‘Giant-Size X-Men- Tribute To Wein & Cockrum’ Is A Beautiful Reminder Of Lost Legends
by Tony Thornley
CELEBRATING THE CLASSIC’S 45TH ANNIVERSARY! Forty-five years ago, a comic book came out that would change the face of Marvel Comics forever. Writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum revamped the X-Men completely, replacing the bulk of the teen heroes with a completely new international cast! The legendary one-shot took comic fans by storm and set the series off in a new direction, setting the stage for the legendary X-scribe Chris Claremont to make them the most popular heroes in the Marvel Universe!
A little over forty-five years ago an oversized one-shot changed the comics landscape forever. Unfortunately both of the main creators on the special have passed away, but Giant-Size X-Men Tribute To Wein & Cockrum is here to remind us of the lightning in the bottle created in that incredible issue.
In this issue, fifty-eight of Marvel’s top talent tackles Len Wein’s script and uses Dave Cockrum’s incredible art for the basis of an entirely unique one-shot special. It’s an incredible tribute to the issue that started a phenomenon.
If you’re a fan of Marvel Comics, you know the story. Professor Charles Xavier races around the world to gather an extraordinary team of new mutants. But why? Because six of his original seven X-Men have been captured by Krakoa, the island who walks like a man, and only the new Uncanny X-Men can save them!
Simply put this is one of the most unique single issues of a comic a reader will pick up this year. It’s not because of the format- there’s a Legion of Super-Heroes issue coming out just this week that does a very similar thing. It’s in the issue taking this artifact, a classic X-Men story that’s very good, but will always be treasured due to its place in history, and giving readers a loving tribute to two dearly departed legends.
As far as the actual art goes, it’s uniformly “good” throughout, with some pages that are great or even stunning. One problem this falls into is that the Marvel House Style is very prevalent in these pages, and while these artists are all great, it does result in many pages feeling very similar.
Where the issue stands out is when two things happen. First of all, when an artist breaks the mold a bit from Cockrum’s original, it jumps out and comes to life. The best example of that is Storm’s introduction, in which Marguerite Sauvage takes the spirit of Cockrum’s introduction and turns it into a stunning collage full of gusting winds. The others that stand out are the pages that take Cockrum’s layout and puts a unique spin on it, such as Alex Ross, Kevin Nowlan, Chris Samnee, Mark Brooks, Rod Reis, and Jen Bartel.
Also included are three wonderful interviews. One is with X-Men legend Chris Claremont who took over the series in the next issue, who recounts watching this tale unfold in real time. The other two are beautiful remembrances of the two primary creators from their widows, Christine Valada and Paty Cockrum. These interviews not only highlight the great creators, but also the struggles they had later in life after the industry aged past them.
This is a fantastic reminder of what this issue was, and is a must own for any long-time X-Men fan. And just a tip, take a picture of the credits page when you start reading. You’ll want to refer back to it many times through the course of your read.
This issue uses’s Wein’s original script, Cockrum’s original layouts and features art by Alex Ross, Kevin Nowlan, Chris Samnee, Matthew Wilson, Marcus To, Sunny Gho, Siya Oum, Stephen Segovia, Rain Beredo, Marguerite Sauvage, Carmen Carneo, David Curiel, Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo, Aaron Kuder, Jordie Bellaire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring, Juann Cabal, Federico Blee, Gurihiru, Mark Brooks, Kris Anka, Phil Noto, Valerio Schiti, Mattia Iacono, Leinil Francis Yu, Matteo Lolli, Ruth Redmond, Ema Lupacchino, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Lopez, Iban Coello, Marte Gracia, RB Silva, Jesus Aburtov, Ramon Rosanas, Joshua Cassara, Tamra Bonvillain, David Baldeon, Marcelo Ferreira, Robert Poggi, Rochelle Rosenberg, Javier Garron, Ros Reis, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, Pepe Larraz, Jen Bartel, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, Rahzzah, Marco Checcetto, Mike Hawthorne, and Clayton Cowles.
Giant-Size X-Men Tribute To Wein & Cockrum is available now from Marvel Comics.