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Home > Letters to CR

Adam Casey On Why X-Men Forever Might Have An Audience After All
posted February 19, 2009
 

As someone who has done a tour of duty in a comic shop, comic fans are obsessed with possibilities and the comic equivelant of "comfort food". Claremont's "X-Men Forever".

Being that the American comic book industry was built around stories of what might happen, it's natural for fans to become acclimated to alternate pasts, presents, and future-- especially X-Men fans. Even people who haven't read any X-Men titles are aware of the characters' time travelling and dimension hopping exploits (and that some of the characters are their own grandfathers or some sort of familial mumbo jumbo.)

Next comes the comfort food angle. It's repeatedly quoted (though has it ever been verified?) that upon Marvel gaining a certain market share that their characters would no longer change but have the illusion of such. There was also the (also historically questionable) assertion that readership turns over every couple of years and so past storylines can be recycled.

Right now, looking at the racks, there's an X-Men mini-series riffing on the Inferno crossover from 20 years ago, a title devoted to the early (if somewhat re-imagined) days of the first batch of X-Men, another focusing on Wolverine's early days with the team, a mini-series about the early days of Weapon X, another about the history of Spider-Man and the X-Men, and a sequel to Marvels focusing on the Bronze Age. One assumes Marvel wouldn't publish anything that wouldn't be at least a smidge profitable, so they must know what they're doing.

To that end, "X-Men Forever" is one long, drawn out "What If" for all those Marvel Zombies who don't really care about the health and longevity of the medium, but rather are more interested in the sequential art equivelant of a movie shown on the Sci-Fi Channel on a lazy Sunday afternoon when the remote has fallen behind the couch.