I finally made a video about my all time favorite run of Uncanny X-Men, of course, featuring my all time favorite X-Artist, Paul Smith!
I have some big ideas for future videos too.
I finally made a video about my all time favorite run of Uncanny X-Men, of course, featuring my all time favorite X-Artist, Paul Smith!
I have some big ideas for future videos too.
You want to know what would make for a great late Christmas present for me? The Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Volume 3!
I have no idea why this doesn’t come out the week before Christmas, that seems like a scheduling mistake.
I found out about this collection by making a ripe fool of myself on twitter. The Mutant Menace (a great Twitter account to follow!), posted their desire for a particular trade, and like a real jerk, I offered up how I’ve been waiting for a trade of mine own, and turns out the trade I want is actually happening!
And from there, I had to look it up!
Seriously, I have been wanting this collection to be a thing for years now! Just the entire Paul Smith run, in a beautiful hardcover. Now it being $175, is a bit much, and I am sure if I hunted around, I could find a store selling it for 50% off or it will eventually drop in price. Even $88 seems a tad much for my budget, but I also have a hard time treating myself to things that I really want.
But for $175, we are getting treated to what I will always consider THE run of Uncanny X-Men! All comics besides one are written by the greatest X-Men writer of all time, Chris Clarmeont!
COLLECTING: UNCANNY X-MEN (1981) 154-175, X-MEN ANNUAL (1971) 6-7, MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL (1982) 5, WOLVERINE (1982) 1-4, SPECIAL EDITION X-MEN (1983) 1, MAGIK (1983) 1-4
154 through 157 is the Starjammers adventure.
158 is Rogue vs. Ms. Marvel 2 and aftermath of the Starjammers adventure.
159’s Bill Sienkiewicz’s Dracula issue.
160’s Brent Anderson’s Limbo issue.
So we are getting the entirety of The Brood Saga, which includes handing the torch from the legendary Dave Cockrum, to the living legend, Paul Smith with 165.
166’s, the first appearance of Lockheed!
168’s Kitty’s “Professor X is a Jerk!” issue.
The Morlock Saga!
171’s Walt Simonson Rogue joining the team.
The Japan Adventure!
Ending with 175’s passing of the torch from Smith to John Romita Jr!
Such an amazing run and lord knows I haven’t read 154 through 161 in quite some time.
Plus, that’s just the main title.
We get Annual 6’s Dracula sequel to 159 also by Sienkiewicz.
We get the very fun Scavenger Hunt in Annual 7 by Michael Golden and Bret Blevins, with an army of inkers.
We get X-Men God Loves, Man Kills by Brent Anderson.
Wolverine 1 – 4 by Frank Miller, the very first Wolverine mini series.
Special Edition X-Men, which reprints Giant Size X-Men. This will be the only comic in the collection not written by Chris Claremont as Len Wein had the pleasure of co-creating the second generation of X-Men. The Special does have A Day Like Any Other, by Claremont and Cockrum, wherein Kitty turns 14!
Magik the limited series, which 160 introduces and the limited series provides the full story. Drawn by John Buscema and Ron Frenz for issue three, and Sal Buscema (my favorite of the Buscemas), for the fourth issue.
Special thank you for Marvel Fandom for reminding me of how great these issues really are! They don’t have a handy link to the Omnibus so I had to search all around for the issues. Such a great website and these comics define the X-Men to me.
So this collection is going to look great, flip to any page, and a time tested and well received issue. Such a legendary run, and I really really want this!
If you know who the cover artist for the collection is, please let me know and I can update it as I’m searching around and I see people crediting the interior pencilers (which they should), but I cannot find the cover artist. It is a great cover and I’m happy Lockheed made it to the cover.
Also, apparently this came out in 2016, so I apparently could have had it four years ago. Oops!
. . .
Jerome Opeña and Paul Smith are credited to the cover.
I have been just staring at it and marveling at how the cover just does its job so uncannily.
By Chris Claremont & Andy Park
Inker Jon Sibal
Colors Justin Ponsor
Letters VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Cover by Paul Smith
Cover Dated January 2005
Chasing Hellfire, Part One of Three
I own issue 449 and my next issue is 455, so the is the only chapter I own of this storyline.
I’m a fan of whenever a recap page spotlights 129, they do it here – as it is Emma’s first appearance. Of course, to me, it will always be Kitty Pryde’s first appearance but Emma is in this issue as a co-star, so it makes sense. Kitty shows up as an illusion, so that’s why I own this issue. More on that, below.
