Marvel comics

Collects issues 1-28 and annuals 1-3 of the Marvel comics which ran originally 1977-1979.

Writers: Marv Wolfman, Chris Claremont, and others
Artists: Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, and Dave Cockrum and various others
Publisher: Dark Horse

I’ve read about half of these comics before. The John Carter comics were also printed here in Finland and I managed to collect about half of them from various second-hand shops. For some reason, I never managed to get my hands on the comics which has the endings of the storylines, so it was great to finally read them all together.

It’s actually almost astonishing to me how long most the storylines ran: for example, the first one the Air-Pirates of Barsoom was 10 issues long and the final story, the Master Assassins was 12 issues. Today it seems that a writer can barely make a three issue arc.

Almost all of these stories happen during the 10 years John spent on Mars, during the first book, A Princess of Mars, and they use the familiar cast from that book: John, Dejah, Tar Tarkas, Sola, Kantos Kan. The villains are, of course, new.

The first storyline is the Air-pirates of Mars and it starts with Dejah kidnapped and John going to her rescue. Dejah is kidnapped several times during the story and John is even blackmailed to help her kidnappers, the air pirates, or she will be killed. The story focuses on John but there are some scenes in Helium, too, where the pirates are trying to turn the public opinion against John. Even though Dejah is kidnapped, she isn’t a total damsel in distress; in fact in she ends up rescuing herself. Also, Tars Tarkas is torn between his desire to live in Helium (and take part in all of the adventures :)) and being the leader that his people need.

The next is a one-shot called ”The origin of Dejah Thoris”. However, this is a shortened version of A Princess of Mars focusing on Dejah and John’s romance. I was expecting Dejah’s childhood, based on the headline.

Then we get a three issue story where John and Tars battle the undead! This was great fun.

After a couple of one-shots the majority of the rest of the collection is taken up with the massive The Master-Assassins of Mars story. This is perhaps the most unlike Burroughs’ books because it brings to us an additional human race: the orovars. They are light-skinned, like John, but the men have wings and they keep the red Barsoomians as slaves. They live a great canyon and their religion teaches that there’s nothing beyond it, so they don’t venture out and meet the other races. However, in spirit, this story is very fine pulp adventure and I enjoyed it throughly.

It’s interesting to note that during the Master-assassins storyline, Dejah is portrayed as not just a skilled warrior but equal to the assassins and she’s even capable of killing four trained opponents at the same time. Of course, the writer is Chris Claremont who brought us many capable X-women, so I’m not surprised.

The last three stories are from annuals and so somewhat longer. One of them seems to be an adaption of Burroughs’ short story and in one of the John meets the Kaldanes and Rykors (the all head race and the headless race) from the Chessmen of Mars.

Overall, I think that these stories keep to the pulp adventure spirit of the books and I think people who enjoyed the books will also enjoy this collection. However, there’s an awful lot of word boxes in all of the stories, sometimes even explaining in words what is happening in the pictures, like the writers’ didn’t believe the reader would understand the plot or setting just from the art. The writing mimics Burroughs’ pulp style.

Collects X-Men vol 3 issues12-15 and Giant X-Men 1

Writer: Christopher Yost
Artists: Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Dalabor Talajic

This is an interesting attempt to retcon new villains into the X-Men continuity. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it, either, which is a good thing because I usually end up hating the retcons. Sadly, it ended up being more of an “meh”.

Scott is the main view point character in this story and we see a most of the plot through his eyes.

He wakes up in the Utopia island with Emma but dreaming of Jean. It turns out that a group of Neo has attacked the island and Emma is so “worried about Scott’s blood pressure” that she doesn’t want him to know. But of course Scott runs out to join the fray. The Neo are holding their own against Magneto, Storm, and Namor so they are an actual threat against the combined mutants on the island. Then Scott has a sort of seizure and remembers things about his past which have been suppressed. When the original X-Men fought Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, they were interrupted by three armored beings calling themselves the Evolutionaries. They offer to kill of all humans everywhere in order to protect the mutants and ensure that their mutation will continue. Apparently (Avengers Forever notwithstanding) the humans are an evolutionary dead-end and need to be wiped out. When the Evolutionaries offer this to Charles Xavier, he’s horrified, of course. Then we get back to “now”.

