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X-Men comics


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#1
Tank

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Anyone else reading X-Men comics these days? Like the actual monthly books? They've recently done another soft reboot/retcon of the line so I checked back in after years of being out. I was a big reader in the 80s but bailed in the extreme-era. I was wooed back when Grant Morrison reset the stage with New X-Men, which was amazing.

 

Things declined steadily after that-- especially as Marvel suddenly decided to emulate DC and become event-based and make stories out of their multiverses.

 

I was hoping this recent reset was going to be cool, but I remain unconvinced. Anyone else reading? I shan't get detailed if I am the only one.



#2
Brando

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The only comics I read as a kid were Archie comics, and primarily the weird Christian ones, so I never got into comics. But I like reading what people have to say about them.

#3
NumberSix

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I read and loved the entire HoX/PoX 12-part relaunch -- first time I've dived into main X-books since...uh, possibly since that time Warren Ellis took over Astonishing from Whedon.  Wild stuff, though I recognized Moira's plot elements from Ken Grimwood's Replay, which I still have on my shelf from way back when.

 

I was also annoyed that they they didn't bother introducing any of the characters created after 2001 or so.  It drives me nuts whenever lazy writers can't be bothered to provide courtesy exposition and make readers go do Wikipedia homework. I get that it was crowded with so many characters, but lining them up like cannon fodder is a thing a LOT of comics do nowadays -- especially team books -- and not a thing that endears me in the long run.

 

I did try all six #1s, which mostly focus a bit better.  Excalibur and X-Force have solid writers and are each fun in their own ways, so I'm still enthusiastic about those two.  X-Men is fine I guess, a bit of a comedown from HoX/PoX, but I'm sticking with it for now.

 

The other three left me cold.  New Mutants creaked really loudly from the strain of trying to bind together the same 30-year-old characters on the same team with the same obsolete name and same teenage school uniforms. I was on the fence about Marauders till I ultimately decided I didn't buy Storm taking orders from Kate Pryde. And I can't remember a single thing about Fallen Angels #1.


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#4
R.CAllen

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Yeah, I wouldn't swear to this in a court of law or anything but I'm pretty sure I got into the X-men comics during the lead-up to the movie, dipped into the concurrently published line roundabout that period but found it to be nigh-incomprehensible mush, picked up some of the Ellis-driven re-launches of the satellite books, then once the Grant Morrison / Frank Quitely / Igor Kordey (sp?) / Phil Jiminez (am I missing an accent on Jiminez?) / Arthur Adams (wait, did he draw some of those? Who am I thinking of?) / wait, did Whilce Portacio draw 'Here Comes Tomorrow' / [uhh, I can't really remember offhand who drew what for the Morrison run, I guess] run got started (with Casey and Austen doing the other two X-men books at the time, right?) I sort of expanded outward and inward from there, going back to the original Claremont run and then continuing on from there into the 90s stuff while also reading on through the Whedon, Ellis, Brubaker, Carey, Remender, Fraction, Gillen, Gillen, (ladies & gentlemen, Kieron Gillen, the man who got Uncanny X-men cancelled twice!), and then somewhere midway through the Bendis stuff I gave up. Gave up pretty much all serialized comics around about that time, too, more or less. The sum focused totality of my psychic energy just wasn't up to it, sugah/bub/snowflake/etcetera.

 

I kind of came back to it in recent ... years (?) but stopped about a month or so back and so I've read some of the Hickman stuff except for anything that's come out in the past month and I don't really like it all that much (loved the Moira issue, though) because I kind of feel in general his stuff's fairly imitable : just spreadsheets, random capitalized Nouns, shallow dives into Wikipedia as needed, plotting that feels either torn out from wrestling or out of the back of an RPG sourcebook, just cold stuff, real cold fish sensibilities at play in his head, his education is in architecture and it shows, Hox/PoX felt in general less like a story than what it kind of was, setting the groundwork for the stories to come. Also the standard fanboyish complaint on my behalf of feeling he doesn't quite get some of the characters (Nick Fury and his team of child soldiers! Black Panther trying to straight-out murder Namor!) oh, wait, I loved loved absolutely loved S.H.I.E.L.D. and was really glad when him and Weaver came back to that, and yeah, his Fantastic Four run was really good! Haven't given his creator-owned stuff much of a try, neither, he's probably way better on that than the franchise stuff. Certainly has good commercial instincts although I kind of figure every writer worth their salt should be desperately trying to clamber their way out of the comics sinkhole and into the television, no?

