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Adventures of the X-Men: Tooth and Claw Review
Marvel

Comic Books

Adventures of the X-Men: Tooth and Claw Review

Hokey, offbeat, and so bad it’s good.

It appears the Adventures of Spider-Man: Radioactive trade paperback was holding out on us as today the additional X-Men material is being reprinted all in one collection. The magazine came out in the 90s which means these X-Men comics are practically lifted from the animated show. You can see it in the design of the characters, but also the simplistic and easy-going nature of the stories. Printed in 1994 and 1995 the series offered a wide variety of up and coming creators to write and draw stories for a younger audience (one of whom was Dan Slott!). In this new collection witness Magneto realize the error of his hatred for humanity, Wolverine gives Jubilee CPR, and so much more wacky, weird and clunky fun.

I’m not going to lie, this book is not good. But in that awkwardness lies a silly and over the top nature that’s entertaining. It’s a so-bad-it’s-good read which is due to the creators not giving kiddos enough credit and writing simplistic dialogue and stories. These stories are also very short giving the creators not much room to work. Based on the plots in these stories, the creators were going for a Saturday morning cartoon vibe so in that respect they pulled it off. I’m not sure kids these days would dig these stories–I’ve read younger kids are even watching The Walking Dead–but for a child who grew up in the 90s, it’s a fun nostalgic read.

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So what do you get in this slimmer digest-sized 128-page book? There are 17 total stories (inexplicably two are devoted to Iron Man and another two to the Fantastic Four) which deal with a variety of threats, many of which popped up in the X-Men Animated TV show. Plots involve Jubilee learning how to be a team player, Magneto being force-fed facts about humanity’s achievements by Jean Grey, Sabretooth tricking Wolverine into thinking he’s a villain when he bonks his head too hard, and the team fighting Juggernaut. Tales typically involve Cyclops being knocked out, Wolverine acting tough or annoyed, and Jubilee learning a hard lesson. In one story, for example, Jubilee is nearly drowned, but soon she’s mopping the floors in the Danger Room because when she was revived she shot Wolverine with her powers. Harsh punishment, even from Xavier and Wolverine!

Some of the stories end with the characters licking their wounds and in others, there’s a simplistic message in there for kids to latch onto. It’s all very low stakes and simplistic. Just look at how Gambit and Cyclops celebrate at the end of one of the tales below.

There are a lot of awkward beats in this book too. Magneto is forced to see humanity’s achievements (the Moon landing, the Mona Lisa, and the Eiffel Tower are a few things he’s forced to imagine) and this somehow prevents him from dropping the Brooklyn bridge killing thousands. In another, Beast talks down to Storm like she’s being weak because of her claustrophobia.

Later in the issue, she laughs it all off as if the claustrophobia was no big deal and she can move on from it. This is a strange lesson for kids and seems to suggest if you stop being a baby about serious ailments everything will turn out all right.

Somehow these cheap or bizarre character moments end up being endearing ones. You can tell the creators had the best interests for the readers and it’s somehow enjoyable to see how poorly they executed.

The art in this book is by a variety of folks which include Chris Batista, Don Heck, Francis Mao, Arti Ruiz, Wayne Arthur Murray, Ed Lazellari, Marie Severin, and Will Cypser. Aside from an awkward Beast here or a strange Cyclops visor there the look of these characters matches the cartoon very well. I could see kids reading this and thinking it was a sanctioned extension of the show.

Highlights in the book include an adventure where Mojo turns the X-Men into cartoons, the Sabretooth story with Wolverine somehow forgetting who he is, and Spider-Man teaming up with the X-Men to stop Magneto. The latter story actually popped up in Spider-Man: Radioactive but it’s nice to see its inclusion here.

This is a fun read if you can get on board with laughing at the stories and reflecting on how it does not stand up to the test of time. These stories are hokey, offbeat from what we know of the characters, and generally so simplistic it’s hard not to love them.

Adventures of the X-Men: Tooth and Claw Review
Adventures of the X-Men: Tooth and Claw
Is it good?
This is a fun read if you can get on board with laughing at the stories and reflecting on how it does not stand up to the test of time. These stories are hokey, offbeat from what we know of the characters, and generally so simplistic it's hard not to love them.
Generally the characters look spot on to their animated likenesses
Short and quick tales that'll bring you those nostalgic vibes of the TV show
So bad it's good material to be had here
Make no mistake these are not good stories
Odd that they slapped Iron Man and Fantastic Four adventures in the back
6.5
Good

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