One Evolutionary appears with sidekicks.. He declares the Neo a threat to the survival of Homo Superior and kills them all. Everywhere. Cyclops protests and Evolutionary turns against him, claiming that he isn’t fit to lead mutants. Fighting starts and Scott remembers more and more about his past dealings with the Evolutionaries.

The Evolutionaries are searching for the one man who leads all of mutantkind. This seems mightly weird because humans have never had that sort of leader. So why should mutants have? They’re also extremely powerful but they only want to use their power in an extreme way, so it’s very hard to negotiate with them.

We get to see the original X-Men is action when they talk about the Evolutionaries’ offer and fight them. We also see the original, evil Magneto, which is always fun. However, this didn’t really add anything new to the X-Men’s world.

Collects Uncanny X-Men #199-213; New Mutants Special Edition #1; Uncanny X-Men Annual #9; X-Factor #9-10; New Mutants #46; Thor #373-374; Power Pack #27

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: John Romita Jr., Barry Windsor-Smith, Arthur Adams, Rick Leonardi

This another collection full of classic issues; people and events which still affect story lines. The collection starts with Mystique meeting with Val Cooper, the president’s adviser, and so the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants becomes Freedom Force, who works only for the president. Rachel Summers visits her mother’s parents’ house (in this universe), she touches Jean’s memory crystal and apparently gets a power boost. In later issues, the Beyonder gives her even more power and the X-Men wonder if Rachel will be the new Dark Phoenix.

Next up is Magneto’s trial in Paris. During the story, Xavier has a heart attack and is teleported away by the Star Jammers. Xavier makes Magneto promise that he will take over and teach the kids in his absence. Unsurprisingly, some X-Men are skeptical about that. The trial ends without a clear sentence. Instead the judge says that Magneto and all mutants will be judged by public opinion instead of any judges. Also, Madelyne and Scott’s son is born, making it clear that this isn’t Rachel’s universe.

Then, perhaps my favorite issue in this collection: Cyclops and the powerless Storm duel over the leadership of the X-Men. Cyclops loses and Storm is now the acknowledged leader. Cyclops disappears for a while from the comic, presumably to live with his wife and son. I remember when I read this comic for the first time and how amazed I was that Storm was such a badass without her powers. Also, I think Rick Leonardi’s art was perfect for this issue.

Then we have two issues which focus on one X-Man: first Wolverine and then Nightcrawler. Wolverine’s issue introduced lady Deathstroke but otherwise these issues, and the next one, where the X-Men fight Freedom Force in San Francisco, are pretty average.

Then comes issues focusing on Rachel’s mental problems which are only heightened by her great supernatural powers. Rachel is a tortured character who comes from a tortured future, and she wants to do anything to keep it from happening. The problem is that she’s also just one person and she can’t know what to do. She sees that some things are the same, like the way humans hate and fear mutants more and more, and wants to change that. This time her hatred for the evil mutants boils over and she infiltrates Hellfire’s Club and attacks their Black Queen, Selene. However, Wolverine confronts Rachel and begs her to leave instead of becoming a murderer. Rachel refuses and Wolverine wounds her grievously. However, Rachel’s powers keep her wound closed, just barely, and she escapes. Both the X-Men and Hellfire’s Club search for her and fight in the Central Park. In the end, the two groups have to join forces against Nimrod, and Rachel is lured by Spiral into the Body Shoppe where all her memories would go away. I believe she isn’t seen again until in the first issue of Excalibur.

Poor Rachel. She has suffered so much and feels out of place in the past. She doesn’t even tell Scott that he’s her father but just keeps an awkward distance. This time her actions also case friction among the X-Men. I feel that this is classic Claremont where he mixes super powered fights with tortured characters and heroes arguing amongst themselves about pretty big issues (this time what gives anyone a right to kill someone else) and teams up villains and heroes against a bigger threat (one of my favorite troupes!).

Next up is an aftermaths issue with foreshadowing. Kitty gets to tell off a bunch of racists who are attacking Kurt because of his appearance. Mutants are compared to the Jewish people and other oppressed minorities.

Then the Marauders attack! That kicks off the Mutant Massacre storyline which continues for the rest of the collection. Storm loses (briefly) confidence in her ability to lead, a lot of Morloks are killed, and gentle Colossus becomes a killer, as well. The collection ends with three X-Men out of commission: Colossus is paralyzed, Shadowcat is stuck in an intangible state, and Nightcrawler is seriously injured. On the plus side, Psylocke is introduced, in her original body as a young British girl, and she goes toe to toe with Sabertooth and survives.

