Each week in X-ual Healing, Bleeding Cool's weekly X-Men recap column, we choose the X-book which that week provided the most satisfying X-Men reading experience, filling one's belly like a juicy sausage grilled by a hairy Canadian with his adamantium claws on a hot Summer day. As we enter the new year of 2020, and a new decade, it's time to look back on 2019 and celebrate the X-Men franchise with the Wolverine's Weiner X-Picks of the Year, a grilled-meat-themed honor unmatched in all of comicsdom.
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
On Monday, we named Jonathan Hickman the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Year for Favorite Twitter Account. Yesterday, we named Age of X-Man: The X-Tremists as the Horniest X-Book of the Year. On Wednesday, we pointed out that 2019's Most Canceled X-Men Series was… All of Them! And today, we celebrate…
Most Underutilized X-Men Writer – Chris Claremont
In a year where Marvel published literally hundreds of X-Men comics, it's sad that the writer most synonymous with the X-Men, a writer who is currently signed to an EX-X-XCLUSIVE Marvel contract, was only used to write one-shots and short stories in anthologies. Claremont has repeatedly gone on the record saying he has more X-Men stories to tell, and his infrequent contributions are generally well-received and sell well. But for some reason, Marvel hasn't given Claremont an ongoing series to write since Nightcrawler in 2014.
Marvel claims to be celebrating fifty years of Claremont's contributions to Marvel Comics, but rather than celebrate by letting fans enjoy an ongoing series written by Claremont, Marvel is just slapping variant covers on existing titles not written by Claremont. Sure, we can probably expect a one-shot or two to hit stores in 2020 written by Claremont, but wouldn't it be nice if he were given the opportunity to do what he's famous for and build long-running storylines full of character development in an ongoing format?
One of the arguments we frequently encounter from people who are weirdly opposed to Claremont writing an ongoing X-Men comic (why would it bother you a Claremont comic to exist when you don't have to read it if you don't want to?) is that readers aren't interested in one. But the evidence doesn't seem to support this. Back in September, New Mutants: War Children came in at #60 on the Diamond charts. That means it sold better than: Captain Marvel, Conan the Barbarian, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Punisher, Black Cat, and a number of other titles that Marvel has no problem publishing 12 issues or more of. The previous year, the Claremont written issue of X-Men Black hit number 20 on the dollar chart at Diamond, 31 on the unit chart. It sold better than most Marvel titles published that month. It sold better than Immortal Hulk, Star Wars, Iron Man, Deadpool, and, for that matter, X-Men Black Mystique, Juggernaut, and Mojo, as well as X-Men Red, X-23, and Astonishing X-Men. And when you're talking about interest, we can personally tell you that anytime we write an article complaining about the lack of Claremont comics, it does good numbers in terms of web clicks. The argument that people aren't interested in more Claremont comics is simply false. The interest is there. The ball is in Marvel's court.
Alas, we've been complaining about this for years and Marvel hasn't listened so far, so we probably shouldn't get our hopes up for that to change in 2020.
Runner up: All the writers who were given the lame-duck assignment of filling time before Hickman's schedule allowed him to come on board.
Check back all day as we celebrate more X-achievements in 2019!
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