Next up on my X-Men Reading Project is Bishop’s Crossing. It’s ISBN 978-1302901707, which is 352 full color pages and collects Uncanny X-Men #281-293 and X-Men (series 2) #8.
The good thing about this collection is that it bridges much of the gap between the big stories The Muir Island Saga and X-Cutioner’s Song.
I did enjoy the stories and art in this collection, especially because I hadn’t read them before, and because they lead up to shortly before where I’d first started reading the X-Men in the 90’s as a kid.
Would I say this collection is essential? Well, it’s much like the Dissolution and Rebirth collection I recently reviewed, in that it spans the time between bigger stories. If you’re just sticking to the big events, you could skip this one. Just be aware that Bishop is introduced and added to the team, so in the next story he’s right in on the action. So I’d say it’s optional, though it introduces a main character.
One other thing to note is that this is the beginning of the Blue and Gold strike teams. Uncanny X-men mainly featured the Gold Team, and you get to see the beginning of that here, which is also pretty cool. The Blue Team was featured in the new ongoing book which launched at the same time, X-Men (series 2), which can start to get a bit confusing. At any rate, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men ran together from this point for quite some time, complimenting each other as they mainly featured the two teams.
In conclusion, I’d check this collection out if you’re looking for a more detailed run of the X-Men between major storylines, and while nothing terribly critical occurs that would be necessary for future stories, the art, stories and characters are all good.