Kitty Pryde is a jerk and really stingy when it comes to superhero codenames! The first issue of X-Men Gold came out this week, kicking off ResurrXion, the latest X-Men relaunch. X-Men Gold #1 is all about establishing the new status quo of the X-Men as a team of superheroes based in New York City.
I didn’t care for it.
I’ll write up my full review on Saturday, but if I were a crueler man, I’d do one of those ‘Everything Wrong With…’ videos to point out all the weird nitpicks and gripes I have with the issue. One of them really stuck out in my mind, though, and I wanted to point it out to everybody. Basically, Kitty Pryde is kind of a jerk when it comes to superhero codenames.
Here we see Kitty confronting a group of bystanders who hate and fear the X-Men. Notice her introduction.
That seems fine. Even though Kitty Pryde is known for having a lot of different codenames, she’s mostly just been going by her real name for awhile. I don’t know why she doesn’t just go back to Shadowcat, since it’s an awesome codename, but whatever, I’m not her. She’s gotta do her.
But then later in the issue, we find out that Kitty is the one who suggested Rachel Grey get a new codename.
Even though “Phoenix” and “Marvel Girl” are rooted in both Rachel’s personal history and in honoring her mother, Rachel is now known as “Prestige”. That name means nothing and has no connection whatsoever to Rachel Grey. It’s as generic a codename as “Vengeance” or “Superb”.
But what I want to know is, what kind of conversation did the two of them have?!
Kitty: “Hey Rachel, now that we’re doing this new team relaunch, I think you should come up with a fun new codename for yourself. Something to really put our best foot forward.”
Rachel: “That’s a great idea, Kitty! What about you? Are you going to come up with a new codename too?”
Who is Kitty Pryde to go around telling people they need entirely new codenames, then doesn’t bother to come up with one for herself?
And why not give Kitty Pryde a new codename or costume? Is this not a big, status quo-altering relaunch? Rachel Grey gets a new codename and costume. Nightcrawler, Colossus and Storm all revert to older costumes. Why not change Kitty up a little? A big deal is made about her becoming the new leader of the X-Men; doesn’t that deserve even a little bit of tinkering?
The X-Men books are a mess and they have been for years. Maybe this is because Marvel is purposefully torpedoing the comics because they don’t own the movie rights, or maybe it’s because the comic has just been a snowball rolling down hill, getting bigger and more unyielding every relaunch.
Whatever the case may be, I propose that the X-Men should copy a play from The Wild Storm comic and do some kind of big, slate-clearing reboot — to an extent.
This month, Marvel will launch ResurrXion, the latest in a long line of complete, line-wide relaunches for the X-Men. As I’ve pointed out before, Marvel does this every two years or so. It involves simply recombobulating the various characters into new teams, all with the same general purpose. Maybe there’s a new major plot point — like Evil Cyclops or mass extinction — or maybe not.
Either way, ResurrXion looks like more of the same, and that’s no way to save the X-Men. Between X-Men: Gold, X-Men: Blue, Astonishing X-Men, Weapon X, Generation X and whatever the heck else Marvel might spring on us, the new relaunch looks and sounds like just more of the same. Random X-characters plopped into random lineups to accomplish the same thing as every other X-book for the past few years.
So I think Marvel should do what DC is doing with their Wildstorm comics, to an extent. They’ve hired comics visionary Warren Ellis to restart the Wildstorm Universe from the ground up in a new comic, The Wild Storm, with a couple different spin-off comics. It’s got all the familiar characters, but the slate has been wiped clean and Ellis is starting over from scratch.
I don’t think Marvel should go that far with the X-Men. This shouldn’t be a complete, ground-up reboot.
Instead, pare the line down to a more reasonable size, with a very, very back-to-basics approach. Don’t just throw random characters into random rosters just to fill page space. Create a solid, core team and trim off all the most recent plot nonsense. Wipe away M-Pox and even M-Day. Wipe away any contention with the Inhumans or the Avengers. Send the Young X-Men back to their own time period. No more weird time travelers or space visitors or secondary mutations or rebel factions.
Just a school for mutants, with some familiar faces on the faculty and in the student body, where a couple of them occasionally go out and save the world.
In our current climate of political insanity, with everything from Black Lives Matter to the alt-right to whatever the hell else, now is the perfect time for a comic book about a group of minority superheroes who protect a world that hates and fears them.
Happy April Fools’ Day! I don’t have any tricks planned for you, but I personally enjoy scouring the Internet for all the best gags and games and giggles. I also enjoy reading comic books!
Since this was a Fifth Wednesday, there weren’t a lot of new comics out this week, at least few that I’m reading. So there are only a couple of reviews this week — which is fine, because it gives me more room to gush about Spider-Woman #17, the Comic Book of the Week! It’s the final issue of the series and an early contender for my favorite single issue of the year!
This week also sees the releases of X-Men: Prime #1 and Inhumans: Prime #1, the kick-offs to their respective new status quos following Inhumans vs. X-Men. I’ve read and reviewed X-Men: Prime down below, because I’m always open to giving the X-Men another chance. But I won’t be touching the Inhumans with a 10-foot comic book pole.
Comic Reviews: Infamous Iron Man #6, Spider-Woman #17, and X-Men: Prime #1.