Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reader's Diary #1593- Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (artist): The Uncanny X-Men / The Dark Phoenix Saga

I've read a few solo X-Men titles, but surprisingly few featuring a team of them. But it was the word that "The Dark Phoenix Saga" would be adapted for a movie next year that drew my attention. It turns out to be one of the most respected storylines in the X-Men canon.

I suppose the underlying plot still holds up well enough. It centers around Jean Grey whose ever-increasing superpowers prove to be too much. Her absolute power corrupts her absolutely, essentially turning her into an entirely different creature: the murderous and power-lusting Dark Phoenix. Her former friends and teammates a terrible emotional and physical battle as they attempt to destroy the Dark Phoenix while saving Jean Grey.

As a comic as a whole, however, it's terribly dated. The garish colours are all uniformly applied in that colour-by-numbers approach of the time; though I suppose, depending on your viewpoint, perhaps that could be seen as charming. Less debatable is the tendency to tell the story through narration and thought balloons.

I also felt that the story was dragged out a bit at the end, essentially wrapped up in the penultimate comic in the collection, but with a tacked out moon battle in the final issue.

On the plus side, a few essential characters are introduced in the comic, namely Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde.

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