Come pick up X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 and All-New X-Men #16, the first two chapters of this fall’s major X-Men crossover, get exclusive giveaways from Marvel Comics (while supplies last), and enjoy complimentary food and beverages!
Brian Michael Bendis, a multiple Eisner Award-winning creator, has been one of Marvel’s most prolific and popular writers for more than a decade, and is the pen behind such landmark events as House of M, Secret Invasion, and Siege. He co-created the acclaimed superhero police/noir detective series Powers with Michael Avon Oeming in 2000, the same year he launched Ultimate Spider-Man, which currently features the incredible art of David Marquez. In addition to his work for Marvel, Bendis has taught classes on how to write graphic novels at Portland State University, which he will continue at the University of Oregon this fall.
After breaking into comics at the age of 14 as an inker, Michael Avon Oeming has enjoyed a long and fruitful career in comics, working as an artist and writer. His latest series is Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories. Oeming will be creating head sketches for $20 during the signing, with all proceeds going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
David Marquez began his career as an animator for Warner Independent Pictures’ A Scanner Darkly, later releasing his graphic novel Syndrome through Archaia. He’s currently under an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics and recently moved to Portland.
Don’t miss Brian Michael Bendis’s only store appearance this year, September 4 at the Portland TFAW. The Q&A will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. There will be a limited number of exclusive giveaways from Marvel Comics, so RSVP and get there early!
Check out our video below. MILD SPOILER ALERT! We’ll avoid any big spoilers, but we will give out a few details as we go. So were these comics and items Box-Worthy, Fence-Worthy, or NOT Worthy? Listen to our opinions and then post your own below.
I’ve always been a voracious reader. From my first “chapter book,” Charlotte’s Web, when I was six, I dove into all of the children’s and YA literature I could get my hands on–particularly series. The idea of following a character like Laura Ingalls or Anne Shirley–or a girl detective like Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden–for years, was super appealing to me. The story never had to end!
It was the year 1989. By the time I was 14, I had some experience with superhero comics. My older cousin, Bryan, had a large collection of Teen Titans and Warlord comics that I would pilfer when we visited–a practice that my Aunt Judy supported, as I was well-known as the family bookworm. The fact that Bryan, who was a big fan of Ozzy Osborne, seemed somehow threatening didn’t deter me: I would sneak into his room when he was out, grab gigantic handfuls of comics, and retreat to my cousin Danny’s room to read them in peace while he tinkered with his Commodore 64.
But I digress. It was the year 1989, I was 14 and obsessed with Axl Rose, and I was on a trip to Hawaii with my parents and my younger brother. My parents, avid golfers, would occasionally leave my brother and me to our own devices, which for me, meant (surprise!) reading. Midweek, crisis struck: we had officially read all of the Archie comics the corner store had in stock, so I was forced to read two “boy comics” my little brother picked up: Classic X-Men #33, and Uncanny X-Men #245. This is when my life changed forever. This is literally the moment that led me to where I am today, working for Things From Another World and hanging out in the comics community of Portland, Oregon.
Classic X-Men #33, a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #127 (collected in the X-Men: Proteus Premiere HC, which I also own), was an action-packed entry into the X-Men. Brief recap: the X-Men are in Scotland, fighting Proteus, a terrifying and powerful enemy who just happens to be the secret son of their ally, Moira MacTaggart. And he kicks their butts, leaving the team shaken to the core, leading Cyclops to instigate a fight with Wolverine and the rest that is visually fun to read and showcases each member’s strengths and personalities.
This was a great way to “meet” the team, and the drama of Moira steeling herself to kill her own son (who eventually took over the body of her estranged husband!) was intriguing to me. Chris Claremont’s rather wordy and character-focused writing style appealed to a girl who was ready to graduate from Anne of Green Gables. This issue also began my lifelong fealty to (some might say obsession with) the beautiful and exciting art of John Byrne.
Note: This issue also had a bizarre and gory backup story starring Havok and Polaris, by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton, that freaked me out: Havok basically imagines them dying horrific deaths over and over, and then rejects life with the X-Men. I admit this story left me with a very bad impression of Havok for years.
After reading Classic X-Men #33, Uncanny X-Men #245 was completely confusing. To anyone who hasn’t read this gem, titled “Men!”: this is a humorous issue after the drama of Inferno, drawn by a young Rob Liefeld (spelled “Leifeld”), in which inept aliens decide to take over the planet–beginning with Australia–while the men of the X-Men have a guys’ night out. Oh, and the aliens have a “Jean Bomb” that looks just like Jean Grey, which they claim will “fatally disrupt any and all relationships.” Since I hadn’t yet read the Dark Phoenix Saga or Inferno (something I would quickly remedy) the humor was lost on me.
While my brother and I enjoyed picking out various Star Wars characters that were extras on page 3 (Yoda! Jabba! Chewie!), we really didn’t know what to make of this. Was the Classic X-Men series the serious stories, and Uncanny was the funnybook? It was a headscratcher. My solution: to buy as many X-Men comics, past and present, as possible.