Issue 451, apparently X23 is suppose to be 15 years old, she sure doesn’t get drawn like a 15 year old! Plus, that makes me even sadder that she was a fourteen or fifteen year old prostitute.
Last issue ended with Sage removing her X-Uniform, and donning her old Hellfire Club – as she disappears into the Hellfire Club’s 5th Avenue Location. Just down the street from Avengers Mansion.
This issue opens with The X-Men (Nightcrawler, Storm, Bishop and Rachel) standing in front of the abandoned Hellfire Club. It hasn’t been used, in forever. Wolverine comes out of a sewer, all of the tunnels leanding into the Club have also been shut down.
There is an ad for the 2 Disc DVD set for Spider-Man 2, probably still my favorite Spider-Film.
Also joining them, is Emma Frost! Taking time away from her Head-Mistress duties at the Xavier Institute. An X-Man is in danger, so Emma wants to help. Rachel is a real jerk to her. Storm tells Rachel to be behave. Emma reveals a secret teleportation portal, that is actually part of the next door building, but the Club uses it.
The team teleports away, while Emma and Rachel continue on. Rachel accuses Emma of betrayal, which is insane to me! Emma has been full fledged X-Man, for over four years – at this point. And that’s since Morrison’s reign of the title. She was with Generation X for even longer! She’s an ally.
Rachel, being a brat, tries to fight Emma on the astral plane. Emma, being more experience, makes short work of Rachel. There are some decent blows but Emma keeps being the clear winner. She is also wittier.
There is an ad for Smallville Season Three, which was great, and X-Men / Fantastic Four, which was not – four X-Men get bombarded with cosmic rays, I’m surprised it took this long to tell that story.
Rachel tries to take a cheap shot by turning Emma super fat. Now no one will ever lover her. Instead, mental Cyclops still loves Emma and this breaks Rachel’s heart.
Look how hard Kitty is laughing there! Oh, if only Claremont got to use Kitty in a proper way, with his third return to Uncanny.
Rachel decides to act her age, and work with Emma.
Hong Kong. Emma dressed in a modest White Queen style outfit and Rachel is in a similar styled outfit. Emma turns Rachel invisible, so she can explore. Emma runs into Courtney Ross, who is now the White Queen Elect. Viper is standing behind Courtney, Ponsor could have made her hair greener but it is a Claremont comic, so the dialogue will never fail.
This section of the comic ends with Selene, who is the mastermind of the assault, ambushing Rachel. They have a long history together, ever since Uncanny 189, which was twenty years ago, at this point. I wonder if Claremont purposely did that, I doubt it but he does plan on the super long term.
Meanwhile, the final two pages have the rest of team in a sewer. Someone shoots the X-Men, and we see that it is Bishop with the smoking gun and Wolverine is about to fight him.
November 2004 X-Men Titles
Uncanny X-Men 452 – Chris Claremont and guest artist Andy Park bring you a new tale of the infamous Hellfire Club!
Exiles 54 – The Exiles versus . . . a danish?!
Alpha Flight 9 – The past is our future and the future is now as Alpha Flight jumps the time stream to stop the death of an old ally!
Gambit 4- An unexpected tragedy!
X-Men The End 5 – The final story of the X-Men continues!
Starjammers 6 – The exciting conclusion!
Sabretooth 3 – The fur flies as Sabretooth takes on Sasquatch!
District X 7 – Brand new story arc! Bishop must solve the mystery of a terror under the streets!
X-Force 4 – Guest starring, Deadpool!
Emma Frost 17 – A stunning revelation about Emma’s new best friend!
X-Men 164 – The mind-bending conclusion to the battle with the new Brotherhood of Mutants!
New X-Men 7 – Brand new story arc! Could the Xavier Institute be . . . . haunted?!
Rogue 5 – The truth about the mysterious new man in Rogue’s life is revealed!
Cable / Deadpool 9 – The Six Pack become a thorn in everyone’s side!
Jubilee 3 – Jubilee is caught between a rock, a hard place and rival LA gangs!
Wolverine 22 – The awesomeness continues with Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
Excalibur 7 – Professor X and his team take on Dark Beast!
Mystique 21 – Crosses and double crosses are the order of the day . . . so will Mystique end up on top?
Nightcrawler 3 – Kurt and Amanda make a very disturbing discovery . . . but will it be too late?
Astonishing X-Men 7 – First isue of a new story arc from Whedon and Cassaday!
