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Essential X-Men, Vol. 2 (Essential X-Men #2)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,130 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Ever expanding their ranks the Children of the Atom combat the evils threatening both mutants and humans -- like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants the Hellfire Club and Dark Phoenix!Collecting: X-Men #120-141, Uncanny #142-144; Annual #3-4

Book Details: Format: Paperback Publication Date: 12/7/2005 Pages: 584 Reading Level: Age 9 and Up
Paperback, 584 pages
Published December 7th 2005 by Marvel (first published 1982)
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Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its incredible that this one book contains the quality of stories that it does. The hunt for Mutant X. The Dark Phoenix Saga. Cyclops leaving the X-Men (?). Days of Future Past. This was truly a great time to be an X-Men fan.

The hunt for the reality shifting Mutant X/Proteus is probably my favorite X-Men story of all time. Tons of tension as the body count rises only to get battles that are absolutely crazy as reality literally gets flipped inside-out. I was a little disappointed that they didn
Jay Hancock
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark Phoenix unleashes unholy hell, Cyclops leaves, Kitty Pryde joins, the brood show up, plus the days of future past give a glimpse of a would be future. Basically some of the most pivotal storylines in the x-men mythology.
Sharon Powers
THERE ARE 3 BOOKS THAT COVER THE X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST MATERIAL. THIS IS ONLY ONE OF THE THREE NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE STORY LINE (for my own personal reference to keep from getting them confused, because two of the titles are EXACTLY the same, the third is similar), this is the third book I review of the three:

THE BOOK: The collected issues for this Marvel title include the following: X-Men issues 120-141; The Uncanny X-Men issues 142-144; and The X-Men Annual numbers 3-4. The n
Mark Schlatter
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comfort comics reading, almost entirely in pamphlet form (except for Dark Phoenix, which I'll review separately.) A couple of observations:

1) This is where I started to like Wolverine and also about the last time I liked Wolverine. Claremont and Byrne do a good job of starting to peel back the mystery and adding nuance. Sadly, after this, I just associate the character with overexposure.

2) Man, wasn't the introduction of Kitty Pryde great? I love the early issues with her ("Demon" and "Days of F
More classic stories, with some five star art by John Byrne, who's truly remarkable in these issues. Sadly, while Claremont is still a few years away from giving himself completely over to his stylistic excesses, he's still too verbose in these issues, with much more dialogue than is necessary.
Paul Darcy
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
By now everybody on the planet must be familiar with the X-Men. Three big Hollywood movies and countless comic books plus TV cartoons span nearly three decades.

But what really happened to Jean Grey when she turned into power incarnate as the Dark Phoenix? I’m not talking the Cartoon TV version, or the major motion picture. I’m talking the “real” story as it happened in the comic books way back when.

If you read this collected volume, Essential X-Men Vol. 2, of black and white X-Men comics, compri
Zack! Empire
The first thing that really stood out for me in this book was the art work. I’ve always been aware of John Byrne, but until now I hadn’t read anything by him. After reading this collection I can see why he is held in such high regards. The art work in here is fantastic. Everything about it is firing on all cylinders. It’s that crisp, but not hyper-stylized artwork I love in super-hero comics. I enjoy these Essential collections because they are printed in black in white, giving you a chance to ...more
Krystl Louwagie
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well, these things are huge, so it always takes me a while to get through them. Plus,I can't read at work much anymore because down time has become unheard of.

Much like the first volume, I am impressed by the large over arching storylines and bored by the ones that are contained in a single comic. If it's not continued, it's almost worthless. Kitty Pryde's been introduced, and I'm not a fan. However, in reading these comics, a person can easily see why Wolverine got so popular. He really does ju
Dec 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yes-i-m-a-geek
Basically this is the best run of the X-Men in my opinion. Mostly because of the culmination of the Phoenix story, but you've also got Days of Future Past, which is probably the most important story in the future direction of the title. Done and redone to death in varying aspects. It also has the Proteus story. This collection also marks the ending of John Byrne's run as artist for the book. It will be hard to go back to Dave Cockrum... But Byrne wanted to do some writing, so he got to go over t ...more
Leila Anani
A vast improvement on the completely random first collection, this is far more cohesive in terms of plot. The majority of issues deal with the progression of Jean Grey from Phoenix, to the Black Queen to the Dark Phoenix and detail her tragic death. We also get the introduction of Kitty Pryde (Sprite) and Dazzler, although she leaves after one adventure.

