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9/25 – Declarative Rabbit Says…

By the time X-Men: Legacy and Wolverine: Origins are done, every single X-Men issue from the past 45 years will have had SOME sort of sinister retcon behind it (“that time Colossus and Juggernaut fought in the bar was a plan by Wolverine to cover for the assassination of Jubilee’s parents!” or “Professor X sent Dracula after Storm to teach the X-Men a lesson about vampire protection!”)

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29 Comments

I’m probably the single worst comic book fan on this site solely because I hated Wolverine: Origin because I felt it didn’t tie in to the larger MU enough.

I think the exact quote in my head was… “You know, they really should have used Sinister. He was hanging around then.”

What the hell do you want out of me, Cronin? I was born in 1981! And got into comics right at the point that X-Men vol 2 #1 came out. I was weaned on the end of the first Claremont run.

Part of me still gets my kicks off of all this crazy comics unified string theory stuff. I seriously want Mike Carey to find a well-executed way to connect everything, and his comics are nothing if not well-executed. That would make me happy. Yes, I know. I’m part of the problem, but at least I haven’t bought a comic to be a completist in ten years. That’s got to count for something right?

This stuff is still better than “Hey, let’s retcon it so Sandman really liked sand as a kid,” I guess. Somehow it’s a lot more palatable than when they do it at DC too, probably because the original stories weren’t quite so straightforward to begin with.

And yes, I just admitted that my specific, big problem with Jenkins’ Origin is that it didn’t have Sinister in it, thereby destroying whatever small bit of credability I had left here for at least the next year.

It’s time to give the X-men a rest, They’re pretty much a worn-out franchise.

It’s time to give the X-men a rest, They’re pretty much a worn-out franchise.

Have you seen the sales figures? Creatively they may be worn out, but as long as they sell like that they won’t be given a rest. Besides, if being creatively worn out was an excuse to give something a rest, the Spider-Man line and 90% of the DC superhero line would have been shuttered long ago.

Have you seen the sales figures? Creatively they may be worn out, but as long as they sell like that they won’t be given a rest. Besides, if being creatively worn out was an excuse to give something a rest, the Spider-Man line and 90% of the DC superhero line would have been shuttered long ago.

I would like to see another All-New, All-Different X-Men– a (mostly) new roster blended with the old, with an international cast of characters one actually cares about. And while soap operatics are a big part of why the X-Men have been so popular, I wonder if the piling on of subplots that never get resolved is part of what always made it unsatisfying for me– I’d like to see something slightly simpler. Just good, character-based stories– which are completely different from character-backstory-secret-based stories.

Of course, if they ever tried to do anything like this, they’d probably just make it another spin-off by prefixing an “X” and a hyphen to a random word (X-Factor, X-Force, X-Babies, X-cetera). I think that– the “thinning” of the brand, so to speak, is what mostly accounts for my apathy towards the franchise.

It’s time to give the X-men a rest, They’re pretty much a worn-out franchise.

Gotta agree with T here. The only “franchises” that get a “rest” are second-tier and third-tier characters that only hit success every dozen years or so: Aquaman, Jonah Hex, Great Lakes Avengers, whatever.

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America… these characters always sell. They don’t get a rest. DC/Marvel may cut down the number of titles — Superman had 4 “regular” books a month in the 90s, remember, and now is down to 2 — but that’s just about the most “rest” these characters will get.

@McK:
I kind of disagree, i think those franchises like Jonah Hex actually need star-power to get out of thier D-list status, and i think that thinking like that (I.E giving unpopular franchises a rest) is a whole backward way of thinking.

I think it’s a sad statement on creativity when just about all the X-writers and editors can think of to do is retread old stories or retcon any of Claremont’s thousand or so subplots. Outside of Peter David on X-Factor, I haven’t seen anything remotely interesting or creative in years from the X-franchise…

I really, really disagree with you Andrew. I love Uncanny X-Men more than any X-book since Winnick’s Exiles and Morrison’s New X-Men. Sure, there’s the Hellfire Cult and Sisterhood of Evil Mutants as updated on Claremont’s work, but all X-books have ties to the past (X-Factor is dealing with the Summers Rebelion). I think the idea of the X-Men not as a school or a team, but as a community, is really interesting. It’s only been a few months since 500 kicked off the new direction, but I really feel Uncanny X-Men is the freshest it’s been in my life.

