This isn’t a rumor, or speculation, or based on any kind of insider knowledge, but we’ve got a great idea for what Marvel should do with their upcoming X-Men reboot — and since we happen to have the platform of a major entertainment news site to blabber about it on, you’re stuck reading it. Check this out, true believers…
We know that Marvel is almost certainly planning to relaunch Uncanny X-Men, probably in September. When they do it, they should reboot it as a weekly series with a creative team led by the great Chris Claremont, working with the multiple creators that otherwise would be dedicated to the multiple ongoing core X-Books Marvel publishes on a regular basis.
But Jude Terror, you say. You’ve spent years complaining about super-mega-crossover events, double-shipping, and price-gouging at Marvel. How can you possibly turn around and ask for more of exactly that?! Have you lost your mind? Have you turned traitor? We understand where you’re coming from. Yes, it’s true. Normally, we are not a fan of event comics, nor are we a fan of flooding the market, and we are especially not a fan of comics costing five bucks each. But in this case, we’re willing to make an exception.
Hear us out: Marvel is going to do that with X-Men books no matter what. Currently, we have X-Men Blue, X-Men Gold, X-Men Red, Astonishing X-Men, and multiple X-adjacent titles. X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold both ship twice monthly, as do some of the adjacent titles. That’s six “core” X-books each month, at $4 each, for a total of $24 a month. A weekly Uncanny X-Men would be just 4 books each month, and if they cost $5 an issue (in exchange for more content), it would amount to $20 a month, a net savings.
The X-Men are one of the all-time great franchises in superhero comics, and there’s no reason that a weekly Uncanny X-Men comic, if promoted properly as a big event, couldn’t top the sales charts if marketed right. One of the key components of that marketing should be a combination of celebrating the history of the X-Men while pushing forward new ideas. What better way to do that than to use Chris Claremont, the writer of some of the most beloved X-Men comics of all time, which have been mined for countless movies, TV shows, and rehashed modern comics plot lines over and over again, in combination with some of Marvel’s other veteran and up-and-coming talent?
Marvel pays Chris Claremont right now to sit on his ass and do nothing. He is a Marvel exclusive writer who doesn’t write any ongoing comics for Marvel. Why is that? It’s not out of respect for his past accomplishments. Marvel is a corporation and they don’t care about that, just like they don’t care about you. The reason Marvel pays Chris Claremont *not* to write comics is because they’re afraid of a competitor capitalizing on his name. This seems ridiculous. Why not capitalize on it themselves?
For months, we’ve been reading and recapping every currently-published X-Men comic in our X-Men: Bland Design column, and simultaneously re-reading Claremont’s run as X-Men writer on Marvel Unlimited, and we’re absolutely certain that the majority of the problems with the current X-books that we frequently complain about — poor pacing, lack of explanation about characters and their powers, the failure to properly reference past issues to enhance the understanding of current events — are all things that Claremont could teach Marvel how to do properly again if given the chance. Hell, 99% of the problems in the current X-books could be solved by just having Claremont take the existing pages and add about 30% more text in the form of caption boxes and thought bubbles. The problem of crappy pacing would be inherently solved by taking four ongoing stories stretched out into trade paperback sized chunks and splitting them up as concurrent ongoing plotlines in a single title. As a bonus, there would be cohesion across the stories with a team of creators working together to craft them.
And yes, we do understand that letting Claremont back near an X-book runs the risk of something like “Dino-Rachel” happening again (though we’d take that any day of the week over a Venom crossover). But that is where the master can learn from the students, as current generation creators can help Claremont adjust to the modern comics landscape.
When it all ends, as all good things must do, especially in the reboot-happy comics industry, Marvel will have a team of creators who had the chance to spend six months or a year working with and learning from one of the all-time greats, which they can use to launch additional X-books, as we know Marvel will be champing at the bit to do anyway. Chris Claremont should continue to write comics for Marvel, of course; it’s absolutely criminal that Marvel has wasted the last decade of opportunity to have him do so. And he would be a great choice for something like a creative director role for the X-books for the next decade as well.
Anyway, that’s how we’d do it if we were booking the Uncanny X-Men reboot. Let us know what you would do, if you had the chance, in the comments.