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November 9, 2005 – Decimation: House of M – The Day After #1

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Size: pages

Story by Chris Claremont
Art by Randy Green & Aaron Lopresti
Colors by Lare Molinar with Avalon
Letters by Rob Hunter, Norm Rapmund, & Don Hillsman

Published by Marvel Comics | $3.99

As I’ve shared with before, loyal readers, I have a strong fondness for my comic book past. I was lucky enough to get into comic books in the late 1980’s, which was a good time for Marvel Comics, and before the zanyness of the 1990s. One of the big, new things when I first got into comics was the crossover. A huge story that was too big for just one title, they spread out the drama across multiple titles. My favorite of these crossovers was the “X-Tinction Agenda” across the X-Men books. It was the most trouble the X-Men ever seemed to be in, and every issue had me hanging on edge, waiting for the next one. And then the 1990’s happened and crossovers were over-used and the concept ruined.

The past 10 years or so have been spent rolling my eyes and trying to buy the minimum number of issues related with any of the crossovers both DC and Marvel have published. I wasn’t going to be suckered into buying more comics than I had to just to follow a poor crossover storyline. So what’s the relevance of this rant? Well it’s crossover season at DC and Marvel. In fact, it feels like it’s been crossover season for the past year. So when I read about Marvel’s crossover, “House of M,” I was a bit ambivalent. But the main crossover was written by Brian Michael Bendis, so it must be decent…

Well, the crossover was okay — it was good. I didn’t buy every issue though, mainly because I need to pay my mortgage too. So the crossover ended last week and now this week as I scanned my stack of books I saw that the one-shot to wrap up the “House of M” and kick off the next crossover, “Decimation.” Now, usually one-shots are throwaways, but I figured, “what the heck”

Written by Marvel’s mad monk, Chris Claremont, and art by what seems to be a tag team of artists, Decimation: House of M – The Day After #1 didn’t seem to be promising and I figured New Excalibur #1 would be my Pick. But amazingly enough this one-shot was great. The last issue of House of M addressed the conclusion of the crossover, but Decimation: House of M – The Day After #1 focused in on the affect it had on the X-Men. Further, it finally captured that aspect of the X-Men that’s been missing for almost 10 years.

You see, the X-Men are best when they are in danger. When their backs are against the wall. When the team was wiped out by a living island, when Dark Phoenix attacked, when the mutant massacre happened, when they had to hide in Austraila. It was a sense of danger and suspense that made each issue worth reading and the characters were almost always on the edge. But then Claremont left the book and we had the mess of the 90s, there was a ridiculous lack of direction and tone. And then we were blessed with Grant Morrison’s run, which you all know my feelings about. I know there have been a few times I thought that the X-Men books were back on track, so I’m not going to say that they are – but I have to say, with the events of the “House of M” storyline, the number of mutants decreased down to the low hundreds, as opposed to the millions that filled the Marvel Universe, and that is a good editorial move. It’s what the books needed. As evidenced by this one-shot, the danger is back. Oddly enough, Claremont seemed to be writing as if it was he 80s again. Of course I know it probably won’t last, but I have to say, for the first time in a while, I’m excited for this upcoming “Decimation” crossover.

Ron Richards
If I close my eyes, I can pretend its 1989.

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  1. How do you increase sales when your fanbase is stagnant-to-dwindling? Crossovers!

  2. stupid marketing…

  3. Fascinating that you can see the Empire State Building from the Delancey Street stop on the F line. (If comics still had page numbers I would reference the page).

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