortlessly craft in this trade are still awe-inspiring.

‘X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Vol. 1: Alpha’ review

A celebration of an entire era of creative talent at Marvel, carefully curated and printed commendably.

November 29, 2020

When the Age of Apocalypse storyline was announced in the ’90s, I was already five years into being a dedicated X-Men fan. We didn’t have a comic shop in my town, so riding my bike to the local convenience store and checking the comics on their news rack was the only way I could get my monthly comics in my area. Long before the internet was a thing in my rural California town, you would often learn about a major crossover or arc from the advertisements and letters page at the back of the comic. Thus, when Professor Xavier was killed in the past by his son Legion, it seemed understandable that the X-Men comics I had come to love were ending and a table was being set for a new, darker universe for future stories. It was a simpler time (or at least I was a greener person), but this new direction for the X-books seemed monumental and historic.

While the X-books would return to the status quo after four months, the reverberations left by the Age of Apocalypse storyline were monumental. The sinister alternative timeline, where Professor X never lived to create the X-Men and where Apocalypse rules over a ruined North America, is one of the most enduring pocket-universes in all of the X-mythos. For those my age when the story arc was first published in the mid-’90s, it remains one of the greatest X-Men tales of all time, and one Marvel would return to on numerous occasions in the following decades.

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Vol. 1: Alpha

Marvel Comics

The X-Men: Age of Apocalypse: Alpha collection borrows from recent X-Men trades, collecting each of the individual first issues from the various X-books as well as the Legion Quest, which kicked-started this alternate world. Unlike some of the recent Dawn of X trades, where each issue published in an X-book in a single month is grouped together into one collection, this Age of Apocalypse trade is much more coherent in its grouping and purpose. One of the best things about the current X-Men field of books is their individual character; however, this does call into question grouping dissimilar stories other than to demonstrate the variety of the current line. With each of the first issues reprinted in this trade, the reader is treated to various pockets of this twisted realm that give the sense that all the narratives will intersect at the conclusion of the arc. Having some knowledge of the X-Men enhances each introduction to these new versions of the characters, but the reader doesn’t need to know much of the pre-existing lore as the individuals presented in these issues are essentially distinctive characters.

Another strength of this type of collection is the way it showcases the litany of talent at Marvel in the mid-’90s. Writers like Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, Fabian Nicieza, Jeph Loeb, Larry Hama and Warren Ellis do some of their best X-Men work, being able to create and develop their own takes on these iconic characters. The artistic talent is also breathtaking to behold — in the years following the departure of some of Marvel’s biggest talent to Image Comics, it is clear that by 1995 they had found firm footing with the innovative talent featured here. I have always loved the Andy Kubert work from this era, with his epic character poses and attention to detail. But the standout work from this era goes to Roger Cruz, Chris Bachalo and Joe Madureira. Each of these artists created some of their most iconic images during this arc, and the designs they effortlessly craft in this trade are still awe-inspiring.

You could see how this younger crop of artists, with their styles informed by Japanese design and animation, was giving their work a distinct character that still stands up today. Lobdell and Bachalo’s Generation Next run remains one of my favorite four issues from this time period, with the highly animated line work and character expressions providing wonderful (if not unsettling) contrast in this sinister version of an X-Men junior team. Madureira, who would later be known for the long delays in getting his work to press, demonstrates just how detailed his work is in the Astonishing X-Men book. Each frame is packed with so much detail and energy, you have to give the artist leeway in the time needed to produce these incredible illustrations.

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Vol. 1: Alpha

Marvel Comics

While other collections of the Age of Apocalypse exist, Marvel put additional effort into this assemblage. The simple fact that they felt the need to include the Legion Quest arc was a respectable addition to this trade. With the covers of the second printings being different from the originals, it was nice to see them reprinted here as well. The inclusion of the X-Men Aschan (remember those?) giving historical context for this storyline was also a worthwhile supplement. The book is topped off with some original inked pages, alternate covers and the promotional material published in all X-Books, detailing the “suspension” of all the main titles for the foreseeable future. I got a nostalgia hit reading through these pages and remembering how successful they were in sparking my interest way back in the ’90s.