For issue 449’s review, I thought I was commenting on New Excalibur, this volume of Excalibur, I skipped except for issue 14, that had Kitty’s father in a flashback, he fought in the same war with Xavier and Magneto. Of course he did! Millar / JRJR’s Wolverine was awesome! Astonishing’s Danger storyline, may be the weaker of the four.
X-Mail, letters from – Erin, Alissa Groff and Marquelon Sigler of Birmingham, Alabama.
Next Issue : The X-Men in Paris!
How great would a new tetralogy be, if it was based around the Paul Smith run of Uncanny X-Men?
Let’s face it, these X-Men movies are getting expensive and largely due to the cast being in demand, and thus, they warrant getting paid more.
Let’s start the franchise completely over with this tetralogy idea.
Maybe keep James Marsden as Cyclops and Ellen Page as Kitty, why not? It will make the transition a little better. Maybe even get Alan Cummings back for Nightcrawler, and you might as well keep the kid who played Colossus. Ben Foster, if he doesn’t mind just being tied up and unconscious the entire film, can even play Angel again for the second film, it will be a completely thankless role.
The cast will have to be:
(I just went to comicbookdb and started with 165 and wrote all of the characters down – it looks like a lot but most of them, you use barely twice).
X-Men: Colossus / Cyclops / Kitty Pryde / Lockheed / Nightcrawler / Rogue / Storm/ Wolverine
Definitely will have to get a new Storm, one who will know that the movies are not all about her, but now that I typed that, the second one and the third one are pretty Storm centric, her subplot in the third one is pretty crucial.
Carol Danvers will be important for the First Movie only. Which already throws a wrench in the whole thing, as I’m sure Marvel wants to make their own Captain Marvel film. Maybe they can have her as that, and if FOX agrees to only call her Binary, the entire time, we can keep her over here for that role. She will be important to the second one as we need her to punch Rogue, but you can film that at the same time.
Probably end up filming these as close to back to back as possible. Then it would take the special effects team years to complete. Cheaper to produce that way too.
Get a couple to play Joseph Danvers Sr. and Marie Danvers for issue 171
New Mutants : Cannonball / Dani Moonstar / Magik / Sunspot / Wolfsbane
Maybe throw in Doug Ramsey and Warlock, or have them be introduced in their proper film. That would be better, as we want this to be as close as possible.
Professor Xavier and Lilandra, Patric Stewart would be amazing and it would be nice to see him interact with Ellen Page for once, but would he look too old next to the hottie they get to play Lilandra? Probably but maybe they get an actress in her 30s and that could work out.
Angel and Candy Southern
Amanda Sefton (for like ten minutes)
Mariko, keep the actress from the Wolverine film as she was terrific
Yukio, you can keep the same actress but if they change her, I can understand why. Didn’t feel carefree enough. But that’s the script more than an issue with her.
Silver Samurai & Viper (get new actors!)
Morlocks : Caliban / Callisto / Leech / Plague / Sunder / Masque – a slew of other nameless ones
The Brood, thousands of them. Make sure they look brown and not black and slimey, we don’t want a law suit on our hands.
Moria MacTaggert (you can keep Rose Bryne, too! or the actress from X3)
Star Jammers : Ch’od / Corsair / Cr’reee / Hepzibah / Raza / Sikorsky
Fantastic Four : Human Torch / Invisible Woman / Reed Richards / Thing (for 167’s section – where Lilandra tells them how things are going to be).
Havok & Polaris, I am all for Havok being kept the same actor but this time, he will be Scott’s younger brother and no one is going to care about First Class by the time these movies come around.
Hellfire Club : Sebastian Shaw / Tessa / Emma Frost (probably not use January Jones) / Mastermind
Destiny and Mystique (for 170) either go with Rebecca Romijn if you want)
Beast, either go with a third actor (fourth if you are being generous to the gentleman from the first movie’s cameo)
Banshee, can use the kid from First Class as well.
Iceman, probably should recast but it is only for a wedding scene so you might as well keep Shawn Ashmore.
Deborah and Phillip Summers
Just straight up start right where 165 starts, with a hole on the side of a spaceship and the X-Men have to stop themselves from being sucked out into outer space.
How exciting of an opening would that be? Extremely!
Plus, Chris Claremont wrote these issues so there already is the built in “what came before” sequence so you are already taken care of right there.
So you have Lockheed show up in 166, 167 is the big confrontation with Profession Xavier as he has just turned into a full Brood.
End the movie with 168, with Kitty proving herself to Xavier and staying on the team. This will be the only film with the New Mutants but once you cast them, you can use the cast for their own film.
The second movie might be the best one!
