Monday, April 6, 2009

Review: X-Men & Spider-Man 1-4

X-Men and Spider-Man 1-4, written by Christos Gage, art by Mario Alberti, 2009, Marvel, 128 pages, $19.99

Well, I won't lie to you: the art is the draw, here.

Sure, the story by Christos Gage is perfectly solid. It details four encounters between the X-Men and Spider-Man, with many years separating the events of each issue, a nefarious plot by Mr. Sinister tying them together. He wants their genes, don't you know.

And it's kind of neat to see the four-issue mini-series nimbly slide through established continuity, referencing events, plotlines, and costume changes without being weighed down or overwhelming. Gage has a good handle on the characters and makes sure to bring in some interesting baddies from the rogues galleries of both Spider-Man and the X-Men.

But as I said, if you are going to buy this, buy it for the dazzling art. This is Italian Mario Alberti's first major work on this side of the Atlantic. (He's done some covers for DC.) Prior to this, he worked on two separate series for French publisher Les Humanoides Associes, the very same publisher that Jog and Tucker Stone currently are examining with a microscope (I'm sure they'll get to him eventually).

Alberti, who does the pencils, inks, and colors, breaks out the whole toolbox here. His action scenes are terrific, using nifty perspectives:

(click to enlarge)

dynamic storytelling:

(click to enlarge)

and knockout two-page spreads:

(click to enlarge)

Though this mini-series really is just a collection of action scenes, strung together by a fun little plot that knows enough to get out of the way of the art, I liked it.

You can order the collected edition from Amazon here: X-Men/Spider-Man HC (Note: the collection's size is 128 pages because it includes a reprint of X-Men #35.)


  1. Oh man, hate to say it, but we actually won't be hitting up on the Alberti stuff--Redhand, the one he did with Busiek is going to be in this current Devil's Due publishing line, and the other one, Morgana, only saw one hardcover release back in '02, if I'm not mistaken. Sorry about that!

  2. My world has been shattered. How can you call yourselves le numéro un des fans Les Humanoides Associes?

    Oh well. But I've been enjoying the series so far.

  3. It is absolutely solid, but you are right, it's the brilliant art that makes it something you need to have. I picked it up in singles whenever I saw it on the shelf. The art was the primary draw, but honestly, it was written well enough to make me like something with Mr. Sinister in it.

  4. Tell you what. We'll add an extra, 4,000 words when we get to the Butch Guice Masterpiece "Something that Geoff Johns Wrote".

    Sound fair?