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You Decide: Which X-Men Character Would You Like to See Get an Ongoing Series?

With Cyclops, Magneto and Nightcrawler all getting ongoing series this year, we figured it’d be interesting to see what other longtime X-Men character who hasn’t had an ongoing series that you’d like to see get one.

Read on for the choices…

NOTE: I forgot that Bishop had his own ongoing series back in the late 1990s (I don’t count Mutant X as a Havok ongoing series).

23 Comments

Bernard the Poet

March 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I can’t believe Bernard the Poet wasn’t one of the options. Sheer madness.

To me, the X-Men all feel pretty much like ensemble players. They are interesting, but flawed and/or limited enough that an on-going solo title is pretty big stretch. I’d include Wolverine in that judgement. He is great character, who is less interesting without the rest of the X-Men to bounce off.

The exception is Kitty Pryde. She was the character that Chris Claremont fell in love with after her got Phoenix taken away from him. Claremont’s original vision was to build Jean Grey into Marvel’s Wonder Woman. That is what gave the Dark Phoenix saga its tragic feeling: Claremont didn’t want to kill her.

Anyway, that energy went into Kitty and he really heaped virtue on top of virtue with her. She might actually be better suited to a setting that gives her some more room.

Pixie

Kitty is little Mrs. Perfect, what would her ongoing even be about. The disadvantages of being a gorgeous supergenius ninja X-men teacher who saves the world in her spare time?

Logan is the only X-Men with the history and the malleability to carry an ongoing, the rest are role players.

To me, the thing that makes Wolverine interesting is seeing him bounce off the rest of the X-Men. Never been interested in Logan’s ongoing.

I’d go with Nightcrawler but you know without Claremont. Nightcrawler was by far my favorite X-man but I can’t stand Claremont’s writing.

@ Jeremy:

Less flawed characters play better in solo setting, whereas more flawed characters are better in team settings. It is basically the Iron Law of Reality TV. The more characters that get packed in, the bigger their personalities have to become to stand out. Solo characters have more room to breathe and, therefore, small flaws seem like a bigger deal.

Consider Spider-Man as an example, Peter Parker just is not the flawed. He is brilliant, kind to his elderly Aunt, hard working, catnip for the ladies and has a great sense of humor. Shrink him down to a couple pages and he becomes pretty boring. What makes him amazing is seeing his small flaws get their full measure of consequences (and then some).

The Mirrorball Man

March 13, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Mer-Max.

None!
I want less X-men titles. Not because they are bad, but because I can’t afford to buy em all, and don’t have time to read em all. And that is annoying.

I agree with Pelle. too much titles = lack of focus. Especially that each title has practically the same cast.

I’d argue that Storm would work well in an ongoing solo title, not least because she’d have her flaws explored a bit more almost by default. Like, how does someone who was worshipped as a goddess, married to a king, and been part of a mutant underground live her life outside the X-Men? What would she be like around a relatively “normal” supporting cast?

I actually like the idea of solo Storm better than team Storm for those reasons. She’s a character who belongs to a lot of really incompatible worlds, and rather than glossing over that to make her The Strong Wise One, it’d be interesting to me at least to see how she reconciles these different experiences and what her self-perception really is.

Kitty is a great character *in* the X-Men, though I’ll admit I don’t have the deep affection for the character that 99% of X-fans do, but….well, she’s mostly built to bounce off of more esoteric or more visibly flawed types as the voice of reason or the ingenue. In pretty much every story, she’s the grounded character who lets the reader see all the weird, wild stuff through her eyes. Her power is generally a passive and defensive one, and she’s also the hacker character, which almost always means “supporting cast in an ensemble” what with all the sitting around at keyboards it entails. As a solo character, she needs to generate plots, not respond to them; and she needs to be able to go out and *do* stuff.

I also don’t feel like she’s a character who actually changes all that much, even with all the wild stuff that’s happened to her. Possessed by an undead ninja? She just becomes Kitty Pryde with martial arts skills. Becomes the heiress to the Soulsword? She’s just Kitty Pryde with a new, situational power. Moves to England and spends ages bouncing through parallel worlds, oftens eeing alternate versions of herself? Same old Kitty Pryde. She’s a reassuringly stable presence, but that’s not really a good solo protagonist, is it? Warren Ellis arguably tried to shift the character a bit, but none of that has really stuck, and latter writers to have solidified Kitty as a character whom life simply doesn’t affect all that much.