In New Mutants Special Edition, the New Mutants and Storm are kidnapped to Asgard by a vengeful Loki. In X-Men Annual 9, the X-Men follow in order to rescue the kids and Storm. I remember enjoying this story quite a lot when I first read it. Many of the kids get more confidence in themselves and each other as a team. Also, Dani Moonstar becomes a Valkyrie and get her winged steed. Illyana’s evil side is also established pretty firmly.

Overall, this is a great collection and I really enjoyed myself rereading these stories.

Collects Fantastic Four issues 503-508.

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Howard Porter, Norm Rapmund

In the previous collection, Unthinkable, the FF banished Doctor Doom into Hell, literally. However, this left Doom’s country Latveria in a bad place. Doom has ruled the country for decades ruthlessly; while he took care of the people, they were like pets to him. The countries surrounding Latveria also want to conquer, er, annex, it.

Reed decides that the situation is his fault. He takes the team to Latveria and at first they simply protect the Latverians from outside threats. However, the team gets to find out the hard way that Doom has been telling his people that the FF are the real threat. Reed decides that the team has to stay and help the Latverians become really free and democratic. The other members aren’t too sure about some of it. Of course, they are happy to destroy Doom’s arsenal of weapons and the Doombots but they aren’t so happy about trying to control an entire country. And Reed seems to be become more and more self-absorbed. The UN aren’t too happy about this, also, and they send out Colonel Fury to lead their troops against the FF.

This was pretty intense story and addresses somewhat the problems of having superheroes (who supposedly defend individual freedoms) in the same world where tyrants rule countries. Also, the FF have lots of internal conflict which is always interesting to see. The story shows off the characters’ different personalities well and I think all of the FF are in character here. And Reed is still treating the others like children, no matter how much he protests this in his letter.

At first the Latverians clearly hate the FF. They think that the FF will set themselves up as the new tyrants and even throw rocks at them. However, their opinions changed completely during this storyline. I think that’s a bit too quick but I guess happened because of the limits of the story arc. The ending changed the FF in lots of interesting ways but some of them were reversed quickly rather than let the FF stay changed.

Collects FF issues 67-70, 500-502

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Mike Wieringo, Karl Kesel, Casey Jones

Waid’s start on the FF was relatively “usual” (maybe he was lulling us readers into expecting nothing unusual. I did enjoy them too (collected in Imaginauts)) but then came Unthinkable. The multi-issue story starts with an issue focused on Doom. Victor is in US, among fortune-tellers and psychics whom Victor scorns but at the same time, he needs their help to find his early sweetheart Valeria. He talks about his life and their brief life together, about how his accomplishments haven’t given him what he really wants. We’re lead to believe that he just wants Valeria back and life in peace with her. Wrong! On the last page, Victor sacrifices Valeria to demons in exchange for becoming a powerful sorcerer. In fact, what he wants is to utterly defeat FF. To do that, he turns his back on science and becomes a magician who can rival Doctor Strange.

In the next issue we find out the awful truth: Susan and Reed’s little girl Val is Doom’s familiar. He uses the connection to attack the FF with magic and in consequence, Franklin is sent to Hell. The FF attack Doom, trying to force him to get Franklin back.

The last two stories about Franklin and the FF trying to cope. Poor little guy is catatonic after his experiences and Reed is blaming himself.

The story focuses on FF as a family and especially on Reed who is forced to leave his comfort zone, science, behind and accept that he doesn’t know everything. That’s very hard. However, I have to agree with some other reviewers who have said that this Doom is out of character. He’s certainly not the same Doom in Byrne’s run. He wouldn’t have put kids in danger. This Doom deliberately frightens Val and traumatizes Franklin just to get back at Reed. He also accepts help. From others.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed this story and it will have repercussions.

Collects Age of X: Alpha , X-Men: Legacy #245–247, New Mutants #22–24, Age of X: Universe #1–2

Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Clay Mann, Steve Kurth, Jay Leisten, Allen Martinez

This is an alternate dimension story where Professor Xavier never gathered up mutants. Mutants are hunted and killed in this world, and the x gene has been made illegal. However, Magneto has built Fortress X and the surviving mutants have gathered there to make their stand against the Sapiens League and the rest of the humanity.