Opens with the trip down to the Morlock Tunnels, you get some Amanda Sefton action, which is pretty good right at the start.
Storm v Callisto will be an amazing moment. Have to get two amazing actresses for pull it off.
Now I was envisioning these movies as at least two-hour blocks but I wonder if they should be broken up into four films. Then you can do some real justice to the movie and fill it with all of the character moments. That way the movie ends with Rogue joining the team and it works as it will be the last we see of Binary. Only downside is that this will be known as the Wolverine-less movie. But the Morlocks more than make up for it.
This will work as a direct sequel to The Wolverine. If you could get Hugh Jackman to sign on for three more films, I’m okay with him being part of these four. He will only be in three of them and doesn’t really do much in the fourth one. The first one will have the most action scenes by him, and plenty of maskless time. This third one will be the full out performance.
If you break it up to four films, you can really do these epics in 90 minutes. The first one will have to be two hours though.
Now that I think of it, if Anna Paquin wants back and wants to play real Rogue, I’m fine with that, but I can see them wanting to cast someone who can portray the strength of the character with Binary’s powers. But like a lesser Binary power set.
This will be the film that gives you room to explain Maddie Pryor, as that will be the main tricking part of the new reboot. The nice thing is, you can just play it straight as if she just looks like Jean, but is not her. It isn’t like we are going to be adapting Inferno or anything. Actually, once you film these four, you can start all over again as even at one every two years, that’s eight years of X-Men proper movies. And let’s face it, be lucky if its one every three years. Twelve years of X-Men films!
Mastermind’s revenge ploy on the X-Men. Whoever portrays Cyclops and Maddie, are going to have a field day with this one. At least Cyclops will get a bunch of screen time, and gets to fight the X-Men in the best battles of the series. The director and the DP will have a blast filming the scenes where it looks like either Scott or Dark Phoenix are talking. I wonder how they will handle the Avengers section of the movie, you really don’t need Captain America at all, maybe just swap him out with whoever will be their new Reed Richards for that relaunch. If I had my way, they would keep the actors who played Reed and Grimm, they both did great jobs. But without Chris Evans, you might as will recast Sue while you are at it. Maybe go older so that Reed and Sue will be married already and seasoned heroes.
Movie ends with a wedding, which is super uplifting and full of cameos. Which is why you will want to reboot the franchise again as you don’t want to get into Cyclops’ worst character work with that whole mess that follows.
Of course, if they would just give us a Motion Comic of this run, that would satisfy me as well, and would be less expensive to produce.
Really wish Marvel had an animated arm like DC does, they get one or two direct to video animated films a year. Maybe they do too many though as I know I must be like ten behind on those, but at least they exist and I can visit them anytime.
This could work as a complete season of an animated series too.
What I am getting at is, these nine issues should be adapted and as closely as possible.
Since my last epic Paul Smith post, Comixology still only has issue 167 as an option to download. Sent them an e-mail a while ago, they didn’t know when the release date is going to be for the rest of the run.
I keep being tempted to download 141 and 142 for next year’s movie but I figure I will do that closer to that film’s release.
It would be quite the sight that we would get an X-Men movie without Magneto, not even a hint of him. But with these, you get some interesting foes with the Brood / Viper and Silver Samurai (properly) with the Hand / X-Men essentially fighting themselves – which happens plenty of times.
The first and the last films will be the longest and the middle two probably the shortest but I bet all four of them could be right at the two-hour mark.
Look at all of the characters Paul Smith co-created! I’m not counting alternate versions of characters. Just Proper Marvel Universe characters.
These are also only the Marvel characters, not even counting the characters from Leave It To Chance or any of his DC work.
Those Who Sit Above in Shadow
Iron Lantern (from the Amalgam Universe) and of course, Mandarinestro
Andy the Angel
Beastmaster (Boyd Wilson)
Pathfinder (Nick Rodriquez)
Earth-Mover (Jeanne Chretien)
Gopher (Morton Erg)
Slasher (Skid Row)
Writer Peter Sanderson
Cover Dated December 1989
Ogun and Kitty on the cover? That can only mean the awesome Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries takes place during this!
Book Three : The Man Reborn
Also covered is the legendary Paul Smith era!
This issue has 42 pages of text with various artists work shown.
