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The ’90s Revisited: Uncanny X-Men #325

uncannyxmen325Generation of Evil

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Joe Madureira
Inkers: Townsend & Ryan
Colors: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Leters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Editor and Chief: Bob Harras
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.95
Cover Date: October, 1995

This issue always throws me, just from the cover. This is from that period of time when Marvel apparently thought the covers’ numbers didn’t matter and would have the issue’s number in tiny print somewhere in the UPC box, at the bottom of the cover, rather than somewhere near the upper part with the cover logo. For this cover, they actually hide all of that–the title logo folded to the inside, and the UPC to the back cover, so all you have is Storm, Colossus, and Wolverine attacking someone off-panel, and a tiny banner at the top specifying this as a Special X-Men Anniversary Issue. (20th anniversary of the “All-New” X-Men from Giant-Size X-Men #1)

While the issue opens on the X-Men playing baseball, the bulk of the issue features a “return” of Morlocks, apparently in the wake of some of their number taking on the name “Gene Nation” or such and executing terrorist acts around the city. Leader of the Morlocks Callisto shows up and explains it’s the “younger generation” that feels the older has failed them, failed to act–and seeks to rectify the issue. This also brings up Storm’s “history” as a former leader of the Morlocks (having once challenged and beaten Callisto FOR said leadership), and what that means for her in the face of the current situation.

Story-wise this is a solid issue; nothing horrible about it to me; but nothing fantastic, either. However, having the baseball game is a great moment…the sort I recall truly enjoying in the X-books…just seeing the characters relax and not have to be fighting the villain of the month/issue…I’d probably thoroughly enjoy a full issue that’s nothing but the characters just being who they are, interacting with each other; no villains or any particular antagonist, period. I like that the issue is definitely set in continuity, dealing with the history of the Morlocks, as well as keeping several subplots moving (Gambit, and Rogue/Iceman).

Visually this is a mixed thing for me: the style is a bit cartoony at points and feels a bit “off” to my sensibilities with these characters, and yet it totally brings back (good) memories OF this era of X-Men comics, and works in that regard.

For an issue fished out of a 25-cent bin, certainly well worth the purchase and reading. There’s no funky foiling on this copy, so I think this is the “newsstand” edition where the original copy I bought when it came out new I’m pretty sure was the “direct edition” or otherwise had shiny-ness about it. (Which works for my interest in “converting” FROM shiny covers to standard/newsstand editions for my various “runs” of series). It’s also worth noting that these days, this would probably be at least 2-3 variant covers, rather than the 4-panel wrap-around/fold-out this actually carries.

Given the lengthy role Marrow (I believe) went on to play in the X-Books, this is a good jumping-on point to see where she comes from and (presumably) changes. All in all quite a high-quality bargain-bin purchase!

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