Magneto is the leader of the remaining mutants, Cannonball is the field leader, and Basilisk, Scott Summers, is a tortured man who is considered to be somewhat of a loose cannon. Rogue goes by the name Legacy, or Reaper, and when a mutant is dying, she’s called in to absorb their memories so that she can remember them. Mutants with mental powers have been imprisoned by Magneto and Danger because they are too dangerous to mix with others.

But even in Fortress X, the mutants aren’t one happy family and a few of them suspect that something isn’t right.

This is yet another very grim and awful alternate dimension to the X-Men. If thing aren’t good for them in the usual Marvel continuity, it’s always possible for things to be even worse. In the Age of X: Universe comic we also get to see the other heroes: most of the Fantastic Four has been arrested for harboring mutants (Sue ratted her family to the police!), Iron Man is plagued with a technovirus and is a walking zombie, Banner was turned into the Hulk because of mutants, and Jessica Drew is an assassin. Captain America is trying to be the voice of reason.

I enjoyed this alternate universe, but I think it would have been more effective if the story would have focused on fewer characters. Now there are so many characters that it’s hard to do more than get a glimpse of each. I enjoyed most the first issue which has back stories for Basilisk, Cannonball, Husk, Wolverine, and Dr. Rao.

Collects Uncanny X-Men #540-544.

I read the issues when they were published in the monthly Finnish edition of the X-Men. These are the only issues we saw of the whole Fear Itself storyline.

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Greg Land, Jay Leisten
Publication year: 2012
Publisher: Marvel

Apparently, this is a part of much larger cross-over event at Marvel but I think it stands pretty well on its own, once we’re told what changed Juggernaut. I don’t like this collection as much as the previous one but it has potential for something which haven’t really been seen much in the X-Men comics in recent years: character development, especially for Peter, Kitty, and Illyana. (Actually, there might have been character development in the Schism storyline but that wasn’t published here.)

The first four issues focus on X-Men vs. Juggernaut and the last issue is Mr. Sinister talking (to himself) about X-Men’s history and especially recent events.

Juggernaut has gotten even more invincible because he got magical powers on top of his Juggernaut powers and he’s walking to San Francisco. The X-Men try to stop him. For some reason, Juggernaut speaks only gibberish and needs a henchman to speak for him.

Some of the people of SF are holding a rally against mutants saying that the mutants should leave SF and that they aren’t humans. However, the (young) mayor disagrees and says that the X-Men are welcome to stay. When Juggernaut is spotted, Scott and Emma let the mayor see what they are planning. Scott sends small teams against the Juggernaut, wanting to slow him down and get rid of his helmet so that Emma can zap him. Unfortunately, instead of she zapping him, Juggernaut zaps Emma, and the X-Men have an epic fight in their hands.

Meanwhile, Illyana has apparently endangered her friends to get revenge and now she’s considered a renegade. She’s imprisoned in a special X-Men prison. Her brother Peter is, of course, very concerned for her but she doesn’t appear to regret anything. Even her former best friend Kitty says that Illyana has changed so much she’s not really the same person anymore. However, when it becomes clear that Juggernaut can’t be stopped with mutant powers, the X-Men really have only one expert in magic, so Scott has to turn to Illyana.

Also, Namor is trying to take Emma away to be his queen. Sadly, he doesn’t succeed. Emma also sees a dream of a fiery bird returning and tries to kill Hope.

The story starts in a pretty usual way for the X-Men: intolerance and a huge enemy to fight. Scott is the central character; he’s very cold and calculating and convinced that he needs to be that way in order to protect the mutant race. Sadly, the world agrees with him. He says to the mayor that he doesn’t want to send the mutant kids into battle but he will if it becomes necessary. That’s essentially what he does: what is necessary to survive. He feels that he’s responsible for every hurt and death, and the others seem to blame him, too.

The fight against Juggernaut is shown in brief glimpses of various tactics which the mutants try against him. Otherwise, the fights would have take a lot of issues. Now, it’s almost a side story for everything else. One X-Men is changed a lot and I hope he won’t be just promptly changed back but the writers get to explore his new status more.