 

tldr = yeah, I've read some of the Hickman comics. Here's a Hickman comic right now : opening splash page, some quippy banter between frenemies, a couple of diagrams and assorted lore over a double-page spread (some of the lore is covered up w/big honking CLASSIFIED chevrons), dialogue like "What you must understand is this. The Nullity is not between subspace, it is infraspatial. Bose-Einstein condensate will only carry us so far into the Underwhelm. We must stir ourselves forward, put our courage to the sticking point. There is no alternative but the Alternative, Reed.", a fight scene, and then a cliffhanger with a bunch of numbers in it.

 

[Edit: oops, was a little too candid. Deleted one or two parenthetical asides.]

 

[Edit again : literally dotting an I.]


Edited by R.CAllen, 15 December 2019 - 01:53 PM.


#5
Tank

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I find myself leaning more toward RC's feeling than Six's on this one... Sorry-- just random thoughts from my pudding brain:

 

I'm actually shocked that so many people seem to love this all. Its not BAD per se... but have always thought Hickman was a better designer and big picture guy than a writer. I think everyone's voice sounds the same and the dialog could be interchangeable. And all of it is way too flowery.

 

HOX/POX were a mixed bag for me. I think the Moira stuff was cool. It was a great way to do a retcon without having to destroy continuity too much. I did feel as though a lot of pages were wasted on the deeper future stuff where most of the cast was new, and ultimately this is a future we won't see again. So I guess I am saying I don't think this needed to be two books.

 

I enjoy Scott being less of a dick. I dislike Charles being more of one. Storm feels completely mis-voiced. And I have a little gap-- not sure if this Jean is the time displaced young Jean, or if age appropriate Jean is back again, or if they merged, or universe-hopped or what. Definitely not a fan of Teen Cable. 

 

Sabertooth takes the fall for being a killer, but Mystique and Magneto get a pass?

 

I like the Mutant state of Krakoa-- though it feels reminiscent of Genosha/Necrosha and the San Francisco bay era. And maybe this is weird to say... but I don't love the organicness. I always liked the X-Men as a hard scifi book and that they had fun tech. I don't love all-organic everything.

 

The big thing though, is that the X-Men are ALL now functionally able to cheat death. Part of me thinks this is a fun meta way to acknowledge that nobody in comics stays dead. Hickman has just straight up made it a device. On the other hand, it's full of plotholes, and I don't think any narrative should give its heroes access to a God machine. Wolverine was reborn after the space station attack... reborn with adamantium. How's that work? 

 

As for the new books...

 

X-Men-- is.. okay? I like the Summers family being a family despite the fact that you have three generations of them together, but thanks to space travel, dimension crossing, time travel, and no one aging in comics, they're all about the same age. X-Men has always been about family, so I like leaning into that. Maybe there could be more story?

 

X-Force-- the pitch sounded cool... but the art was iffy, and the first few issues spun its wheels to get to what the series was pitched as. I'll hang for a bit.

 

Excaliber-- I know it was a core aspect of the original book, but I dislike alt worlds. Also so burnt out on King Arthur stuff, so I pass.

 

Fallen Angels and New Mutants-- right there with Six. Forced and/or forgettable.