Kitty Pryde isn’t a bad character, but she’s a very purpose-built character, and definitely not one who I can see as a solo type. There’s a reason virtually every one of her miniseries pairs her with an exoticized male character like Logan or Pete Wisdom, and the one that didn’t — Mekanix — is the one most people don’t remember all that well.

Kitty is the clear choice here. Get Paul Smith to at least do the covers, that would be awesome!

Now that Magik and her are on the same side, they should have a buddy book where they catch up. Also, bring Lockheed too.

Maybe one of those vacations, where they stumble onto something that they have to deal with.

Screw these choices, give Jubilee another ongoing.

Why is this an all or nothing situation? It seems like there is the solo camp and the whole ensemble camp. Why can’t there be a pairing of two X-men characters for a series? Kitty Pride and Nightcrawler? Logan and Iceman?

@ Omar Karindu:

What you are describing as a problem, I see as virtue. You do not want a protagonist in an open ended, or even long-form, narrative to be hugely effected by events. A lot of stuff has to happen to your lead and if they are constantly changing, then you run the risk of breaking the story-telling engine (or going full Soap Opera). Consider the greatest shows from another medium, TV:

Breaking Bad famously turned Mr. Chips into Scarface, but Walter White changed in a very measured way. The guy changed, but consistently in one direction. The finale was (ummm … spoiler alert) all about how happy he was with the change despite the consequences.

The Sopranos was pretty much built around the idea that Tony Soprano would be the same sociopath until the day he died. Not even the best efforts of Dr. Melfi were going to change that. That is why it felt tragic.

<Mad Men was a great series through five seasons that flew of the rails a bit when it changed the direction Don Draper’s long arc in its Sixth Season. It had lots of great supporting characters that changed tremendously (notably Peggy Olsen), but the show felt weirdly inconsequential once Don stopped being James Bond plus Michael Corleone. Buffy changed the least of the core cast of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and when she did change it prompted a fatal decline in the show. This also applies to when Michael Bluth changed in the Netflix season of Arrested Development.

Twin Peaks had Agent Cooper as the same zen weirdo in episode 1 as the finale. The same dynamic largely held true for the co-leads of Mulder & Scully in The X-Files.

The central character of a long-form narrative can change very, very slowly. The character of an open-ended narrative can change scarcely at all. That isn’t true of a genuine ensemble piece. The Wire lacked a real central character. McNulty started in that role, but moved back as the series rolled along. Notably, he changed the least of the leads. Game of Thrones went so far as to kill of its least mutable lead.

To me, that is why a property like the Justice League (or The Avengers) is so cyclical. It built around characters that are designed to be central to their own books and are, therefore, not overly changeable. From time-to-time, someone will come up with a fresh approach (e.g. comedy, metafiction) that doesn’t depend on drama to work. However, once that person leaves …

The dynamic that I described above is what made the Haney-Aparo Brave and the Bold and the recent cartoon adaptation so much fun. Batman was utterly fixed, but the all bets were off with the guest starring co-lead.

The fact that Kitty is currently leading shocks me. I love Kitty. She’s my favourite comic character. But Storm deserves a solo title. She’s probably Marvel’s most famous female character, and most famous black character, and probably the second most famous X-Man. She’s got a whole ton of things in her backstory that could be used for story hooks – the thievery, the mystical heritage, the worshipers, and that all comes from before her X-Men days. Since then, she’s gotten the friendship with Yukio, the marriage to Black Panther, the ties to all sorts of various heroes and villains.

There’s a huge variety of stories that could be told with Storm. And she’d still be able to hang out with the X-Men from time to time, same as they show up in Wolverine’s solo titles.

I wouldn’t mind a Kitty solo. Get a decent writer on it, and I’d almost certainly buy it. But Storm really should be the next one to get a solo. Preferably written by Kathryn Immonen, because she needs another ongoing.

