X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

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Denyer
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X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

Post by Denyer » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:20 pm

https://screenrant.com/xmen-alive-clone ... el-comics/

I should stress I'm not actually following Marvel at the moment (but spoil away if you are, I'll happily read things I know the endings to -- in some ways it's a plus with how variable the output is) and happened to spot this article whilst reading something else. It was published last September. I don't even know who the current writing teams are.

But it sounds like things are coming back around to the Gillen style writing I enjoyed where the world is played more like in the original Authority than Marvel tends to -- a mutant nation state, resurrection being an actual plot point, etc.

Anyone who has been following: good, bad, indifferent?

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Re: X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

Post by HotdogDivebomb 2.0 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:15 am

Denyer wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:20 pm
I don't even know who the current writing teams are.
Jonathan Hickman is basically plot-master for the entire range of X-Books at the moment, with some of the books written by other people but with him as a sort of showrunner for the range.

If you can pick up the House of X/Powers of X relaunch series, it's really good.

I'm a bit behind the current events (haven't read anything since February... was going to use lockdown to catch up but apparently that hasn't happened), but as far as the ongoing stuff goes, New Mutants and Marauders were a lot of fun. Excalibur's got some nice ideas but was lacking in execution a little. I think Hickman's core "X-Men" book will (like everything else he writes) work best read in chunks rather than month-to-month.

Not sure how familiar you are with Hickman, but he likes him some dense long-game plotmastery. He's like a young Warren Ellis and Alan Moore thrown in a blender.

But yeah, highly recommend House/Powers, just understand that (while it's sort of self-contained) it's a launch-pad for the other books more than a complete story on its own merits. There is an insanely good retcon twist (not covered in that article as far as I've skimmed) with regards to Moira MacTaggert which I'd definitely recommend not knowing before you read it.

For the stuff post-House/Powers, Marvel have been doing "Dawn of X" trades, which seem to collect the titles in publication order (ie a book of #1s, a book of #2s) which is a nice alternative if you want to sample the entire range instead of just buying the individual TPBs.

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Re: X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

Post by Denyer » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:25 pm

Chees for the briefing.

Don't think I've come across him, the X books are really the only thing I kept up with at all and when they ran out of ideas and started racing through their greatest hits and more reality warping alt-universe hookum in shrinking circles not even that; it looks like he's previously focused on Avengers and FF. Those are good comparisons.

They needed to do something to help more casual readers, the formula of events being crammed into a handful of issues and most of the context being spattered across other books only worked for diehard singles readers and maybe Panini followers (and the latter titles were cutting their page count if memory serves, can't think their sales numbers are too healthy now). Meaningfully sequenced collected editions will help -- the Amazon reviews seem happy about the reading order for a change.

Now if they can just hang onto the good writers.

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Re: X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

Post by HotdogDivebomb 2.0 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:48 pm

Denyer wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:25 pm
Now if they can just hang onto the good writers.
It's actually Hickman's second go-round at Marvel. He was on-board from about 2008(ish?), took over Fantastic Four in about 2009/10, which led into Avengers (two concurrent books) in 2012, which then culminated in Secret Wars 2015... then after that he stopped writing for Marvel altogether. I think he was burnt-out on superheroes, which isn't surprising given the sheer page-count of his FF/Avengers run, plus dovetailing it into an Event.

The X-Men stuff is his first work for the company since 2015.

I think the promise of basically being given (essentially) free-reign across the entire range is what lured him back.

His creator-owned stuff is really worth looking out for. I think you'd enjoy his first two books - "Nightly News" and "Pax Romana". He does the art in them as well, and loves an infographic - a trademark that he's carried over into his work-for-hire stuff.

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Re: X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

Post by CharlizeBaker » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:20 am

i am indifferent right now about marvel , i can say not bad but for me is not acctual

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Re: X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

Post by Denyer » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:57 pm

Well, ordered that. It'll want re-reads. Been a while since I skimmed anything making notes.
SPOILER! (select to read)
There are elements of the City of the Saved as well as Culture-esque backups, plus Subliming, and all of this is going to make future writing that hits a reset button more jarring than usual, assuming it's taken to be the main timeline. It probably works better as a self-contained one since intrigue on a Special Circumstances level is difficult to plot, lends itself to certain types of story and occupies key characters away from traditional simple beat-em-up ones.

So we've got Xavier and retinue ascended as Weatherman, High, Doctor, Engineer, God of Cities, etc. There are what seem to be explicit callbacks (but may be as much parallel use) to Authority art and MiracleMan "golden age" celebration scenes. The Gaiman-following-Moore overtones are very strong in those parts.

Storytelling is a mass of setup told retrospectively, which most of the way through I preferred to the 'future' segments and would have liked to see unfold linearly, but in retrospect putting the Mold/Nimrod plotline to bed initially was a good decision and supports the bigger picture Moira's bringing together and grappling with. And it doesn't take too much of a leap of faith to keep reading, it's still very fast-paced and dense for two mini-series.

The infographic thing works, as do the helpful text notes. Particularly with the pause for articulation of idealogy; multiply, don't murder, respect land. The vignette using Creed to define this was a particular highlight. It very successfully synthesises cinematic style with written/drawn form. And there are lots of deft quick touches, Namor still recalling the Illuminati era, the season metaphor actually being something characters would think of, etc. There's plenty missing so far too; what do the more villainous council members (and indeed anyone else) want there beyond curiosity? (Admittedly the rest of the world still exists as a chess board to keep score with). We haven't really seen the living habitats for what's supposedly a huge population, or what's there to fulfil them.

I like that it's not human-reaction focused, and most key players are accounted for. There are presumably some near-god-tier characters missing but I don't know who's supposed to be active any more. The all-in-one place conceit provides friction and a plot seed, and the Charles/Erik hubris at the end gives some idea of how this will go.

Some of the framework I'm not sure can be successfully clarified. How does groundhog day type resurrection work? Have all of the events from Marvel X-continuity cited in the notes still actually happened in this timeline, or does she just remember them from other timelines? Wrapping this up in the question of avoiding all paths leading to defeat could ultimately be a bit of a squib and distract from enjoying the setup, and as I say not really a fan of the 'future' stuff. Focusing on current events, having gotten everyone together, is the selling point.

But for now it's very satisfying and fun ideas and scene-setting, nicely self-contained.
From the descriptions of Hickman's own and co-written stuff it sounds like percolating ideas for the X-Men stuff, so will definitely put on the list to check out when time allows.

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Re: X-Men is getting a bit meta (recent-ish comic spoilers)

Post by Warcry » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:26 pm

Hickman's Fantastic Four was absolutely amazing. It was the first modern take on the team I've seen whose author actually seemed to LIKE the F4 and understand what made the 60s and 70s books so popular. It was nice to see some F4 stories finally that embraced the "family" aspect of the team instead of trying to subvert or "modernize" it. My understanding is that Marvel quickly ruined them again right after he stopped working on the book, though. :(

My personal take on X-Men is that Marvel clearly stopped publishing the series around Age of Apocalypse, and anyone who talks about stories that came afterwards is clearly just imagining things. :) But I have to admit that I'm very tempted to see what Hickman has done with them, because he feels like the sort of writer who could actually stand a chance of making the book good again.

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