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(Uncanny) X-Men giant size #1, 94-100 - Reaper Madness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
le_messor

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(Uncanny) X-Men giant size #1, 94-100 [May. 16th, 2011|07:47 pm]
le_messor

This image is from My Comic Shop, who I have bought from in the past. They were great.


Writer: Chris Claremont, Len Wein. (Bill Mantlo, assists on issue 96)
Penciller: Dave Cockrum
Classic X-Men
Penciller: John Bolton (a lot of the time).

I'm going to do something a little different this review--

You're going to write a good one?

Yeah, way to go for the obvious jokes.

You set yourself up for it.

I...
I did. I really did.

I'm going to do a three-way review (and, at one point, four-way). I have three different printings of some of these comics, and in one case, four. That is: the Marvel Masterworks edition (pictured), the Classic X-Men version, and the original.
Except Giant-Size #1. I have the Marvel Masterworks edition (pictured), the Classic X-Men version, the Marvel Milestones edition, a random reprint, and no original. As if I could afford that. Ever.
Nyah nyah!
How very mature.

The Classic X-Men added not only extra stories - mostly sweet character pieces - but also extra pages within the comics themselves. I'm used to the later ones, where the art was by Kieron Dwyer, and really jarred me out of the comic; it's completely different in style.
For these early ones, they had the same artist, and there were some where I couldn't even tell which pages were added in (and I was looking for them). (I figured it out by comparing pages in different editions.)
I just think that's cool.

#1 is different.

Anyway, the thing that separates them all is the colours. Bear with me for a long, dull credits section.
It'll match your long, dull, review.
Not tryin' to hear you.

The Masterworks edition is credited to Steve Buccellato (Gt. size 1 and #100), George Roussos (98), Michael Rockwitz (99) and, reigning champion: Evelyn Stein (94-97).
Glynis Oliver did Classic #s 1-7, except story 1 in #s 3-7.
Elaine Lee did #3-6, and Michele Wrightson (presumably related to Bernie?) did 7.
Glynis Wein did the Milestones Gt. size 1 and the 'Special Edition'.
Petra Goldberg did X-Men #95, Michele W. did #99 (presumably 'Wrightson', who did the equivalent Classic issue), and Bonnie W. (presumably 'W.') did #100.

For the observent and the curious: I checked Wikipedia. Yes, Glynis Wein was married to Len Wein; and yes, she and Glynis Oliver are one and the same! Twist!
Saw it coming a mile off.
Everyone did. It's not a real twist.

So, to sum up, they've all been recoloured every time they're reprinted. Never the same twice.

The question is, which is better in each case?
The question is, will you shut up?
No.

Marvel Masterworks has the best colour reproduction, no contest. It fits between the lines, and for that alone it scores the points. But in terms of style?

Let's start with the first one.
That's brilliant. Come up with it by yourself, did you?

Okay, let's not.

Aww, I didn't mean it.
Yes, you did.
The first Classic X-Men is different to the rest. Instead of reprinting the original with a couple of extra pages, and adding a story to the end, they scattered extra stories throughout; and lost quite a few, too.
The Marvel Masterworks and Marvel Milestones editions seem to be matched. That'd make me think they were the original, if not for the fact that the originals I have don't match the Masterworks version.

The big question is, which of these colouring jobs is best? Which is the flattest, which the most colourful, which the most realistic? Which best uses colours to draw the eye to the focus of the panel?

None.
They're not consistent; sometimes one will be best, sometimes another. It's weird; why re-colour, if you're not going to do a noticeably better job?
It'd be nice to say 'this one uses colours for depth more' or 'that one has more highlights' or 'the other one uses more dynamic range', but it doesn't work that way. Each one will do any of those things better than any of the others in one image, worse in another.

There's at least one panel (in #96) where one creature is done better (higher contrast) in the Classic, and a different creature is done better in the Masterworks. A single panel is inconsistently better or worse across the colouring.

Which do I recommend you get?
Ah, forget it. If you can get these issues, get them. They're good stories, solidly told; not the best X-Men ever, but a bakjillion miles from the worst.
Enjoy.
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