This is an excellent trade and one worthy of shelf space. It’s a celebration of an entire era of creative talent at Marvel, carefully curated and printed commendably. Marvel would return to the well that was the Age of Apocalypse for years to come and getting to read each first issue from the event demonstrates why this story captured the imagination of generation of X fans.

one container of Alpha X Men corresponds to 60 capsules. or 2 months of remedy on the fee of 1 tablet in keeping with day. it’s miles feasible to shop for them one at a time or in units. in the second case, you’ll advantage from a discount on the fee. but shopping for a single container permits you to experience the product, especially in case you’ve by no means tried something earlier than. the acquisition charge varies consistent with the quantity bought, but also according to the period. positive periods are extra conducive to discounts on a buy, which constantly results in an enormous saving.

Alpha x men reviews

Alpha X Men Male Enhancement Supplement | Pills/Reviews, Do Not Try Until You Read This!

Alpha X Men

Alpha X Men:- for a few men, it is difficult to sense confidence because they have a length problem. their penis is small, too small, or now not lengthy sufficient to taste. in fact, they want to exchange matters. however, it is now not usually that smooth to alternate mother nature. without a doubt there’s a surgical operation, however, this option is quite extreme and no guy wants to come to it. that is why there is merchandise like Alpha X Men which makes the penis larger to a positive factor. and advantage some centimetres to peer extra sensations in the mattress. each in period and circumference. we come up with a short presentation of the product earlier than handing over to Gael, an Alpha X Men consumer, who will deliver us his testimony and provide his opinion at the results obtained with this complement.

Presentation of Alpha X Men

Alpha X Men is a food supplement that says to be of natural beginning. certainly, it’s miles composed of plant life. they arrive from all over the place. but they have in common to have benefits or virtues on the libido. and the producer of Alpha X Men is counting on the reality that the combination of those elements will allow a man to benefit a few inches in erection by using having a longer and harder cock.

on the market, Alpha X Men is a few of the quality merchandise. a remedy with Alpha X Men makes it possible to attain the duration and the girth of the penis which you always wanted to have. even though there may be a limit to the extension that can be received. we read someplace a review from a person saying they had received 6 centimetres. it’s massive!

to close the mini-presentation of the product, we can say that it’s far diagnosed and authorized through medical doctors and dieticians. it is a meal complement which goes, which does no longer constitute a chance for fitness and which ambitions mainly on the sexual well-being of its customer.

Alpha X Men, what is it?

Alpha X Men is one of the flagship merchandise in the marketplace today. its objective is to make the person’s penis longer and harder to erect. but it isn’t always restrained to that. in fact, the remaining aim of Alpha X Men is to empower guys to have sexual well-being. for this, Alpha X Men permits:

  • To have an extended and bigger penis
  • To have more potent and longer erections
  • To look the circumference and length of his penis growth in a sustainable way without seeing the consequences disappear at the end of the treatment
  • To have extended intercourse

another advantage of Alpha X Men is that its use does now not require an exchange of lifestyle. indeed, as a supplement, it adapts to any type of weight-reduction plan or conduct. we have to no longer alternate it. similarly, anyone can take it, with a few very uncommon exceptions which we talk about underneath. we are very far from a scenario like Cialis or other drugs of this type. for the latter, positive classes of the population are excluded and can not be treated. Alpha X Men is then an opportunity which lets in them to find an intercourse lifestyles worthy of the name.

we must additionally communicate about the treatment, the period of that can vary depending on the desires. however in fashionable, after weeks, the modifications are surely seen and you can still already observe a boom in height. but once more, the length is relative and varies from individual to individual, depending on the frame’s reaction to the ingredients. some react in no time, at the same time as others take longer to peer the symptoms.


What elements is Alpha X Men based totally on for its effectiveness?

this article does no longer allow us to amplify every one of the ingredients that go into the composition of this product and deliver our opinion on them. nonetheless, we desired to cut up some strains to explain the starting place and the consequences of the primary components located on this system. those whose action is the most beneficial and those whose consequences are the most powerful.

