The final days of the 30 day challenge are here and it is probably one of the harder ones to answer in a way. With a long lifetime of reading comics, can you really have a favorite book or run? Tastes change over the years, certain works are revisited and altered and it’s hard to really pick a particular area to stick with as your favorite. What I often find with questions like these is that its nostalgia that wins out.
I have very, very fond memories of Sandman, Swamp Thing, and Hellblazer along with a lot of other Vertigo books. I have large swathes of the Legion of Super-Heroes that I like and countless other books in far too many places over the years, as well as all the new recent discoveries.
But I will admit that I do have a run of books that, if I was in that save it from a fire situation, exists. And that’s pretty much the majority of the Chris Claremont run of Uncanny X-Men. That series, when I delved into it in the late 170 range issues in the early 1980’s, was the area that really made me a fan of the characters as it moved forward. It was also the first series that I actively collected the back issues of when I discovered my first comic book store that was part of the direct market. I spent years working backwards picking up issues, enjoying stories for the first time and discovering the connections in the present for it all. Those books laid the foundation for so many things, with Phoenix, the Brood, Forge and so many other storylines including the Hellfire Club, Starjammers and oh so much more. These books worked the mutant angle in a lot of ways to provide social commentary, the characters were more diverse and more human than other superhero books at the time and over the course of it they ended up becoming big players in things. Which was always impressive for a book that was largely a tossaway series when it was relaunched way back when and has since turned into a sprawling business of its own.
Uncanny X-Men is the series that during the Chris Claremont years, with John Byrne and without, that is pretty much my longest and favorite run of books.