Rich Johnston's usually accurate rumour column at Comic Book Resources indicates that Chris Claremont is going to be given back Uncanny X-men - teaming up with Excalibur artistic partner (and writer of the X-men books during the worst run ever) Alan Davis.
Johnston also indicates that he's excited about Grant Morrison's proposed replacement on New X-men, but doesn't reveal who it is: http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=13
It's too bad, I am enjoying Morrison's run. And Chuck Austen's writing works for me.
Has Xtreme X-Men been any good? I stuck it out for the first 10 issues, then bailed. The whole X-Franchise right now seems to be a train wreck, thanks to poor writing and Marvels' anti-continuity policies where story arcs are completely self-contained. Major events are just ignored, even within the same series. The big secret recently unveiled about Xorn, for instance, didn't have much impact because it wasn't really built up over many issues. He was established as being a bit different, but it was such a minor theme that the big unveiling didn't have a whole lot of impact on me.
Same with the other big events. Hank is gay. The White Queen is dead. Scott and Jean may be breaking up. All huge events that should be showcased somewhat in almost every issue, the way old-school Marvel soap opera handled these sorts of things. But for the benefit of TPB readers, these events take place and then vanish. It's like the way DC always handled things, and it's the primary reason why I always preferred Marvel.
Anyhow, it's need to see Claremont back on Uncanny, though I can't see it making a difference. Marvel won't let him recapture 1980s glory, and I'm not sure if he's capable of it anyways. His FF run was horrible, the worst issues of that book I've ever read, and Xtreme was cheesy and contrived.
I'm not sure Claremont deserves much credit for the quality of the X-men during the early '80s. I remember how quickly the series went straight into the toilet after John B. quit (#142?).Originally Posted by Brett Todd
No, I don't. I think Claremont's later run with J. Romita Jr. 195-220 or so, and the Sylvesti stuff in the mid-200s (Reavers) as well as Jim Lee's stuff was all fantastic. I've never read a comic run that I've liked more than Claremont's X-men run post-Byrne. Narratives got a little too stretched out, however.Originally Posted by John Reynolds
Yeah, it's really annoying. I don't understand it either -- if they want to have creators come in and write self-contained, easily packaged stories with these characters -- well, o.k., I guess, but do it outside of continuity, like Tim Sale's stuff (which I hate), and keep the core books running as a more complete "marvel universe" -- that was always the appeal of the damn brand. If anything, having mini-series out of continuity allows creators to do whatever the hell they want, like Dark Knight, etc.huge events that should be showcased somewhat in almost every issue, the way old-school Marvel soap opera handled these sorts of things. But for the benefit of TPB readers, these events take place and then vanish. It's like the way DC always handled things, and it's the primary reason why I always preferred Marvel.
Jemas and Arad, although they hate each other (and Jemas is essentially gone) are solely focused on having consistent brands that they can package up for movies, even more so than TPB -- while focusing on movies is probably a good business decision, at least in the short run, since there's so much more money to be had, I don't think you need to sacrifice the core line -- it's the whole reason there's a market for the movies in the first place, for fuck's sake.
His FF run was terrible, but that book has been terrible since Byrne left it 15 years ago. The x-books have similarly only had a few brief renaissances of quality since Claremont left in 91:Anyhow, it's need to see Claremont back on Uncanny, though I can't see it making a difference. Marvel won't let him recapture 1980s glory, and I'm not sure if he's capable of it anyways. His FF run was horrible, the worst issues of that book I've ever read, and Xtreme was cheesy and contrived
- Peter David's run on X-factor;
- Joe Kelly's run on X-men;
- Grant Morrison's run on (new) X-men;
- John Francis Moore's run on X-force;
- Millar's Ultimate X-men run.
Other stuff that was at least decent:
- Milgrim's Xtatics (and X-force) run.
- Claremont's X-treme run;
- Seagles's Uncanny X-men run;
- some of the Lobdell/Joe Madureira's later stuff on UXM;
- some of Nicieza/Kubert's later X-men stuff; Lobdell/Bachelo's early Generation X stuff
- Jim Lee's brief run on X-men;
- Nicieza/Liefield (ulp)'s stuff on early X-force;
- Tischman's Cable run.
