The X-Men Assembly Line
This is bugging me more than it should. It’s been bugging me all week as Marvel has slowly revealed the roster of their newest X-Men comic. I just want to write this down so I can refer back to this article as many times as I might need to as it keeps repeating in the years to come.
This week, Marvel unveiled the lineup of the new Astonishing X-Men comic by revealing two characters at a time over the course of several days — even though they didn’t do this when they announced the rest of the ResurrXion comics. For some reason, this one is super special.
The full title, lineup and premise was revealed on Thursday.
There are more details at Marvel.com.
The reason this has been bugging me is because of something I’m going to call ‘The X-Men Assembly Line’. This is where Marvel takes the X brand, adds any one of a number of available suffixes, adds a random adjective at the top and then assembles a random assortment of perfectly ordinary X-characters and calls it a complete comic.
Look at that roster and tell me that couldn’t also qualify as Uncanny X-Men or Extraordinary X-Men or X-Force or Uncanny X-Force or X-Factor or Wolverine and the X-Men or any other possible X-title?
They have been doing this like clockwork every year or two for what has probably been forever, but what feels really common in the past few years.
They already have it planned for 2017.
They did it in 2015.
They did it in 2013.
They did it in 2011.
They did it in 2008.
I’m pretty sure it’s been happening nonstop since at least E is for Extinction in 2001.
It’s the same thing, over and over again. Marvel just churns them out. Slap a bunch of characters together, call it an X-Men comic and let a writer or two putter around for a year or so. Throw in some classic villains. Maybe a random romance while they’re at it. Remember when Iceman and Kitty Pryde were a couple? Remember when we had two, simultaneous versions of X-Force? Remember when Rogue put together a team with Mystique, Sabertooth and Lady Mastermind?
I just want stability. I want team rosters to matter and character relationships to exist beyond a single writer’s whims. When was the last time we had a new character relationship as interesting or as exciting as Scott and Emma? When was the last time any of the X-Men characters actually developed a fun and meaningful friendship with another?
I just want X-Men comics to be good again.
I also wouldn’t mind if Multiple Man and/or Mimic showed up in one of these random rosters for once!