Q: Why do you think the X-Men didn't find their audience until two decades after they were created? -- @godofthunder851
A: I've got a minor quibble with your timing in this question -- it was more like 12 or 15 years, really -- but you've got an interesting point there. I think most comics readers are well aware of that piece of trivia about how the X-Men were about to get the axe before Giant Size X-Men #1 breathed new life into the franchise and set them on the path of becoming what was probably the single most popular and influential franchise of the '80s and '90s, and that's not really how things usually work. In comics, you tend to either come out of the gate to massive, enduring popularity (like Batman or Spider-Man), come out strong and then fade away for whatever reason (like, sadly, Shazam!), or just sort of flounder in the midcard. It's rare that something sticks around on the edge of being canceled for a solid decade before it finds its footing, and nobody bounced back harder than Marvel's Merry Mutants.
But really, what you're asking here is two separate questions: Why didn't the X-Men take off in 1963, and why did they in 1975? So let's look at the history and see if we can't figure it out.
The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animatedseries. This week, we finally tackle one of the cornerstones of the X-Men as we continue with the Dark Phoenix Saga!
The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, arrived in theaters this past weekend. This is the sixth time Jackman has played the iconic X-Man, and the role has taken his career to heights it likely otherwise never would have reached, and much of that is owed to Chris Claremont. Along with artist Frank Miller, Claremont created the original Wolverine miniseries that this latest film is largely based on, and over his near 20+ years writing X-Men stories he did more to influence the development of Wolverine than anyone. Despite that, neither Claremont or Miller's name appears anywhere in the credits of the film, with not even so much as a "special thanks."
In an interview for Vulture, Sean Howe, the author of the Eisner-winning Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, asked Claremont for his thoughts on the film, how he feels about seeing his words on screen, and not being given any credit for the film's creation.
This weekend's X-Men: Days of Future Past panel at Comic-Con featured four actors who play two mutants: Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy, who have portrayed Professor Charles Xavier in four combined films, and Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, two actors who've starred as the mutant revolutionary Magneto. Following that, in a clever bit of advertising, 20th Century Fox has released the first two promotional posters for the upcoming X-Men: First Class sequel, with one being a split image of Stewart and McAvoy's respective Xaviers, and the other showcasing McKellen and Fassbender. You can check them both out below.
This April Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel launch a new X-Men title with a roster of Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rachel Grey, Rogue and Storm. That the team is all-female is unusual for a series that isn't defined along gender-lines. What makes the roster extraordinary is that it's an all-star line-up. These are first draft X-Men, and the book could easily have added more top picks -- Dazzler, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, Magik, Mystique -- and still been all-female.
It's hard to think of any other superhero team with such a strong bench of women, and it's especially hard to think of another team where so many female characters rose to prominence within the team itself. What these characters have in common is no mystery; they were all written by Chris Claremont, the man whose name is synonymous with "strong female characters."
New Year: Happy 2013, everybody... except mutants. According to the classic "Days of Future Past" storyline by Chris Claremont and John Byrne (specifically Uncanny X-Men #141, originally released on January 10, 1981), you guys aren't going to have the best year...
This week, Marvel kicked off a big ol' fight between the Avengers and the X-Men in the appropriately named Avengers vs. X-Men. But while the current event promises to be their most important conflict ever, it's hardly the first time those two teams have met up with each other...
This week, "Mutant Genesis," the storyline that ran through the first few issues of Chris Claremont and Jim Lee's '90s "X-Men" series, gets the deluxe hardcover treatment from Marvel.
To say that these issues were popular when they were coming out is underselling it quite a bit: "X-Men" #1 holds the record for the best-selling single issue of all time with over six million copies sold...
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