The majority of stories are classic X-Men fayre, fun, but ultimately forgettable, although I am rather fond of super-villain Arcade and his mur
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, marvel
So I finally got to read the famouse Dark Phoenix saga. I can imagine how awesome this must have been 30 years ago. Even nowadays, it's good and interesting reading. The story arcs before it were not that good but after Jean Grey demise Kitty Pryde appeared. As a huge manga fan I really appreciated the addition of this cute loli character to X-men team. ^_^ Moreover, the story arc with Kitty from future was really interesting. This book is really an essential piece of comic history. With so many ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mutants
This was definitely a huge improvement from the first volume. It took me a while to get into it, but once I was there I couldn't put it down. The two a-plots in this book really held up despite that I knew what was going to happen and that I'd already seen many different versions of them done, both in adaptations and in different universes by other fantasy/sci fi creators that were really obviously influenced by this over the decades. The economy of the storytelling still impresses me, it's amaz ...more
Hal Incandenza
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La saga di Fenice Nera, la splendida e visionaria Giorni di un futuro passato, l'ingresso di Kitty Pryde nelle fila della squadra e una morte sconvolgente, tutto questo (e molto altro) in 814 pagine che sono un capolavoro del fumetto Marvel.

Così come le storie contenute nel primo Omnibus avevano un retrogusto un po' infantile e datato, in egual misura la scrittura di Chris Claremont è cresciuta e maturata e in questo secondo volume raggiunge il suo apice. La capacità di approfondire la psicolog
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read comics for YEARS after these issues came out, just on the off chance I could find art matching Byrne's wonderful masterwork as represented herein. It was rare that I found something by any artist as professionally polished as the work Byrne did here.

Today Byrne's work looks like he doesn't bother to pencil anything, just grabs the bevel-edged marker and goes to town, and some fans still like his new stuff. But the art is this book was the good stuff -- thin dip-pen lines, great expressiv
Ryan Viergutz
Nov 12, 2012 marked it as science-fiction  ·  review of another edition
This volume covers a year and a half's worth of Xmen comics, about half a year to the Dark Phoenix Saga and a half a year following.

