Back when I first started reading comic books, the primary supporting characters in Uncanny X-Men were Annie Ghazikhanian and her son Carter, Sammy “Squidboy” Pare, and Husk. Until I looked back on it, I really hadn’t thought about how much change a writer brings to a book. He isn’t just picking up where he left off. He’s completely altering the state of the comic.
When Chris Claremont came back to Uncanny X-Men after Chuck Austen, Austen’s subplots were allowed to play out in the other X-Men book. Claremont then brought in his own characters, chiefly ones he’d worked with for decades, into the book. We got yet another Fury story with Claremont’s Uncanny team, another Sunspot story, a series of stories about the Shi’ar and Psylocke being made uber-powerful… it was, in my humble opinion, a step down from Chuck Austen. Blasphemy, I know, but Claremont’s second run was just kinda awful for me. Finally after the First Fallen storyline, Claremont was removed for the book so that Ed Brubaker could come in. Brubaker then took all the X-Men to space and left four of them there (and they’re still not back on Earth yet, in 2011). They then told a story about Morlock Extremists that involved Storm’s new status quo with the Fantastic Four–yeah, things have changed a lot.
Lately, we’ve had a few years under the Matt Fraction rule, and it’s been okay. It’s involved a massive change in direction and location for the X-Men, particularly post-M-Day, where 90% of mutants lost their powers, so on, so forth. And now, well, now we’re onto Kieron Gillen, who I think has revitalized the comic in a big way.
And with today’s news, we find that, after 116 issues over the course of the past many, many years since I became an Uncanny X-Men reader, they’re canceling the book simply to “relaunch” it in another direction.
When you’re reading comic books, it’s easy to get caught up in reading them and think about how quickly everything seems to happen. But looking back? Man. The days of comatose Havok and Nurse Annie and Juggernaut as an X-Man and all of that seems so far away, even if it’s only been a matter of ten years or less.
Just a little post taking you on that trip. Sorry for the rambling.