Earth-616 Vs. X-Men

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August 22, 2016 by NowhereButPop

by Andrew Doscas


Marvel is no longer the House of Ideas.  In fact, they really haven’t been since they moved into the House of M.  How can they still claim to be the House of Ideas when they’re simply rehashing the same story ideas over and over again?  Besides being written by Brian Bendis, the biggest criticism of Civil War II is that it’s exactly the same as Civil War.  Marvel couldn’t even come up with a better name than reusing the Secret Wars title for their 2015-2016 universe-altering crossover.  But the biggest piece of evidence that Marvel has simply run out of ideas (good or otherwise) is how they treat the X-Men franchise.

Marvel’s mutants have always had a particularly strenuous existence within Earth-616—That’s simply their lot in life; they’re persecuted because they’re different.  But over the past 10 years, Marvel has upped the mutant’s misery index by repeating the same calamities.  Between Avengers Vs. X-Men, and the upcoming Inhumans Vs. X-Men, it seems like the X-Men only exist today to get their asses kicked by whatever franchise Marvel is trying too hard to promote.[1]  Whenever they’re not getting their asses handed to them by lesser franchises, mutants are rallying from the point of extinction.  Back in 2006, the House of M wiped out all but 198 (of the most important) mutants, and now 10 years later, after making a small and poorly explained resurgence, homo superior are back on the brink of extinction because of both some M-Pox virus (whatever the hell that is) and the now-lethal terrigen mists, which sterilizes any mutant in comes into contact with.  For the past 10 years, Marvel has literally been trying to kill the mutants.  Not only that, but they’ve been trying to do so in the same repeated fashion as well.

There’s no point in asking why anymore either.  As much as I hate to buy into any conspiracy theory, I think the it’s because of their dispute with 20th Century Fox.  It’s been analyzed and explained so many times throughout the internet that I need not go into further detail, but the evidence is there.[2]  From interviews of Brian Bendis where he’ll suddenly start talking about the rumors that Marvel hates the X-Men despite being interviewed about Ultimate Spider-Man, to keeping Greg Land on an X-Book, it’s clear that Marvel no longer views the X-Men franchise as a priority.

But, what makes it worse is when Marvel begins to troll X-Men fans.  It’s no secret that we X-Fans are the most passionate, most intense comic book fans.  I mean, with a continuity as complex and imposing as ours, you kinda have to be moderately insane to like the X-Men.  But that’s why X-Fans are the best comic book fans.  In order to really love and appreciate the X-Men, you have to embrace and ingest the continuity.  There’s no way that you can shy away from it and still call yourself a true X-Fan.  We’re not as violent as Spider-Man fans, who will send death letters to Marvel over the slightest alteration to the character, but we have a loud voice that Marvel has constantly chosen to ignore over the past few years.  No other superhero(es) has nearly as many blogs, websites, or articles written about them than do the X-Men.  So why then is Marvel fucking with us non-stop?

death of x

Stop trying to make the Inhumans happen Marvel.  They’re never gonna catch on.

X-Men fans have been through enough as is already.  Over the past 25 years, no other franchise has been strangled by such overt editorial interference and poorly decision making.  X-Fans have had to survive Bob Harras and his inexplicably enormous ego, Joe Casey’s directionless run on Uncanny X-Men, Chuck Austen, who’s ensuing run on Uncanny X-Men is considered the worst run in comic book history, drawn out plots that eventually go nowhere[3], the needless vilification of Cyclops, two editor-in-chiefs who want to destroy the franchise and have made no attempts at hiding their dubious plans, and a constant barrage of recycled stories.[4]  It’s safe to say that X-Fans deserve better than the stories that we’ve been given.

When Marvel’s initial October solicits were released, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso revealed that they purposely left off the X-books just to make us X-Fans sweat.  For a fan base that’s been borderline abused by Marvel over the past decade, this move conveys a lack of concern or appreciation for the 55,000 of us who buy Uncanny X-Men month in and month out.  As if it weren’t bad enough that the X-Men have become the punching bag for Earth-616, now us fans have become punchlines for Marvel itself.

What makes the slow death of the X-Men even worse is that Marvel is trying to replace them with the Inhumans.  Now, as Paul Jenkins showed us, the Inhumans could be pretty fucking awesome on their own without borrowing a status quo from another franchise.  Instead though, Marvel has handed the Inhumans the mutant status quo of: 1) spontaneous and unwanted change, 2) being feared and hated simply for being who they are, and 3) trying to integrate with a suspicious society despite the attempts of those who would rather conquer humanity than live with them in harmony.  They even stole our fucking adjective for fuck’s sake!!!  The mutants are being sacrificed so that the Inhumans might live.  The X-Men are being marginalized right before our very eyes, and it’s for this reason that sales are half of what they were five years ago.  It’s not because there’s no interest in the X-Men anymore, it’s because there’s no interest in the shitty X-Men stories that Marvel is purposefully churning out these days.  I think X-Fans would rather read about the fight for mutant acceptance, something that would parallel all the social justice movements proliferating through society today rather than seen the X-Men on their knees fighting a lost war for survival.

Marvel heard the rumors on the internet that us X-Fans feared we were being replaced by the Inhumans, and that’s why they created the Inhumans Vs. X-Men storyline—Just to fuck with us even more.  We know that the Inhumans win that battle based off of dialogue in Extraordinary X-Men, and from the shambles that the franchise is currently in.  So why then does Marvel want X-Fans to pay $5 for six issues of watching our favorite superheroes get knocked down and have their asses handed to them?  As if it wasn’t bad enough that the X-Men were turned into the villains for the Avengers Vs. X-Men storyline, which the X-Men lost by the way, we now have the be the piñata that the Inhumans beat up just to make them look good at the X-Men’s expense.  Don’t be surprised if three years from now you see Guardians of the Galaxy Vs. X-Men, or Great Lakes Avengers Vs. X-Men, the latter of which would surely be a sign of the apocalypse.

Never in their entire histories has Marvel or DC purposely put a cornerstone franchise of theirs through so much misery for such a prolonged period of time.  Remember, from like 1981 until Marvel decided they wanted The Avengers to be their cornerstone franchise (A.K.A. 2005), the X-books were consistently Marvel’s highest selling franchise.  In the 10 years since, they had to make the X-Men franchise so miserable and not fun that thousands of lifelong fans had to leave the franchise because of Marvel’s machinations.  It just seems as though Marvel executives forgot that they could be making way more money by having the X-Men actually win again.  X-Fans don’t want to see their beloved X-Men on their hands and knees bowing to another superhero team, nor do we want to see out cherished mutants die out and go extinct.  We want them to be the heroes that they used to be, the heroes that they should be.  I can’t be the only one who thinks this current status quo wore out its welcome almost from the moment it was mandated by editorial.  It’s no coincidence that the quality of X-Men comics took a steep decline once this whole “No more mutants” status quo took hold.  Why can’t anyone at Marvel just say “No more of this no more mutants bullshit”?

[1] As of May 2016, Uncanny X-Men is outselling Uncanny Inhumans 2:1.  Stop trying Marvel, the Inhumans are never going to happen.

[2] This is what happens when the movies become bigger than the comics that inspired them.

[3] What the fuck ever happened to Hope Summers and how was she supposed to be the mutant messiah?  And when the hell are we going to see Apocalypse proper again?  We haven’t seen him since 2006.

[4] Examples include: The return of Archangel, Evan Sabahnur being turned into Apocalypse, Magneto rejoining the X-Men, (insert X-Men here) betraying the team, random X-Men being empowered by the Phoenix Force, Beast reverting to his simian form, and the return of sentinels.

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