In Hickman We Trust, A New Frontier for the X-men

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News spread across the net about Hickman demanding Marvel to cancel all current X-titles in an attempt to salvage the now wayward brand. The X-Men comic book franchise has been fractured since the polarizing conclusion of AvX and hasn’t quite found its footing since. Even after countless rebranding, relaunches and “resets,” the X-men comic book line has been more misses than hits. It seemed like Marvel was just throwing anything at the wall and hoped something would stick.

Jonathan Hickman noticed that the X-Men needed to be placed back at the upper echelon of the Marvel Universe. To do so, he convinved Marvel to discontinue all current X-men books in favor of his upcoming X-men event starting this summer. In an interview with he explained in great detail why this was a necessary move:

“For the most part, I don’t believe incrementalism works in fictional universes, and that, I think, is why almost every big franchise change that occurs has a delineated starting point. I mean, it does work, which is why the industry often abuses it as a sales tactic.

And in the spirit of ‘what works’ and also ‘what the market is used to’, I didn’t feel like just doing a new number one was enough. I also didn’t think that if we were serious about what we were trying to do we should have a mixed message in the market about what an X-book is.
So I argued for cancelling the entire line: Why it would work, why it was a good idea, and most importantly, why it was what we needed to do narratively to return the X-Men to their rightful prominent position in the Marvel Universe.

We needed to sell the idea that this is what we’re going to be doing for the next few years. So if you want to read X-Men books during the run from late-July through September, House of X and Powers of X are the only new X-books available and everything that’s going to follow is based on them. We wanted to be clear to the fans, to the stores, and just as importantly, to the creators who are going to be staffing these books in the future. We wanted the message to be very clear: This is a whole new era for the X-Men. This is what we’re doing now.

And so, POX and HOX is how we’re starting. It’s a solid plan, I think.”

Marvel has a vested interest in seeing the X-Men succeed more than ever since Disney reclaimed the movie rights when they bought Fox. Hickman has a track record of writing stories that have a long game. His last big hurrah was Secret Wars which had some great writing. Hickman does a great job of planting seeds and having them grow over time little by little. And then he pulls out the big reveal. Usually a good formula for any comic book franchise. Its remarkable that Marvel has such confidence in Hickman to agree to such a gamble. Its almost an annual event where Marvel announces a new relauch of X-men promising amazing stories that harken back to the golden era of the franchise. However, this time does feel much different. A lot of the major players like Cyclops and Jean Grey have been revived. Hickman will have most if not all the prominent X-Men characters to use in upcoming events leading into the new X-Men comic.

I’m personally hopeful that this bold move will pay off. Its a shame that X-Men Red got the chop as that was my favorite X-Men book since the post AvX Uncanny X-Men book. Hickman’s House of X #1 and Powers of X #1 will go on sale in July from Marvel Comics.

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