October 30, 2011

Marvel Snapshot: The Uncanny X-Joke

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Written by: Billy
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What’s happening out there in the world of comic books? I’m back and so is my weekly column called Marvel Snapshot! Now, some of you may be thinking, isn’t this a character spotlight column? Most of the time, yes, but every once in a while I get annoyed enough about a certain book or character, that I feel compelled to sound off about. This time around it’s the X-Men and the direction they’ve been going in for some time now. And that direction is a nosedive right into the ground, or a brick swirling around the bowl maybe…anyway, before I go really way too far, let me get to the meat and potatoes of this rant of sorts.

Right now in X-Men…well, I actually haven’t read an X-Men book in some time, to be honest. This is something I never thought would happen, but I was so turned off by the lack of excitement in the X-Men universe, I stopped buying and haven’t even been close to buying one from what I’ve been hearing. Let’s travel back to the 90s in my Wayback Machine. I remember the X-Men quite fondly in a time that people routinely bad mouth. The first X-book I ever bought was Uncanny X-Men #300, and it would be one of many to come. I was drawn to the foil cover (yeah, I know how that sounds), but the pages inside were what really impressed me. I’d seen the X-Men on cartoons before, but didn’t know a lot about them, but after a few pages I felt like I’d known the characters for years. The X-Men were about to face Fabian Cortez and his Acolytes that were sworn to the cause of Magneto. This, along with a deadly virus that kills mutants, is going  to blow up in their faces and they don’t see it coming. At this point, I couldn’t wait for the next book to come out, so I did what anyone would do. I went to the nearest comic shop and started buying in reverse order. I was blown away even more when I read X-cutioners Song, which preceded this newest arc!

The point to all this recollection is that I couldn’t wait for another X-book to be in my hands, which is the polar opposite of how I feel right now. I could care less about the X-Men from what I read in reviews, in Diamond Previews every month, and so on. I mean, back then you had twists and turns, deaths, defections, new characters with actual depth, and yes, resurrections as always, too. I did cool off with comics altogether in the late 90s, but quickly started back up when I saw a hardcover that looked absolutely amazing called Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire! Being a Marvel Cosmic lover, this was a no-brainer. X-Men, Shi’ar, cool new villain (Vulcan), and Rachel Summers! I loved this story and most that followed, but after issue #500, this group just seemed to go downhill fast for me. The Scott/Emma/Jean triangle, moody Wolverine in five different books at one time, and no real continuity with a writer or artist that could keep my attention led me to drop all my X-books (with the exception of Uncanny X-Force), and not look back. All I read about is “what could have been” or “they (Marvel) dropped the ball on this latest book,” and the current rift between Cyclops and Wolverine is just annoying to even think about at this point.

What a minute, what’s that? Is Jean coming back to save the day? Who cares. Yeah, I said it, and I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Not even a tease of her resurrection will get me buying anytime soon. At this point, I don’t know what will, to be honest. I guess some might think this was a rant, but really, it’s more like a written letter about my disappointment to the masses. It might even be a company wide disappointment, as I’ve drifted towards Dark Horse, Zenescope, Image, and other smaller publishers (compared to Marvel) to quench my comic book thirst. So, at this point, I think I’ve been cured of being a Marvel zombie…by Marvel?

Billy Dunleavy