State of the X-Books

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State of the X-Books

Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:49 pm

Someone on the forum alerted me to the existence of X-Factor #1 yesterday. Despite the fact that Marvel has a list of upcoming X-Men issues and titles in the back of the X books, I didn't know it was happening.

I've never read an issue of X-Factor before (that and New Mutants are my two X-Men blindspots), but I picked it up. I've been trying to give each new X title a shot because I truly want to love them. The X-Men are my comfort food, and, when done properly, they can also introduce new and challenging themes. Hickman has done a lot of that so far in the X-Men relaunch.

Anyway, I hadn't read writer Leah Williams before, but I found the first issue to be pretty delightful. David Baldeón's art seems to be a good match for her whimsical, poignant story. Of the group, I'm really only familiar with Daken, and that was from Uncanny X-Force. I don't know much about the rest of the cast, and I'm excited to learn more about Polaris or Prodigy in particular. I'd recommend checking it out.

We're only one issue in, but X-Factor is up alongside X-Men and New Mutants as my favorite Dawn of X titles right now.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:42 am

For what they are, I'm enjoying all of the X books right now. Some less than others, granted( Excalibur). Hellions and Marauders for me are looking to be the most interesting. I love Wolverine as a character but...50 years of hack and slash... meh. New Mutants has a great deal of potential and I hope some of the "newer" mutants find strong homes there ( Armor,Pixie,Surge, Rock-slide). I would like to see more of the Morlocks and MLF used. So far my favorite thing in New Mutants was the inclusion of Wild Side. I think there's lots of untapped potential for character development there.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:35 pm

Hickman is sometimes guilty of playing his greatest hits. He's doing that again with the four children of ~spoiler~ in X of Swords. It's the same formula he used in East of West and with the Black Order, but holy shit that first issue was so [email protected]#$ badass that I have no choice but to let it slide. I haven't been this excited about a Marvel event in a long, long time.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:55 pm

I'm just happy he keeps using Monet. Always loved that character.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:51 pm

X of Swords is terrible. Its random garbage. And its going on far longer than it should, for reasons I cant fathom.
I hope its over soon.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:33 pm

The Scream Man wrote: X of Swords is terrible. Its random garbage. And its going on far longer than it should, for reasons I cant fathom.
I hope its over soon.
....Yeeeeaaaahh....

Like, I really -wanted- to like it. And on paper it should be right up my alley to just give a bunch of characters swords. But thanks, I hate it. The storyline is just nonsensical junk. The need to make EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN THING that happens in the Marvel Universe tie in to some kind of primordial cosmic blah blah is [email protected]#$ exhausting.

I was really positive on where Dawn of X (or whatever we're calling the X-Men revamp) could have gone. And instead it's gone [email protected]#$-all nowhere except into the same over-done, poorly-explained, poorly-planned bullshit that made people want X-Men to get retconned in the first place.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:48 pm

Up until SOX (SO close to SUX...) I was doing ok with the Revamp. I didnt love it, but it had some great stories peppered throughout. But it all just feels off. Like there was a big change at the start and then... just no one mentions it. So many questions about how we got to the start point on Krakoa are unanswered, and I almost feel like all the stories are a big distraction. Like the longer it goes on, the more people will just forget that theres a whole chunk of time unaccounted for and many things that dont make sense.

For minor example; Why does Cyclops still need a visor? When he was "Reborn" (Which must have happened at least twice, since he also has his eye back that he lost) it should have negated the brain damage right? That wasnt a genetic issue, thats because of a brain damage issue he had as a kid. So why does he still need the visor?
Or Strong Guy; We have seen him in the background, still looking giant; but he would have had to be reborn as well, and his power isnt being super giant. Its absorbing and redirecting kinetic impact; his giant frame was due to being hit by a bus as a kid and his body swelling. It leaves him in constant pain. Why is it still that way; shouldnt he be regular sized now?

So much doesnt make sense to me...
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Re: State of the X-Books

Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:34 am

The Scream Man wrote:So much doesnt make sense to me...
You're not the only one.

How much spare Adamntium do they keep laying around for whenever they have to bring Wolverine back? If Omega Red dies, will they make him new Carbonadium tendrils?
Honestly, I don't think this storyline was planned out -nearly- to the extent that was advertised because it really doesn't even seem like they know what's going on anymore. And I know for sure that I don't.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:48 pm

A few weeks ago, I said X of Swords is my favorite Marvel event since Secret Wars, and that's still the case. I've read a lot of fan criticism about this event, but I think it's delightful. Admittedly, I don't know a ton about Saturnyne, but I think it makes total sense that she'd forgo a grand sword tournament for random, nonsensical competitions. To be fair, though, we've gotten quite a few sword fights in between. She has a grudge against multiple X-Men, so she's tipped the scales a bit.