 

Mauraders-- I actually liked this one the best. Kitty Pryde is probably my favorite X-Men ever, so any time she takes center stage I like it. Her and Emma always have good interactions despite whomever is writing it. I get it is a pirate theme, but tooling around the world in a boat seems really inefficient for the X-Men. Especially when Kitty knows how to fly an X-Jet. One thing I did NOT like-- Kitty getting tattooed. I say this as an atheist who sleeve tattoos, but Kitty's Jewish heritage means more to her than to get freaking knuckle tattoos.



#6
NumberSix

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Yeah, I wouldn't swear to this in a court of law or anything but I'm pretty sure I got into the X-men comics during the lead-up to the movie, dipped into the concurrently published line roundabout that period but found it to be nigh-incomprehensible mush, picked up some of the Ellis-driven re-launches of the satellite books, then once the Grant Morrison / Frank Quitely / Igor Kordey (sp?) / Phil Jiminez (am I missing an accent on Jiminez?) / Arthur Adams (wait, did he draw some of those? Who am I thinking of?) / wait, did Whilce Portacio draw 'Here Comes Tomorrow' / [uhh, I can't really remember offhand who drew what for the Morrison run, I guess] run got started (with Casey and Austen doing the other two X-men books at the time, right?) I sort of expanded outward and inward from there, going back to the original Claremont run and then continuing on from there into the 90s stuff while also reading on through the Whedon, Ellis, Brubaker, Carey, Remender, Fraction, Gillen, Gillen, (ladies & gentlemen, Kieron Gillen, the man who got Uncanny X-men cancelled twice!), and then somewhere midway through the Bendis stuff I gave up. Gave up pretty much all serialized comics around about that time, too, more or less. The sum focused totality of my psychic energy just wasn't up to it, sugah/bub/snowflake/etcetera.


I keep forgetting you're comparatively young! My first issue was UXM #138, the issue after The Death of Phoenix, and I stuck with it till near the end of Marc Silvestri's run, right before Jim Lee rocketed to superstardom and Rob Liefield became a thing. I came back for Morrison's and Whedon's runs, plus that time they let Ellis supervise an overhaul trifecta. Otherwise, I didn't keeep up consistently, which may explain some of my clemency on this.
 
You pretty much nailed Hickman's writing tics. The early ones were just-okay, more notable for being Something Different than for being mind-blowing. The Manhattan Projects was quite the acid trip, but never found closure so much as Hickman simply seemed to...stop? Then there's The Dying and the Dead, which had a curious premise (WWII vets reuniting to help former otherdimensional allies on one last job), but four years later it's still unfinished and may have to settle for a SHIELD-style, years-later epilogue long after us original buyers are dead. I tried to wade into his sprawling FF/Avengers mega-epic partway through and...might come back to it if they ever re-release the entire run in a fully chronological Essentials reprint library, which will never happen, but I can dream.
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#7
NumberSix

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I find myself leaning more toward RC's feeling than Six's on this one... Sorry--


How DARE you! I -- oh, wait, this is the part of the internet where disagreements are cool. No worries!
 

I'm actually shocked that so many people seem to love this all. Its not BAD per se... but have always thought Hickman was a better designer and big picture guy than a writer. I think everyone's voice sounds the same and the dialog could be interchangeable. And all of it is way too flowery.


Can't argue with any of this on principle. I'm assuming sooner or later either I'll get bored or Hickman will grow lazy, and I'll walk away. For now, I love the idea of busting up the X-books' premise to such a radical degree that I'm still awed that Marvel editorial allowed it. Eventually my euphoria will wear off and we'll see.
 

I enjoy Scott being less of a dick. I dislike Charles being more of one. Storm feels completely mis-voiced. Definitely not a fan of Teen Cable.

 
All agreed, though I can live with Xavier being drastically changed by knowing what Moira knows. For now.
 
Never been a Cable fan in general apart from Nicieza's Cable & Deadpool and in Deadpool 2, which basically adapted same.  Teen Cable is...not an improvement.  At first I thought he was X-Man.  Identifying these more recent characters (Prestige? wha?) has been aggravating.
 

Sabertooth takes the fall for being a killer, but Mystique and Magneto get a pass?

