Uncanny X-Men is one of the most iconic comic book titles of all time. A multimedia giant, the name is even familiar to people who have never picked up a comic book in their lives. Picking just one run as the greatest in the history of this storied title is almost impossible. X-Men Epic Collection: Dissolution and Rebirth makes a strong case for having succeeded, however. With names like Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, and Mark Silvestri, the trade collects some of the most memorable moments in Uncanny history. Here are three reasons you should check out Dissolution and Rebirth.
First things first
There are so many firsts during Dissolution and Rebirth, which spans issues #248-267 of Uncanny X-Men. Psylocke goes from being the pink-haired telepath who wore a lavender cloak to the ninja assassin that fans are more familiar with. Gambit also makes his debut during this period, taking care of a physically regressed Storm. This run also marks the debut of the still awesome 1990s uniforms. Much of what people know and love about the X-Men is from this period.
Claremont is one of the best writers in comics history. (If you don’t believe so, just ask him.) Still, he had quite a task in front of him as the ’90s began — comics were becoming incredibly popular. This lead to Uncanny — which was Marvel’s most popular title — being released twice a month. This hectic schedule usually leads to a drop in quality, but that doesn’t happen during Dissolution and Rebirth. If anything, the book becomes even more interesting. Watching a vulnerable Wolverine being helped by a child, the new Psylocke figure out her powers, and an amnesiac Storm are some of the most entertaining stories in X-Men lore. Plus, an all-new, all-different team is introduced. It should be convoluted and frustrating but instead holds up today.
The art is perfect
The art in Dissolution and Rebirth is as close to perfect as can be. Along with Lee and Silvestri, Rick Leonardi, Whilce Portacio, Kieron Dwyer, Bill Jaaska, and Mike Collins all contributed during the run. There are some great action sequences and use of shadow. The covers include some of the best in the history of Marvel’s merry band of mutants.
But what the art does best is capture a mood. This is a point when the team is in a state of flux. Along with the new characters, everyone has been separated and the world believes they are dead. The look of the title captures the desperation and chaotic nature of everything that is happening. Few books are as good at visually telling a story as Dissolution and Rebirth.