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The Greatest Scott Lobdell Stories Ever Told!

Every day in November we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Scott Lobdell Stories Ever Told!

Enjoy!

10. Uncanny X-Men #341 “When Strikes A Gladiator!”

This well-remembered tale involved Cannonball, a new addition to the X-Men, taking on the Superman stand-in, Gladiator, and holding his own! Joe Madureira and Tim Townsend supplied the artwork.

9. Uncanny X-Men #390 “The Cure”

Lobdell made a return to Uncanny X-Men to write this, the death of Colossus, as the Russian mutant sacrifices himself to find a cure for the Legacy Virus. Colossus’ farewell page is very well handled. Salvador Larocca and Danny Miki did the art.

8. Uncanny X-Men #337 “Know Thy Enemy”

The X-Men deal with the ramifications of the Onslaught crisis. One of Lobdell’s classic “taking a break” issues. Drawn by Joe Madureira and Tim Townsend.

7. Uncanny X-Men #297 “Up and Around”

The X-Men deal with the ramifications of the X-Cutioner’s Song crisis. One of the very first of Lobdell’s “taking a break” issues. Drawn by Brandon Peterson and Dan Panosian.

6. Uncanny X-Men #308 “Mixed Blessings”

This John Romita Jr./Dan Green drawn issue has the X-Men taking some time off from their various crises and Cyclops and Jean Grey get engaged. A lot of sharp character work in this issue.

5. Generation Next #1-4

This Age of Apoclaypse version of the Generation X kids has Colossus and Kitty Pryde leading the team, only Colossus is…well…not all the way there. #4 is one of the more disturbing 1990s X-Men book that you’ll read. Chris Bachalo and Mark Buckingham do the artwork.

4. The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1-4

In this mini-series, Cyclops and Jean Grey go on a “honeymoon” that really is them being sent into the future to raise a young Nathan Summers, the boy who would later become Cable. Gene Ha and Al Vey supplied the art.

3. Astonishing X-Men #1-4

One of the spotlight books of the Age of Apocalypse, Lobdell and artists Madureira and Townshend really went nuts with this dynamic series with over-the-top action and strong character bits.

2. Uncanny X-Men #303 “Motions”

In the most classic of Lobdell’s many one-off issues of Uncanny X-Men, this issue shows Jubilee dealing with the death of Illyana Rasputin from the Legacy Virus. Kitty Pryde and Jubilee’s relationship in the issue is really well handled.

1. Generation X #1-3

The students at Xavier’s new school begin to show up, but so does the mysterious Penance and the evil Emplate! Stand-out work from Lobdell, Bachalo and Buckingham.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

43 Comments

I had #10, and I liked that particular story, since it’s set in Christmastime. I don’t think I remember reading a recent comic book that has snowing and Christmas cheer.

Man, I am way off….

1. Marvel Comics Presents #21 “Let’s Just Take It From Where I Swing In and Rescue You…”
2. X-Men #Minus 1 “I Had a Dream”
3. Uncanny X-Men #309 “…When The Tigers Come at Night!”
4. Excalibur #31 “No Man Is An Island”
5. Uncanny X-Men #328 “Precipice”
6. Bishop The Last X-Man #16 “Dream’s End Part Three”
7. Uncanny X-Men Annual #17 “The Gift Goodbye”
8. X-Men: Alpha, Astonishing X-Men #1-4, Generation Next #1-4, X-Men: Omega “The Age of Apocalypse”
9. Marvel Comics Presents #101-108 “Male Bonding”
10. X-Men Unlimited #4 “Theories of Relativity”

If anyone enjoys satire of comic book cliches, I would highly recommend the Paladin story in Marvel Comics Presents #21. It is like Joe Kelly’s Deadpool, only ten years earlier.

Only one Gen X story and no High Roads? That’s sad.

I do love that Cannonball story though.

Well I was hopping for more hidden gems type stuff since I am not a real Lobdell fan. I’ve read most of this stuff and either didn’t like it or completely forgot the actual contents (not a great sign either). Oh well.

I know it’s a movie and not a comic but how can you not include Scott’s classic 2005 movie starring Tommy Lee Jones? Man of the House was ahead of its time.

Yeah that issue 303 of Uncanny pissed me off so much (as Magik was my favorite X character as a kid), but it was really a great story.

Colossus’s death at the hands of an editorial mandate to for God’s sake wrap up this Legacy Virus thing is hardly an example of a job well-done, never mind a particularly bright feather in Lobdell’s cap. Hell, the mechanics of that particular story don’t even make sense.

But as hard as I am on this particular author, I have to admit you’ve reminded me that he’s done some good work. I have an abiding affection for those AGE OF APOCALYPSE stories, and Scott Lobdell’s “quiet issues” are justly and fondly recalled as good character development.

