Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's a brand marred by a long and complicated history, but as indulgent as it's been, the recent Messiah Complex storyline has reinvigorated the interests of fans old and... older. In an effort to pander to this obsessive-compulsive audience, the geniuses in the Secret Earths labs have cooked up an all X-Men month of Cover to Cover specials!

The X-Men aren't favourites on the Infinite Wars, but even after the mass culling of Decimation, it's very difficult to represent Marvel comics without touching upon their merry mutant community. Having solidifed the brand's dominance through the 1990's, Wolverine remains one the industry's leading modern icons.

Despite the questionable decision to contain mutant characters, they manage to continue to spread their influence in other titles. Wolverine appears as one of the group in New Avengers; Colossus will join a motley crew in The Last Defenders in March; and Storm raised her stock after marrying into Black Panther, which then led to a brief starring role as a member of the Fantastic Four!

What if...? #24 (April 1991)
"What if... Wolverine had become Lord of Vampires?" Thomas/Lofficer/Morgan

In their many adventures the X-Men have faced many an opponent, including the fabled lord of vampires, Dracula! The X-Men were successful, but across the omniverse exist alternate worlds where different outcomes are reality!

One such world reveals the domination of the vampires under the leadership of an unfeeling and indomitable vampire lord called Wolverine!
Having turned his fellow X-Men, Wolverine marches his undead army across New York, assimilating the weak, and destroying the wrong. Dr. Strange works to stop this mystic menace, but if he fails, who will stand to punish the wicked?

X-Men #25 (October 1993)
"Dreams Fade" Nicieza/Kubert

For decades Professor Xavier's dream of peaceful human-mutant coexistence has been splintered by the rival philosophies of his one-time ally, Magneto!

The opposition between X-Men and Brotherhood members leads to many great battles, but while an honor has long existed between the mutant factions, Magneto is about to grow tired of humanity's insolence.

Earth's Magneto Protocol insights the master of magnetism's wrath, and on the eve of an X-Man funeral, sparks the final march in the battle between Magneto and the X-Men's dream of peace.

Marvel versus DC #3 (April 1996)
"Showdown of the Century!" Marz/Jurgens

Two cosmic entities have noticed each other, and in doing so, thrown the Marvel and DC universes into chaos as they become pawns in a reality threatening cosmic showdown!

The X-Men are inevitably dragged into the battle and Storm is among those called upon to represent the Marvel Universe as one of it's greatest champions! The African mutant goddess finds herself pitted against a true Amazonian, one of DC's greatest heroes, Wonder Woman!

Just to complicate the situation, Wonder Woman has come into possession of Thor's legendary hammer, Mjolnir, granting her weather altering powers!

Adventures of the X-Men #7 (October 1996)
"Rites of Passage" Macchio/Kuhn

Recalling one of the great stories of the Claremont & Byrne era of X-Men, this issue inspired by the successful X-Men cartoon series places the new student, Jubilee, in peril that will lead to her destruction, or ultimate graduation!

Sabretooth has returned from a battle with Wolverine, and he's furious about this new chapter in their lengthy and bitter history. Unfortunately for the Professor and Jubilee, when Sabretooth arrives at the mansion, the team has already left on a mission!

Jubilee must use the mansion as Sabretooth invasion stretches her training in the ultimate test of survival!

Marvel: Heroes & Legends #1 (October 1996)
"For Better and For Worse!" Lee/Nicieza/Severin

Marvel's first family, the Fantastic Four, are about to celebrate the long awaited wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, better known to the world as Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman!

Alas, this moment of great joy is counter-balanced by a tragic uniting of evil to a degree never before seen! Earth's worst villains have attacked New York, orchestrated by the tyranny of the FF's greatest enemy, Dr. Victor Von Doom!

The FF are joined by Earth's greatest heroes, as the streets are beseiged by violence. Professor X's first class X-Men are on hand to take care of the Asgardian ax-wielding menace: Executioner!

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