During the Holiday season, I bought myself a couple of trade paperbacks of X-Men comic books. I practically have every single X-Men comic book from until two years ago when the flood waters of Typhoon Ondoy destroyed much of my collection and with it my interest in reading and collecting.
But I guess you can say that I am a fan for life. I distinctly recall only one time when I stopped collecting and that was when I was in college and I lost some prized titles (mostly original Frank Miller Daredevils) to a burglary. In a fit of anger and madness, I sold my entire comic book collection. Months later, while in the midst of lecture on law, a classmate of mine brought out an X-Men comic book. I didn’t pay attention to the lecture and instead read the entire comic that was an X-Men Annual with Alan Davis doing the art chores. I was lost in the story arc then but my interest was piqued enough for me to go back into collecting.
After Ondoy, I tried reading a few titles but I had a hard time figuring out what had happened in the space of two years. I was lost. I found a re-entry point with Schism and have since picked up every X-title. What helped bring back my interest was picking up many of the trade paperbacks that collected the run of “the new X-Men” of Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and John Byrne. And it was like getting reacquainted with an old friend. The stories have retained their charm over the decades. Every issue was a voyage of discovery that built on one another. And I intend to get trades of every single X-Men arc that I love.
Over the intervening years, the stories got darker and more grim. I have to admit that yes, there were some great storylines but what happened to self-contained arcs that were masterpieces in storytelling that laid the fount for the next generation of X-Men stories? Arcs such as God Loves, Man Kills, Madripoor Knights, and Mutant Massacre? In its place we had E is For Extinction, the Messiah Complex, and Schism.
Quite honestly, I am not crazy about the direction the books have taken but I understand why they have happened.
But I do miss the days when the team did not have to regularly deal with extinction events. The Regenesis titles have been interesting but I am still not in agreement with the premise of many things. The idea of reopening the school in Westchester is insane. How many people know that the X-Men are based there? It seems a little foolhardy and hypocritical. Wasn’t this the premise of the Generation X title until the creative groups strayed from their original vision.
The illusion of a normal life will come crashing down painfully on this group of X-Men. On the other hand, with Cyclops’ team, there have been so many compromises that it is quite obvious that some have agendas of their own. And poor Cyke will probably regret some of his decisions. But at the end of the day, these two teams will be reunited. And even at my age, I’ll be there for the ride.