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Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut’ is a book kids should save for later

These are not the comics that will make you fall in love with the X-Men.

It seems silly to begin this review in a deep discussion about the quality of classic comics 57 years old by deceased creators (however monumental they might be), particularly given the fact that much more notable and academic thinkers have long since analyzed these issues to death.

Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut
Marvel Comics

What I do think is important is a discussion about format, marketing, and intended audience. You see, the nine issues collected in Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut have been collected dozens and dozens of times. There have been hardcovers, omnibuses, Epic Collections, black and white collections, and even massive box sets that do the job that Mighty Marvel Masterworks does here. Hell, these stories were even reprinted in their own magazine.

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Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut
Nothing delights me more than Bobby Drake’s “Soft Little Booties”.
Marvel Comics

What makes the Mighty Marvel Masterworks series—which has been collecting all the classic major Marvel books of the ’60s—is that they are printed in slim, 9”x6” volumes, a measurement Marvel Comics has been using for their YA line of products like Wasp and Strange Academy.

Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut
Size comparison

It’s a size that the industry has, for whatever reason, agreed is the proper YA format, potentially because it’s near the format that manga popularized. It’s a neat little package, and at a $15.99 price point, it isn’t so expensive as to be prohibitive for young comics buyers.

These are classic comics marketed toward children. My advice for those young buyers—or, honestly, the older demographic AIPT serves that might be shopping for young people—is to skip the Mighty Marvel Masterworks (for now).

I think we can all agree that the Stan and Jack period on the X-Men is neither the best representation of the X-Men, nor of the men’s abilities in general. The first 19 issues of the series lack the heart and nuance of the Stan and Jack Fantastic Four, or the creative genius of later work by both men.

Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut
This is the best story in the book.
Marvel Comics

Further, the characterizations of the X-Men, and the adventures they go on, are often tedious here. Though the Sentinel saga, which ran in issues #14 through #16, has its merits for future narratives, the other villains here (the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Juggernaut, the Stranger, Mimic) are flat, disposable. The issue introducing Juggernaut feels like an exercise in delayed-gratification torture.

'Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut' is a book kids should save for later
“There’s no time for gratification!”
Marvel Comics

Which is to say that these are not the comics that will make you fall in love with the X-Men. These are comics for people who are already so in love with the X-Men that they need to know. If you’re looking to get started (or to get a young family member started), there are other books that are much better suited for the cause; hell, there are books covering this time period that are better suited.

Mighty Marvel Masterworks: X-Men (and, indeed, the rest of the format) are books meant for kids already so invested in the characters and their stories that the all-familiar Comic Book Historian gene has already triggered. They’re for completionist kids.

This book is a great investment of 16 bucks. . . but it shouldn’t be a kid’s first investment of 16 bucks.

Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut
‘Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut’ is a book kids should save for later
Mighty Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Vol. 2: Where Walks the Juggernaut
Though a truly fascinating and important piece of comic book history, Mighty Marvel Masterworks X-Men is marketed to an audience who might want something else entirely.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Classic work by a handful of comics classic geniuses.
An important slice of history.
Unintentionally *hilarious*.
Tedious to read even for the most versed of comics historians.
Doesn't capture the eventual genius of the franchise.
7
Good
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