Saturday, June 12, 2010

X-Men: The Shattering by Alan Davis, Terry Kavanagh, Jay Faerber, and Mike Raicht

Every once in a while, in a fit of nostalgia, I go back to look at the joys of my youth, so to speak. One thing that was ever present in my formative years were comics, in particular (and my favorite) X-Men. Now a days, collections of these comics are being put out, and finding some from when I was younger, I decided to pick up a collection and see how it read. X-Men: The Shattering is the beginning of a string of collections of consecutive comics, continuing in X-Men vs. Apocalypse Volume 1: The Twelve. Much of this volume works as a prelude to that next volume.

After a string of trying exploits taken them from one of their greatest upsets to the edges of space, our band of mutants return home, only to find their leader and mentor, Professor Xavier, has seemed to snap, disbanding the team. The group breaks into three pieces, each setting out on their own new adventures, only to find out that a common foe is behind the breakup of the team and their latest problems. But after one of their own is killed before their eyes, can the X-Men recover in time to stop a threat that may have catastrophic consequences for the entire universe?

X-Men: The Shattering contains: Uncanny X-Men #372(“Dream’s End, Chapter One: Rude Awakenings”), #373(“Beauty & the Beast, Part One: Broken Mirrors”), #374(“Beauty & the Beast, Part Two: You Can’t Go Home Again”), #375(“I am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been…”), X-Men #92(“Dream’s End, Chapter Two: Pressure Points”), #93(“Hidden Lives, Part 1 of 2: Open Wounds”), #94(“Hidden Lives Part 2 of 2: Pandora’s Box”), #95(“Do Unto Others”), Astonishing X-Men #1(“Call to Arms!”), #2(“The Trouble with Mannites”), #3(“In the Shadow of Death”).

The story is fast and fun. Despite the multitude of creators with hands in on this one, the story remains cohesive, and it is organized in this volume to give us the story in the smoothest possible way. A very entertaining volume. There are a lot of characters being handled in this one, some I wasn’t too intimately familiar with, but they were introduced and integrated into the story quite nicely, without too much trouble at all.

The only possible major drawback would be that, as stated above, this isn’t so much a stand-alone story as a prelude to the two volume X-Men vs. Apocalypse series. If you want a one volume complete story, this one won’t be for you. However, after finishing this one, I know that I can’t wait to dive into the next book. The Claremont era (the original one, at least) was over in X-Men, and with it some of the deep stories that delved into religion, racism, and the like. This volume doesn’t try to attain that, but instead is just geared to give a fun story, and in that regard, it certainly succeeds.


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