I read the Dark Phoenix Saga many years ago when I first acquired access to the interlibrary loan system. I remembered it being good. In this volume, I saw the build up to it, and man, when you know what led to it, it's absolutely an amazing read. It's surreal to realise that it took a whole half a year to play out and fans must have been on pins and needles for the
Truly the golden age of X-Men. Pretty much every best storyline is here, Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Futures Past, Claremont classics. This is the first time X-Men really steps up its game and genuinely attempts to go beyond the entertaining fight-of-the-week and display real, dark, conflicting emotion and character development. It attempts to tell stories about their world and ours. Explores beyond how the powers make for spectacular fights and high adventure, but genetic segregation, eugenics, ...more
Its depressing to think that my favorite comic of all time peaked roughly the time I was born, but you can't beat this volume - The Dark Pheonix Sage? John Byrne on pencils, a young Claremont on script? This is the modern comic in its golden-years, before the clones, future incarnations, and countless reserections robed death of all its meaning in the X-Universe. I just wish I could have read this book not knowing of Madeline Pryor, Marvel Girls return, then death, then return, then death . . . ...more
Feb 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first half of this collection of classic X-Men stories in the black & white Essential version courtesy of Inter Library Loan, but switched to the original coloured version (in digital form) once the Dark Pheonix Saga wrapped up (much too quickly, but beautifully). At that point, Cyclops leaves the team, Kitty Pryde is introduced, and events are under foot building up to Days of Future Past, which was my main prompt - reading the original story for the first time before next year's ...more
I've love the X-men, the way their personalities and powers mesh and clash as they work to save the universe. This volume featured Wolverine, Colosus, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm and my favorite: Nightcrawler as they battled Proteus, The Helfire Club and others. Banshee appears in the beginning, but is injured and doesn't stick around long. Later in the book Angel comes back and Kitty Pride is introduced. It is in black and white, but that's okay. It was a lot of X-men and I couldn't put it down.
Matthew Hedgecock
Great assortment of classic X-men tales including the introduction of the Hellfire Club, the Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past and other wonderful stories. Lots of first appearances here including Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde, the original Alpha Flight, Franklin Richards, and many others. There's a good reason why the Claremont era of the book is returned to again and again for modern X-properties!
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, superheroes
The bulk of this book is taken up with the latter half of the Chris Claremont/John Byrne X-Men run, and this is where things really start kicking into high gear. Proteus, The Hellfire Club, Dark Phoenix, Days of Future Past, Kitty Pryde, Dazzler in full disco mode... a lot of important introductions and events in X-Men lore happen here. If you're going to read just one of these, this is the one to read.
Zach Danielson
Classic X-Men. I skimmed some parts of this large, black-and-white volume, and I'd previously read X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga, but it was nice to finally read the original X-Men: Days of Future Past storyline.
Christopher Mcgurr
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Some really good storytelling here. Obviously The Dark Phoenix Saga is classic. I enjoy the buildup to it with Mastermind appearing many many issues before he makes his move. You can see the gestation of stories scattered here and there throughout. The introduction of Proteus was cool too. I like seeing the old style of comics writing where the writer has to squeeze in the previous issues storyline in a few panels. Plus it amuses me that so many characters speak their thoughts out loud.
Alex Firer
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect combination of the seriousness that mainstream comics have become with the whiz bang adventure they used to be. Characters wonderfully written with every personality bouncing off the other and the arc of their journey bending towards a peaceful progress, which is always a pleasure to read. Just the best X-Men stories after the other, each one inventing an archetype that we all mine to this day. Perfect stuff.
Mike McAdam
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a vast improvement over the first 100 issues or so. The stories got more interesting (not all of them but at least it wasn't one lame issue after another). The stories got more involved, the characters got more interesting and there seem to be recurring characters that weren't ridiculous. I liked it.
Jul 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Fun nostalgia.

I had reprints of some of these issues and read them over and over as a kid. It was fun to read them with a bit more context.

Almost every story talks up how powerful the X-men are while they get soundly defeated and captured by some villain. Then they escape by getting lucky. Rinse and repeat.
Better than the first one, but still lots of story lines randomly petering out with no resolution. And the pseudo-science just kills me.

I did very much enjoy the Day of Future Past story. That one is a four star story.

Every time I read X-Men I just want more Kitty Pride and Colossus. Professor X is kind of a dick in this collection.
May 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was fun. I started reading the X-Men almost immediatly after this run of 20 or so comics, so it filled in some gaps and was a nice stroll down memory lane.

The pages are in black in white, but that didn't really bother me.

It's the plots, cornball as they can be, that always interested me over the art.

Learned some new stuff. For instance, Kitty Pride (Shadowcat) was/is Jewish.

Robert Spake
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic run of the X-Men, had to be 5 stars. I think the cover image they have for this item is wrong though. Anyway, great stories including the introduction of the Hellfire Club, the Dark Phoenix Saga and the Days of Future Past storyline.
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Chris Claremont is a writer of American comic books, best known for his 16-year (1975-1991) stint on Uncanny X-Men, during which the series became one of the comic book industry's most successful properties.

Claremont has written many stories for other publishers including the Star Trek Debt of Honor graphic novel, his creator-owned Sovereign Seven for DC Comics and Aliens vs Predator for Dark Hors
More about Chris Claremont...

Other Books in the Series

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