A Little of This, a Little of That
From the end of the return to of the Sentinels (Mk. II) to the creation of Sauron, this mostly fast-paced amalgamation of pieces of 3 issues does a fine job of presenting the waning halcyon days of the X-Men's initial run. As with the previous reprint, the washed-out reprint colors do more harm than good, especially with at times a totally different color palette. Unlike the previous issue, though, this does not begin with a "previously on X-Men..." page, but instead is a wholly new page with one of the worst blocking jobs since comics books were created. Cyclops takes up most of the lower left corner, facing the audience while supposedly giving orders to Marvel Girl and Beast who are behind him, shouting for them to put their plan into action while the Sentinels are not looking. 1) Why would they need a reminder to put their plan into action? 2) Why is he shouting about the Sentinels not looking, won't that make them look? 3) Why is he facing us? To be accurate, the first page does sort of bring us up to speed on what has been going on, but instead of the good job done the previous issue with snippets of lines and small scenes, we are given a lengthy paragraph of menacing backstory at the bottom of this poorly-staged new scene. I'm all for lengthy paragraphs, of course, but not when they are done poorly as this was done. Perhaps I nitpick (though I could say the publishing information inaccurately says this reprints issues 57-59, when it's really 59-61). It's just a bizarre page, really. With the liberty taken to create a new page here, one wonders why they kept most of the rest of the issues in tact (except the artwork). Why not modify the footnotes to match the reprint editions? Why keep the original end panel "next time" info. for what's coming on the next page? Why keep the first-page introduction material for a page in the middle of this issue, instead of making it a seamless story (at least a seamless part 2 of 3)? Unanswerable questions by this time, no doubt, considering this reprint is itself almost 30 years old, reprinting what is not almost 50-year-old material. The rest of the issue is as good as the original issues are (though with poorer artwork/coloring/inking). No bonuses this time. At least the back gives us the right covers, even if the publishing information can't get the numbers correct. Despite my qualms and confusions, this is a pretty decent reprint issue.