Tuesday, 2 March 2021

THE X-MEN #49 - COVER & SPLASH PAGE...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS

I believe it was in Largs in 1969 that I bought my first issue of X-Men #49, making it around 52 years between then and my replacement copy popping through my letterbox this morning.  As a 10 year old, I remember being transfixed by the drawing of Marvel Girl, and she certainly set off tingles in my heart and, to be honest, nether regions.  In fact, I couldn't state with perfect truthfulness that she still doesn't.  I'd say that Steranko's figure work on The Beast is seriously dodgy, and even Cyclops is far from perfect, but Marvel Girl is the star of that cover anyway, so what does it matter about the others?

Apparently this issue is a big collectors' item these days, due mainly to the cover as the contents are nothing more than standard fare.  I paid a little more than I'd have liked to, though less than many copies (in less than perfect condition too) of this ish appear to command.  There were a few minor creases and colour scuffs - nothing major - so, regardless whether it affects value or not, I applied some minor colour retouches just to improve its at-a-glance visual appeal.  Anyway, while you wish you also had this issue in your collection (if you haven't already, obviously), I'm off to re-read it.

Ah, just one look and I can smell the sand and hear the gentle lap of the waves, as well as the seagulls overhead.  Did any of you Crivs have this ish, and what are your memories of and associations with it, if any?  Tell all, or I'll send a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses round to chap your door, and I'll tell them not to leave 'til you buy a Watchtower.  That reminds me of the time that Bob Hope was asked whether he was a witness for Jehovah.  "Hell, I didn't even know there'd been an accident!" was his reply.  Oh, he was a card.

13 comments:

McSCOTTY said...

I love a lot of Steranko's comic art especially his covers, but this one wasn't one of my favourites (although it is still an excellent and iconic cover). As for the X-Men I was never a big fan of their early stories, I think that may have been down to Werner Roth's art and the way these stories were published by Marvel UK at the time as they were either published too small(Titans etc) and/or with far too much grey tone etc. I wasn't even that keen on Kirby's work on the X-Men at the time. I may need to re-read some of those old X-Men tales as I know many fans think these stories are among the titles best. Still I wouldn't mind having that issue for my collection.

Kid said...

I liked Werner Roth's art, and his early X-Men stuff was laid out by Kirby, so I thought it had a Kirby 'feel' about it. (This ish is laid out by Heck, as were quite a few of Roth's X-Men.) Generally, I like Steranko's art, but he's drawn a few clunkers in his time - I was never a great fan of his FOOM poster for example. If you can get a bargain-priced X-Men Epic Collection volume, that might be a way to re-approach those early tales, McS.

Fantastic Four follower said...

Hope everyone remains well.Always thought that Steranko was amazing and loved his stories but looking back the anatomy, which did not impact at the time, seems to be glaring now.That is probably unfair as Steranko and Adams arrived at the same time and as far as design and innovation, proceeded to raise the bar in the comics medium;make that re-invent the bar,if that makes sense!I still find large runs of X-men between #18 and #48 as poor and will probably never read them again.Remember, at the time I loved them and devoured every issue and championed Marvel as the greatest comics of all time,but these issues have not stood the test of time.I am grateful that the title survived until Adams arrived but surely the writing was on the wall.Having said thatI love looking at the covers and this was different and would have bought it straight away.Steranko was and is amazing but that anatomy takes away slightly,similar to Adams insisting on re-colouring his early work which is awful.Stay well and keep up the good work kid.Your posts are endlessly facinating.

Kid said...

Thanks for the kind words, TF, and glad to know that you're still out there. I first read the early X-Men tales when I was 8 or 9 and therefore associate them with my childhood, so it's hard for me to dislike them as one glance returns me to that time. Funnily enough, although I own many reprints of the early X-Men issues, I don't have too many of the original comics - though I've probably got as many now as I ever had when they were first published, every one of them now being a replacement. (If any of that makes any sense?)

Fantastic Four follower said...

