So, here’s the first installment of The Secret Origin of Lincoln Crisler. The first comic I ever remember owning is a subject for a later post, as is the first crossover I read. What I want to share before any of that is probably my third experience in life with comic books. I want to start there because I’ve read these issues again today for the first time in my adult life, and in the context of the previous three-years or so of X-Titles, read cover to cover straight through. These issues held great—indescribable—significance in my life at age twelve. All of the images, by the way, expand when clicked.
These entries won’t always be about comics, but the first few will be, certainly. There’s a reason for that. Comics, even more than either music or writing, dominated my young life. And every experience I had with them in my youth was valuable, because I never had money for them. These particular issues were under my Christmas tree in 1993, when I was eleven, courtesy of my older brother, who’d come by to visit. Comics are meant to be read sequentially, as most of you know—an ongoing story proceeds with each issue. Because I didn’t have money, and because I hadn’t read many X-Men comics, I not only lacked the narrative perspective these issues fit into, I also read these four comics probably once a week for six months, for lack of any others to read. I’ll discuss the first two this week and the latter two, next.
Uncanny X-Men 308 was the issue where Jean and Cyclops got married. The wedding took place two months later, in X-Men 30. I think it was at least a year or two later that I actually got to read the wedding issue. UXM 308 was a Thanksgiving-themed issue. The X-Men were enjoying a rare holiday, and Scott and Jean strolled through both memory lane and the X-Mansion grounds, examining various life occurrences they experienced together (Phoenix dying on the Moon; giving Nathan Christopher to Askani, etc.) and the holiday fun their teammates participated in. I could preach for hours on how the modern X-men have NOTHING on the 80s-90s X-Men, and if I had to pick one issue to make my point, this would be it.
X-Men 28 dealt with Sabretooth living in the X-Mansion following the events of the Sabretooth limited series and X-Men Unlimited 3. Jubilee has a bad dream, which wakes up Jean, which sparks a moral debate between a few of the X-Men, culminating in Jean vs. Sabretooth. The cover alone is striking as all get-out, especially from the perspective of one of an eleven year-old boy’s first comics. Keep in mind, I read this initially without having read Fatal Attractions (which took Logan out of the X-Men, severely impacting anything having to do with Sabes, of course) or the previously-mentioned Sabretooth issues. Also—damned if anyone ever has or will draw a better Jean than Andy Kubert.
Next week, I’ll discuss the other two comics I got under the tree that year–and two characters I wish had been continued in later storylines.