=> Tribulus Terrestris

this plant is over 3,000 years old and we can locate traces of its intake as well. it has a powerful impact on the manufacturing of testosterone that’s increased. and with a boom in testosterone degrees, it’s also a development in libido, cardiovascular system, erections, sleep, and many others. it even reduces muscle pain. we can consequently say that it relieves after a workout.

however, its use is double-edged. indeed, this plant has an anabolic effect. even in ancient cultures, we see that it turned into advocated now not to take it for a long term, however instead sporadically. it is therefore beneficial to take breaks among every remedy so that it will restore the functions of the metabolism.

Maca is a root native to the Andes. its use has never been coupled with that of Tribulus. but, by combining them within the same product, we study that they may be complementary. they enhance physical and sexual performance and do away with erectile dysfunction to update them with erections.

maca is regularly compared to ginseng, as their results at the human frame are very comparable. this makes it an awesome aphrodisiac supplement to remedy impotence, erection troubles and fertility in guys.

further to those advantages at the sexual level, it has to be cited that maca includes many vitamins, whether they’re vitamins, minerals or amino acids.

=> The noticed palmetto

the noticed palmetto is a plant whose berries were used by the Yankee Indians. it was used to treat impotence, testicular issues, lack of libido in guys, prostate issues, prostate infection, and so on. similarly, the berries have long been eating up as aphrodisiacs through each male and females.

however, its use in sex medication did not seem till The nineteen Nineties. earlier than it became considered an all-rounder.

evidently, the noticed palmetto has one closing card to play, even though this has now not been scientifically demonstrated. it’d restrict the risk of growing prostate cancer.

Ginseng is some other plant that came from Asia. greater precisely from China and Korea. and prefer all of the others, it’s been used as a treatment for all illnesses for nearly four,000 years. with globalization, this plant has progressively made its manner to Europe and America wherein there was an actual craze. besides, ginseng is utilized in all sauces. and all of the virtues attributed to him have not been verified. unlike that of aphrodisiac.

furthermore, whether or not for guys or ladies, ginseng does no longer make a difference and acts on both bodies. its blessings on sexuality are no longer to be confirmed, in keeping with the numerous reviews of doctors. to begin with, there may be this aphrodisiac man or woman that is a large asset. and what humans purchase and eat it for. but from a physical point of view, this plant has a beneficial effect on sexual impotence and erection failure. its consumption increases the probability of having pregnant, not as it impacts fertility. however, as it acts at the body to make them more receptive. among its houses, we additionally discover the increase within the first-rate of sperm, the lengthening of the ovulation length and the overall combat in opposition to infertility.

alpha x


Alpha X Men is smooth to apply nutritional supplements. but the gold standard impact is finished while this product is used successfully. there’s no factor in overdosing or seeking to play the sorcerer’s apprentice. at the container, as on the instructions, the producer has without a doubt indicated the dosage to observe.

as we said in another article, taking too big or even intense doses of nutrients and hint factors can backfire on the customer. certainly, this could produce blockages, irritation or poisoning. occasionally when the frame notices a surplus in its frame, it breaks it down right into a molecule that can be dangerous to it. this is the horrific facet of a few metabolisms. if in doubt, are trying to find the recommendation of your physician.

for that reason, for Alpha X Men, the dosage is decreased to taking one tablet in keeping with day in the course of the remedy. ideally at breakfast or simply before, on an empty belly.

it’s also feasible to take the tablet 30 minutes before starting to have intercourse. this allows for better performance.

the primary consequences appear after three to 5 days of taking depending on the organism. so in contrast to a prescription drug like viagra, the results aren’t instant.

