Marvel Masterworks Vol. 3 The X-Men issues 1-10 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby


[Edit: Originally published May 30, 2016]

The origins of the X-Men. The original team, Scott Summers, Warren Worthington III, Hank McCoy, Bobby Drake, and Jean Grey. 

Sometimes I find it hard to judge older comics, because I always wondering “Am I missing some context here because I’m looking back? If I were from the sixties would this make more sense?” The answer to that last one is yes probably, at the very least the slang probably wouldn’t seem so odd to me.

I love these issues. They’re fantastic and a must read for anyone interested in getting into the X Men. I’d seen snippets of them online before now, but I’d never gotten a chance to read them through for myself. 

These issues, with a few exceptions, take you through a conflict with the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which consists of Magneto, Toad, Mastermind, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. The exceptions being, a fight with The Blob that is unrelated to the Brotherhood, the villain who is responsible for Charles being in a wheelchair (this issue also includes a fight with the Avengers), and a trip to a prehistoric jungle hidden under the Antarctic. 

Bobby’s gay. Noticeably gay. Even for comics from the ’60s. He is the only person who is disinterested in Jean. Which, while that shouldn’t be a factor it is, because everyone seems to have a crush on or at the very least show interest in Jean. Secondly, Bobby’s favorite haunt is in Greenwich Village. Sure Bobby’s reason is cute waitress, but… this is the Village in the ’60s. That’s pretty much synonymous with queer. 

My largest complaint particularly with the first few issues and the introduction of Jean Grey is can the boys stop fighting over her? Please? Jean Grey is more than just a potential love interest. And frankly having Charles interested in her is just about as creepy as it gets. Charles is grown man, I can’t imagine he’s meant to be less than 40 here. Jean is what 17? 18? Super gross. But it does, among other things, show that Charles has been fucking awful from the beginning.

I will say though after the first few issues this tapers off, particularly from Hank. Scott and Warren stay interested in Jean, though Scott’s interest is shown more. It’s also shown to be mutual, but left to the trope of mutual pining assisted by Scott assuming position as leader of the X-Men and feeling it wouldn’t be right to pursue anything with Jean. 

Favorite moments include:

  • Warren thinking that Scott should smile more. 
  • Bobby calling Hank “Beastie dear”.
  • Jean saying that Wanda is “much too attractive.” #LetJeanGreyBeALesbian
  • Namor refusing to work with Magneto because of how rude Magneto is to Scarlet Witch.

This collection can be found here. (Note that in this link it says it’s Volume 1 the book I have says Volume 3, but it is the first of the X-Men Volumes)

Related reviews: X-Men: Season One



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