New X-Men by Craig Kyle & Chris Yost

New X-Men written by Craig Kyle & Chris Yost with a whole host of talented artists listed below:

Pencils by Mark Brooks (#20-23), Paul Pelletier (#23), Paco Medina (#24-28, 30-31, 33-36), Duncan Rouleau (#29), Mike Norton (#32), Skottie Young (#37-43), Niko Henrichon (#37), Scot Eaton (#40-41), Mike Perkins (#42), Humberto Ramos (#44-46)

Inks by Jaime Mendoza (#20-23), Jay Leisten (#21-22, 38), Juan Vlasco (#24-28, 30-31, 33-36), Duncan Rouleau (#29), Dave Meikis (#32, 46), Sean Parsons (#37-38), Niko Henrichon (#37), Skottie Young (#39-43), Andrew Hennessy (#40-42), Carlos Cuevas (#44-46)

Coloured by Brian Reber (#20-36), Dave McCaig (#22), Tom Chu (#23), Marte Gracia (#23), Skottie Young (#37-38, 40-43)

This big bind contains New X-Men 20-43, some of my alltime favorite comics. When it comes to the X-Men franchise of books, I place this run somewhere around the third best run ever behind Chris Claremont’s long tenure and Mike Carey’s X-Men/Legacy run. Its that good.

Back in 2006, I was in my senior year of high school. I had gotten back into comics in 2004 but 2006 was when I went hard. I was starting to read all of Claremont’s run and the Age Of Apocalypse trades that were available as I wound down the school year. In June for my birthday I got the 40 Years Of X-Men: The Complete Collection DVD as a gift. I was absolutely in love with the X-Men. It became my favorite team in comics. I had been wanting to get into more current X-Men books, especially after reading House of M and seeing all the Decimation books coming out. It was about July 2006 and I was at the bookstore scoping out the recent X-Men trades. I spotted New X-Men: Childhood’s End Volume 1. I recognized X-23 from NYX and the internet and I really dug Mark Brook’s art. I didnt know these characters really besides what I’d read on wikipedia or whatever so I thought I’d give it a shot!

I instantly fell in love. I’d never seen a young team of X-Men that really spoke to me like this. I’d never really bought the old Uncanny team as a bunch of young students. The very few New Mutants and X-Force issues I’d read didnt really resonate with me. This team was a group of mutants that were my peers! It was an incredibly exciting hook to get me addicted. Seeing a group of characters go through all the teen angst that I was going through but at the Xavier Institute in the Marvel Universe? You wouldnt be able to pitch a better book for me at that age!

I scooped up the next trade come August and I read and reread them like crazy. I can vividly remember one night my Mom needed a ride to the airport at around 4 AM in the morning so me and my girlfriend decided we’d just stay up all night until we had to take her. I can remember sitting there around 1 AM switching between this New X-Men and Grant Morrison’s New X-Men while I blathered on to my girlfriend about how cool these comics were as we tried to not fall asleep.

The best Comfort Food Comics are the ones that hit when you needed them to. All the hardships and adversities this team faced while they were forced to grow up directly mirrored me entering adulthood and going to college. I started buying all of the X-books monthly one Mike Carey and Ed Brubaker relaunched Uncanny & Adjectiveless X-Men in September 2006. Each month, New X-Men continued to raise the stakes for these poor kids while pitting them against The Purifiers, Weapon X and even Nimrod. The teens felt real, the dialogue on point and the stakes were always super high as no character was safe from death or traumatic change. The book felt important, it felt essential. During that time it was doing the classic X-Men chaos while delivering all the needed soap opera antics. It was pure X-Men comics, the kind you could only dream about.

In New X-Men 37 the book is kicked into high gear and becomes something extraordinary as Quest For Magik is started and Skottie Young joins the title. His beautiful, innovative art style transforms the book into a work of art. It gets even better in New X-Men 42-43 but I go way more in depth into those issues here.

Its there however this custom bind stops. New X-Men would continue on into the exceptional X-Book crossover Messiah Complex for issues 44-46. Little did we all know however, that was it. The book ended there suddenly and this team, this amazing cast of characters were scattered to the winds, taking up residence in other future books or rarely, if at all, used in the coming decade. Marvel launched Young X-Men soon after as this book’s successor but that is one of the worst comics I have read and dont wish them on anyone. Avoid it at all costs.

It’s bittersweet because this run was so good but only got to exist for a couple years. Thankfully, I’ll always have my memories of it and now I’ll always have this big custom bound hardcover of it all. This was and will always remain “my” generation of X-Men. I feel like I grew up and “graduated” with them. These characters, this run is extremely special. I reread it just about every year and it just fills my soul with unparalleled joy and love.

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