Alpha X Men and its aspect consequences

there is no side effect with Alpha X Men. its important danger is allergic. indeed, it has many components in its composition. now not all are not unusual, on account that some like saw palmetto or maca are most effective used in a handful of instances.

in fact, not all of us are used to this vegetation. this may motive certain discomforts which include bloating or an indisposition of the intestines. however, after some days, it fades. the most important hazard issue is that many organisms (humans, therefore) have by no means been uncovered to it. it’s miles consequently impossible to say at the start glance that there can be no hypersensitivity.

a good way to avoid any threat, we suggest you take the first pill and then wait 24 to 48 hours. at some stage in this time, you’ll be able to see in case your frame is reacting in any negative way.

anyhow, taking Alpha X Men is illegitimate for men beneath 18! however, a doctor’s opinion or a prescription isn’t required.

Purchase Alpha X Men now

Alpha X Men is most effective offered on the producer’s website. this has numerous benefits and drawbacks. the main disadvantage is the lack of opposition, however, that is approximately the producer itself which means that there will in no way be a decrease fee from a provider. next, we could observe its absence from french pharmacies and pharmacies, but that is because of the legislation of many EU nations, where, that allows you to be marketed, it takes years and many reports from various companies.

one container of Alpha X Men corresponds to 60 capsules. or 2 months of remedy on the fee of 1 tablet in keeping with day. it’s miles feasible to shop for them one at a time or in units. in the second case, you’ll advantage from a discount on the fee. but shopping for a single container permits you to experience the product, especially in case you’ve by no means tried something earlier than. the acquisition charge varies consistent with the quantity bought, but also according to the period. positive periods are extra conducive to discounts on a buy, which constantly results in an enormous saving.

then, as soon as you have placed an order, all that remains is to wait for the package to be sent and to be introduced to your property. realize that this is very discreet and allows you no longer to expose your circumstance to other humans. it is a non-public courier who comes to deliver you and now not the submit. and this famous bundle does no longer have any marking so that it’s miles impossible to recognize what it includes.

Cover price: ___

X-Men Reviews – Page 3

X-Men /Alpha Flight: The Gift 1998 (SC TPB), 96 pages.

Written by Chris Claremont. Illustrated by Paul Smith. Inks: Bob Wiacek (and friends).
Original Colours by Glynis Wein, Bob Sharen. Letters: Tom Orzechowski. Editors: Ann Nocenti, Denny O’Neil.
From a premise by Jim Shooter, Ann Nocenti, Denny O’Neil.

Reprints: X-Men/Alpha Flight #1 & 2 (1986 mini-series)

Rating: * * * * (out of five)

Number of readings: 3

I’m not really sure what the decisions were behind this, the first X-Men/Alpha Flight mini-series (there was a second done 12 years later in 1998). After all, the Alphans had guest-starred in the X-Men’s own comic before, and there was no reason they couldn’t do so again. As well, each of the original issues were double-size, 48 pagers — with no ads! It was almost as if Chris Claremont and company wanted us to believe that they had set out to write a story so significant, so epic, that it would’ve trivialized it to have published it in a more conventional format. The funny thing is, they come darn close to succeeding.

The story has the X-Men (comprised of Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Rogue and Prof. X) and Alphans (comprised of Heather Hudson, Shaman, Puck, Northstar, Aurora, Tailsman, and Sasquatch) going to the Canadian Arctic to investigate a mysterious passenger plane crash involving former X-Man Cyclops and his then-wife Madelyne. What they find is Cyclops and the rest of the dozen passengers & crew living idyllically, the formerly normal humans endowed with miraculous powers, while Cyclops has achieved his long-cherished dream of actually controlling his deadly optic blasts. The teams can spread this gift throughout the world, granting every human super-human abilities (thus ending the never-ending bigotry the X-Men face), ending hunger, poverty — creating a true Utopia. All thanks to the norse God Loki.

Uh, Loki? Isn’t he normally a bad guy?

Sure enough, there’s a catch, a downside, and that’s where the trouble starts. (Though I don’t want to give too much away).

It’s pretty heady stuff. Not your usual super-bank robber fisticuffs, or heroes vs. The Evil Armada from Planet 5, but a conflict that is between more or less decent people, all believing that what they do is for the betterment of humanity. Chris Claremont’s leisurely-paced script (he has 96 pages to work with, of course) and Paul Smith’s crisp, simple art, give the thing a real elegance and lyricism.