Though I wouldn’t be surprised if the next X-Men solo is an Iceman ongoing written by Jason Aaron. It’s clear that Aaron loves Iceman, and it’s also clear that the X-office has no interest in giving ongoing solos to female characters.

DIdn’t Bishop have an ongoing? Granted, it was killed early, but I’m fairly sure he’s disqualified on the “never head an ongoing” technicality.

I’m thinking that both Psylocke has become rather mixed up over the years.
Maybe, if she had their own series the creators could sort out who she is, etc.
(Alan Davis couldn’t even get a clear agreement as to whether Betsy looked Chinese or Japanese [and NO, they do not look the same])
In team books there doesn’t seem to be enough space to untangle the mess of her life/lives.

..and Polaris could use the same assistance with the whole is she or isn’t she the daughter of Magneto and is she Zaladane’s sister, etc.

Greetings all! Long time reader, first time call-um…writer! I have been reading the comments here and have seen some interesting opinions. My personal pick would be Polaris – not that I think she has been developed as a character to warrant a solo series, but because I think there is a wealth of possibilities to explore with the character that have not been used. For instance, Professor X and Magneto posses vast powers, they’re arguably the strongest mutants on earth, Charles can literally make people do whatever he wants (he just chooses not to), while Magneto can reshape landscapes, obliterate armies, and take the guns from people’s hands and turn them back on them. Lorna also posses this power (she’s very much akin to Storm who is usually portrayed as a primal force of nature – an elemental) yet, she has a different temperament. From a young age she dyed her hair to conceal the fact that she was different, then she joined the ranks of the original X-men under the guidance of Xavier. I think she is the perfect embodiment of the “Magneto that could have been” or at least she has the potential for that. An interesting interpretation of Polaris was seen in Wolverine and the X-men where she was shown to be more sweet and innocent than Wanda or Pietro, but by the time they rolled around to their interpretation of Days of Future Past (I forget the episode names) she had gone a bit mad with loneliness, showed the ability to assemble a malfunctioning sentinel with feelings, and, after showing some compassion and let Wolverine and the other heroes go their way, showed up at the end to put five across the face on Master Mold. That would be a character I would like to see explored, someone with convictions, but still burdened by insecurities – someone with strength, but unsure how to use it – and a woman who is very much her father’s daughter, who is deeply affected by the injustices of the world and actually posses the strength to do something about it (traits that defined both Xavier and Magneto – the strength to do something, not that their the father’s daughters – OR ARE THEY?!) Lorna needs to form her own damn team and show these whiny mutants just how it’s done. Also, it’s a hot female Magneto with GREEN HAIR! What’s not to love? Anybody?

P.S. To any Marvel Legends collectors out there: What hasn’t Polaris gotten a MotherF@#$%^&* figure yet???

Andy, Bishop did have his own ongoing as did Havok in the spectacular Mutant X

That was a tough decision. My first instinct was to go with either Kitty or Colossus, with Psylocke as a dark-horse third. Kitty seems to be the clear favorite, and doesn’t need my vote. The more I think of it, the more I realize that I don’t want a Colossus series now, I want a Colossus series 15 or 20 years ago. So I went with Psylocke.

All three have been favorite characters of mine, but Psylocke is the only one who I’ve only become MORE interested in recently, due to the fantastic way she’s currently being used in Brian Wood’s “X-Men”.

Have Chris Claremont write all these series. What original stories does have left to tell that don’t fall into the line of parody.

Nightcrawler will BAMF his way across 20 plus pages at 3.99 and no ads. We can have Nightcrawler secretly be Mystique’s own father while she is his mother simultaneously.

Chris can do things he never could do during his original run like kill off a major character like Wolverine. Or have one character be a running joke like Slaymaster. Seriously, he gouged people’s eyes out dimension hopping from universe to universe that was what this version of the character did at one point.

All of this happens in a period of 13 years by the way. I totally believe it.

Other than this being a contractual clause set by Marvel to work exclusively for them and not other publishers? Claremont needs to be in a home or have someone ghostwriting for him to avoid further embarasment.

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