Sunday, January 15, 2012

Uncanny X-Men on Ramblings From The Archives #1

Hey, for today's post I am toning down the already low formality this blog is accustomed to (I picture the blog wearing jorteralls). I think Sunday will be reserved for particularly old or somewhat forgotten comics, movies and shows. Not to say X-Men is in any way forgotten, but how many people read the originals?

 Along with reading and writing for this blog everyday, constantly clicking refresh on the views counter, and searching for the cheapest textbooks, I have been dabbling in the Marvel Online Comic Archive. Sadly, I have only gotten through the first 6 issues of the Uncanny X-Men. Between the odd format of reading them on my laptop, the bulky text bubbles, and my proclivity for forgetfulness, these comics take longer for me to get through. However, I have been enjoying my dip into comics history and I am glad that I have access to this archive.

Described on the cover as being "in the sensational Fantastic Four style!" it is easy to make assumptions about early X-men comics, and they are all true. The villains are hokey, diabolical and awkwardly flamboyant. The heroes explain everything outright. The villains are defeated and the story ends with either some slapstick humor or some simple lesson. To me, this assessment seems unfair. While the early X-Men are cheesy and explain everything, before this there were no X-Men.

Since I have been enjoying X-Men in some way since I was old enough to turn on cartoons by myself, I have always taken them for granted. Hence, I attempt to transport myself back to a 1964 ignorance. I can count the number of X-men on my hands, wolverines are just animals, Jean Grey is Marvel Girl, and Beast has no fur. I take everything as is and play dumb throughout. I think this is the best way to enjoy older comics like this. Why think about big complex crossover events when you can just follow one book and have it all explained plain and simple?

I consider this jump into the early books an important history lesson for a nerd. I can read all the info about the stories online, but why not actually read them? I would easily suggest this practice for anyone who likes comics but isn't sure where to jump in at current continuity.