There are some weaknesses. Despite the 96 pages, some of the characters are short-changed (Nightcrawler, in particular, only has a few lines). And when the characters are forced to choose sides, sometimes Chris Claremont doesn’t really allow the characters to write themselves — Rogue can at last touch people (her liffe long dream), but has nary a qualm about rejecting the gift. Surely she should, at the very least, agonize over it, if not actually side with those who want to spread the gift. As well, when the characters face off against each other, most of the X-Men choose the “right” side, while most of the Alphans choose the “wrong”, showing, I think, Chris Claremont’s proprietary bias (he wrote the X-Men’s own book, not Alpha Flight’s).

Lapses like that, and, of course, the technical problem that the conclusion is kind pre-ordained, keep this from being truly great. But it’s big, atmospheric, with some twists. and all around something definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

Unfortunately, the later 1998 mini-series, though O.K., was considerably less ambitious.

These issues are also included as part of the TPB X-Men: The Asgardian Wars.

This review refers to the story originally serialized in the first, 1986 X-Men/Alpha Flight mini-series.

X-Men: The Asgardian Wars 199_ (SC TPB) 240 pages

Written by Chris Claremont. Pencils by Paul Smith, Arthur Adams. Inks by Bob Wiacek, Terry Austin, others.
Colours: Glynis Oliver Wein, Christie Scheele, Petra Scotese. Letters: Tom Orzechowski, others. Editor: Ann Nocenti.

Reprinting: X-Men/Alpha Flight (1st mini-series) #1-2, The New Mutants Special #1, The Uncanny X-Men Annual #9 (1985)

Rating: * * * * (out of 5)

Number of readings: 1 (some more)

The Asgard Wars reprints two substantial story lines involving the X-Men and some related spin-off teams getting drawn into the machinations of Loki, Norse God of Mischief (a frequent Thor nemesis). The first half, a story called “The Gift”, involves the X-Men, the Canadian super team, Alpha Flight, and a party of geologists becoming stranded in the far north, and finding a deserted city which bestows magical gifts — gifts that aren’t without a price. It’s a strong, memorable read from Chris Claremont and Paul Smith, and one I review in greater detail here in a subsequent collection that just reprinted it by itself.

So I’ll focus this review more on the second story. Reprinting a story originally serialized in the 64 page New Mutants Special #1 and the 48 page X-Men Annual #9, the plot has Loki, still smarting over the thwarting of his will in “The Gift”, arranging the kidnapping of Storm and the X-Men to the mythical realm of Asgard, land of the Norse gods — but at that point in X- history, Storm had been deprived of her powers and was tutoring the junior team of the New Mutants. Loki’s ally, the Enchantress, not knowing one mutant from another, kidnaps Storm and the New Mutants by accident. They New Mutants escape from the Enchantress, but end up scattered throughout Asgard, getting caught up with trolls, dwarves, Valkyrie, and more — sometimes with dire results, sometimes winning friends and allies. Eventually, the X-Men come to rescue them (though even when the X-Men show up in the second half, it remains an equal team up between the two groups, so that, overall, it’s more of a New Mutants saga, with the X-Men just guest stars).

Set within the realm of Asgard, the environment is a little different from the average X-tale, which more often involves the modern world, or sci-fi environs. Peer below the surface and they’re are certain similarities between the X-Men/Alpha Flight tale and the New Mutants/X-Men tale, in that both revolve around the characters struggling with whether they want to give up the things they’ve aquired. Although Asgard is filled with dangers, many of the New Mutants aquire extra abilities there, and feel more at home than they do on earth where they are constantly confronted by anti-mutant prejudice. The various characters differing reactions, and degrees of ambivalence, to their situation forms much of the emotional core of the story.

