In my ongoing quest to catch up on all of the major X-Men stories, I wanted to jump back just a bit to Essential X-Men vol 2 (ISBN 978-007851-2007-0). This collection is a massive 584 pages (black & white) and includes X-Men #120-141, Uncanny X-Men #142-144 (the same title, which just adds ‘Uncanny’ later on), and X-Men Annual #3-4. Included in this collection of amazing stories are The Proteus Saga, Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past. There’s also a cool team up with Spiderman vs. Arcade (which upon reading I realized must have been the source for the Super NES game Spiderman & The X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge).
After already having read Essential X-Men vol 1, The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past, I was initially going to skip this volume. I decided to go back, however, because it also includes the Proteus Saga, which I was unable to find collected in color. I was glad I did, not only because the Proteus Saga was a really good read, but also because it was nice to roll right into the very next issue where vol 1 left off. Having the context around all of the stories was nice.
The printing that I have has a cover price of $19.99, but I was able to find it for much, much cheaper. That’s the thing about these black & white collections – it’s disappointing having to read them not in color, but they can be found for ridiculously cheap, and are a great way to quickly catch up on some amazing stories at a great value.
In light of all this, I would definitely recommend picking this up. Although for The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past, I’d recommend picking up their full color trade paperback collections because they can still be found at very reasonable prices. While reading this collection, I actually skipped those storylines, having just read them recently.
5/5 despite being black & white because the stories are just that good!
Soon I’ll be putting together a guide to catch up on and collect all of these great stories at a decent value.