Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Night Murals: Everybody Pile-On Magneto!

Super-Sized First Issue!The first issue of a comic book, that's some exciting stuff, if a little chancey: you don't know quite what you're in for when you first pick up that #1 issue now, do you? It's a little like playing a game of "Mystery Date": will you get a dream (ooooooo!) or a dud (ickkkkkk!)?

A new X-Men series, now that doesn't come along every...bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha !...Sorry, I couldn't even finish that sentence with a straight face! Okay, so maybe every other week there's a new X-Men series (coming this week: X-Men: The Search for Cyclops' Socks #1!), but once in a while the good folks at Marvel really roll out the adamantium carpet to make a series the time in 1991 when Adjectiveless X-Men #1 came out with...wait for it...four different covers:

X-Men #1

Covers to X-Men #1 (October 1991), art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams
(Click picture to nineties-size)

Four covers! Four covers to the same comic book that interconnect into tonight's spectacular Monday Night Mural! When you look at the art of Jim Lee, complete with orange-toned Psylocke, and hear those angelic bells pealing, folks, it feels like heaven, doesn't it? Wait a minute...those bells aren't chiming, they're going ka-ching! That's the sound of your money vanishing into the pockets of Marvel Comics, because in a shrewd and common move for the decade, the different versions of X-Men #1 featured not only different covers but different interior pin-ups in each version! Even more exciting, each version was released a week apart, so even if you felt the need to pick 'em all up, you had to return to your LCS every week for an entire month. And ya wanna know the fun part, boys 'n' girls? We did it. (Well, some people did. Me, I picked up the first version the first week an' enjoyed it jus' fine.)

For those willing to wait until the four connecting covers had been released, you could also pick up (for a mere 3.95 times the price of a single issue) the deluxe version which featured all the covers in a big fold-out pin-up and all the interior extra pages. And I think it went something like this:

X-Men #1

I do like the expanded, deluxe edition: the logo is organically built into the landscape, the green background pops the X-Men's figures more prominently, and Betsy doesn't quite look so much like she overdid it with the QT.

And, ya gotta love Magneto's gritty-teeth superiority. "Ha ha, X-Men, I'm behind an impenetrable field of pure magnetism and you're throwing at least two guys made of metal at me! PWNED!" (Note: Magneto's dialogue may not be authentic.) Why, he's so cocky about his victory that he ain't even looking at them. And the worst thing is: the X-Men fall for this stunt, every single time. Again

X-Men #1

and again

X-Men #104

and again

Marvel Knights 4 #32

Whoops, no, that's not the X-Men but rather X-Menmania, a startling simulation of the X-Men that's so realistic, you'll swear they're uncanny.

So anyways, there ya go. A pretty-cool mural consisting of four X-Men covers for the same comic that really kickstarted the whole "let's do a bajillion X-Men comic books until we pretty much kill the franchise" trend, but at least it's got some dandy art by Jim Lee from the days when you didn't need to take off your socks to count the number of X-Men. And nobody ever saw Psylocke colored in a citrusy tone, ever again.

Psylocke swimwear

Oh, for cryin' out loud.


Isaac said...

My pal Ben Towle has done a pretty fun cartoony version of that mural.

Philip G. said...

No better endorsement for a tanning product than a black-and-white commercial. "It must work! Look at how much grayer they are!"

Also "with the focused totality of my jaundice" is a dandy battle cry.

Rol said...

Love your site, Bully - especially the murals. Keep 'em coming!

Adam Barnett said...

I *love* the murals!

Bill, the Wildcat said...

Hel-LOOOOOOO, Psylocke!

Wait. I'm guessing you had some other point to this blog post. I just got, um, distracted.