May. 6th, 2004

jakebe: (Default)
About two or three months ago, before the release of the final chapter in New X-Men's "Here Comes Tomorrow" story arc, I learned that the writer for several years and person solely responsible for getting me back into comic books was jumping ship. Grant Morrisson would not only be leaving New X-Men, he was headed for DC Comics.

And lo, a dark period emerged for the X-Men line; without a clear flagship and no Morrisson to set the standard for the rest of the writers, it looked like I would probably start to fall away again. When it was revealed that *Chuck Austen* was taking over New X-Men, my eventual disinterest was pretty much assured.

But hark! there was great news! In the back pages of all their X-titles in April, Marvel revealed a little stunt called "Reload": a major overhaul of their entire X-Men line. *Four* new titles debuting (well, technically three, but we'll get into that later), and new writers for just about every comic. Naturally, this is something to get excited about. When I learned the *details*, I nearly fell over with glee. Not every decision they're making is a good one, but the X-Universe is guaranteed to remain interesting for a little while. :)

+ Astonishing X-Men (Joss Whedon, writer): The new flagship for the X-Men is this brand new title, and probably the one to get most excited about. JOSS WHEDON writing X-Men?! Holy crap, this is a dream come true! :) Emma Frost and Cyclops reform the X-Men and rebuild the school, with the 'promise to astonish'. While Cyclops seems a little astonishing-challenged, I'm pretty sure Emma will pick up the slack and make good. And with Whedon writing, how can there be much doubt?

+ X-Men (Chuck Austen): "New X-Men" drops the "New" from its title, and Chuch Austen stays on. I'm not a terribly big fan of Austen's writing style; the storylines are all right, but the dialogue itself is uninspiring and filled with cliches. The characters reek of daytime soap, and though once in a while Austen doesn't pull a punch mostly it's all very...predictable. Of the four 'main' X-titles, this is the one I'll probably drop first (unless it has Hank McCoy).

+ Uncanny X-Men (Chris Claremont): Fresh off completing the run of "X-Treme X-Men" Claremont takes over for Austen in this comic. I was never a really big fan of Claremont, but I'm definitely willing to give this a go. As the fellow who'll probably set the standard as far as title continuity goes, I'm looking forward to see where he takes this.

+ New X-Men (Nunzio DeFelippis/Christina Weir): This is a concept I've really liked ever since they started hinting that yes, there *were* students in this school. The last of the main X-titles focuses entirely on Xavier's student population, with most of the characters from "New Mutants" coming aboard and mingling with quite a few of the characters introduced in Morrisson's run. Unlike "Generation X" and "New Mutants," there's the promise that they'll keep focused on the school and not let it become a "Teen Titans" of the X-titles, but...we'll see. :)

+ Excalibur (Chris Claremont): This title looks *good*. Free from his responsibilities as headmaster of the school, Xavier stays on the island of Genosha with the hopes of rebuilding it. The clash between Magneto's loyal and Xavier's new vision is bound to be immediate, and there are hints at the story taking a major twist *away* from Xavier by the end of the year. Of all the concept titles, I like this one the best.

+ Exiles (Tony Bedard): I haven't been keeping up with this, mainly because I had no idea who was in it or what it was about...but once I did a little digging, I was immediately intrigued. Characters from diverging storylines converge as a ragtag band of mutants hopping realities and looking for a way 'home'. Or, "Quantum Leap" with superpowers. Tony Bedard takes over for Chuck Austen, guaranteeing a rise in writing quality, and once you throw in Morph, Blink (from Age of Apocalypse) and a special appearance by the Beak for the next three issues, my patronage is assured. :)

+ District X (David Hine): First time writer David Hine writes this "Marvel Knights" title. Bishop headlines a gritty band of street-tough mutants. It looks kind of interesting, but Bishop never really grabbed my attention and, well, just because something is 'gritty' doesn't mean it's good.

There are other X-titles that will continue on as normal, like "Mystique," "Wolverine," "Emma Frost," "Weapon X," the new "Cable and Deadpool," and the mildly intriguing "X-Statix," which I've boycotted for the sole reason of having the tactlessness to include Princes Diana in one of their storylines (I'm not kidding). Supposedly they backed off on the idea after too much controversy, but still...are you really that desperate for ideas?

Anyway, Joe Q. has decided that the X-Men should re-don their blue and yellow tights, and most of the writers agreed. I was surprised, because, well...I thought they all looked good in black. I guess Austen isn't the only one who likes cheese. <:)

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