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Why X-Men should be over

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Hit the jump, disgruntled American comic fans, because I may never get this chance again.

New Mutants

Don't think you're getting off easy because your team has a different name, New Mutants!

1. All Marvel wants to do these days is make movies anyway

Seriously, the publishing arm of Marvel is just there for show at this point. Making comics at all is just a PR thing; "Yeah, we're Marvel, we make comics just like we did back in the 1960s! We haven't changed at all!" Meanwhile, they have their tongue stuck so far up Hollywood's collective ass that no one in editorial can even squeak out a proper "Excelsior!" these days.

Just from the amount of X-men comics already produced, Marvel has fodder for at least three billion more lucrative movies- and far more if they're willing to just make shit up at the last minute, which was apparently how X3 came to be.

2. Xavier's School doesn't work as an actual SCHOOL

Alright, so it was cool for a little while when Grant Morrison was writing the title and the students had actual personalities. It was also neat in the X-Men:Legends video game. But honestly, having Xavier's function like an actual school kind of sucks. Instead of having a small team of well-developed characters, you've always got a ton of snot-nosed brats hanging around the mansion- with crap names like "Armor", no less- and they're boring as fuck. Also, having all of the X-Men as teachers makes them all kind of seem like condescending douchebags for some reason.

3. The revolving door of death has gotten too ridiculous

Jean Grey's back-and-forth trips to Deadland were a running joke in comics even before Grant Morrison killed her again in 2003; now, she's sort of come back, except maybe not- she's gone onto a higher plane of existence, or something. And then there's Colossus, who's honorable death was rendered ridiculous by the fact that Joss Whedon wanted to bring him back, because Whedon liked reading about him as a kid. Now, a certain amount of comic characters dying and then coming back to life is to be expected, but this is just stupid.

4. The X-Men's goals never really worked

Are the X-Men any good at fostering peace between humans and mutants? Hell no- they're personifications of violence. They are good at beating the shit out of things, period. The X-Men are at their best when they're doing insane Space Opera nonsense and fighting the Brood and whatnot- in other words, they work as a team when they're totally blowing off what they're allegedly supposed to be doing. The Dark Phoenix Saga may have been a great storyline, but it really had jack shit to do with the X-Men's alleged goals.

Really, Professor Xavier needs to sit down and say "Okay, this create-peace-through-superpowered-fisticuffs idea didn't work, back to the drawing board. Clearly, I would have a better chance of reaching my goals through political channels." Then X-Men would turn into The West Wing, only not the good The West Wing of the first few seasons- no, it would be like the crappy The West Wing when the only reason anyone still watched it was to see if Josh and Donna would ever hook the fuck up already. Speaking of which:

5. Kitty and Colossus totally did it already

Not content with turning the once-cheerful Kitty Pryde into a brown-haired Buffy Summers, Whedon had to go and make Kitty and Colossus do the deed, just because he spent the entirety of the 1980's writing torrid Kitty/Colossus fanfics in his mind. If you aren't familiar with the couple in question, it might not seem like a big deal- so they had sex! It happens.

However, making Kitty and Colossus do it is like having Keiichi and Belldandy do it, or Ranma and Akane; like, that's supposed to be the end. Game OVER, man. Trying to continue X-Men after Kitty and Colossus are doing it like bunnies is like trying to continue Kimi ni Todoke when Sawako and Kazehaya have been married for fifteen years and have twelve kids.

6. The constant writer turnover makes it impossible to invest in the characters

You know, once upon a time I really liked Rogue. I totally connected to her in the cartoon, and was all about Rogue for a while thereafter. However, at this point I have to clarify which Rogue I'm referring to; do I mean Chris Claremont's Rogue? Scott Lobdell's Rogue? Fabian Nicieza's Rogue? Or perhaps Mike Carey's Rogue? I have no clue.

Basically, Rogue is whatever the current writer (in an uninterrupted stream of hundreds) feels like making her. Even if I'm interested in something Rogue is doing, that storyline can (and probably will) be scuttled when the new writer comes on board and decides to make his mark on the series by reinventing everyone, or some such crap. How can I invest in a character who's in the hands of so many different people with different agendas? The X-Men characters aren't really characters anymore for that very reason; they're like 2D cyborgs who get occasional personality transplants (excluding the ones who actually are cyborgs, naturally. They just suck.)

7. Current storylines tend to be pretentious, pseudo-intellectual pieces of crap

I really dislike the term "psuedo-intellectual"; all too often, people use it to discredit any idea they don't agree with. However, after hearing about how the X-Men were going to be "Mutant Ambassadors" for homo- superior in San Francisco, because it was a particularly "mutant friendly" city, that's the only description that immediately came to mind. Do the more recent generations of writers even know what the X-Men are supposed to be about, even though they suck at it (see #4)? The X-Men don't want to set themselves apart as "homo-superior" and act as an intermediary between the human world and the mutant world; there is no such distinction. They're all just people; that's the point.

Also, whenever the writers decide that it's not enough for the X-Men to be fun lately- that they have to be RELEVANT- we get stuff like the Legacy Virus, an AIDS-like virus that only targeted mutants. Actually, Colossus martyred himself saving the world from the Legacy Virus (until Joss Whedon brought him back because he felt like it), but the fact that the solution was so simple makes me wonder if the writers actually had anything to say about AIDS in the first place. At worst, these so-called "relevant" storylines are incoherent garbage; at best, like the Legacy virus, they're merely depressing. I almost killed myself some time in the early '90s because some of my favorite comic characters were busy dying slowly from an incurable, excruciating disease.

8. Following the comics is just annoying at this point.

In theory, you don't have to read every X-title; you just read the ones you want. Now that would probably work, if they weren't crossing over with each other once every five seconds. Or if books weren't constantly swapping writers, meaning the book that sucked six months ago is now the best book in the line because so-and-so is now writing it, only you don't know what the hell's going on because you didn't want to read it during the five years when it was shit.

9. The one great X-Men story has already been told

God Loves, Man Kills. For once, the X-Men did what they always say they want to do, and did bring peace through reason. Cyclops, of all people, made the argument that the gifts of mutants are not necessarily any greater than that of a doctor or an artist, meaning that all of this "homo-superior" nonsense is worse than bullshit. God Loves, Man Kills made it clear that there can never be a real war between humans and mutants, because it's always just humans picking fights with other humans. To borrow a Morrisonian metaphor, it's like a hand picking a fight with it's fingers. What's left in the concept, once it's been demonstrated so eloquently?

And most importantly:

10. Because it's crossing over with Twilight

'Nuff said, true believers!


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Karen Mead
Karen MeadContributor   gamer profile

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more + disclosures


 



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