Adventures of the X-Men: Clear and Present Dangers is a reprint of the Adventures of the X-Men comic book series from the 1990s. This collection contains Adventures of the X-Men, issues 1-6 and Adventures of Spiderman #3. The comic series was originally named X-Men Adventures and was comprised of comic adaptations of the 90s animated series, X-Men: the Animated Series. The name changed to Adventures of the X-Men in 1996 with original stories not based on the cartoon, yet still in line with its continuity. The creative team was writers Ralph Macchio and Nel Yomtov, pencilers Ben Herrera, Mike S. Miller, Alex Saviuk, and Roberto Flores. It is exactly what you think of when it comes to 90s Marvel comics: bright colors, explosions, and Wolverine kinda being a jerk.

The storylines in Adventures of the X-Men: Clear and Present Dangers do not create an arc of any kind. Instead, the stories are all separate encounters that don’t really play into each other. The first two stories are about tangling with the Incredible Hulk. Logan runs into him on a camping trip, they get in a fight, get captured by X-Factor and taken to a secret military Hulkbuster base; a villain called The Leader then kidnaps the Hulk. The X-Men get involved when they stop by to pick up Wolverine. They thwart The Leader’s plan and set the Hulk free.

The next two stories feature Spider-Man and an orphan named Adam who has been gifted with the mutant power of pyromancy. Gambit and Beast were stopping by the orphanage to check on the young man when a mob scene occurs because of Adam’s mutant existence. Spidey helps break it up and they take Adam to the lab of Curt Connors. The villain Mr. Sinister kidnaps Adam so he can study him. Gambit, Beast, and Spider-Man rally and save the day. The next story is a one-off about an elder god showing up at Salem Center, New York. Cyclops discovers the plot while riding on Wolverine’s motorcycle, and calls the X-Men in to help quell the monsters.

The final two stories have monologuing villains Magneto and Apocalypse trying to outwit each other. Apocalypse tricks Magneto into thinking the Russians brought down his home. Magento overreacts by breaking into a nuclear facility and launching missiles at the United States to start WWIII. Nick Fury calls the X-Men in to deal with this quietly since Magneto is usually their problem. Once Magneto realizes he’s been tricked, he and Scarlet Witch go along with the X-Men to stop the nuclear missiles. Magneto does let one missile land in the middle of the Nevada desert, which is Apocalypse’s headquarters. The day is mostly saved (unless you’re Apocalypse).

Overall, I wouldn’t say this is a must-have for a library collection. If you’re looking for filler superhero comics for a children’s and/or middle grade graphic novel collection, then this is a good pick. It’s like someone took Silver Age comics and 90s comics and threw them in a blender: lots of dialogue and explosions. Macchio and Yomtov try too hard to evoke Chris Claremont’s verbal style without the characterization depth. Everyone comes off as two dimensional with a lot of monologues. The reader never has to guess how anyone feels because there’s a wall of text to tell them.

The art is better in some places than others. For example, the kids at the orphanage had this weird art style, like Herrara was trying to marry the manga style of the 90s with the Marvel house style. The superheroes look fine though, which was an odd contrast. The coloring is very bright, which isn’t surprising; since this is comic series that spun off from an established cartoon, it’s evoking that style with the inks. It’s an enjoyable read if you don’t think too much about it.

Adventures of the X-Men: Clear and Present Dangers
By Ralph Macchio and Nel Yomtov
Art by Ben Herrera Mike S. Miller and Alex Saviuk
ISBN: 9781302917968
Marvel, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: (7-10)

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NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)

  • Mary N.S. Richardson

    Past Reviewer

    Mary N.S. Richardson is the Adult Services Librarian at the Cragin Memorial Library in Connecticut where she is building an awesome graphic novel collection! She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Georgia and an M.L.I.S. from Kent State University. Mary is the chair of the Graphic Novel Roundtable for the Connecticut Library Consortium. She has been reading comics since she was a kid and is a huge X-Men and Batfamily fan.

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