Friday, April 04, 2014

What happens in Phoenix stays in Phoenix

Today I´m continuing the topic of the Chris Claremont / John Byrne X - Men run because there are still some things I want to add. Originally I started this in my last post ( as some of my readers may have noticed ) but since it got longer and longer I decided to give it a post of its own :

One more reason to get the omnibus would be to finally read PHOENIX : THE UNTOLD STORY, which I once saw at a comic convention but I didn´t buy because I had no idea what it was and I never saw it again. Bummer.

I´m not sure if it can be found anywhere else. There was an oversized and overpriced hardcover a while ago ( Marvel really does have a problem with doing hardcovers that are much too expensive ) of The Dark Phoenix Saga that was supposed to have it but I only leafed through it at the shop.

The reproduction was really bad for such a big format and if you charge 75 bucks for it it should have more than just the usual content. Which it might have had but I didn´t know there could be the untold story in it so I didn´t look very thorough. Well, according to the announcements it´s now in the second omnibus and it better be because if you want to sell a 100 dollar hardcover ( 65 Euros on amazon ) you better include some special content. So this might be an incentive to get the omnibus. For those who have not read the comics : when The Dark Phoenix Saga was published the editor decided to change the ending which was bad news for Jean.

PHOENIX : THE UNTOLD STORY is the version how it was supposed to happen and because there were not many copies printed - or because most of the copies were destroyed - it´s a much sought after comic.

I don´t want to go into all the detail of why and how the original ending was changed ( you can see some of the original pages above ), because most comic fans know that story but I know that there are readers out there who might find it interesting. So here are some links to read on :

The best internet source for all the unpublished X - Men stuff is - like the name says - THE UNPUBLISHED X - MEN where you can find all sorts of unpublished or rarely seen art from X - Men comics like promotional art, commissions or alternate covers from foreign editions. They naturally have a great post about PHOENIX : THE UNTOLD STORY that explains it all and has original pages both finished and the pencils. There´s also a post you might want to check out about how John Byrne came up with the idea for the New Mutants and if you still haven´t enough of that sort of intel follow their link to SECRETS BEHIND THE X - MEN where you can find well researched articles on stories and concepts that didn't make it to print. 

Another thorough examination of the differences between the original ending and the one that saw print can be found at the very fine website GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE . It goes more into detail about the discepancies and has some comments from John Byrne and Chris Claremont as well as the original splash page to issue 138 ( which may be where I found it ).

Or it may be from this post on the MARVEL COMICS OF THE 1980s website that has the full back up feature from the 1984 printed PHOENIX : THE UNTOLD STORY which is a candid conversation between John Byrne, Terry Austin, Chris Claremont, Jim Shooter, Jim Salicrup and Louise Simonson.

And for fans of my Deja Vue section ( which will be postponed to my next post ) they also have a post with cover homages to Uncanny X - Men 138 .

Okay, I´m doing one cover homage but I´m going to leave the rest of the Days of Future Past covers for my next post because there are just too many out there. Instead I want to post the covers to Uncanny X - Men 135

and The Iron Age 3, a story where a minor Iron Man villain uses the Dark Phoenix to destroy the world and Tony goes back in time to prevent that.

I don´t know if the comic is good because I just ordered the hardcover from amazon. Normally that´s a 30 dollar book and they had it at the bargain section for only measly 12 bucks so I jumped on the chance.

For some reason I didn´t buy it when it first came out although I like time travel stories especially when they take place in the Bronze Age. I saw the first issue in the comic shop ( the one by Lee Weeks and Tom Palmer )

but when I found out that it was going to be continued in various specials with different artists I was too lazy to hunt down the single issues. My comic shop is really great but they don´t stock all series for people who don´t have a pull list. So that would have been a lottery and it´s easier to wait for the trade. It´s also easier to read a story with different artists in a collected version. When you go for the single issues you either skip the artists you don´t like or you regret spending money on the issues. 

One of the reasons why I finally decided to take a chance on it is that they included characters like Captain Britain, Power Man & Iron Fist, Coleen Wing,  Misty Knight and Dazzler who I really like. And a comic with art by Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema and Todd Nauck it can´t be all bad. Can it ?

If you want to know more about THE IRON AGE, here´s an article from Comic Book Resources from when the series was announced back in 2011, you can find more preview images at this post from IGN and Ray Tate over at COMICS BULLETIN has a review of The Iron Age 3 which does contain some spoilers. You can also find some favorable reviews of The Iron Age 1 on Comic Book Resources ( by Doug Zawisza ) and about The Iron Age Omega on Major Spoilers ( by Matthew Peterson ).

Okay, sorry for that short detour. Coming back to the people who made this post possible I also have to thank the guys from MAJOR SPOILERS for their great retro review post where I found more of the original pages from PHOENIX : THE UNTOLD STORY that I posted above. And a shout out to X - MAN`S COMIC BLOG for the random scan of the week which was one more page from the comic. Another megalong article I found during my research is from UNCANNY X NET and it´s Everything you ever wanted to know everything about the Sentinels and then some. All of you rock.

So, two X - Men posts in a row with another possible Deja Vue post on the way, I just hope my readers are not too bored with this. I just thought it might be interesting for all those readers out there who are new to the X - Men because of the movie and want to get some backgroud knowledge.

I just hope my readers don´t expect me to continue posting on a daily basis just because I have been posting for three days straight. I know, some of you might think I´m cheating a bit because I splitted up my last post but I don´t want the posts to get too long. To continue with the stats, this is my 446th post ( Yesterday´s post was number 445 ) so I might reach my goal to make the anniversary post this month number 450. But even if I can´t pull it off I have a big lead with three posts already written this month which is the same number I did in February.

Today´s video at the end of the post has nothing to do with the X - Men. We already had one of those in my last post and I don´t want to get too predictable. Instead here is an alternate scene for the brilliant GRAVITY movie with Sandra Bullock and I think you will get a kick out of it. Enjoy !

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

I'm getting old. I watched that Gravity and when Christopher Reeves turned up as Superman I got all choky. And a great post as allways -reminding me of X things I'd forgotten!!!

SUBZERO said...

Yeah, it´s sometimes frightening how epic X - Men used to be.