Hickman's X books have given me a taste of mutants like Gorgon, Exodus, and the New Mutants, who I never knew much about. It's allowed extravagant characters like Mr. Sinister to take center stage (I may have to give Hellions another shot) and presented some big-picture ideas that the X-Men have never faced before. I understand why X of Swords may not work for you if you don't like Hickman subverting expectations, but his X-Men run is easily my favorite since Remender's Uncanny X-Force and Whedon's Astonishing X-Men.

I think the weakest part of X of Swords is the pure exposition about Arrako. Hickman tends to be a bit hamfisted with lore like that. Four pages of information would've been enough, I didn't need multiple issues explaining the history.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:16 pm

TheSameIdiot wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:48 pm
A few weeks ago, I said X of Swords is my favorite Marvel event since Secret Wars, and that's still the case. I've read a lot of fan criticism about this event, but I think it's delightful. Admittedly, I don't know a ton about Saturnyne, but I think it makes total sense that she'd forgo a grand sword tournament for random, nonsensical competitions. To be fair, though, we've gotten quite a few sword fights in between. She has a grudge against multiple X-Men, so she's tipped the scales a bit.

Hickman's X books have given me a taste of mutants like Gorgon, Exodus, and the New Mutants, who I never knew much about. It's allowed extravagant characters like Mr. Sinister to take center stage (I may have to give Hellions another shot) and presented some big-picture ideas that the X-Men have never faced before. I understand why X of Swords may not work for you if you don't like Hickman subverting expectations, but his X-Men run is easily my favorite since Remender's Uncanny X-Force and Whedon's Astonishing X-Men.

I think the weakest part of X of Swords is the pure exposition about Arrako. Hickman tends to be a bit hamfisted with lore like that. Four pages of information would've been enough, I didn't need multiple issues explaining the history.
Hellions is great! It's made me a fan of characters like Nanny and Scalphunter. Still think it's dumb to have Kwannon running around calling herself Psylocke though. X of Swords started out pretty strong, it's definitely getting a bit nonsensical at this point but I'm still enjoying it for the most part.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:45 am

TheSameIdiot wrote: A few weeks ago, I said X of Swords is my favorite Marvel event since Secret Wars, and that's still the case. I've read a lot of fan criticism about this event, but I think it's delightful. Admittedly, I don't know a ton about Saturnyne, but I think it makes total sense that she'd forgo a grand sword tournament for random, nonsensical competitions. To be fair, though, we've gotten quite a few sword fights in between. She has a grudge against multiple X-Men, so she's tipped the scales a bit.

Hickman's X books have given me a taste of mutants like Gorgon, Exodus, and the New Mutants, who I never knew much about. It's allowed extravagant characters like Mr. Sinister to take center stage (I may have to give Hellions another shot) and presented some big-picture ideas that the X-Men have never faced before. I understand why X of Swords may not work for you if you don't like Hickman subverting expectations, but his X-Men run is easily my favorite since Remender's Uncanny X-Force and Whedon's Astonishing X-Men.

I think the weakest part of X of Swords is the pure exposition about Arrako. Hickman tends to be a bit hamfisted with lore like that. Four pages of information would've been enough, I didn't need multiple issues explaining the history.

There's two disparate aspects in this for me that I do want to clarify:

I loooove the character of Saturnyne. I love bringing in the Otherworld stuff, because I actually adore the 'fey' side of the Marvel magic stuff. And, on top of all that, I love the aspect of the storyline where Saturnyne is [email protected]#$ with the X-Men and just making them both fight, and do stupid nonsense that's SO very 'fey' in how it's written.
However, the flip side of that is that I absolutely despise everything about the Arrako part. Every bit of it. I don't think there's a single redeeming feature of Arrako even -existing- in the MU. I think it's garbage writing on top of just being unnecessary. And it also suffers because the entire thing, as I said above, is bringing mutants into this primordial cosmic power structure that I feel is.. shitty, lazy writing AND undermines the point of that entire aspect of the MU.

