Comic Review – “Essential X-Men Vol. 3”

This collection contains the material from 1979-1982. There were no major events in this period, but it’s still worth a read.

General Information

Title: Essential X-Men Vol. 3
Credited to: Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum
Original Publication Date: 2001 reprint of material first published
from 1979-1982.
ISBN: 0-7851-0661-8
Cover Price: $14.95 US, $21.95 Can
Buy from:


The continuing adventures of the world’s most popular bunch of mutants.

The Issues

This collection contains the following issues of Uncanny
145-147: Arcade and Dr. Doom work together
148: Introducing Caliban
149-150: Magneto’s return
151-152: The White Queen trades bodies with Storm
153: Kitty Pryde’s fairy tale
154-157: The Starjammers return
158: The X-Men infiltrate the Pentagon
159: The X-Men face Dracula
160: The X-Men rescue Illyana Rasputin from limbo
161: Xavier’s subconscious mind relives his first meeting with
Annual 3: The X-Men face Arkon the Imperion
Annual 4: The X-Men face a character from Nightcrawler’s past.
Dr. Strange guest stars.
Annual 5: The X-Men and Fantastic Four return to Arkon the Imperion’s

High Point

The first story arc. Dr. Doom is a great villain here, and
considerably better than he was in the early Fantastic Four

Low Point

Issue 160 felt like little more than a way to sell Tomb of

The Scores

Most of this collection was about the team running into past enemies.
The originality marks suffers as a result. It was still
interesting, as those stories aren’t spent, but I can’t justify giving
it more than 3 out of 6.

The artwork was very good, particularly in the George Perez
annual. He can pack an incredible amount of detail onto a page, and
the inker (Terry Austin) did a great job of preventing the blurring
that sometimes happens as a result. I give it 5 out of 6.

The stories were well paced and well plotted, but the
outcomes were generally predictable. I don’t mean “predictable” as in
“the X-Men win,” because that’s never in doubt, but “predictable” as
in “the X-Men will by by doing this, this, and this.” I give it 4 out
of 6.

The characterization was it’s usual high. Chris Claremont
knew these characters very well after writing them for seven or eight
years. The only aspect I’m unhappy with is the lack of character
growth in the volume. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was hampered by the lack
of surprises. The only real surprise was the introduction of Magneto,
and that was quickly undone by an attempt at a surprise that falls
flat. There were many entertaining moments, but no enthralling
moments. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow of this volume was usually decent. The mid-battle
conversations were kept to a minimum, and those were usually limited
to Storm or Cyclips shouting instructions that the others
acknowledged. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s better written than the first volume in the
series, but not as ground-breaking. None of these stories really
stand out as must-reads for X-fans, but they’re still worth reading. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Essential X-Men Vol. 3 receives 28 out of 42.