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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Storm at the Center of a Collection of X-men IssuesAug. 6 2011
S. H. Wells
- Published on Amazon.com
Marvel Premier Classic that collects Uncanny X-Men 186, 198, 205, 214 and material from X-men (1963) #53.
Lifedeath is part of the Marvel Premier Classic series. These are attractive hardcovers with simple black jackets with a featured piece of art on the front (In the case of Lifedeath, the art is an excellent Storm in her mohawk/leather jacket phase). The binding is sewn and the paperstock is high quality both for the pages and for the jacket.
Lifedeath showcases the collaboration between Chirs Claremont and Barry Windsor-Smith. Windsor-Smith's art contains some of the most iconic, best renditions of the characters of the X-Men universe to have ever graced the series. The level of detail and emotion portrayed--particularly on Storm--has probably never been surpassed.
The issues within are a bit of a mixed bag. The only storyline a reader can follow in this hardcover volume is Lifedeath & Lifedeath II stories (Uncanny X-Men 186 & 198). These two issues are the centerpiece of this collection. The issues center on Storm and her loss of her mutant powers at the hands of one of Forge's inventions. The emotional highs and lows of love, loss, coping, and grieving are expertly handled.
Issue 205 "Wounded Wolf" centers on an epic battle between Wolverine and Lady Deathstike (her debut in the X-men). The art is top notch. However it is a bit disjointed and hard to place within the X-Men storyline with out any kind of introduction.
Issue 214 "With Malice Towards All" focuses on Dazzler (but includes the gritty mohawk/leather Storm). This issue is notable in that covers Dazzler's entrance into the X-Men. It also has some great images of the pre-ninja Psylocke.
Finally Issue 53 is pretty campy, early X-Men. It is a great inclusion because it demonstrates how far Windsor-Smith (and the X-Men as a whole) evolved over the decades.
After the collected issues there is a gallery of covers by Windsor-Smith as well as a few other sketches and drawings (covers for X-Men 54, 55; Marvel Team-Up 150 (Spider Man & X-Men); Firestar 4; New Mutants 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48; Uncanny X-Men 212, 216).
Because the issues do not contain a single unified story, Lifedeath may leave some readers a bit confused. However, if you have followed the X-Men for a while, I believe that each issue within Lifedeath demonstrates some of the best art in the X-Men series. I tend to think that the Premiere Classics would be better with a couple pages of introduction or preface by the artists. That said, X-Fans will not want to miss these issues collected in a beautiful hadcover.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Collection of comics work, from a masterJune 30 2013
M. L. Peters
- Published on Amazon.com
Barry Windsor Smith's classic work on the X-Men, in a durable format.
The first LIFEDEATH chapter can be seen (along with the Machine Man limited series) as being Barry Windsor-smith's return to mainstream comics. Terry Austin ably (perhaps better than any inker, other than BWS himself) inks Barry's penciled artwork and Chris Claremont is at his height as a collaborative writer (Claremont always did his best comics work, with strongly story-telling oriented artists/co-plotters).
LIFEDEATH II is a Barry Windsor-Smith holistic masterpiece - - inking and coloring it himself, as well as co-plotting with Chris Claremont -- a single issue that feels like so much more, as it shows so much quality, in art and nuanced storytelling - - quality surpassing quantity.
Wounded Wolf, is Barry drawing Wolverine and laying a lot of groundwork for future Wolverine stories, by himself and others. It can be seen as an artistic testing of the waters, before BWS's acclaimed "Weapon X" story.
With Malice Toward All is not at the high level of these other stories, feeling less visionary and intense as the other works, but many images and pages shine and it's still the work of a master, with all the talent and skill that entails.
The last story featured, "The Rage of Blastarr!" is a little out o place, as it is Barry's earliest work, in the book, predating the other works by well over a decade... It's Barry's first American comics work published. It's crude and deeply in the shadow of Jack Kirby, though without Kirby's skill (I think Barry was barely 20 years old, or so...) and more of historical interst, showing just how far BWS's talent and skill came... it can be hard to wrap your head around the fact that the young artist who drew X-Men #53, also drew X-Men #198's comics as fine-art LIFEDEATH II.
Rounding out the book are several covers BWS has drawn for X-Men and New Mutants books, ranging from very early, late '60s examples, to the astounding 1980s work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Storm gets deepNov. 19 2013
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Beautiful artwork; fantastic story. I love Storm, and this period of powerlessness is a vital part of her story that some people may not know. Crucial addition to any Storm fan's collection!