These two comics lit a fire in me that caused me to seek out my local comic shop for the very first time. I started a box; first with just Uncanny X-Men, later expanding to Excalibur, X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force–the ’90s crossovers pulled me in. From that moment on, all of my extra funds were funneled into a back-issue collection I still have today. No lipgloss or tapes for me–I was spending my money on cardboard boxes, bags and boards, and comics; family vacations, to me, now meant the chance to seek out new comic shops that just might have that back issue I was missing. I was on a quest!
Looking back, two things strike me: one, I wasn’t introduced to comics via a comic shop–we always bought our comics at convenience stores up to that point. Two, it took me several months to realize that I was the only female customer at my shop who wasn’t a mom or a bored girlfriend. We’ve come a long way, baby.
So that’s my story: my name is Elisabeth Forsythe, and I’m a comics addict. What comics were your first love? Post your story below by August 16 and you could win a $20 gift certificate to buy more comics at TFAW! Standard contest rules apply. Open to Canadian and international customers, too!
??There’s a lot happening in the X-Men Universe this summer, with new series, anniversaries, and shocking surprises in July!
Get ready for the first X-Men #1 in 20 years! X-Men #1 is out July 7 and features the talents of Victor Gischler and Paco Medina. This Heroic Age comic kicks off with “Mutants Versus Vampires Part 1.” When vampires engulf San Francisco, no one knows what they want–but they’re gonna have to tangle with the X-Men, who will stop at nothing to protect their home turf!
July 14, we have the Uncanny X-Men: Heroic Age one-shot! With three stories by such greats as Matt Fraction, Whilce Portacio, Jamie McKelvie, and Steven Sanders, Uncanny X-Men: Heroic Age will show us just where the X-Men fit in with Marvel’s new Heroic Age!
Matt Fraction and Whilce Portacio also headline Uncanny X-Men #526, which deals with the aftermath of X-Men: Second Coming. Marvel is being pretty tight-lipped about the details, but they did let slip that Hope, Emma, Namor, and Sebastian Shaw are involved.
Of course, old-school X-Fans remember when the ambitious, lethal Sebastian Shaw was introduced in 1979. Not only was he the self-proclaimed Black King of the Hellfire Club, but he played a small but crucial role in 1980’s Dark Phoenix Saga. That’s right, 2010 marks the 30-year anniversary of one of the most powerful story arcs in X-Men history! When founding X-Man Jean Grey tapped into the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix, her powers grew exponentially–far beyond what any normal human, no matter how heroic, was ever meant to deal with. This heart-rending tale of absolute power corrupting absolutely is a true classic, showcasing first-class writing by Chris Claremont and breathtaking art by John Byrne.
Now there is a brand-new hardcover edition out July 28 to commemorate this event! The X-Men Dark Phoenix Saga Hardcover collects the entire epic, including the original published story in Uncanny X-Men #129-138, as well as a backup story from Classic X-Men #43, featuring the untold story of Jean Grey’s first meeting with the Phoenix. However, this deluxe edition also includes Phoenix: The Untold Story, which reprints the original intended tale–in which Jean Grey would live–and What If? #27.
Finally, I’ll wrap up this X-Update with X-Factor #207, out July 21. X-Factor has come a long way since its debut in 1986, when it starred the original X-Men: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, and Ice Man (although if you miss those halcyon days, be sure to check out X-Factor Forever). Today, X-Factor is written by superstar Peter David and has taken a decidedly noir bent, with reluctant hero Madrox the Multiple Man leading a ragtag (and often volatile) band of mutants. X-Factor #207 promises a “jaw-dropping final page,” and if you heard about the uproar after the birth of Madrox and Siryn’s baby (or is that “baby”?), you know it’s gonna deliver.
For all these titles and more, make sure to check out our dedicated X-Men Theme Page!
So what are you most excited about in the X-Universe? Are you planning on picking up any of these titles? Post your comments below!
Excellent! These days, no one really stays dead in comics, and I’m glad this seems to apply to Kitty Pryde as well! Marvel has announced her return to comics in Uncanny X-Men #522, out March 17.
Check out the (nifty, if kinda dorky) video below. Marvel isn’t giving out any specifics, but they do offer a brief sketch of Kitty’s history: created by John Byrne in 1980 and introduced in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #129, Kitty was introduced as a highly intelligent 13-year-old girl who could “phase” through objects like a ghost. She bonded with surrogate mother Ororo (Storm), had a rather chaste (and age-inappropriate) romance with Peter (Colossus), and joined the team as the youngest X-Man (Xavier tried to punt her over to the New Mutants, but it didn’t take).
She later was possessed by a ninja demon, bonded with Wolverine, injured and left in a permanently “phased” state, joined Excalibur, rejoined the X-Men, and then sacrificed herself by bonding with a giant bullet, phasing it through the earth, and hurtling into space.
Whew. So what’s up next for this plucky heroine? And hey, where has Lockheed been? Post your comments below!