When Marvel publisher Martin Goodman asked Stan Lee to deliver another new team book for his line of comics, he had no idea he'd be getting something like The X-Men. In fact, nobody could have imagined the extraordinary phenomenon the X-Men would eventually grow into--not Goodman, not Lee, not even the forward-thinking futurist Jack Kirby. What they started out as was a charming, ragtag team of misfits, devised by Lee and Kirby to be mutants--youngsters born with "X-tra" powers thrust upon them not by accidentally crossing paths with cosmic rays or a nuclear blast, but by the fate of birth--led by a no-nonsense professor who trained them to become heroes that could protect the world from menaces, mutant and otherwise.The first years of storytelling laid the foundation for much of what has put the X-Men at the crossroads of comics and popular culture: Hounded by a public that fears and misunderstands them, mutantkind find themselves at the heart of their own civil rights struggle; Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast, and Iceman found safety amongst themselves despite the challenges that set them apart from others in society; and Professor Xavier lined up against his ideological foe, Magneto, who had assembled a Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to take the fight for their self-preservation directly to humankind.Along the way, Lee and Kirby--who were on fire taking comics into the Marvel Age--introduced a menagerie of villains and supporting characters that would become mainstays of Marvel and its lore: the super-powered siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch; the formidable Blob; the unstoppable Juggernaut; the jungle dweller from the Savage Land, Ka-Zar; the demigod from the stars, the Stranger; and Bolivar Trask and his army of mutant-hunting Sentinels. And as Lee and Kirby gave way to new talents so they could move on to new corners of the Marvel Universe, Atlas era art veteran Werner Roth teamed with writing newcomer and future X-Men legend Roy Thomas to begin their long run on the title.Close in size to the original artworks, this XXL-sized edition features the first 21 stories of our favorite oddball super heroes from 1963-1966. The most pristine pedigreed comics have been cracked open and photographed for reproduction in close collaboration with Marvel and the Certified Guaranty Company. Each page has been photographed as printed more than half a century ago, then digitally remastered using modern retouching techniques to correct problems with the era's inexpensive, imperfect printing--as if hot off of a world-class 1960s printing press. A custom paper stock was exclusively developed for this series to simulate the feel of the original comics.In addition to these seminal tales are an original foreword by modern X-Men mastermind Chris Claremont, reliving the heyday of Lee and Kirby's foundational years, and an in-depth essay by X-Men writer Fabian Nicieza alongside original art, photographs, and memorabilia from the early years of X.Also available in a Collector's Edition of 1,000 numbered copies(c) 2023 MARVEL
"Comics -- because they involve stories of human (and superhuman) conflict and change; because they show hand-drawn pictures, with stylized faces; because they often appeal to us first in childhood -- invite identification: We read them in search of ourselves, or our future selves. These facts about comics explain -- in part -- why the X-Men became the most successful superhero franchise."-- "The New York Times"
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