So, I have my problems with Marvel, the X-Men and a whole bunch of aspects with how one treats the other and how creators and fans regard them. In fact, my inaugural post of this column was all about what the X-Men meant to me, a bisexual fan who has no nostalgia for the 90s or Chris Claremont, but came in a little bit before “House of M” and became immediately jaded when the only group of mutants he liked unconditionally were savaged, beaten and had a bus full of depowered members literally blown up and the so-called “real” and “classic” X-Men (a.k.a. the ones grandfathered in over the decades), the creators and the so-called “real” fans did fuck all but spin wheels in the perpetuate state of being victims because that’s what the Marvel Machine requires them to be.
I had a point here…
Oh, right! So, now we have come many many years passed the point where Marvel sold off the media rights to the X-Men and the sky continues to fall ever so slowly according to the more passionate X-Fans. First it was “Ahhhh! They’re going to get rid of the X-Men after ‘AvX’” which didn’t happen, then it was “Ahhhh! They’re going to get rid of the X-Men after ‘Secret Wars’” which, obviously, hasn’t happened.
However, we have gotten our first look at the Post-Secret Wars X-Men universe with an interview with “Extraordinary X-Men” writer Jeff Lemire and lettered preview to issue #1. So, what have we seen:
Now, this whole idea of not only the Terrigen Mists killing but also sterilizing mutants has opened up a whole new bunch of articles and think pieces, ranging from Rachel Edidin’s discussion about how the nature of the X-Men having their backs to the walls make for interesting stories to Andrew Wheeler’s article on the concept of gentrification and the pushing out of the X-Men. Now, both are great articles from writers I genuinely respect, even if I could criticize aspects of both.
As for me? I find it hilariously brilliant.
Oh, not the concept that the Post-SW X-Men books will be centered around. I mean, come on! The X-Men spent 10 years with that storyline and then the last three doing either mostly irrelevant nonsense or continuing to fondle the past by bringing the five oldest characters in the franchise to the present and have the arrogance to call it “All-New”. No, what I think is hilariously brilliant is the use of these specific pages for previews.
They picked the absolute pitch perfect pages for this preview to get everyone riled up. Whether it’s those that believe in the Grand Olde Marvel Mutant Conspiracy or not, they knew exactly where to poke a sharp stick. It was a brilliant marketing tactic to have this as the first exposure to the new X-Men direction. Look at me! I’m not even interested in a retread of the same story that started my favorite X-Men group down the road of destruction and I just wrote this article.
Bread and Circuses. That is what this is. Maybe Marvel is trying to get rid of the X-Men or maybe not (is of note, that when people cite X-Men sales, forget that it was really only Bendis’s titles that sold well). I know people want their favorites to be around and to never have anything bad happen to them ever ever, but unfortunately they’re part of an industry that has to perpetually keep itself in a second act forever and that means no real, long lasting change. Hence, X-Men on the verge of extinction.