Issues covered are –
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine 1 – 4
Wolverine Miniseries 1- 4
Uncanny X-Men 145 – 147, 151, 159, 162 – 166, 172 – 176, 178, 181, 183
Uncanny X-Men Annuals 4 – 7
Editor / Head Writer / Designer Mark Gruenwald
Cover Dated December 1983
V – Z
Valkyrie to Zzzax
Kitty and Lockheed are shown for the X-Men profile. Paul Smith draws all of the faces. Including Magik’s for the New Mutants headshots. Technically, Lockheed is counted as an Ally but that most have been just an oversight.
Paul Smith also draws Vision and Wasp.
Head Writer / Coordinator Jeff Christiansen
Writers Michael Hoskin, Stuart Vandal, Al Sjoerdsma, Eric J. Moreels, Sean McQuaid, Chad Anderson, Mark O’English, Anthony Flamini, Ronald Byrd, Jacob Rougemont, Mike Fichera, Madison Carter & Chris Biggs
Cover Artist Keu Cha & Tom Chu
Cover Dated 2006
On March 6, we lost comic legend Paul Ryan.
In this issue, his work is spotlighted for the Kristoff Vernard profile –
Other profiles worth noting –
Paul Smith’s work is used for the Umar spotlight
Unus the Untouchable
Citizen V’s V-Battalion
Scorpion’s time as Venom is profiled
Vision of Young Avengers is featured
Cyclops’ younger brother, Vulcan, gets an entry
Amazingly, neither Magik or Kitty is mentioned in Warlock’s profile but Art Adams’ Warlock spotlight has Magik in an image.
Kitty is mentioned in the Warpath profile, featuring Billy Tan artwork
Young Avengers’ Wiccan is spotlighted
Sabretooth’s little buddy, Wild Child, gets two pages
MC’s Wild Thing gets an entry
Runsaways friend turn foe, Alex Wilder, gets a page
Winter Soldier gets a page
Kitty Pryde gets plenty of mentions in Pete Wisdom’s profile, art by Trevor Hairsine
Frightful Four leader, Wizard gets three pages
Magik is mentioned in Wolfsbane’s profile, art by Ryan Sook
Xavier’s Underground Enforcers is featured
Shadowkitty is mentioned in X-Babies, art by Juvaun Kirby
Villain group, Zodiac, gets four pages
Captain America classic villain, Arnim Zola, gets a profile
Psylocke slayer, Vargas, gets a half page
Finally, Alpha Flight team member, Yukon Jack, gets a half page
Collecting Uncanny X-Men 162 – 179, plus Annual 6
So far, it is the only collection that has the entire Paul Smith run. There is the trade, From the Ashes, but it starts at 168 and ends at 175. It is in color, which is nice but it lacks the first three issues of Smith’s run.
Essential X-Men Volume Four is in black and white but the art really stands out.
This is Chris Claremont running on all cylinders and the stories are simply the best.
Whenever I can recommend a trade, this is always on the top of my list. I read somewhere that the Essential trades are going out of print so this may become an expensive trade but until Marvel releases a Paul Smith Visionaries, this is as good as it gets. And it is pretty grand.
Excalibur “Having a Wild Weekend” Part Four of Eight
Writer Michael Higgins
Penciler Erik Larsen (misspelled as “Larson”)
Inker Terry Austin
Letterer Tim Harkins
Colorist Tom Vincent
Cover Dated Late December 1989
Cover by Paul Smith! I imagine they mean, both covers.
The inside credit page has this as the write up –
Sure, she’s seen them before, but never in her darkest nightmares did she expect to encounter them face to face — or to become part of the family!
Face it! For Meggan things have just gone from mad to worse.
Each part of the Excalibur chapters, follows one main team member.
Meggan wakes up in a parody of the Munsters home. I was never much of the Adams Family, but I’ve never seen an episode of the Munsters. I know of the show, but I never been tempted by it.
The Munsters are attacking Meggan. Meanwhile, Shadowcat messing with the mechanics of the world, that is imprisoning the team.
Captain Britain is being attacked by the characters of the Wizard of Oz.
There is a giant explosion and Meggan seems free of her section, she punches a small door open.
The Loony Toons parody characters know that something is wrong, and are instructed to deal with whoever is messing up the plan.
Not a bad use of eight pages, Three sets of two page spreads (like the one above) and the first and last page are proper single page sequential art.
I imagine we will do issue 35 next year, unless we get a good reason to do it, sooner.
Other stories are –
Black Panther – Panther’s Quest – Part 22 of 25
Coldblood – Rise and Shine – Part 9 of 10
Captain America – Past and Present Sins – Single Story
Such an interesting concept for a comic series, which I’m all for. I especially like the idea of these long stories coming to an end and the possibility of what is yet to come.