If you could somehow extricate Arrako and everything Arrakoan from the Saturnyne storyline, it may well have been one of my favorite Marvel stories ever. That's how night and day the two aspects of this storyline are for me.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:47 am

KnightDamien wrote:
TheSameIdiot wrote: A few weeks ago, I said X of Swords is my favorite Marvel event since Secret Wars, and that's still the case. I've read a lot of fan criticism about this event, but I think it's delightful. Admittedly, I don't know a ton about Saturnyne, but I think it makes total sense that she'd forgo a grand sword tournament for random, nonsensical competitions. To be fair, though, we've gotten quite a few sword fights in between. She has a grudge against multiple X-Men, so she's tipped the scales a bit.

Hickman's X books have given me a taste of mutants like Gorgon, Exodus, and the New Mutants, who I never knew much about. It's allowed extravagant characters like Mr. Sinister to take center stage (I may have to give Hellions another shot) and presented some big-picture ideas that the X-Men have never faced before. I understand why X of Swords may not work for you if you don't like Hickman subverting expectations, but his X-Men run is easily my favorite since Remender's Uncanny X-Force and Whedon's Astonishing X-Men.

I think the weakest part of X of Swords is the pure exposition about Arrako. Hickman tends to be a bit hamfisted with lore like that. Four pages of information would've been enough, I didn't need multiple issues explaining the history.

There's two disparate aspects in this for me that I do want to clarify:

I loooove the character of Saturnyne. I love bringing in the Otherworld stuff, because I actually adore the 'fey' side of the Marvel magic stuff. And, on top of all that, I love the aspect of the storyline where Saturnyne is [email protected]#$ with the X-Men and just making them both fight, and do stupid nonsense that's SO very 'fey' in how it's written.
However, the flip side of that is that I absolutely despise everything about the Arrako part. Every bit of it. I don't think there's a single redeeming feature of Arrako even -existing- in the MU. I think it's garbage writing on top of just being unnecessary. And it also suffers because the entire thing, as I said above, is bringing mutants into this primordial cosmic power structure that I feel is.. shitty, lazy writing AND undermines the point of that entire aspect of the MU.

If you could somehow extricate Arrako and everything Arrakoan from the Saturnyne storyline, it may well have been one of my favorite Marvel stories ever. That's how night and day the two aspects of this storyline are for me.
This hits it on the head for me, I think. All of this Arrako stuff has me so completely and utterly disinterested in everything. I genuinely enjoyed the concept of the direction for the X-Books that HoX/DoX set up, but taking my least favorite aspects of my least favorite books and blowing them up into a, what, 24 part maxi-crossover just feels like such a chore. I hate all of this. Apocalypse and his dysfunctional family. "Mutant magic". Making us read the same issue, what, twice? Three times? Just with slightly different dialogue, all to clarify the slightly different history of a world I just don't care about?

I'm all about Saturnyne playing fey games with the X-Men. All about it. But Excalibur has been a shitty, rotten, nonsense boom from the word go. I detest what they've done to Betsy, I don't know why the [email protected]#$ they de-aged Jubilee's son, Gambit and Rogue don't belong anywhere near this book, and Rictor. God.

I'm all about an X-Book that dwells in magic and fey and weirdness, but this ain't how you do it, and I hate it being such a cornerstone for the current direction of the books. I thought the issue with Cyclops and Gorgon playing bodyguard for Xavier/Magneto/Apocalypse was far, far more intriguing than this sudden swerve.

Meh.

On the flip side, though, yes, oh my God do I LOOOOOVE Hellions, even if I still absolutely abhor what they've done to Betsy and Kwannon.

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Re: State of the X-Books

Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:48 am

I assumed everyone's criticism was related to Saturnyne [email protected]#$ with the X-Men and the tournament being non-traditional because that's been the extent of the fan criticism I've seen so far.

You're all preaching to the choir with Arrako, Kwannon/Betsy, and Excalibur being junk. I grit my teeth and bear the Arrako stuff. Hickman likes to invent wholly new worlds and histories. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they very much do not. Even when they do work, it's a huge expo dump, and I don't think Arrako works, which makes it worse. I should clarify that I think several of the Arrakoan competitors are great characters, but we could've had that without the ridiculousness. Hell, they could've been competitors from an unheard part of Otherworld who Saturnyne drafted for the tournament.

I gave Excalibur about five issues before I dropped it. On paper I should've liked it, which makes it more disappointing. I agree with Piffy about Rogue and Gambit. Generally speaking, I think Rogue should be used sparingly and Gambit not at all.