Arthur Adams’ art is nicely detailed and effective, artfully rendering this Viking-styled environment, and handling the unenviable task of depicting close to a score of X-Men and New Mutants. Admittedly, Adams perhaps leans a little too heavily on “Good Girl” art at times, tending to depict the women with looong legs, and with clothes that tend to be cut rather low — and high — or in string bikinis. All of which might not be a problem. except the whole point of the New Mutants was they were the younger, teenaged version of the X-Men, making the salaciousness a tad inappropriate. Adams also indulges in a little visual humour. One of the New Mutants, Warlock, is a shape shifting cybernetic extra-terrestrial, and his bodily alterations are often amusing background gags. While in another scene, Adams (for no particular reason) peoples a tavern with characters evocative of Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oil from the Popeye comic strip.

Claremont sends the characters off on individual sequences, allowing for plenty of room for him to indulge in his love of brooding introspection. And with his wordy captions and thought balloons, and Adams’ tiny panels, they probably cram a lot into their pages. Although the plot itself isn’t especially complex, nor is it necessarily crammed with unexpected twists or turns.

But it’s an enjoyable enough tale, even if Claremont’s character stuff can be a bit heavy handed at times. It doesn’t achieve the same grandeur as the X-Men/Alpha Flight story, but it doesn’t really need to since it’s paired with it. Ultimately this collection is most recommended for the X-Men/Alpha Flight team-up, the New Mutants/X-Men team up is certainly an agreeable read.

Cover price: ___

X-Men: Children of the Atom 2001 (SC TPB) 160 pages

Written by Joe Casey. Illustrated by Steve Rude, Essad Ribic.
Colours/letters: various.

Reprinting: the six issue mini-series (1999)

Rating: * * (out of 5)

Number of readings: 1

Review posted: July 2016

Children of the Atom belongs to that comics’ sub-genre: the reboot/reimagining/reinterpretation — whatever you want to label it. It’s a six issue mini-series meant to re-tell the origin of the original X-Men. Specifically it’s a prequel leading up to the first issue, showing Professor Charles Xavier first embarking on his plan to recruit mutant teens, and seeing the early X-Men (Cyclops, Beast, etc.) before they came to Xavier’s school.

Technically some of this has been told before. In the 1960s there was a back up series in the X-Men comics telling the solo, pre-team origins of these characters.

How much this is supposed to be seen as simply an apocryphal self-contained saga and how much a new origin is unclear. Writer Joe Casey explicitly up-dates the story to contemporary times (as did John Byrne in his X-Men: The Hidden Years series) rather than recreate the 1960s milieu. It both acknowledges and yet alters established lore (in Cyclops’ original origin story, he was a runaway who came under the sway of a sinister thug named Jack Diamond who turned out to be a mutant himself — in Casey’s retelling, Diamond never demonstrates any mutant ability). In other ways, Casey tries to match this up with the original comics by having the final scene be a recreation of the first scene from the first X-Men comic back in 1963.

Casey would go this route again with Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes — but I think he pulled it off much more successfully in that later effort. Though in that case Casey was deliberately writing his scenes around established early Avengers’ issues, just shifting the focus much more to the human/character aspect.

One of the problems with Children of the Atom is, strangely enough, you don’t really get much sense Casey has much interest in the X-Men themselves (unlike how he seemed really keen to explore the Avengers in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes). It’s presented so much in a cinematic way (images and dialogue — no thought balloons or text captions) that we don’t really get much sense for Scott Summers, Hank McCoy, and the others as people. They can come across more like plot points, often with little dialogue. While his depiction of Xavier seems uncharacteristically brusque and nasty (calling people “scum”) — though Casey might have intended that as a character arc, with Xavier growing into the more restrained professor we later know him to be.

Equally, he seems to spend a lot of time — a lot of pages, a lot of dialogue — with the bad guys, chronicling a rising racist, anti-mutant group. He spends so much time with the villains you can almost wonder if he had recently seen the movie “American History X” (told from inside of a White Supremacist group) and wanted to emulate that — the X-Men just an add-on to the story. There’s also a whole urban decay theme throughout, depicting an ugly, violent world even besides the mutant angle. Almost as if Casey had also seen a post-Apocalyptic drama (or a pre-post-Apocalyptic drama like the first Mad Max or something). The result, though, is six issues that could benefit from a little joy or light from time to time — if only to contrast with the dark n’ gritty aspect.

