Aug 21, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 178: The Amazing X-Men #1, March 1995

We step back slightly in time with this issue from the previous couple of days' Weapon X issues and see the Sentinel evacuation from the North American perspective. There's also a nicely succinct panel in which Magneto and the team lay out what each ancillary team is doing, thus giving us a brief breakdown of the action of most of the main crossover titles. It's a deftly handled little summary of the crossover. Fabian Nicieza, who writes this series, fell into a bit of a trap, I think, due to his involvement with Marvel during this period. The comics, and their creators, tried too hard to mimic the successes of the Image crew, a course of action that, rather than enhancing the Marvel U somehow, simply took everything down to the levels of the Liefeld/McFarlane-led Image nonsense. That may seem harsh. I've said before that I was out of the comics scene for most of that era, but the amount of early-90s comics I've read since then seem to support the claim that it was a terrible time for sequential superhero stories.

But Nicieza is a pretty good writer. His work here is well-wrought, and when he starts to write Thunderbolts after Kurt Busiek's tenure, he really tells some excellent superhero narratives. He's not one of the superstar writers, but that's fine. He's a writer who obviously loves the genre within which he works (which is not to say lesser writers love it any less) and who's got a good handle on how a superhero story can, and should, be told.

This issue, as far as its place in the crossover, is a bit of a set-up comic. There's a training sequence, a pep talk from Magneto, and a revelation of villains on the last page. Not much else, narratively or character-wise, happens. But we're continuing with this series tomorrow, at which point I expect things to kick into high gear, as only a 90s superhero comic can. See you then.

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