I'm a little warier of Hickman's X-Men run than I was six months ago, but I think it's been good for the brand. Reinventing characters, revitalizing the X-books, and changing directions can only help the X-Men going forward. They were in dire straits two years ago.

And I still think Hickman has the chance to do some amazing stuff, even if it's more along the lines of Morrison's great-but-uneven run than his flawless Fantastic Four run.
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Re: State of the X-Books

Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:27 am

TheSameIdiot wrote:I assumed everyone's criticism was related to Saturnyne [email protected]#$ with the X-Men and the tournament being non-traditional because that's been the extent of the fan criticism I've seen so far.

You're all preaching to the choir with Arrako, Kwannon/Betsy, and Excalibur being junk. I grit my teeth and bear the Arrako stuff. Hickman likes to invent wholly new worlds and histories. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they very much do not. Even when they do work, it's a huge expo dump, and I don't think Arrako works, which makes it worse. I should clarify that I think several of the Arrakoan competitors are great characters, but we could've had that without the ridiculousness. Hell, they could've been competitors from an unheard part of Otherworld who Saturnyne drafted for the tournament.

I gave Excalibur about five issues before I dropped it. On paper I should've liked it, which makes it more disappointing. I agree with Piffy about Rogue and Gambit. Generally speaking, I think Rogue should be used sparingly and Gambit not at all.

I'm a little warier of Hickman's X-Men run than I was six months ago, but I think it's been good for the brand. Reinventing characters, revitalizing the X-books, and changing directions can only help the X-Men going forward. They were in dire straits two years ago.

And I still think Hickman has the chance to do some amazing stuff, even if it's more along the lines of Morrison's great-but-uneven run than his flawless Fantastic Four run.
I'm fine with the Saturnyne twist, really, but I do absolutely understand the criticism. To me, the best twists are the ones where, after the fact, you can look back at what came before and go "Ohhhhhhhhh...wow, should've seen that coming". We don't really have that, here, which, okay, fine. Fey stuff.

But putting aside the awful Arrako stuff, the first half of this actually had some solid character moments as everyone sought out their weapons. Storm betraying Wakanda, Wolverine and what'[email protected]#$ seeking their swords, Illyana training a terrified Doug, there was some solid stuff there. So I get the frustration and the lopsided feeling this event is giving people, because that all feels kinda pointless now, which, yeah, is the point, sure, but is it executed well? Eh.

I'm ready for this to be wrapped up. I want to delve into mutant nation politics. I want to see the drama between Xavier, Eric, and Apocalypse unfolding behind the scenes. I wanna see Nightcrawler and Mystique coming together over their distrust in the current system and getting to the heart of the island. I wanna delve into the minds of mutants who've been dead for ages and are resurrected to all of this. There's already so much potential to this new setup that focusing on this so quickly feels like a waste.

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Re: State of the X-Books

Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:46 pm

I've been loving the X line ever since the relaunch almost across the board (with some small exceptions) and most of this year has been hits for me. I get why people are not digging X-of-Swords (because almost everything about it is [email protected]#$ stupid) for whatever reason I'm really enjoying it. I absolutely feeling the entire subplot of exasperated Wolverine where everything he does seems to be blowing up in his face. As my favorite character his arc has been enjoyable enough that I'm able to overlook whatever flaws there clearly are. And, for what its worth, I'm digging how this has developed Apocalypse and his backstory. Yeah, Arrako is absurd but it does lend some interesting weight and backstory to Apocalypse and he has probably been the character to benefit most from the current continuity.

I am absolutely thirsty for all the various subplots to finally come to a head. The Moria thing has to eventually go public on the island. When is Mystique going to finally be fed up with being given the run-around on reviving Destiny. How is the whole Dracula Vampire thing thats been bubbling in the back of the entire Marvel U going to effect Krakoa with Omega red clearly being a spy for them (and how they've been after Wolverine's blood). When is the hammer finally going to come down on Shaw for his various backstabbings (and most importantly killing Kitty). WTF is Sinister scheming. I'm REALLY looking forward to X-23/Wolverine to return with the crew that got sent into that Vault thing way early on in the main X-men book (which appears to be being dealt with very soon). There's enough interesting stuff going on in the various books that I'm totally hooked for a while more. It's such an incredibly weird status quo and I don't want this to be the x-books forever but it feels so fresh and interesting to me that I also don't want it to revert back to the old status quo too soon.

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