I guess you're probably wonders what is compelling me to write these blogs?
Great question! I am always looking for more on these books, and I can't really find anything beyond the synopsis and some cover shots. It makes me laugh that I go to a search engine and type the name of the book and and the first thing that pops up after what I've typed is the word "value". It always pisses me off. I go on Craigslist and look for X-Men comics. Some asshole has his collection listed of crappy condition X-Men comics from the 90's for 300 dollars.
I hope the people that keep doing this stunt are reading the below statement, because this is the truth of comic collecting:
KEY ISSUES ARE VALUABLE. THEY HAVE FIRST APPEARANCES OR MAJOR EVENTS IN THEM. ALSO BOOKS THAT ARE RARE OR OBSCURE ARE VALUABLE. MOST OF COMICS FROM THE 80's and 90's ARE NOT VALUABLE BECAUSE THEY WERE OVER-COLLECTED. YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY SOMEONE TO TAKE THEM, BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS YOUR ISSUE OF X-FORCE #1, OR X-MEN #1. THEY PRINTED WAY TOO MANY COPIES AND EVERYONE KEPT THEM BAGGED AND BOARDED BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE WORTH MONEY. THESE COMICS ARE NOT WORTH SHIT, AND UNLESS SOMEONE BURNS MOST OF THE ISSUES THEY WILL NEVER BE WORTH ANYTHING.
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, lets talk about Uncanny X-Men 145.
This is the first of a three part story arc. Dr. Doom is the main antagonist, and Arcade is a supporting villain. Both are geniuses that make little games for people to test them. It's a clever connection. Dr. Doom is one of my favorites.
The first comment I would like to make is the fact that Dr. Doom has the hots for Storm. This is a bit ahead of its time and it's neat that Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum had no problem exploiting an interracial concept in 1981. I think that the x-writer team had the hots for Storm for a long time, so this is no surprise. She had no love interest until they finally had her hook up with Forge.
Speaking of Dave Cockrum... the first few issues of the new X-Team were his & Chris Clairmonts joint (94, 95, 96 etc). I felt like they had a completely different feeling than 144, 145, 146... 164 when Dave came back to them. I mean, the penciling itself just doesn't match the same mysticism. The covers don't have that excitement that issue 101 had. They don't remind me at all of 94. They just seem unexciting. Maybe Dave didn't want to come back and do this again with the X-Men series? There is not a lot out there about the back stories to these books. If anyone knows the answer, feel free to comment below.
It's taken me a while to pinpoint this, but I know that part of my frustration with the 1981+ X-Men covers is Wolverine's costume change. The covers use to have a primary color scheme that really popped. When they made him black and orange and brown, it dulled the covers. You have all the other characters in the primary color scheme with black and white for costumes on all the covers. Primary colors are the life/blood of cartoon pop culture, and when you start making everyone's costume brown or some other earth tone, it looses it's luster. With Wolverine being such an important character around this period, it dropped a lot of the "buy me" power of the covers. Think about it: Four covers after they changed his costume, so dropped the collect-ability of the series. There was 140 (We want it), 141 (We really want it), 142( We really want it), 143 ( We kind of want it), 144 (Eh, I don't need this one), 145 ($1.95 + $5.00 shipping on eBay) and so on.
Maybe Jon Byrne knew this and sabotaged the book on his way out?
Again, back to the story - there is no loss in quality. The marketability to the American eye is not there as it use to be on the cover, but if you read this book, you'll be happy you did. The story sets up a decent story arc which goes on for two more titles and keeps you reading every page on the edge of your seat. I thought the story for this one is clever and fun. I think bringing Dr. Doom in for a cross over is a great idea. I think Arcade is a X-Villain that should have been brought back for another round. This story left me on the edge of my seat and I went on effortlessly to go on reading 146. I love Arcades Muderworld. I love how Dr. Doom hijacks some castle and proclaims it his own. I love how Dr. Doom tests the X-Men with little traps.
To conclude, the reason cited for changing Wolverine's costume because it didn't seem manly enough. Although, the newer costume didn't seem much more masculine to me either. Which costume did you like the best?