X-MEN: THE HIDDEN YEARS #1-5 (1999-2000)

This series, with John Byrne both scripting and doing some of the art, takes place during X-Men #67–93, when the title was on reprints.

The ’90s had several “gap filling” books like this. The quality was unreliable, but at least this one has John Byrne so…It’s pretty good. Albeit complicated as all heck. But then, so was Chris Claremont’s X-Men.

These initial issues have the team crashing into the Savage Land taking on Magneto’s mutates, picking up after X-Men #66–the series’ final issue before its extended reprint period. It’s fun. It’s hard to argue against dinosaur fights.

The story introduces Avia, a mutant (not a mutate) born in the Savage Land who rescues Angel after his plane crashes.

Angel crushes on her. She’s part of a winged race that works with the X-Men during the story. The race all have wings, but Avia looks different from them (she’s hotter), which makes her a mutant.

At the close of the Savage Land story, Avia goes with Angel and the X-Men.

We’re in the Savage Land, so of course there’s Ka-Zar. Also, curiously, Lorna takes the name Magenetrix.


And we learn the origin of Beast’s epithet: “Oh my stars and garters!”

As they are escaping, the team members get separate.

Beast lands in Africa.

Storm appears in the final panel, but we’ll cover that next post.

Also, Iceman has his own adventures during this story because he is separated from the team and is trying to work his way up to Antarctical to join them.

1 thought on “X-MEN: THE HIDDEN YEARS #1-5 (1999-2000)”

  1. “C+”-???-!!! Really-???? A “C+”-???? The absolutely, inarguably, hands-down BEST ‘X-Men’ material that the “House of ( running out of ) Ideas” publishes in the eighteen years since Byrne ( rightly ) bailed on that series, and all it rates is a paltry “C+”-???? Horrors!!! “The Hidden Years” was Byrnes’s passion-project, dating all the way back to the 1970’s- it just took him twenty-five years to convince Marvel to greenlight it, since the “New” X-Men were doing so well, and the editorial mindset was two radically different teams of X-Men would create too much commercial confusion with the readership. Byrne once mentioned in an interview that he wished he had gotten that one into writing, at the time. Byrne’s baby hit all the right notes which made the X-Men’s Neal Adams period ( 1969 ) so memorable, not the least of which was the incomparable artwork, and the ultra-sexy costumes sported by it’s cast, particularly, the Beast, ( so naturally it had to be disposed of when the Beast won his solo series in ‘Amazing Adventures’ ) the ‘Marvel Girl Mini’, Polaris/”Magnetrix” ( snicker-snicker- a pure nightgown!!! ) Havok, sporting the most revolutionary and sophisticated super-suit ever devised, ( and it’s functional!! ) and, of course, the Angel’s classic blue-and-white ensemble- the most attractive super-suit ever designed for a male character!!! The Neal Adams Era X-Men gave us all of this wonderfully sexy and sophisticated superhero fashion, and Byrne’s “Hidden Years” Era inherited it!! It is noteworthy to mention that neither of these two eras lasted very long-naturally. Compare these outfits with what the “New” X-Men had on just six years later- the vast majority of them were nothing but simply generic, stock superhero suits, with Thunderbird’s ( who lasted a grand total of three issues ) and Storm’s outfits being the exceptions. ( of course, Storm would be hot in a Granny-cotton floral-print dress ) Speaking of Storm, even though at the time, I was hoping that Byrne/Marvel would refrain from the obvious temptation of having Storm and Wolverine appear in this series, ( just KNEW that Wolverine was coming ) I found myself not minding the relatively-brief appearance of the beautiful wind-rider so much, after all. Probably because A) I have become a late-inning fan of hers, and B) She is back in her original, semi-naked state here, although Byrne does go to rather absurd lengths to prevent the readership from drinking in her luscious, nude body. We still had the Comics Code Authority back in those days, and, even though normally I appreciate that the CCA was ( and still is ) necessary, I feel it worked against us in these two issues, because I really can’t understand why anybody anywhere could be offended or concerned with the sight of Storm’s beauty. I’m not saying that she doesn’t need a super-hot costume-she does, and the late, great Dave Cockrum saw that she got it- but the part of the world where Storm comes from- equatorial Africa- embraces nudity for reasons of practicality, and for Marvel to, at times, bend over backwards to avoid/ignore Storm’s proclivity for exhibitionism is just downright annoying. Perhaps, in the future, Marvel will progress to the point where this problem will be overcome. It doesn’t have to be Larry Flynt-“Hustler”-level nudity, just something that doesn’t insult the readership’s intelligence. Why not-?? After all, the Comics Code Authority HAS been retired!! So, why not some comics which reflects the maturing tastes and age-demographics of it’s readership??? If the “funnybook” industry is to survive into the 21st Century against all of it’s considerable competitive forms of entertainment, then I just do not see how this is going to be avoidable. I will draw the line at gratuitous profanity, ( we don’t want to turn comics into a “hip-hop joint” ) but the human body is a thing of beauty, and it should be celebrated in comics, not mistreated as something to be avoided. Well, that’s my soapbox for now. More on “X-Men: The Hidden Years” as this column continues to review it. Nuff said!!!


Leave a Comment