It’s a pretty average X-Men story and nothing fundamental happens here. Unless, of course, one X-Man’s transformation lasts long.

Collects Uncanny X-Men #530-534
I read the issues when they were published in the monthly Finnish edition of the X-Men.

Writer: Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen
Artists: Greg Land, Justin Leisten
Publication year: 2010

Quarantine continues the story lines in the previous collection, The Birth of Generation Hope. The mutants are catching a flue which also shuts down their powers. Utopia island is quarantined and only a few X-Men are outside it. Therefore Archangel, Pixie, Dazzler, and Northstar are effectively the X-Men and they get help from Storm. They respond to an attack and get… super powered fans.

Meanwhile, the rest of the cast are frantically trying to get to the bottom of the flue; how to cure it and where it came from.

Elsewhere: In the previous story, Emma Frost convinced Kitty Pryde and Fantomex to help her to get her secret prisoner outside Utopia before anyone can know about him. The secret prisoner is Sebastian Shaw. Unfortunately, Fantomex doesn’t seem to know how Shaw’s powers work and he tries to kill Shaw by dropping him from an airplane. Big mistake.

The ideas in the virus story are interesting but I can’t help to think that it has all been done before and better. First, the virus was way too powerful – it quickly took down all of the X-Men’s big guns. Compared to that the resolution was way too quick. The virus story reeks of a one-shot but unfortunately I don’t think the mutants can just blithely assume that all of the virus has been accounted for and nobody else can use it. The virus depowered Magneto, Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Psylocke, Namor…

What I really liked, however, were the fans. They are rich kids who want to get superpowers themselves. Of course they do – who wouldn’t! I also really “enjoyed” (if that’s the correct word for a new villain who I look forward to getting the tar beaten out of him, repeatedly) the idea that someone want to get the rights to the mutant genome because he wants to get money out of it. I also really enjoyed the new X-Men in action, especially the interaction between Allison and Pixie. It’s too bad that the artist was Land and the women don’t look human.

I really didn’t care for the Emma Frost story. Beside the fact that I loath Emma as a “hero”, I didn’t really like Kitty whining all the time that Shaw shouldn’t be killed. She didn’t have any suggestions of how to contain him, though. And Fantomex was just stupid.

Overall, a mixed bag.

Collects Uncanny X-Men #526-529; Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age (one shot).
I read the issues when they were published in the montly Finnish edition of the X-Men.

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artists: Whilce Portacio, Leonard Kirk, Ed Tadeo, Jay Leisten, Harvey Tolibao, Sandu Florea
Publication year: 2010

This isn’t really a stand-alone story, but an epilogue to Second Coming and a prolog to the next story arc. In the Second Coming, Hope Summers came back to the present X-Men continuity and when she came, new mutants began manifesting their powers again. Cerebera identified five new mutants on Earth, and Hope and a group of X-Men are going around the world to meet them. However, it seems that all of them are manifesting their powers in erratic way and are older than when the previous mutants first manifested their powers. In this story we meet four of the five new mutants: a 19-year old woman in Canada, a young student boy in Mexico, a 12-year old girl in Nigeria, and a man in Tokyo. The X-Men only have to fight one of them; with the others, the X-Men end up saving them from their powers.

Hope also visits her mother’s grave and finds out more about her family. She and Cable went to the future when she was just a baby, so she doesn’t know anything about her biological parents.

Meanwhile, Emma Frost is scheming behind the other X-Men’s back (that’s what you get when you allow into your group someone who tortures other people for fun). While Scott knows that Emma is meeting with Tony Stark, who is trying to convince Emma that it’s a good idea for all hero types to work together, poor Scott doesn’t know that Emma is making an alliance with Namor and keeping Sebastian Shaw a prisoner right on the Utopia island. Hilariously, (to us readers waiting/fearing for the train wreck to arrive, not so to the characters) Bobby is talking a PR woman who insists that if she will work for the X-Men she must know everything that’s going on.

In Second Coming Kitty Pryde came back to Earth. She had been inside a bullet shaped bomb keeping it intangible so that it wouldn’t explode. Magneto was able to get her out. However, she’s still in intangible form and the X-Men scientists are looking for a way to cure her. Meanwhile, she’s confined into a tank which has a low EM field but she can’t talk. When Emma reluctantly agrees to become a telepathic link between Kitty and her love Peter, Emma finds out to her horror that Kitty finds out all about Emma’s dirty little secrets. This is a very interesting development because Kitty has never trusted nor liked Emma and she’s sure to keep the ex-villain on her toes.