“By the time X-Men: Legacy and Wolverine: Origins are done, every single X-Men issue from the past 45 years will have had SOME sort of sinister retcon behind it.”

Which is just one more reason among the dozens out there to not follow the franchise. TOO CONVOLUTED.

YIKES, that has to be worst Wolverine poster I’ve EVER seen. Who drew it? He looks like an Action Figure- can he even bend his arms and legs???

As for all the conspiracies, that’s a sign of running out of ideas. When you can’t come up with good stuff on your own, you go mess with what somebody else has already done… even stuff that did NOT need any updating at all.

I kind of disagree, i think those franchises like Jonah Hex actually need star-power to get out of thier D-list status, and i think that thinking like that (I.E giving unpopular franchises a rest) is a whole backward way of thinking.

You have a valid point. Look at Booster Gold — a C-list character that, from use in 52 and his own series by superstar Geoff Johns — which has solid sales. Geoff Johns was able to work his magic on Flash, Green Lantern, JSA, and … DC hopes … Flash again, although those characters (with the exception of maybe JSA) are much more popular than Booster.

But there is really only so much “star power” to go around. Bendis, Morrison, Johns, Millar, and Ennis (etc.) can’t write every series, nor would they want to. Likewise, most superstar artists can’t do more than one book a month, if that. Even “fan favorite” writers like Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek, and Peter David see some of their projects get sunk due to lack of sales — I’d argue those three are pretty big stars, too. So companies have to relay on something else besides star power, because Dan Didio cannot hold off on projects until Geoff Johns says “hey Dan, I’d like to revamp Crimson Fox and Snapper Carr.”

DC and Marvel can’t just sell the dozen or so titles that are written and drawn by their “superstars.” Ultimately, they need to sell the reader on the character and concept — if the reader doesn’t want a sword and sorcery Aquaman, they are not going to buy it. Well, maybe if Alan Moore is writing it and Frank Quitely is drawing it they would, but you get the point.

Jonah Hex, though one of my favorite titles, is barely keeping afloat would not be in the black if it wasn’t for solid TPB sales. DC has injected some star talent on that book – Darwyn Cooke, for one — but it seems many comic book readers do not care for westerns, or at least not westerns featuring Jonah Hex. Would they if Morrison wrote an arc? Possibly, but chances are the sales will slip as soon as he leaves again, and he can’t write everything. So the next best thing is to cancel books with low sales and hope down the line someone out there comes up with a unique concept to draw new readers.

Case in point: John’s Green Lantern was doing pretty well, but really didn’t become a license to print money until the Sinestro Corps War. So while there is a large segment of fans who will follow Geoff Johns for the sake of enjoying his work, there is even more who are drawn to an “important” big event story that ended up being one of the better crossovers in recent memory. The concept grabbed even more interest than Johns.

2nd example would be Batman RIP. Again, Morrison was doing quite well on the title, although sales were certainly dropping. Now RIP has catapulted the title up the sales charts. So while we have a big group of Whorisons and Bat-fans who bought the book initially, but now the title has much more buyers because of the RIP crossover. Even look at the other Bat-titles — Robin, Nightwing, Detective, heck probably even Outsiders — all have gone up in sales because of RIP, and none of those titles have seen any sort of high-profile creator jump on the book (and fan favorite Dixon even left Robin!)

So it’s a little bit of both, but I’d sale the concept or idea is the bigger draw.

Oh my God, Wolverine is oging to push Prof. X down a flight of stairs? That bastard.

“It’s time to give the X-men a rest, They’re pretty much a worn-out franchise.”

You could easily say the same for the Avengers. Fantastic Four, Hulk, and every super-hero book by Marvel.
And DC.

” Have you seen the sales figures? Creatively they may be worn out, but as long as they sell like that they won’t be given a rest. Besides, if being creatively worn out was an excuse to give something a rest, the Spider-Man line and 90% of the DC superhero line would have been shuttered long ago. ”

That seems to be getting less and less true, as while the X-Books still run well on franchise inertia, they aren’t at the top of the charts as often. The Avengers titles seem to have replaced the X-Books as Marvel’s Golden Goose, and are the ones that attract the top talents at Marvel.