- Bendis's Ultimate X-men;
That's really it -- otherwise there's been hundreds of issues of frankly garbage, in particular (in order of shittiness):
- Davis's X-men;
- Hama's Generation X;
- Raab's Excalibur;
- Howard Mackie's X-factor/Weapon X
- Casey's UXM run;
- Hama's Wolverine;
- Robinson's Cable run;
- Ellis's Excalibur run;
- Waid's brief X-men run;
- the absolutely terribly "revolution" stuff overseen by Ellis on X-man; GenX and X-force;
- Lobdell and Nicieza's early 90s stuff on X
- Loeb's X-force/Cable Runs;
- Claremont's brief second run on X-men/UXM;
Aside from dozens of just terrible and pointless mini-series, annuals, books like X-men Unlimited. It's just been 90% shit.
I haven't read any of Chuck Austen's books yet (although I've bought 'em all) , so I can't comment on where they fit in, although it certainly hasn't been a popular run.
I must be the only person on the planet who like Austen's run in X-Men. I found Kelly's run to be incoherent, concentrating too much on newer characters than going back to the core characters. Austen isn't afraid to take chances on old characters like Nightcrawler and his faith, Iceman and the stuff he's going through and I find the Juggernaut's change to be more believeable than Black Adam's in JSA.
And, I thought the revelation with Xorn was amazing because there was no indication that it was coming.
I stopped reading X-Men right about the time Claremont left the book. Actually, to be totally honest, I tuned out about 2 years prior to that. There were just too many characters and unresolved storylines to figure out. The situation just got worse with the proliferation of X books.
I'm reading the Morrison run now, but will probably stop again when he quits the book.
Use Google Groups to find Paul O'Brien's re-examination of the Morrison run. There were weird little clues ever since Xorn's first appearance. Kinda like the Invisibles, where lines that were thought to be random one-offs turned out to matter in the end.Originally Posted by Dirt
My last X-men was 205 or so, at which point I quit buying comics (college tuition was draining me dry), but I don't recall an upsurge in the quality of the book for those last few issues. I absolutely hated the 150-190 issues, though it's probably unfair to compare them to one of the great runs in comic history (110-142).Originally Posted by Desslock
As an aside, Spider-man was on cable the other night and I told my wife that my first Spidey issue was #123 (I think) wherein he fought Luke Cage, missing the Goblin/Gwen Stacey issues by one month. She didn't seem to appreciate the nostalgia I was trying to express. :?
Read the article. $500/page? Holy shit.
Makes me wonder what George Perez got for JLA/Avengers. Perhaps profit sharing?
143. I think there's a lot of great stuff in 150-190 -- the first appearance of the Brood/Starjammers and the destruction of the school; Storm's battle with Dracula; the first appearance of th Morlocks; Rogue joining the X-men; Wolverine in Japan; Wolverine letting Colossus get beat up in the bar by Juggernaut....but they got really good right after you left - deadly battle with Nimrod and the Hellfire Club in Central park; Wolverine gutting Rachel; followed by the Morlock Massacre and the introduction (to the xbooks) of Sabertooth;Originally Posted by John Reynolds
...followed by a completely new team (yes, things actually were allowed to change back when Claremont wrote), Wolverine being crucified; 3-way deadly battle between X-men, Freedom Force and the Reavers; Magneto/Rogue's relationship. Major characters died, and it seemed meaningful, because there was great character development back then.
