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TGIF: Classic X-Men

Paul Cornell, Tom Brevoort, Michael Avon Oeming and more reminisce about their favorite mutant masterpieces

By Ben Chabala & Ben Morse A new era dawns in the X-Men Universe this week with a look to the past as X-MEN FOREVER ALPHA #1 sets the stage for legendary writer Chris Claremont to pick up where he left off nearly 20 years ago with the help of artist Tom Grummett in X-MEN FOREVER #1, coming June 10. To mark this momentous occasion, we asked Marvel editors and creators to recall their favorite X-Men stories from all eras of mutant history. It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
WARREN SIMONS (Marvel editor): I loved the Mutant Massacre when I was a kid. I remember buying those and being stunned at the slaughter in the tunnels. The Marauders

Mutant Massacre

really came out of the blue and gave the X-Men a terrific challenge. Great stuff. TOM BREVOORT (Marvel Executive Editor): I was exactly the right age to experience the Dark Phoenix Saga when it was first coming out, and I remember just how tremendous a story Jean's death in UNCANNY X-MEN #137 was-so much so that, while I know some folks will disagree, I regret that she was ever brought back. KEVIN GREVIOUX (writer of ADAM: LEGEND OF THE BLUE MARVEL): As far as I'm concerned, "Days of Future Past" represents the X-Men concept at its best. The story was haunting and the ramifications of this storyline have had an affect on the Marvel Universe like no other. PAUL CORNELL (writer of CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13): My favorite X-Men story is possibly the Brood saga, from Mr. Claremont and Paul Smith, amongst others. I was at school at the time, and the X-Men's heroism did the best thing that super hero comics do: made me feel better able to deal with the stress and the bullying. Big thanks are due for that. MIKE KELLY (Associate editor of the Spider-Man newspaper strip): My favorite X-Men story remains the original Phoenix Saga. I remember being a young teen and eagerly anticipating the monthly arrival of my Marvel subscription to X-Men. It was on a particularly

X-MEN #137

humid and gray day in western New York that UNCANNY X-MEN #137 arrived in the mailbox. Clutching this prize tightly to my chest, I retreated to the relative cool of my basement. I carefully removed the plain brown paper that protected this gem and read the double-length saga therein. I was totally absorbed and moved by the tragic conclusion that had been building for months before. It was the first time I realized that a super hero's death could have real and personal ramifications for the characters, leading to the departure of a grieving Cyclops in a subsequent issue. I came away from reading the saga with the melancholy realization that I'd miss Jean Grey as much as the rest of the X-Men. Fact is I still do. MICHAEL AVON OEMING (writer of ARES): X-MEN ANNUAL #9 made me not only want to be a comic book artist because of Art Adams, but it also defined a lot of the type of writing and creating I would later do [with] Norse Mythology based stuff. It was one of my first comics, definitely the most influential. Really I owe a lot to Art, Chris and the other creators on that book, it really helped shape my life. STEVE WACKER (Marvel editor): X-MEN/TEEN TITANS, from 1982, the best ever year in comics.

X-MEN #4

TONY ISABELLA (former writer of CAPTAIN AMERICA): Three issues or sequences leap immediately to mind: X-MEN #4, with the return of Magneto and the introduction of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants was classic super-team action and so exciting that it didn't hit me until much later that calling themselves "Evil Mutants" probably wasn't the best public relations move they could have made. X-MEN #12 with the first appearance of the Juggernaut; Magneto has been seemingly written out of the series in the previous issue with the Evil-and not-so-evil-Mutants disbanding. How could Stan and Jack top that? Then comes Juggy and the growing sense of doom that increases with his every step. As much as I love Alex Toth's work and as much as I wish he had better inking in this issue, I would've love to have seen Jack have done full pencils on this one. Then there's the entire Roy Thomas/Neal Adams run, just before the book went all reprint. It was breathtaking art and some of the best writing in comics. In my mind, it's still the standard by which all other X-Men stories must be judged. GERRY CONWAY (former writer of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN): I always loved Chris' original run on X-Men, way back in the day when he collaborated with John Byrne; I particularly liked the dystopic future story line, and, of course, the Dark Phoenix Saga. Great to hear Chris is back!
Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now! Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything X-Men! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men" now on iTunes!

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      Omg! I really glad to see this! I can't wait for X-men Forever! I'm still a huge fan of the old X-men (Claremont and Lee) era. Good times. I have to pick this up. I must!