The X-Men are a superhero team in the Marvel Comics Universe. They were created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963). The basic concept of the X-Men is that under a cloud of increasing anti-mutant … see full wiki
Professor Charles Xavier is a mutant born with the ability to read minds. Mutants are people who are born with special powers such as telekinesis or control over the magnetic field. Some are born with abnormal characteristics that stand out amongst normal people, such as wings sprouting from their back or over sized limbs.
Professor Xavier is the headmaster of a school that teaches mutants how to control their powers. A group consisting of five students under his tutelage form the X-Men. Their purpose is to put a stop to mutants who use their powers for evil purposes.
The Uncanny X-Men Volume Three: Magneto Triumphant -
After receiving a frantic phone call from Lorna Dane aka Polaris, former X-Man the Beast, who is now an Avenger, returns to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in hopes of finding the X-Men. He soon finds them in a traveling carnival being used as circus side show freaks and performers. He finds himself in battle with the circus bruisers, and becomes reunited with an old enemy of the original X-Men team .-summary
I have to come out and say that this batch of stories in this volume really was kind of a surprise. It's been so many years since I read these stories, I really didn't think that I would enjoy them this much. Personally, I always found most of these issues to be the least interesting, because I was never interested in this batch of villains and X-Men allies. However, legendary writer Chris Claremont sports his talent and amazes me, by taking uninteresting characters and placing them in an interesting story. I'll be more specific in a little while.
This third volume of the Marvel Masterworks: Uncanny X-Men line reprints issues 111-121. The stories begin with a small spark, and immediately jumps out of first gear. There are a few weaker moments, but the series succeeds due to its action and continued character development.
The first story sets the stage to work in newly resurrected X-Men foe Magneto, who was returned to adulthood back in X-Men #104, after being transformed into a child. The mutant master of magnetism is hellbent on getting his revenge on Xavier through the X-Men. I read every single issue of X-Men before this point, and many other titles where Magneto crossed over into wreaking havoc such as the Avengers and Defenders titles, but this story features Magneto far more vicious and cruel than he's ever been. The fate he has in store for the X-Men is something that's best left for new readers to learn.
The following stories features the team in the Savage Land facing both Sauron and the Petrified Man, and later in Japan teamed up with Sunfire. This is the portion of the story that amazed me. Now, this is pretty much a matter of taste, but I personally never cared for the Savage Land or any of its characters, and I still don't up to this day. However, Claremont was able to take these characters and create a cool action packed story. To include, fit in a small amount of social commentary.
The stories are on the simple side and follow a certain formula, with the X-Men taking on one new threat after the other. Fortunately, the issues are a little bit more than your average action comic, because Claremont finds time to work in character development; such as Wolverine showing traits of being a leader, Colossus self doubt by thinking himself to be a liability to the team, and finally, Storm's free spirited nature as well as experiencing a form of guilt for failing someone. There's also a background story delivered for Professor X in the form of issue #117: Psi-War. The development only continues, as the story focuses a tad bit on Wolverine's personal battles, by introducing the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight. This came about mainly due to the team's leader Vindicator taking a beating, when he faced some of the X-Men on his own, which took place in X-Men #109.
John Byrne's artwork is fantastic. There are some very good close ups of Magneto, as well as full page battle scenes taking place between Wolverine and Sauron. Many of the battles are really good, but I think the battles against Magneto were the best, and was damn sure a tough act to follow. The sad thing is after that fight, you won't see anything better, or close to it for a long time. This also includes the fight with Alpha Flight, although that battle was good, it was very far from great.
Overall, this was a solid volume but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. Although Claremont did a great job writing the stories; there were still several characters and settings I didn't care too much for. Still, this is something I can read again, and the lack of a cliffhanger is a plus also. The next volume is a little bit better even though it has a slow start.
These are the chapters taking place over 197 pages:
The X-Men #111, June 1978 "Mindgames!"
The X-Men #112, August 1978 "Magneto Triumphant!"
The X-Men #113, September 1978 "Showdown!"
The X-Men #114, October 1978 "Destination"
The X-Men #115, November 1978 "Visions of Death!"
The X-Men #116, December 1978 "To Save the Savage Land"
The X-Men #117, January 1979 "Psi-War!"
The X-Men #118 February 1979 "The Submergence of Japan!"
The X-Men #119, March 1979 "Twas the Night Before Christmas"
The X-Men #120, April 1979 "Wanted: Wolverine! Dead or Alive!
The X-Men #121, May 1979 "Shoot-Out at the Stampede!"
Pros: -Superb writing and artwork, continued character development, no cliffhanger
Cons: -A few uninteresting characters, some weaker battles
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