I recommend reading Second Coming before this.

Uncanny X-Men #162-179, Annual #6; X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Paul Smith, Dave Cockrum, John Romita Jr., and Brent Anderson

This is a collection full of classic storylines and characters who are affecting stories even today.

The collection starts with the Brood space adventure storyline. This story is darker than most of the previous ones because the queen of the insect like aliens has infected the X-Men with her eggs. When the eggs hatch, the host will die and the new alien has all of the host’s abilities. Often enough the X-Men face a possible death or injury in battle but this time they have time to think about things and know that there’s no escape. Wolverine even contemplates killing all of his team mates to spare them the agony of what’s to come. Wolverine’s healing powers were able to destroy the egg inside him so he’s the only one without an egg. Colossus, Storm, Kitty, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, and Lilandra have all been affected. However, the group is given a chance to fight for life; instead of just destroying the Brood Queen in a suicide mission, they can save the huge aliens, the Acanti, whom the Brood are enslaving as their living ships. Also, Storm has elemental powers in space!

This story is a milestone also for other characters: Carol Danvers (former Ms. Marvel, the future Warbird of the Avengers) gets Binary powers and joins the Starjammers, and the New Mutants make their first appearance in the X-Men comic although the apparently already had their own comic. When the X-Men are away from Earth, Xavier has recruited another team of young mutants: Cannonball, Karma, Psyche, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane.

Kitty’s pet dragon Lockheed is also introduced.

In issue 168, the Morlocks are introduced. While Caliban made an appearance in an earlier issue, he seemed lonely and not part of a group of mutants. Here, he’s part of the Morlocks, who are deformed mutant who live underground in the sewers, and resent the X-Men for looking like humans and so being able to live in the sunlight. Storm has to fight their leader Callisto for Angel’s freedom and has to face the changes in her since she took over as the team leader.

Madelyne Pryor is introduced and Xavier accepts Rogue into the team.

In retrospect, I find it quite curious that Xavier lets Rogue into the X-Men as soon as he accepts her as his patient. He does this despite the fact that the core X-Men say that they can’t trust the former criminal. That could be a dangerous element in a fight where the team mates have to rely on each other all the time. Not to mention, that Rogue herself doesn’t appear too stable. From a writing point of view, her addition is great; the X-Men have become such a close-knit group of loyal friends that they need a disruptive element. Wolverine used to be such and Kitty to extend is still, because of her inexperience, but they have both already proven themselves reliable.

Then, the X-Men head to Japan to Wolverine’s and Lady Mariko Yashida’s wedding. A mysterious villain stalks them with hints that the Phoenix might be returning while the Silver Samurai and the Viper try to kill Lady Mariko so that the Samurai can become the head of the powerful Yashida clan.

In the final issue Kitty has to face Caliban again and the promises she made in the earlier Morlock adventure.

Storm goes through huge chances here. Throughout the first half of the collection she has to make bitter decisions both as the team leader and as an individual. She vowed long ago that she would never kill but she has to kill the Brood egg inside her and the make the decision to oppose the Brood to the death. Later, she fights a duel with Callisto and essentially kills her. She’s questioning her beliefs and her place in the X-Men, and that also affects her powers and her connection of the Earth. Her feelings affect the weather around her and so she has to keep them under tight control and that’s chafing. Then she meets Yukio in Japan. Yukio is carefree and Ororo envies her. In the end, Ororo decides to stay with the X-Men and accept the changes in her.

Cyclops also goes through changes. He finds out that he’s not an orphan but has a father and grandparents. However, that isn’t explored much, in the end. He has a fling with a sea ship captain and then meets Madelyne Pyror, his future wife and Jean Grey look-a-like.

Kitty is just fourteen at the start of this collection and already she has to face death when the Brood egg hatches. She grows up a lot as is seen in the last issue.

I enjoyed this collection hugely. Because of the way that the Finnish edition of the X-Men was published, I didn’t read these stories first. My first X-Men stories are in the next collection, in the Claremont/ John Romita Jr. era, so I got to see the consequences of some of these stories first; reading Inferno before the first appearance of Pryor.

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