Back when Hooper was just a young pup you either read New Teen Titans, the X-Men, or Love & Rockets. Not being cool, the decision was between Teen Titans or X-Men. I applied what seemed like the best logic at the time – I picked the one with the fewest issues out so I could get the back issues more easily.
I don’t regret the decision, since I got to read the Judas Contract as it unfolded (leading to my first and most significant comics heartbreak). But I clearly missed out on one of the seminal runs in modern comics – Claremont/Byrne X-Men.
As I grew older and had more financial resources, I went back and bought nearly all of that X-Men run. Terrific melodrama and plots, social commentary, unique characters (at the time), and a series of unparalleled artists such as John Byrne, Paul Smith, Art Adams, Alan Davis, John Romita Jr.
Somewhere along the way the X-Men began to lose steam for me. The plots seemed rehashed, and the characters redundant. Just big has the Summers clan? How big was Wolverine’s Team X and why did they need so many pouches? Who has from the future but returned to the past, and what was their relationship to the current X-Men? Just how many teams of new/young mutants could you recruit?
But the straw-camel-back-breaker was the belabored and multi-titled crossovers. The X-Tinction Agenda. The Muir Island Saga. X-Cutioner’s Song. Fatal Attractions. Phalanx Covenant. Age of Apocalypse. Onslaught. Operation: Zero Tolerance. I couldn’t do it any more. I might have bought the titles, but I couldn’t keep up. And after a while of being disconnected I stopped caring.
But how I loved Beast. And Nightcrawler – I even made a Bamf doll! I still think Rogue is a great character idea. The X-Men still has a great skeleton and the potential for great stories are there.
So, all these years later I figure it’s time to discover what I have been missing, and my timing is perfect. X-Men Second Coming is the next big event with some excellent writers and artists. The good folks at Discount Comic Book Service gave me a copy of the prologue to whet my appetite, and I’m intrigued. So, let’s take a look at the checklist:
Prologue: X-Men Second Coming Prepare
Chapter 1: X-Men: Second Coming #1
Chapter 2: Uncanny X-Men #523; Chapter 3: New Mutants #12; Chapter 4: X-Men: Legacy #235; Chapter 5: X-Force #26; X-Men Second Coming – Revelations: X-Factor #204
Chapter 6: Uncanny X-Men #524; Chapter 7: New Mutants #13; Chapter 8: X-Men: Legacy #236; Chapter 9: X-Force #27; X-Men Second Coming – Revelations: X-Factor #205; X-Men Second Coming – Revelations: Hellbound #1; X-Men Second Coming – Revelations: Blind Science #1
Chapter 10: Uncanny X-Men #525; Chapter 11: New Mutants #14; Chapter 12: X-Men: Legacy #237; Chapter 13: X-Force #28; X-Men Second Coming – Revelations: X-Factor #206; X-Men Second Coming – Revelations: Hellbound #2
Chapter 14: X-Men: Second Coming Finale; X-Men Second Coming – Revelations: Hellbound #3
So I’ll need to read 22 issues across 10 titles over 5 months to get up to speed?