Sunday, March 27, 2016


The following began as a footnote to last week's UNCANNY X-MEN OMNIBUS volume 3 review, but grew so long I decided to turn it into its own post:

As I've noted before, whenever Marvel puts out a Silver or Bronze Age Omnibus, they include the introductions from prior Marvel Masterworks volumes which collected the same material. In the case of UNCANNY X-MEN, when Marvel started the line in the late eighties, most of their volumes featured intros from Stan Lee. Somehow, the first UNCANNY Masterworks had an intro from Lee but also one from Chris Claremont, possibly depending on the edition (I know mine had one by Lee, but the UNCANNY OMNIBUS volume 1 features the Claremont one, which I assume was produced for the very first printing in 1989).

Moving on, when the Masterworks program was revived in the mid-00s, volumes 4 and 5 featured intros from Claremont, 6 had one from inker Terry Austin, and then editor Louise Simonson arrived for volume 7 and the subsequent 8 and 9. I have no objections to Simonson; I'm quite happy she penned at least one introduction. My point, really, is -- why not spread the introduction love? If Chris Claremont is currently unwilling or unable to do them, what about others who worked on the series? Sadly, penciler Dave Cockrum passed away before Marvel got around to reprinting his second run in 2008 -- but what about his successor, Paul Smith? Or even longtime letter Tom Orzechowski and colorist Glynis Oliver -- were either of them approached to write an intro? They got the inker to do one, for Pete's sake (for a volume in which he worked on three out of ten collected issues)!

Honestly, though, Stan Lee had no business penning the intros to the original eighties/nineties volumes, other than that he wrote them all back then. Could I turn back the clock and commission introductions for all these books myself, I would've done something like this:
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 1 (GIANT SIZE #1 & issues 94 - 100, published 1989): Introduction by co-creator/writer Len Wein
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 2 (issues 101 - 110, published 1989): Introduction by writer Chris Claremont
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 3 (issues 111 - 121, published 1990): Introduction by co-plotter/penciler John Byrne
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 4 (issues 122 - 131, published 2004): Introduction by editor Roger Stern
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 5 (issues 132 - 140, published 2005): Introduction by inker Terry Austin
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 6 (issues 141 - 150, published 2008): Introduction by penciler Dave Cockrum*
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 7 (issues 151 - 159, published 2011): Introduction by editor Louise Simonson
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 8 (issues 160 - 167, published 2012): Introduction by letterer Tom Orzechowski OR colorist Glynis Oliver
  • UNCANNY X-MEN MASTERWORKS volume 9 (issues 168 - 175, published 2015): Introduction by penciler Paul Smith
* Cockrum had actually passed away by the time Marvel reprinted his second run in volume 6. So, though this entire post is an exercise in wishful thinking, to keep things tied to reality, I could suggest Cockrum's wife, Paty, as a replacement. She's quite verbose online and probably has some good stories about that point in his career.

Anyway, as I said -- I have no objection to Louise Simonson providing three consecutive introductions. She was the editor at the time, and she's more than qualified for the task. But I would've loved to have seen some more varied recollections of all this great stuff from the myriad parties who worked on it over the years.

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