I went dollar bin diving again the other day, and I must say I was quite excited about the comic I ended up finding: X-Men Unlimited #15. I’ve made no secret about my fondness for Maverick over the past year or so, and his solo series from the late 90’s remains one of my favourite runs to this day. I had always read in the recap pages for that series a quick blurb about events that had occurred in a previous X-Men comic featuring Maverick and Chris Bradley but I never had a chance to find the comic, and over the years I forgot about it.
Imagine my joy, then, when I saw it in the dollar bin.
I didn’t recognize the issue immediately, instead grabbing it because Maverick was battling Wolverine on the cover (which is the exact reason I purchased Maverick #4 so many years ago), so when I opened the comic and saw the synopsis, I was quite excited. Stupidly so, even, because of my unreasonable level of enthusiasm for anything Maverick (except, maybe, his tenure as Agent Zero, but I did buy all of that anyway because… well…), because this book I just picked up for a dollar was one that I had given up looking for because I couldn’t remember the name of it. That I finally had a copy of this comic was fantastic, but after wanting it for so long, now that I have read the comic, did the story meet my expectations?
That’s a loaded question, really, but the long and the short of it is that it did. It really did.
X-Men Unlimited #15 is one of the those comics that’s a standalone story that has a little bit of a background to it, but everything you need to know is covered very well in the recap page. The standalone story featured in the comic itself, Second Contact, is in many ways a classic X-Men story. It has all the hallmarks from the anti-mutant terror, the fear of an unknown in the form of the deadly Legacy Virus, and a real human element.
It is probably one of the best X-Men comics I have read in years, and I’m sure the inclusion of Maverick has some bearing on that – for me any way – as did the price I paid for the comic, but despite my lofty expectations for this comic after finding it after twenty years, it more than met them, and not just because of the characters within the pages. As the issues comes to a close, you realize that this isn’t a comic with a happy ending, and X-Men Unlimited #15 is all the stronger for it.
As a dollar bin find, this was probably one of the best I could ever hope for; I think that it’s a good sign that I’d have willingly paid $5 or more for the issue, and had I done so, I don’t think I’d have been disappointed.
Story: Howard Mackie Penciller: Duncan Roleau
Inker: Rob Hunter Colors: Shannon Blanchard Letters: Richard Starkings
Rating: Worth A Dollar