 
But have the latter two killed lately? I presume their "no killing humans" rule has an underlying "from NOW ON" codicil.
 

I like the Mutant state of Krakoa-- though it feels reminiscent of Genosha/Necrosha and the San Francisco bay era. And maybe this is weird to say... but I don't love the organicness. I always liked the X-Men as a hard scifi book and that they had fun tech. I don't love all-organic everything.


I've been away from the books long enough, and missed out on whatever "Necrosha" was, so the setting isn't bugging me. Too overwhelmed by "Dude, they let Krakoa lived AND teamed up with it? Whoa."
 

The big thing though, is that the X-Men are ALL now functionally able to cheat death. Part of me thinks this is a fun meta way to acknowledge that nobody in comics stays dead. Hickman has just straight up made it a device. On the other hand, it's full of plotholes, and I don't think any narrative should give its heroes access to a God machine. Wolverine was reborn after the space station attack... reborn with adamantium. How's that work?


I hadn't thought about the adamantium skeleton bit, so now that's bugging me. But my thought is, if every new regime of X-writers and X-editors are constantly resurrecting all their favorite dead toys anyway, why not just bake that into the mix? It means they can stop wasting time on contriving increasingly more ludicrous resurrection procedures, and -- my favorite part -- it means the writers can't just resort to killing off characters for "drama". Now they've painted themselves into a corner from which they can ONLY emerge by coming up with super awesome plots using anything BUT Shocking Character Deaths. If they can rise to that challenge, this might just be a cool ride. If they don't...then the next writing team will just nuke Krakoa, or destroy Sinister's DNA collection, or otherwise take The Five off the table so X-Men can go back to dying all the time. Hopefully they rise to the self-imposed challenge instead.
 

Excaliber-- I know it was a core aspect of the original book, but I dislike alt worlds. Also so burnt out on King Arthur stuff, so I pass.


Understandable. I never cared much for Claremont's Excalibur, but so far this reminds me more of Paul Cornell's Captain Britain & MI-13, which I loved.
 

Marauders-- I actually liked this one the best. Kitty Pryde is probably my favorite X-Men ever, so any time she takes center stage I like it. Her and Emma always have good interactions despite whomever is writing it. I get it is a pirate theme, but tooling around the world in a boat seems really inefficient for the X-Men. Especially when Kitty knows how to fly an X-Jet. One thing I did NOT like-- Kitty getting tattooed. I say this as an atheist who sleeve tattoos, but Kitty's Jewish heritage means more to her than to get freaking knuckle tattoos.


Good point. Very, very few writers since Claremont have bothered to get Kitty's faith/heritage right, or even pay it minimum lip service. I've thought she was awesome ever since UXM #143, her classic solo fight with the N'Garai. I was 8 and hadn't seen Alien yet. That issue was TERRIFYING. But still: Ororo being all like "Yes, ma'am!" to her threw me right out of what had sounded kinda cool up to that point.

 

Also, I do try to stick to a weekly comics budget. Asking me to take on SIX new books at once was too big an ask. I had to find ways to be picky. I mean, it helped that over the past few months Marvel has canceled nearly all their solo books I'd been collecting, but still.


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#8
R.CAllen

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Re: HoxPox, I found my reading of it was smoothed and enriched by Matthew Perpetua's commentaries and Paul O'Brien's annotations; any sort of questions or queries prompted by a lack of familiarity with X-men continuity past or present (such as : Wait, why is Xavier alive? What happened to the younger time-travelling X-Men? Wasn't Wolverine dead? I don't understand - was Orchis already around or is it Hickman's innovation? Who ARE these people and those people and those persons and associated artificial and organic intelligences?) were ably addressed by the former and deeper themes and consistencies w/the larger issues (such as : wait, doesn't this kind of make the X-Men a team of supervillains now? how can they really be so accepting of Apocalypse, a genocidal tyrannical warlord from before recorded time? are Logan, Scott, Jean, and Emma now in some kind of quartuple polycule?) tended to be the province of the latter. In actual fact, though, all these areas tended to overlap and were also tackled by other folks on the general comics Internet whose names and web addresses aren't coming to mind right now. I'm not sure if it's to the merit or deficit of the underlying material that I found it so much more entertaining to read what other people wrote about it than the actual work of art (no dig intended at the art art itself : R.B. Silva and Pepe Larraz did great jobs on that front!) in and of itself.

