The X-men vs…

My favorite team line up of the X-men was always the late 80s Magneto allied team. Wolverine. Colossus. Shadowcat. Havok. Longshot. Dazzler. Punk rock Rogue and Storm. Hell yeah, total bad ass era of the X. I think my fondness for this team is in large part due to my childhood exposure to two 1987 X-men miniseries, where that team went toe to toe with the two most wholesome of mighty Marvel super teams: The Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

I read issue 2 of X-men vs Avengers in Fiske’s General Store while at one of my sister’s soccer games (the field was up the street from the store, so I would wander up there and spend my allowance on Batman cards and penny candy while my parents watched the game). I was instantly enthralled, despite missing the first issue (and subsequently never reading the last 2 issues until years later), and since I know I ended up owning the issue, it may even have been one of the few comic books I actually convinced my parents to buy for me. You had the Avengers trying to bring in Magneto to stand trial for crimes against humanity, the X-men doing everything they can to keep Magneto from getting brought in, Magneto WANTING to stand trial but needing to destroy a portion of his old asteroid base that had fallen to Earth first, and the Soviet Super Soldiers interfering every step of the way because they want to kidnap Magneto and bring him to Russia for a trial free execution. Just straight awesomeness, even with Dr Druid being on the Avengers at the time, and drawn by Marc Silvestri when he was at his absolute best.

Sadly, the fourth issue fell kind of short when it came to matching the awesomeness that preceded it, as the entire creative team changed (writer Roger Stern abandoned it because of editorial interference with the plot, and Silvestri was brought over to Uncanny X-men), and as result the story and art became far more blah. Still, 3/4 of awesome still comes out to a majorly awesome mini series.

Fantastic Four vs X-men I actually remember some what less fondly. Not due to quality but because I was swindled out of my issues relatively quickly by the kid across the street (in this same manner did I also lose the X-men/Teen Titans crossover, and those bad trades are probably why I could never get into record/shirt trading). Because of this, I actually am pretty foggy on what happened. I do remember that the focus was on Franklin Richards and Kitty Pryde, with Franklin having precognitive dreams about his father destroying the FF and Kitty slowly phasing away because of her injuries from the Mutant Massacre. A little research tells me that the full plot involved The X-men trying to force Mr Fantastic to help Kitty, but Reed is going through a crisis of conscience because of the discovery of a journal he wrote (or did he?) that says he let the FF’s fateful flight fail; it’s torn the team apart and shattered his confidence so he won’t help, so the X-men instead accept the help of Dr Doom. Mad beef ensues.

If that doesn’t sound cool enough, take a look at those covers and tell me you wouldn’t be sold on this mini-series. Reed Richards in Dr Doom’s armor, standing over a fallen Sue Storm and a crying Franklin with Wolverine sneaking up behind him declaring his intentions of murder? That’s some intense stuff. I also dug how the covers then proceeded to tell a story (tho it’s not the actual story of the miniseries; the covers actually fill out Franklin’s nightmare from the first issue), but truth be told, I could have done with out the speech balloons on the first two issues. I mean, would that 4th issue cover be better with Franklin getting a “The X-men killed my family. I killed the X-men. Now my family is going to kill YOU” word balloon? I don’t think so.

Both are mini series’ are now available in nice hardcover versions, but I think I personally would prefer to pick up the original issues. Not because they’re cheaper, but because my memories of them are so wonderfully pulpy that I’d need them to be on yellowing pages with old ads for full enjoyment. I’m the same way with back issues of Creepy. But that’s a different entry.



One Comment

  1. Bob
    Posted March 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Agreed on this, both great series. I read some weird foreign reprint of X-Men / Avengers #1 and loved it. Had to go back and get X-Men #200 and figure out the whole Magneto-as-an-Xman-? story.

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  1. By Spider Man vs Wolverine. « comic noize on April 15, 2010 at 11:57 am

    […] against each other in mini-series and one shots. Fantastic Four vs X-men and Avengers vs X-men we’ve already discussed. And then of course there was […]

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