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Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men Paperback – January 1, 2003
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Top reviews from the United States
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I am not an X-Men X-pert or a comics connoisseur, so I'll just give my impressions. I found the plots a bit more sophisticated than the early issues, but only a bit (a madman is threatening to launch the entire US nuclear ICBM arsenal, and the Avengers ''can't handle it right now''?) Several stories are carried over across multiple issues, giving them more time to develop, and there are hints of an overarching plot. Some of the characters show signs of -- well, perhaps not depth, but conflicting motivations at least. Cyclops in particular appears to be evolving into an anti-hero.
The writing is generally pretty lame -- the supposedly humorous banter leaves me cold, and the editorial comments are tiresome, though there is an amusing inside reference in #98 where ''Stan'' (Lee) and ''Jack'' (Kirby) appear for a couple of panels, commenting on the current story. And there is an occasional high point -- Scottish housekeeper Moira MacTaggart: ''Well, if sonic blasts'll do nae guid, let's see how yon kelpie fares ... against close-range machine-gun fire!''
The art is decent; there is somewhat more realism, especially regarding military hardware (the Air Force fighters are recognizably F-15's, for instance). The colors are as usual pretty garish -- I mean, if you were building a bunch of mutant-killing robots, what colors would you paint them? Ok, blue is not bad, but magenta? The layout occasionally departs from strictly rectangular frames, as in the awesome 2-page spread in the beginning of #97 depicting an alien space battle.
On the whole, I'd say this is solid entertainment, well worth the price. There are many references to earlier events, so if you're new to the series, you may want to start with the other ''X-Men Vol. 1'' and work your way up. Also, be warned -- the last story in the book ends on a cliffhanger, so you'll have to get ''Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2'' as well to find out what happens!
Top reviews from other countries
Claremont manages to give the X-Men emotion and the stories are jam packed with action, although it may seem slightly corney by todays more sinister stories, Price wise you get close to 10 classic issues printed on glossy paper and bounded into a hardback - if you want the issues cheaper I recommend Essential X-Men Vol.1 (which is a black & white reprint on low grade paper, in a paperback).