Even though “X-Men” is on the cover of the It’s Always Darkest before the Dawn Epic Collection, you won’t find any issues from the famed series inside.
Instead, readers will find a number of guest appearances and crossovers that took place throughout the early 70s, and the original adventures of the furry, blue Beast.
Hank McCoy’s transformation in Amazing Adventures #11-17 takes up the majority of the collection (after all, he is battling Juggernaut on the cover), followed by a number of one-shot appearances and origins, including Wolverine’s often-reprinted debut in The Incredible Hulk #180-182, and the first appearance of future mutant detective, Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man, in Giant Size Fantastic Four #4.
Other gems include: Iceman’s misunderstanding with a future “Amazing Friend” in The Amazing Spider-Man #92, “Ole’ Jade Jaw’s” tussles with Havok, The Beast, and The Juggernaut in The Incredible Hulk #150, 161, and 172, Spidey’s team-up with the original X-Men against Morbius and a natural rivalry between The Human Torch and Iceman in Marvel Team-Up #4 and 23, and another team-up with Cap, The Falcon, and the original squad versus “the Secret Empire” in Captain America #172-174.
X-Men members also assist other Marvel teams in Avengers #110-111, taking on the Master of Magnetism himself, Magneto, and Professor X lends a hand against Magneto, The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and Alpha: The Ultimate Mutant in The Defenders #15-16.
Top Marvel Bullpen talent from the 1970s represented in the Epic Collection include Steve Englehart, Len Wein, Gerry Conway, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin, Mike Friedrich, Tony Isabella, Chris Claremont, Sal Buscema, Tom Sutton, Herb Trimpe, Gil Kane, Don Heck, John Buscema, Bob Brown, Jim Starlin, Vince Colletta, Mike Esposito, Jack Abel, Frank Giacoia, John Romita, Syd Shores, Mike Ploog, Jim Mooney, John Tartaglione, Frank McLaughlin, Steve Mitchell, John Severin, Sal Trapani, Klaus Janson, Chic Stone and Joe Sinnott.
X-Men: It’s Always Darkest before the Dawn Epic Collection consists of 512 pages for a suggested retail price of $49.99.
Check out the cover by Jim Starlin and Frank Giacoia below and stay tuned to Conskipper for all of your vintage comic needs.