I’ve read #s 1-7, and all were x-title highlights of the 90s. I am a little bit surprised at the lack of variation in the list… no FF, Alpha Flight, Excalibur, or any Wildstorm stuff.

And I have to say, 3 issues in, Superboy is absolutely fantastic. I’d put it in the top 10 New 52 books. Not quite as good as Batman, Animal Man, or Swamp Thing, but absolutely on par with Flash, Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Frankenstein, Action Comics, and Birds of Prey. (my #s 11-15 would be Supergirl, Stormwatch, Demon Knights, I Vampire, and Batman & Robin.)

Brian- Thanks for picking Lobdell as a subject. While he’s not a truly great writer, it’s useful to remember that he’s done a lot of good work in light of the Starfire tragedy in Red Hood, which internet commenters have completely gone off the deep end with.

The Crazed Spruce

November 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I’ve always thought that Scott Lobdell was seriously underrated as a writer. But even so, I could only come up with four specific stories to submit. (It didn’t help that I lost my comic collection in a house fire a few years back, so I couldn’t go back to reference.) I’m a bit disappointed that his all-too-brief Fantastic Four run didn’t make the cut, but at least the other three on my list (Uncanny 298 and 390, and the first few issues of Generation X) did.

This list makes me understand how my wife feels when I start talking about comics. I stayed far away from the X-titles in the ’90s (never read anything from the dead-in-Australia period till Morrison), so I basically have no idea who this guy is.

If the quality stays consistent I expect an arc or two of Superboy to show up at the top here. That book has been surprisingly wonderful.

I would have extended the #1 spot to Lobdell’s (and Bachalo, of course) entire run on Gen-X, but that’s just me.

Surprisingly close to my votes for once. Well chosen, hive mind! I even own some of the art for Uncanny #303: it’s one of my favourite comics of all time.

Good list. I also really dug his farewell Eve of Destruction arc on X-Men.

Yeah, all X stuff, huh.

I think I’ve picked up all the Age of Apocalypse stuff now, and just need to (re)read it. (ooh, wait, I need Alpha. or Omega. Or something. Dang.)

I have Uncanny 298, but haven’t read it in forever.

I didn’t realize he had written the Cyclops/Phoenix mini. Dunno who I might have thought did, though, come to think of it.

I’ll mention again the Captain Ultra story in the ’91 Marvel Holiday Special (with the Art Adams cover with the Marvel U chasing Santa), with Plant Man and stuff. It’s an amusing tale (and that is a great comic. Hmm, must read it and write a piece for Christmastime for Brian…).

What other non-X, non DC52 stuff has Lobdell done?

Ronald Jay Kearschner

November 14, 2011 at 3:22 am

Lobdell did a great job of reestablishing the X-Men as individuals, as a team, and as a family. “Mixed Blessings” was set during Thanksgiving and I still laugh thinking about Beast and Jubilee jumping through leaves Storm had just raked. The very next issue gives us insight into Prof. X and his past and the compromises he’s made with his own values. The next issue was Scott and Cable trying to connect to each other. It was the end of “Up and Around” that brought me around on Jubilee. AGE OF APOCALYSE is arguably the best realized, most coherent mega event crossover in X-Men history. To be fair, working with artists like Bachalo, Madureira, and Ha really brings a script to life.

@Travis Pelkie,

He wrote Wildcats for Wildstorm, just before Joe Casey wrote that title IIRC though someone correct me if I’m wrong. And he wrote Fantastic Four for Heroes Return before Chris Claremont’s run on that title. His Galaxy Quest comics for IDW also come to mind.

no non-marvel stuff?

his Gen13 run was also awesome sauce, but yeah this is a great selection of his best X-Men issues

The Greatest Scott Lobdell Stories Ever Told? He’s never written anything that could be called “great”. Maybe “The Least Crappy Scott Lobdell Stories Ever Told!”…..

oliverclothesoff

November 14, 2011 at 6:38 am

Drink in all of that 90′s ‘tude

Ive only ever read Red Hood by him and with only two issues in, ive yet to inform an opinion on him yet, may have to look these up.

have to admit i still have every copy of mine of every issue on this list. espically the death of Collusus for scott knew how to get into the characters heads and make them reallly show what makes them tick better. including scot and jeans crazy time travel honey moon.

Felt underqualified to vote on this one, but if I did, the “take a break” issue #297 would have probably topped my list. It was really well done, especially the last Professor/Jubilee sequence, which I think is right up there with the most moving Claremont stuff.

Uncanny X-men 308 has been on my mind a lot lately with all this Starfire controversy. He writes such a strong version of Jean there, and yet he seems to miss the mark with this new version of Starfire (though I admit I haven’t read past #1 yet of Red Hood and the Outlaws, though I plan to continue.)