It might have been more interesting to treat the story as the early days of the anti-mutant hysteria, depicting a subtler, more low-key version of mutant prejudice that the reader knows will blossom into the full on hysteria of later generations of X-Men stories. By depicting it so extreme right at the beginning — with hate groups and media frenzy — the franchise has nowhere to go (like an actor who starts screaming in his opening scene and so has nowhere to take his performance as the play unfolds). It also means there’s little to distinguish — and so justify — this mini-series among contemporaneous X-Men series.

I wonder if Casey really wanted to depict the whole prejudice angle (with an especial nod toward homophobia by explicitly having characters talk about “outting” mutant celebrities, or criticizing closested mutants who can hide by passing for normal) and using the X-Men was just his vector into the scenario. But since that’s the bedrock of the entire X-Men franchise — it’s not like he’s really saying anything new or fresh with it, or that exposes an unexplored side to the issue.

The result, for me, is a series that just seems to recycle the oft-used mutant prejudice/hysteria theme without offering any fresh twists or insights, yet lacking clear protagonists who can hold our attention and invite our emotional investment. And equally without a well structured “plot” that develops and unfolds (and justifies) six chapters. Because even the story seems subordinate to the themes.

The first few issues are drawn by Steve Rude, an artist with an attractive, clean, if deceptively simple style (kind of evocative of legends like Russ Manning). Rude tells the scenes well enough, and is an artist who indulges in little visual details and in-jokes (The X-Files’ Mulder & Scully seen in the background at an FBI office). But I guess I might say that his work works best with a stronger narrative and characters more firmly defined by the dialogue. Rude bows out part way through, the rest of the series mostly handled by Essad Ribic who has a decent enough style. He maybe brings more rounding and definition to shapes, but is maybe not as strong as Rude in the fundamentals.

Anyway, I finished the saga largely unenthused — despite really enjoying Casey’s Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and always happy to come upon a relatively self-contained X-Men saga (given the comic is often so convoluted and caught up in never ending story threads). And I enjoyed another — albeit decidedly lighter — retro X-Men series, The First Class stories.

Cover price: ___

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga 1986 / 2003 (SC TPB) 185 pgs.

Written by Chris Claremont. Drawn by John Byrne. Inked by Terry Austin.
Original colours: Glynis Wein, Bob Sharen. Letters: Tom Orzechowski. Editor: Jim Salicrup.

Reprinting: Uncanny X-Men #129-137 (1980)

Rating: * * * * * out of five

Number of readings: a few times over the years

When I think of the Dark Phoenix storyline, I think of one of the truly seminal epics in comic books. I read it in comic book form when it first came out and it certainly had a lasting impression on me, and years later was still talked about by fans in letters pages and the like.

The story had slowly been building (as a subplot) for a number of years; this TPB only collects the final 9 issues, but it still works well for the uninitiated. The story chronicles the X-Men’s (made up of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Angel, Colossus and Prof. X with the Beast, Kitty Pryde and Dazzler along for a few issues here and there) battle with the sinister Hellfire Club, a seemingly respectable gentlemen’s club, but with a nefarious inner circle intent on world domination. One of the inner circle, Jason Wyngarde, has been psychically seducing Jean Grey, the one time Marvel Girl whose expanded psychic powers as Phoenix has placed her on the threshold of Godhood. The club’s plan is to unleash the dark side of Jean’s id and have her join their club as their Black Queen.

The story is basically broken up into three trilogies. The first three issues chronicle the X-Men’s initial skirmish with agents of the Hellfire Club (as well as introducing both Kitty Pryde and Dazzler to the Marvel Universe); the next as the X-Men take on the inner circle itself (in a particularly atmospheric storyline, with the X-Men and the inner circle battling it out while a perfectly innocent party of club regulars goes on above their heads); and finally, the X-Men must confront the unleashed Dark Phoenix, a turn that takes the team into space and involves the inter-galactic Shi’ar empire.