Look at the make-up of the titles; the Avengers have two books written by Bendis, and are at the center of all the big events ( Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, etc. ). They contain the big franchise solo heroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and even Wolverine himself ( taken whenever required from the X-Books, even if his role in the Avengers has never been satisfying ). They get a lot of spin-offs with the Avengers name attached, like Avengers: the Initiative, Avengers: the Illuminati, Avengers/Invaders, etc. The spin-offs also tend to sell well.

Whereas with the X-Men, we have Ellis/Bianchi on Astonishing X-Men, but that book’s been set up as the ” innocuous art book with very irregular scheduling “. Uncanny X-Men recently received Fraction and Land ( who, despite his complete lack of talent, is still a Top 10 artist ), and is refiguring itself towards prominence, but adjectiveless X-Men became a book of continuity porn solo stories starring Professor X, a book of very selective interest. X-Factor is an awesome book but not a best-selling one, and books like X-Force and Young X-Men are mostly novelties. Not to mention the fact that the spin-off books like ” X-Men: Emperor Vulcan ” or ” X-Men: Die by the Sword ” don’t have nearly the same draw as they used to.

On the bright side, the X-Books are better than they were a few years ago during Reloaded, when it was Whedon/Cassaday ( best-selling but irregularly scheduled and critically underperforming ), Claremont on Uncanny, Austen on X-Men in the midst of the audience realizing he was a terrible writer ( later succeeded by Milligan, whose work was interesting but ultimately unsatisfying ), and the DeciMation thing ruining the entire point of the X-Men concept…

“The Avengers titles seem to have replaced the X-Books as Marvel’s Golden Goose, and are the ones that attract the top talents at Marvel.”

I, for one, couldn’t be happier about that. :)

@ Mullon

Sinister beat him to it.

So does the title “Origins” pretty much acknowledge that Wolverine has multiple origins now?

I want a TPB of all the stories where Prof X regains the ability to walk, only to be recrippled by something else.

It’d sell. :)

I have to say I am sick of all the Professor X did a bad thing storylines, that seem to appear every 6-12 months since Onslaught. And Cyclops always acts shocked and betrayed each time and says he will never talk to Xavier again. The plot just keeps getting recycled. And I also don’t buy for a second the idea that we hear all the time that “Xavier’s dream is dead” or is outdated. Xavier’s dream: Mutants should protect innocent humans from evil mutants and protect mutants from persecution. The plan the X-men follow right now in their books: Mutant team that protects innocent humans from evil mutants and protect mutants from persecution. They are still following Xavier’s dream to the letter.

Morrison got the ball rolling again on X-Men. He incorporated older characters and elements while creating new characters, examining the role of mutants in larger society, and expanding the school. It’s too bad other writers didn’t have the talent to build on his foundation, rather than sweep his efforts under the rug. I hope Fraction & Co. can take the concept to new places. San Francisco being a place more accepting of mutants is a good start, so we’ll see.

“Oh my God, Wolverine is oging to push Prof. X down a flight of stairs? That bastard.”

yea and he might break his legs…wouldn’t that just be terrible?

Outside of Peter David on X-Factor, I haven’t seen anything remotely interesting or creative in years from the X-franchise…

Nobody mentioned Peter Milligan’s X-Force/X-Statix run? It started out all shock value, but developed into a strong cast of (all-new) characters that I grew really attached to.

I second that, MDV. ***Spoiler*** U-Go Girl had a lame name, but I can’t remember being genuinely sad to see a character killed as I was with her. ***End Spoiler*** The rest of the series was pretty amazing, even though it kind of started to peter out toward the end. The recent mini was fun though, even if it read mostly as a Dr. Strange adventure.

If anyone other than Bendis was writing the Avengers books, I would also be as happy as could be that the Avengers are on top in the Marvel U. Unfortunately I can’t stand any of the books other than the Initiative.

X-Force/X-Statix was a great book. The only X book I’ve read since Onslaught. It was too bad it ended when it did, but at least they didn’t try to keep it going after Milligan and Allred left.

X-Statix ended four years ago. So yeah, it’s been years…

whose that guy in the hat?

wolverine, i believe… good spotting though ford :)

I think the most artistic solution would be a strategy of “Comic Mitosis.” Have every mutant and supporting X-Character be spontaneously warped into an alternate universe where there are no superheroes. Marvel then sells this universe to another company. The increased competition between Marvel, DC, and X Comics forces them to up their game, and the Platinum Age of comics begins.

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