Jim Lee‘s 1990s X-Men had such an impact on me that I am still poring over his original art from that era. I recently came across a large cache of his work complete with issue # and page # notes. These pages are drawn by Lee and inked by Scott Williams.
Above we have the adjectiveless X-Men team (also known as the Blue team), not be confused with the Uncanny X-Men team (also known as the Gold team). Cyclops led this team with Psylocke, Wolverine, Beast, Jubilee, Gambit and Rogue. Storm led the other team with Jean Grey, Colossus, Archangel, Bishop andIceman. There is still quite a debate on the merits of splitting the X-Men in two teams this way and about which one was more interesting. Writer Chris Claremont has spoken about what his plans would have been for the two teams if he had been allowed to stay on the title.
The Blue team got to fight Magneto right away, but quickly became his pawns and had to fight the Gold team. So many great stories starring the X-Men deal with them battling each other.
Cyclops gets shot by an Acolyte while fighting Magneto!
Magneto has a bone to pick with Moira MacTaggert after it is revealed she altered his DNA. Feeling his redemption to be a lie, he goes on a rampage attacking her and the X-Men. I always thought this storyline didn’t ring true. So many stories had focused on Magneto’s reformation. He even took over the school for Professor X and watched over the New Mutants. Saying that his genetics were why he had changed was a cop out. Was this story saying that character growth is nature and not nuture? This development amounted to a flimsy excuse for things to return to a status quo for the marketing department.
Breathtaking splash page by Jim Lee. The blurb saying, “Stan Lee Proudly Presents Chris Claremont’s Final Issue of the X-Men!” is a hard pill to swallow. I hated seeing Chris leave, thus effectively ending the tenure of the man responsible for molding the title into a sales and pop culture juggernaut. Here’s one fan’s re-examination of the Claremont run.
This page was a treat to find! I love examining artist’s sketches, especially when there’s a mix of pencils and finished art.
Jim Lee finds a way to make Deathbird interesting! She used to look like this, but Lee and co. embellished her costume and poses to make her more appealing as a villain.
Captain America and Logan meet for the first time! I loved this issue (Uncanny X-Men #268) which featured Wolverine, Jubilee and Psylocke on their own mission. Also notice that Wolverine is smoking (a no-no in today’s Joe Quesada-run Marvel).
Wolverine, Psylocke and Jubilee rescue the Black Widow! This story revealed that everyone’s favorite Russian spy was much older than she looked.
Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me!