Re-reading these issues recently, I’ll admit that I’m struck by a bit of a weakness. The theme, about “power corrupting” and Jean Grey losing herself in her awesome abilities is common enough (the old Star Trek series did it a few times) but here it’s not altogether convincing. It’s not even clear whether Dark Phoenix is an expression of Jean’s subconscious or a separate entity possessing her. A few years later, Marvel released a one-shot “Phoenix, the Untold Story” printing the originally intended ending of the saga, as well as a round table interview with the creators. In that interview, it’s clear even Claremont and Byrne couldn’t agree on the specifics.

But beyond that, this is one of the great comic book epics. These stories are moody, action-packed, and ripe with characterization, travelling from dingy New York discos, to the New Mexico desert, to outer space, with some eerie time “jumps” (Jean thinks she’s flashing back to the life of an 18th Century ancestor) and plenty of memorable scenes. And, ultimately, poignant ones — achingly so. Subsequent events in the X-Men may have nullified some of the story elements, but not if you remember that, at the time, the things that transpire in this epic were intended to be irrevocable.

There is darkness, too, but less so than in later storylines, where Claremont, and the X-Men, would descend too far into a lot of nihilistic brutality and story elements that seemed more Clive Barker than superhero. As well, this would be one of the last things comics legend Byrne would do before becoming a writer-artist (and inker), at which point his art would start to suffer from his overworked schedule; so this is Byrne at his peak (with Austin’s smooth, shadow-strewn inking, before his style changed to a hen-scratching technique, largely devoid of atmosphere). In that sense, “The Dark Phoenix Saga” is not just a great read, but almost an end to an era. The Claremont-Byrne-Austin team helped catapult the X-Men to superstar status (leading to successful imitations like DC’s The New Teen Titans) but would go their separate ways shortly after this was first published.

A final bit of trivia: The ’60s British TV spy series, “The Avengers”, featured an episode where Steed and Peel encounter a revived Hellfire Club which was a front for a sinister inner circle: an inner circle including a man with an artificial limb. At one point Peel dresses up in a suit reminiscent of Jean Grey’s Black Queen regalia. As well, the actor who guest starred was named. Wyngarde! Apparently I’m not the only one who spotted the similarity and, according to one e-mailer, Claremont once, more or less, acknowledged the influence.

(This is a review of the version originally serialized in Uncanny X-Men comics)

Original cover price: $12.95 CDN./$9.95 USA. reissue?: $15.95 USA

X-Men: Days of Future Past 1989 (SC TPB) 44 pages.

Written by Chris Claremont. Drawn by John Byrne. Inks by Terry Austin.
Original Colours: Glynis Wein. Letters: Tom Orzechowski. Editor: Louise Jones.

Reprinting: Uncanny X-Men #141 & 142

Rating: * * * * out of five

Number of readings: 4

This semi-classic story begins in the early 21st Century. North America is enslaved by the robotic Sentinels who have captured or killed all super-powered beings. The remnants of the X-Men hatch a plan to send the mind of Kate Pryde back to modern times, to occupy her younger self’s body. Her task: to warn the X-Men of this nightmare future, and get them to prevent the assassination of mutant-hating senator, Robert Kelly, by the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. an act which precipitates the re-activation of the Sentinels and brings about the future. While the modern day X-Men (comprised of Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Angel, and Prof. X) attempt to halt the killing, the future version of the team continue their sabotage against the Sentinels.

This particularly strong, if grim, X-tale nicely interweaves the two stories/timelines for an effective adventure-drama, with a good blend of character drama, mood, and action. The future scenes are especially atmospheric and memorable. Mythos-wise, it’s notable as the first appearance of the New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the introduction of this grim, possible future that would play a part in later issues, and the first appearance of the future-born Rachel Summers who, likewise, would, much later, actually become a part of the modern team for a while.

This was also the John Byrne/Terry Austin teams penultimate X-Men story.

(This is a review of the version originally serialized in Uncanny X-Men comics)