I summarized/reviewed both Uncanny 297 and 303 on my blog for anyone who hasn’t read them and wants a taste. They are two of my favorite X-men issues of all time.

http://syrinscorner.blogspot.com/2011/05/x-men-marathon-uncanny-x-men-297.html

http://syrinscorner.blogspot.com/2011/05/x-men-marathon-uncanny-x-men-303.html

He is a mediocre writer that presided over a mediocre time for the X-Men. The only reason he is well- remembered is that it was a time when readership had swollen on account of Jim Lee’s X-Men #1, and lots of kids got their introduction to the X-Men around that time.

Most of the awful things that came to be associated with the X-Men began with Lobdell, or at least solidified under his watch: endless crossovers, stories where nothing happens, endlessly passive angst, overly-manipulative villains with ill-defined powers and goals, characters speaking in long speeches, editorial mandates, and the list could go on and on.

A few of those things started with Claremont, particularly Claremont’s later years, but Lobdell and co. took them to new levels, with none of the charm and genius for plotting and action and character creation that Claremont had.

I have to agree with one thing: Generation X was surprisingly good.

Seriously, am I the only one who read High Roads?

Most of the awful things that came to be associated with the X-Men began with Lobdell, or at least solidified under his watch: endless crossovers, stories where nothing happens, endlessly passive angst, overly-manipulative villains with ill-defined powers and goals, characters speaking in long speeches, editorial mandates, and the list could go on and on.

I hear you, but those things i don’t think originated with Lobdell but rather with Harras based on stories I’ve heard. Various writers who worked in the X-offices in the 90s all said that Harras had a house rule to never reveal any mysteries ever, but only to answer them with more mysteries. They also were tasked with constantly creating new mysteries and conspiracies without having any answers in mind beforehand.

Everything here is from the deepest depths of my “not touching X-Books with a 10-foot pole” years.
Even if someone were to convince me that Lobdell was a decent writer, the parade of nasty, ugly 90s art above would be a significant bar to giving his stuff a chance, and I’m usually a “writing trumps art” type of comics fan.
Covers like these turned vast swaths of the comics rack into “for the love of God, avoid” zones for a long, long time.

Where is that… gun…. thing…. coming from on that Cyclops and Phoenix cover? I can’t come up with any angle in which it could possibly be held in Scott’s hand. Is it his new artificial right leg, propped up on Jean’s back, or….?

I’ve only read two of these, but they’re the top two. Uncanny #303 was the first Lobdell story I ever read. I thought killing Illyana was an absolutely horrible thing to do, but that it was a fantastic story nonetheless. I assumed from that example that Lobdell must be a great writer, but then the next few stories I read by him were absolutely awful.
I’ve since read enough stories here and there to discover that Lobdell is only good when he writes character stories with little or no action.
Most of the Generation-X stuff I’ve seen is pretty good. Even the stories with fighting usually have some good quiet moments in them. I actually prefer the first few Larry Hama issues, though. Who cares if they don’t make much sense? It’s really fun the way a seemingly normal story just keeps turning weirder and weirder as it goes along.

@Jack Norris

Check out Superboy. The covers are awful (and by different artists), but the interior art is really wonderful; clean, expressive, interesting. It’s been easily the biggest surprise of the New 52, and one of the best overall books of the whole relaunch. It’s fascinatingly great to almost the same degree that Red Hood is fascinatingly bad.

@Buttler

That Cyclops and Phoenix cover was by Gene Ha, in one of his earliest pieces of pro-work. The art on that series was really atrocious on the characters, even while it was utterly amazing in its depiction of the future. It wasn’t until Ha’s work on the first issue of the Shade mini-series a year or two later that his style really coalesced into what it is now. But Al Vey also could have been part of the problem… I think it’s the only time I’ve ever seen Ha not ink himself.

I don’t really have strong opinions on Lobdell either way, which may be why I forgot that he did write some good comics. Generation Next isn’t something I ever would have expected to see in an X-book, and I mean that in a good way.

Can I say that Mary’s comment is a very good comment on comics, and a nice bit of balanced criticism? I especially like the bit about ” I thought killing Illyana was an absolutely horrible thing to do, but that it was a fantastic story nonetheless.” Just a great bit of talking about comics in a smart way that acknowledges the flaws but doesn’t rip the heck out of stuff.

I looked up Gene Ha to see how early that book above is, and I have a bunch of his early stuff, even his first credited book on the GCD, GL 36. Cool. But yeah, that is a weird gun and angle…

I always really liked his first Phalanx story. I think it was in Uncanny 311 to 313 (?). I always found that story to be really creepy, Gambit and Storm are on the run trying to escape these creatures that can adapt to there powers, and anyone they run into could be one of them. Very cool when Gambit drops a charged super-tanker anchor on the enemy.

