Next up in my X-Men reading project is Essential X-Men vol 5. (ISBN 0-7851-1727-X) This black & white collection is 656 pages and collects Uncanny X-Men #199-213, New Mutants Special Edition #1, X-Men Annual #9, X-Factor #9-11, New Mutants #46, Thor #373-374 and Power Pack #27. There are so many different titles because the collection includes most of the very important Mutant Massacre storyline.
So for this volume, I decided to read from the beginning of the book to where the Mutant Massacre starts (Uncanny X-Men #199, New Mutants Special Edition #1, X-Men Annual #9, and Uncanny X-Men #200-209), and then jump over to the Mutant Massacre Trade Paperback, which I’ll be reviewing soon, so I could enjoy that major story in color.
So this review will cover roughly the first half of this book, since the Mutant Massacre is special enough to feature on its own. These stories aren’t major, but they do feature the Trial of Magneto and cover the early parts of his time leading the X-Men, which was a surprising turn for the story. Also featured is Nimrod, who is a major character even today, in 2019. It’s for these that I would recommend this volume if you’re catching up on the overall major stories, though I wouldn’t say they’re critical. Another plus is that, like the other Essential volumes, if you shop around, it can be found for well below the $19.99 cover price. Also, if you don’t mind reading the Mutant Massacre in black & white, having it included here is a major value.