Yeah, I remember a number of little things, too, but none of it ever really amounted to anything. I mean, Morrison could have done a little more foreshadowing, had us wondering what was up with Xorn. It would've been nice if the question were really out there. Morrison could have done that without beating us over the head, though that would have been confusing to those TPB buyers. As it was, these hints were so small, so minor, and so completely ignored by other characters that they could have meant anything. A big surprise doesn't mean much if there's zero buildup.Originally Posted by Thierry Nguyen
I'm with Stefan. I loved the X-Men pretty much all through the late 70s and 80s. There seemed to be a bit of a dropoff when Byrne left, but things got very good in the later 100s, for all the reasons Stefan's cited. Lot of character development, some great soap opera drama along with the action, and some fantastic covers. "Everyone dies," the Wolverine-Mariko wedding invitation, Kitty marrying Caliban, issue 175 where "Phoenix" returns, and so on. I remember them very well two decades after they were published. (And nobody will remember the current Marvel covers like that. Possibly the most idiotic thing that Marvel has done in the past five years is go with generic covers on almost every issue. Without the number, the covers of all the Ultimate books are practically interchangeable. Regular books are almost as bad.)
Turning Psylocke into an Asian Assassin was the last straw for me, it showed that Claremont really didn't know how to write characters, to grow characters. Instead of giving her real problems to deal with (her brother and who he is, her powers) and make her interesting that way, he decided to turn her into a female, psychic Wolverine to get people to like her. Fantastic Four is another good example, FF is all about characters, the characters and how they interact with each other, the roles each characters fills in the Fantastic Family. Claremont has a very poor grasp of writing characters.
I agree with your point on Psylocke -- that was a poor decision, driven by the desire to immediately make the character "cooler" probably, rather than to develop her into a more interesting character just through writing her better. But I do think, at least during his first X-men run, one of Claremont's real strength was characterization -- the way they interacted, changed, evolved, grew up, etc.Originally Posted by Dirt
Hmm. I stopped reading comics shortly after the whole Brood thing with XMen wrapped up. The last thing I remember was Genosha, and I don't think I made it all the way through that. The characters just all started sounding the same to me, so I stopped collecting.
Come to think of it, I still have all those comics, plus a bunch of others, all in great condition. I should look into what they are worth. My favortie, though, is my issue of Spider-Man where Gwen Stacy dies. It was a birthday present.
I've looked at a few modern comics, but a)they are really expensive now, and b) I'm too out of touch. It'd take like a year for me to get all the plotlines and character interactions hashed out again.
Too bad. I used to really love comics.
the issue when Gwen Stacey dies (ASM 121), is one of the all-time great comics, however, so you have great taste.
Have you considered non-Marvel stuff that hasn't been going on for thousands of years?Originally Posted by Joe O'Malley
Even Marvel stuff, as Brett noted, minimizes continuity and is designed to be read in discrete, self-contained story arcs. My advice is pick up a few trade-paperbacks and see what you like.Originally Posted by Anders Hallin
Still, the non-Marvel (non-DC, non-Image) stuff is generally better. So it's good advice anyway.
Joe, you'd have no problem figuring out current plotlines and characters in all the major Marvel titles. Mainly, they're about the title character and maybe one or two supporting characters, and that's it. Amazing Spider-Man, for instance, hasn't done anything remotely involving with a character other than Peter and MJ for something like a year. I can't even remember the last time Jameson, Robbie, or any of the supporting cast other than Aunt May even showed up.
Only problem is, once you've gotten back, you might not recognize the character of the whole Marvel Universe. Essentially, it's gone. Events aren't shared, to the ridiculous extreme that Thor can decide to rule the Earth and move Asgard to hover just about NYC, Kang can nuke Washington and conquer the planet in Avengers, and Magneto can fry NYC in New X-Men, and nothing is mentioned about this stuff in any book other than the titles in which they occur. Even Spectacular Spidey and ASM don't even roughly coincide. In the former, Spidey's dealing with Venom and a brain-damaged Flash Thompson, while living in a dive, alone. In the latter, Spidey's dealing with this mysterious guy and lots of mumbo-jumbo about the power of the Spider, while getting it on lots with Mary-Jane. And before you ask, no, there's no explanation about why the storylines are so completely different.
Ok Brett-Desslock, seriously, I'm not trying to be snide here. Why the hell are you guys reading these comics? Compulsion? Hope? Because neither of you have written anything nice about them in a long, long while.
