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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 285

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at X-Men in Asgard, by Chris Claremont, Art Adams and a host of inkers, which originally appeared in New Mutants Special Edition #1 and Uncanny X-Men Annual #9…

Enjoy!

If ever there was a storyline that would be considered cool just based on the artwork, it would be the X-Men in Asgard.

That’s not to say that Chris Claremont did not do a good job on this two-parter, because he did, but oh boy oh boy, what a spotlight this was for the artwork of Arthur Adams!!!

The main plot of the story is that Loki and the Enchantress team-up for a Loki plot that involves kidnapping Storm to turn her into a replacement for Thor. They strike while the X-Mansion has the New Mutants and Storm alone in it…

So the New Mutants hightail it after the Enchantress using Magik’s teleportation, but Enchantress messes with it, so the New Mutants find themselves stranded in various parts of Asgard (and its neighboring realms).

Each of the members of the New Mutants finds themselves in a situation where their lives are greatly impacted, perhaps most notably Dani Moonstar, who finds herself in a peculiar spot…

This is where Dani Moonstar becomes a Valkyrie.

By the end of the issue, the New Mutants (who have all more or less found new homes on Asgard) decide to band together to save Storm.

To do so, they enlist the X-Men, which is the second part.

Look at the awesome intro page…

Here’s Loki and the enthralled Storm…

Meanwhile, the X-Men have their own misadventures (which I won’t ruin for you here) until they finally get to see Storm with Loki, but is it too late?

How amazing is that last page by Adams? Holy cow!

In any event, this was a very important story that is still resonating in the Marvel Universe to this day (especially Wolfsbane’s plot, where she meets a Wolf Prince and falls in love). Claremont has some good character bits where he shows how some of the younger X-Men don’t realize how deadly their situation is (and meanwhile, Shadowcat is freaking out because she DOES know how deadly it is). It’s a good beat.

But really, oh man, that Adams artwork!!! It really makes this such a cool, cool comic story.

21 Comments

Love this story. Owned the issues, owned the trade, now own the HC which looks fantastic.

True, Claremont did a good job too but still, it’s the artwork that really shines. And all in all one of my favorite X-men stories too, especially of ones where Byrne was not involved.

I’m surprised you didn’t touch on Karma’s subplot…..

I always thought that last panel was Adams’ homage to the Simonson Thor run… and it was magnificent.

J.

I hope folks noticed the bit with Darkseid pushing a cart there. I believe Adams threw in these little Easter eggs more than once in this story. Yes, it was quite a showcase for him.

@ Mike Blake

Regarding Easter Eggs, I always laugh when Martin Short’s Ed Grimley SNL character shows up as a giant.

This is one of the few X-Men trades I own and I got it primarily for these two issues. Cool story, great art, tons of easter eggs… just an awesome combination.

There is not enough Art Adams out there. This era of the X-Men is really my favourite.

If you look at old Art Adams art, like what is included with this blog post, and then compare it with Rob Liefeld’s early art, it really becomes clear what an influence Art Adams was on Liefeld. Liefeld really was trying to be a clone of Art Adams, but his skill level was so inferior to Adams that it’s easy to miss the attempted similarities.

Why did Art Adams work so sporadically? Is it because he isn’t speedy enough to do a monthly? He’s such a great artist.

@T.
Yes, he was notoriously slow. You could see where all the time went, but he initially had a hard time keeping deadlines so I understand. Sometime in the 90’s he figured a way to streamline his work I think.

I love these comics.

@T.- I think a good deal of Liefeld’s (and McFarlane’s) early popularity was due to their similarity to Adams’s style, but they were (at the time) able to make monthly deadlines.

@ T.

You can see Art Adams in all the founding Image guys. Early Jim Lee looked a lot like John Byrne + Art Adams. McFarlane had those high-shoulder capes. These were hugely influential.

I’ve only read the first half.
I guess Dani becoming a Valkyrie has had more lasting impact than anything else in this story. They’re still turning out plots centred upon that in the current New Mutants series.

McFarlane had those high-shoulder capes

Ahhh, you’re right. Looking back there is a lot of Adams in McFarlane’s work as well.

yes! Finally Adams gets his dues. I think he took a back seat when the Jim Lee’s and McFarlanes hit the scene. He started doing more covers and less full issues. Back in 1987, he was the man. He was also a creator in his own right. Consider Longshot and Mojo and Spiral. My favorite Adams work is X-Men Annual 10 where the X-babies were introduced.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Wasn’t this two-parter a sequel of sorts to another two-parter with the Uncanny X-men and Alpha Flight?

If memory serves me right, this also has Asgardian elements as well as Asgardian characters.

I believe it was written by Claremont and drawn by Paul Smith (another artist extraordinaire).

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, it was a long time ago.

Yes, it was a sequel to the first X-Men/ Alpha Flight limited series, which oddly enough came out around the same time as this two parter. Basically, in the X-Men/ Alpha Flight series, the X-Men stop Loki, and he wants revenge but he’s forced to promise not to ever do the X-Men harm. In this two parter, let’s just say that Loki finds ways to keep the letter of his promise but not the spirit.

Oddly when this series gets collected it always misses out the Alpha Flight sequel in AF#50, which isn’t the worse comic ever printed….

You can see how much more content the comics had back then and it wasn’t uncommon to say it would take about half an hour to read a comic back then. Adams is using 8 or more panels per page and getting a lot of story in there. These days, you can pay $3.99 and be done in about 8 or 9 minutes reading time.

That X-men Asgardian Wars trade is worth picking up (not sure how it’s been reprinted in the last decade). You get Claremont at his peak, plus, 2 issues each by Paul Smith and Art Adams, and all 4 issues are gorgeous.

It’s been Hardcovered within the last year and looks gorgeous in the new edition. MUCH better than the old one.

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