Mutant Massacre, the title of a classic X-Men crossover, sounds dark and violent…and it is. Pointless murder, defeat, and critical injuries all occur. But it’s less about that and more about fighting to overcome such darkness, no matter how bleak the situation gets.
We don’t see graphic images or gore (it was a more kid-friendly era of comics). But, particularly in Uncanny X-Men #211, we do see the X-Men risking their own lives to protect the innocent Morlocks from the vicious Marauders, and doing so despite their own preexisting injuries. Things actually go pretty poorly, and how they handle defeat shows us how heroic the X-Men truly are.
It’s one of their worst days, but because of the goodness they demonstrate along the way, we continue rooting for them. A fine example of how to balance hope and darkness.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Pencilers: John Romita, Jr. and Bret Blevins
Inker: Al Williamson
Cover: John Romita, Jr. and Bob Wiacek
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in X-Men: Mutant Massacre (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 11 and up