I used to love the old Marvel comics. But back in the day they all did roughly coincide, and even had the nifty little asterisks below references to past events or events that happened in other comics that told you in just what issue the event happened. Characters rarely just stepped out of their universe and into another. It was all one big multiverse.Originally Posted by Bub, Andrew
I flipped through a few at a local comics shop the other day (sorry, don't remember the titles now) and was struck by how much the graphic presentation has improved. Bigger panels, more detailed artwork, brighter colors and better paper all stood out very well. I'm not sure if that's detracted from the space for word balloons, though, which would be bad for stories.
Last, I used to love the stories that went on for 2-5 month arcs. It gave a sense of development and something to look forward to. But that whole Secret Wars thing Marvel did was one of the straws what broke the back of my collecting. It took major character and series-impacting events out of the main titles and put them in a limited run series. It struck me as the worst kind of corporate mongering, forcing me to buy a new series to find out why the characters in my FF or XMEN or Avengers comics were all acting so strangely all of a sudden. Even worse, the changes (if I remember correctly) didn't happen until the Secret wars series was done running, so by the time you realized something was up the series had already run and either wasn't widely available or had already inflated in price.
Er, sorry. Didn't mean to rant. Must be the Morrowind jones kicking in. My local game store has thought they'd get it in 3 times already, but it hasn't happened yet. Maybe today...
On the other hand - no continuity between books means no summer crossovers and no pointless team-ups, which means a creative team can continue a 12 issue story arc uninterrupted without the blatantly obvious forced cross sell attempts. Works for me.
It's interesting - I used to buy most Marvel books regularly back in the '70s, but these days I'm content to stick with trade paperbacks. Not only do I avoid a lot of suck, but I don't have to deal with the whole back issue hunting thing.
I only buy one comic out of "compulsion", I guess -- Uncanny X-men, to keep the collection complete if I'm collecting comics anyway, and because I like the characters.Originally Posted by Bub, Andrew
I pick up TPBs of non-Marvel stuff occasionally (although no DC other than Vertigo), but the handful of comics I buy on a regular basis I like quite a bit, because of the writing/art: Ultimate Spidey; Ultimates; Ultimate X-men, Xtatics, Claremont's X-men, and Grant Morrison's X-men. Lately I've sampled Vaughn's Mystique and Rucka's Wolverine as well, since I heard good things about those writers and hadn't read them before, but I'll probably drop 'em. I also read Gail Simone's Deadpool/Agent X which is now gone.
Stuff I'll probably try out in the future: Bendis/Millar's Ultimate FF; Liefield Nicieza's X-force/Deadpool/Cable, at least for nostalgia's sake.
I can see that. At one point we were parallel. But then I stopped collecting and found that now I'm much happier with the memory of the X-Men and Spider Man than I am with the comics. I don't care for "revisions" or reimaginings, so the whole Ultimate line doesn't interest me.
I can certainly understand that perspective, and could have gone that route as well. I basically collected comics from 79-85, then from 95-98, and then started picking them up again in 2000 (only) because Claremont was coming back to the X-men.Originally Posted by Bub, Andrew
I was definitely against the Ultimate line, and am still of mixed feelings towards it -- it's very similar to the Heroes Reborn stuff done in 98, which while modestly entertaining, was a mistake in hindsight. But then a picked up a few USM and UXM and was just swayed by the quality of the writing (and art) -- Millar and Bendis are two great writers, so I kept buying them. If the reigns pass to lesser writers (Millar has already left Ultimate X-men) I'm not sure the line will remain as viable, however. It's pretty telling that there's only been one story, ever, that doesn't involve reimagining classic Marvel U. enemies and actually creates something original. But they're good reads -- you should consider picking up a TPB -- I bet you'd really like 'em.
Claremont is the one mostly responsible for the ultimate incomprehenisbility of the X-Men franchise. I'll probably drop the books when he gets them back.
Ok, now you, Brett Todd, and Ken Levine have said this. Should I pick up Spider Man? Or X-Men? (I really don't like what I've heard about what Bendis did with the Green Goblin.)Originally Posted by Desslock