Not to be a jerk or anything, but why would you comment on a post celebrating a creator just to tell everybody how terrible you think he is? If you don’t like his stuff, walk on.

Anyway, my little diatribe aside, I love Generation X. I’ve been trying to find a way to collect the entire series for a long time. Chris Bachalo may be my favorite comic book artist ever. He’s at least in my top five.

Oh my god, Generation Next depressed the hell out of me when I first read it, easily the best of the “Age of Apocalypse” titles. I think I’d have thrown in the Xavier/Magneto issue (Uncanny # 309 maybe?), “The Tigers Come at Night” or something like that? Say what you will about Lobdell, but that guy wrote the BEST version of Professor X, bar none.

Lobdell gets a lot of flack mostly for being the first real writer on Uncanny X-Men after Claremont. He doesn’t write with the scope and long-term planning that Claremont did, but his stories are always at least enjoyable, and as this list shows he does some great character study one-shots.

Plus, as T. mentioned above, there’s a good chance that a lot of the flack he gets as a writer is related to what Bob Harras was doing as editor at the time. I was very surprised when I was discussing this very issue with my brother the other day and he pointed out to me that Harras was now the editor-in-chief of DC (I don’t know how I missed that). I sure hope he’s dropped that whole “always answer questions with questions” rule, because I am trying to be cautiously optimistic about The New 52.

Wow, I gotta speak up. I’ve always been stunned at the amount of flak and vitriol spewed about Lobdell. Especially the bizarre attempts to pin trends endemic to the entire bloated comics industry of the 90′s era onto him as a single writer. Undoubtedly, Lobdell’s strong suits were the quieter, character bonding/ relationship exploration issues versus action scenes, or even realistic dialogue. But with Bob Harras’ guidance, Lobdell (alongside Fabian Nicieza) competently steered the massive ship that was the x-titles for nearly a decade (while tying off or moving forward countless storylines left behind by Claremont, and the writers of New Mutants, X-Factor et al).

Dont get me wrong, Lobdell wrote some pretty contrived dialogue, but he followed Chris Claremont (considered a master for his time on the X-Men) and to a lot of extent it was part of comic convention at the time. (Hate to break it to you kids, but Bendis’ David Mamet homage and decompression are a relatively new trend!) Despite that fact, Lobdell had a way of nailing his character’s personalities and voices. He understood the complexities of Professor X & Magneto’s relationship and the mirror images of their personalities. He conveyed Beast’s brilliance and moral certitude, Kitty’s independence and strength, Colossus’ sensitivity and emotional struggle, Storm’s wisdom and passion. (He was one of the rare male comic writers that could write women WELL and wasn’t afraid of giving them power or spotlight.) As angst-ridden as many of his stories were, they were also constantly injected with humor and defined these characters for an entire generation of x-readers and developed many of the x-characters more than we’ve seen in the 15 years since.

And when I look at the current direction of the X-Men now, I see echoes of Lobdell everywhere. Cyclops’ role as the consummate leader was furthered by Lobdell more than Claremont ever cared to. He recognized and utilized Storm’s strengths (we’re FINALLY seeing her back in the spotlight in Avengers, on the X-tinction team etc.) He saw that Colossus was more than sweet, gentle and naive but could fall prey to anger despite trying to do the right thing, and here we are w/ Juggernaut Colossus. His understanding of Magneto was far more nuanced than say Grant Morrison (one of my favorite x-writers of all time) and that’s the Magneto we see now. Lobdell was the first to really attempt to exploit and tap into Iceman’s potential as a character and a powerhouse (all but dropped til Jason Aaron picked it up again) and despite the number of attempts at “Mutant High” we’ve seen over the last ten years, Generation X is still remembered as one of the greatest and most innovative since the original New Mutants. And, let’s not forget, who brought Emma Frost into the fold from being a two-dimensional villain to one of the most established members of the X-titles?

Yes, Lobdell is associated with a LOT of AWFUL from that time. (Good God Onslaught was a blight on the history of the X-Men.) But a lot of strong ideas that have lasted into this era were Lobdell-influenced, too. Age of Apocalypse? Lobdell. The Legacy Virus? Lobdell. The Phalanx? Lobdell. Generation X? Lobdell. Credit should go to Bob Harras and Fabian Nicieza as well, but anyone who wants to paint him black and white as a horrible writer can cut the crap. For all his faults, Lobdell earned his badge.

My favorite stuff of his would probably be 5 issues run on Wild Cats with Travis Charest, Uncanny X-Men 300 and FF 1-3 Heroes Return.

i have a signeed uncanny 308 by Scott Lobdell any Values? i want to sell it

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