 

 

I keep forgetting you're comparatively young! My first issue was UXM #138, the issue after The Death of Phoenix, and I stuck with it till near the end of Marc Silvestri's run, right before Jim Lee rocketed to superstardom and Rob Liefield became a thing.

 

Comparatively, yeah! (Thank you, Marc Silvestri, yes, of course!) And outside of newspaper comics, Archie, Asterix, Tintin, and other stuff of that ilk I actually came to comics itself (well, I guess, mainstream corporate-owned ongoing superhero comic books sold to the Direct Market) quite late : that particular enthusiasm for the medium probably doesn't substantially predate my involvement with Nightly Dot Net by too much. I think I may have actually e-mailed you re: this very topic, like, eighteen years ago (I can vaguely recall trying to describe my tastes for these things in terms more suited to an alcoholic lush than a literal child who up until that point had basically never drunk a drop; and there may have been some mention of Obergeist by Dan Jolley and Tony Harris) or so.


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#9
NumberSix

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An Obergeist discussion sounds vaguely familiar, but I don't recall us ever swapping email addies? (THT Edit: was it DMs, maybe? I forgot those were a thing here.)

 

Thanks very much for the commentary pointers, especially Paul O'Brien's. I remember him from Usenet and when he used to provide sales commentary for The Beat, but I had no idea he had his own online home. Awesome.

 

And agreed on the art. Silva has come a long way since his New 52 Superboy, and Larraz with Greg Weisman on Kanan remains among the best of Marvel's SW stuff in recent memory even though we quit watching Rebels after three episodes.  Love seeing his stuff again.

 

 

Wolverine was reborn after the space station attack... reborn with adamantium. How's that work? 

 

X-Force #4 answered this one, albeit surprisingly glibly.  We learn Forge made a machine for that very purpose, but they gloss over the implication that whenever Logan dies, he'll have to repeat the adamantium bonding process -- the single most excruciating experience of his entire life -- every single time he's resurrected.

 

Then they skate on to the next bit of repartee in hopes we won't dwell on it.  That bugged me.


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#10
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You're welcome! It was definitely e-mail but I can't remember for a certain fact if it was you (it might've been ... not you?) and everything on my end was sent from an old, now defunct & inaccessible, hotmail address --- I guess we should consider this one of the many mysteries of continuity now lost to the mists of time, much like the Third Summers Brother (no, wait, Brubaker brought that back) or the final identity of The Twelve.



#11
Jacen123

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I enjoyed who the antagonists were in issue #3 of X-Men. 



#12
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That reminds me, I haven't bought any new issues... far cry from the days of going to the shop like clockwork every wednesday

#13
NumberSix

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I'm still in the Wednesday habit, but some days it feels like it's more about doing my part to help keep our local comic shops alive on principle than out of giddy anticipation for what I'm actually reading. 

 

Also, my regular shop is downtown where I work but some blocks away, so the weekly walk there and back counts as much-needed exercise.

 

 

 

I enjoyed who the antagonists were in issue #3 of X-Men. 

First time in a good while that my response to a brand new comics villain was "More, please!" They were fun.



#14
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I fell out of the Wednesday habit I guess back in 2000. I super felt bad for my comic shop because I had a pulled subscription but stopped going. I had been collecting since they sold the X-men comics in gas stations starting in middle school when my best friend introduced me to them. This is totally making me want to check out some new comics but not quite fully. I wish they'd do more Marvel Essentials. It would make it easier to read a lot of them quickly for me to catch up. 





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