Fair point with the happy memories Kid of when you first read them.Of course you are right.Everyone used the Galactus Trilogy as the Highpoint of the FF but I thought the Inhumans was much better.For me Spidermans finest hour was the 2 part Green Goblin/Crimemaster in #26/27 whereas the popular vote is the Master Planner saga in #31-33!I always preferred the Squadron Supreme and Brainchild issues of the Avengers whilst everyone else raved about the Kree skrull war!Nostalgia is a powwerful emotion and 2 of my favourite comics are Hulk #164 and #154 Captain Omen issues with Herb Trimpe at the zenith of his artwork!Once you have that affection it never leaves you.

Kid said...

Generally speaking, I preferred the FF tales before they became too 'cosmic', though Dr. Doom stealing the Surfer's power, and the Skrull capturing the Thing were great little epics. And my favourite Spidey tale is probably Annual #2 where he teams up with Dr. Strange. Ah, nostalgia - where would we be without it?

McSCOTTY said...

Couldn't agree more on Adams re-colouring his older work FFf for me they look a lot poorer that the originals. My favourite Spidey tale wee the issues where the Maggia leader found a stone tablet that made him(very) young I think it was around issue 73-75ish. I liked the FF cosmic tales myself my favourite would have to be issue 72 "Where soars the Silver Surfer" pure magic!

Kid said...

Talking of recolouring, McS, The Complete Frank Miller Batman has a recoloured story (Wanted: Santa Claus Dead Or Alive) and it's awful, really amateurish. It wasn't Miller who recoloured it, it was someone called Richmond Lewis, but it's horrendous. As for Adams, he's also fond of redoing some of the 'sound-effects' in reprints of his issues, and I just wish he'd leave things alone. I've got those Spidey issues about the tablet in a reprint book, and I agree that they're a great read - really enjoyed them.

Fantastic Four follower said...

Agree those Spiderman are fantastic issues.The Tablet saga ran from #68 to #75 and coincided with a peak in the artwork(I think).Various artists were involved including Romita,Heck,Demo etc and they were all great.A real smoothness that oozed class and that story was a belter!Lee had Spiderman at a peak and #75s cover was a belter.Did not realise that Adams was changing sound effects.....madness.Leave well alone.I read somewhere that Adams only drew 8 Batman issues,8 Detective and 8 Band the Bold.He changed everything and remains the definitive Batman artist by a country mile....and think of the artists who that includes.He is/was untouchable but someone needs to tell him those masterpieces should remain untouched!Just heading off to get some medication(only kidding of course).Have the Adams originals and reprints and no comparison.Stay well everyone.(Curious coincidence with the number8?).

Kid said...

The collected edition of the Tablet tales contains Spidey #s 68-75, plus 1-3 of the Lifeline saga (which is a follow-up), with art by Steve Rude emulating Romita, and it's a great little volume. I'd forgotten that I have issue 71 where Spidey battles Quicksilver, though it's a replacement (bought years ago) for my original purchased in Largs in 1969. As for Batman, I always liked Irv Novick's art on the character, but he was drawing Bats in the Adams mould. Wasn't it great when comics were just comics?

Rip Jagger said...

This one is a big-time favorite. I well remember tracing the figures on the cover, especially the Angel figure. I rather like the Cyclops rendition. Steranko's stay on the team was brief (as his stay was everywhere save SHIELD really) but it's a potent one still.

McSCOTTY said...

Is that "Tablet" edition an epic collection kid - it sounds good. I only have those stories in a few tattered issues of SMCW. I wasn't aware Adams changed his sound effects either why he did that is staggering the original comics were (imho) some of the very best in the genre. Have you read Adams recent FF series?

Kid said...

A redrawn, reversed figure of Cyclops was used on the cover of the 2nd edition of The Penguin Book Of Comics, RJ, so the comic's cover had been noticed. I still think it's Marvel Girl who 'makes it' though. I think the song 'Paper Doll' might have been written for me.

******

It's not part of the Epic Collection series, McS, just a stand-alone softcover collected edition. And very nice it is too - well-worth getting. Haven't seen Adams' recent FFs - wasn't too impressed by his Superman limited run a couple or so years back, so I'd be surprised if his FFs are any better.



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