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Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, fans of the 2099 universe of Marvel Comics, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the adjective-less X-Men comic book series that first launched in 1991 and it has been quite some time since my last retro review of one of the early issues drawn by Jim Lee got published. For the newcomers reading this, my retro review of X-Men #5 (1992) had Wolverine encountering Omega Red.
With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men #6, published by Marvel Comics in 1992 with a story plotted and drawn by Jim Lee, scripted by Scott Lobdell and inked by Art Thibert.
The story begins inside a facility in Berlin. Cyclops and Beast easily knocked out the armed guards there with Jubilee following them. As they slowly walk and talk, Omega Red suddenly appears out of nowhere surprising them and hitting Beast directly on the head.
As Omega Red quickly subdues Cyclops with his coils, Jubilee tries to use her power to help her teammate. The Russian, however, unleashes his lethal pheromones into the air which weakens Jubilee. After Omega Red knocks her out, he communicates with Matsuo. It turns out Wolverine still could not be located since he escaped from them.
Elsewhere, Wolverine is being revived by someone…
Being the 3rd issue published after the departure of Chris Claremont (last work was X-Men #3), this comic book daringly continues to expand the lore of X-Men with paramilitary concepts, the further exploration of the untold story from Wolverine’s past as a special operative, and the growing threat against the X-Men posed by Omega Red and the organization that revived him. This was clearly Jim Lee’s vision and his way of modernizing the X-Men into the 1990s. It is unsurprisingly grittier in presentation when compared to how the X-Men were presented during Claremont’s time and fortunately the story was told satisfyingly.
I say satisfyingly because this comic book even made room to bring back Dazzler, Longshot and the monstrous Mojo all modernized by Jim Lee. Their insertion into the story really came out of nowhere and felt really jarring after getting myself immersed into the current X-Men story. At this point in the series, the creative team led by Lee really wanted to shake the X-Men storytelling and keep things fresh, if not interesting, for the fans. Speaking of Dazzler, the character made her first appearance way back in 1980’s Uncanny X-Men #130, was featured in her own monthly series and became a regular in the X-Men in the mid-1980s. As such, her sudden return in this comic book was pretty much an opportunity by the creative team to link the present-day X-Men with the X-Men from the mid-1980s which resulted added variety.
While X-Men #6 (1992) indeed has a more bloated narrative as more characters were crammed in, more flashback scenes and attempts to add moments of twists and intrigue, I still had fun reading it. Unlike the previous two issues under the direction of Jim Lee, this comic book requires a more concentrated reading in order to fully grasp the narrative while also paying attention to the return of Longshot, Dazzler and the others. More on the X-Men themselves, you will get to see the Blue Team in action and really struggle against the group that has Omega Red. When it comes to intriguing character moments, you will see here the start of the build-up on the respective stories of the Psylocke-Kwannon storyline as well as Gambit’s connection with Sabretooth.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men #6 (1992), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $40 while the near-mint copies of the newsstand and Toy Biz editions cost $120 and $100 respectively.
Overall, X-Men #6 (1992) is recommended.
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