Ed Brisson, writer of the upcoming Extermination X-over event, gave an interview to marvel media partner Comic Book Resources Friday, and he had a bold promise for longtime X-Men fans:
The mantra going into this series was, "Your Back Issues Matter." Every. Single. X-Men. Story. Counts. If it happened in an issue you've read, it happened for real. There's no rewriting history so it didn't happen, no trickery. There are real stakes for the kids, here, and those past stories play a part in it. There will be some nods to Silver Age adventures and even some fallout from said adventures.
Of course, we've heard similar promises before. When Secret Empire kicked off and Steve Rogers was revealed to be a Nazi, writer Nick Spencer and Marvel executive Tom Brevoort swore that this was the "real" Steve and that the story wouldn't be wished away by a cosmic cube. And while that may have been true in the most literal sense, the story did resolve with a cosmic cube producing a "good" Steve to defeat the "bad" Steve and become the Captain America we all know and love again.
But there's reason to hope that Brisson means what he says, as the writer does seem to have a reverence for the X-Men's backstory.
I'm deep into writing the series and still not over the elation of writing the Original Five. These are characters I've loved since childhood, and it feels completely surreal to be here telling their story.
Though that doesn't mean that we can't expect the usual Marvel event clichés…
This story is going to have a lasting implication on the X-Men as a whole. We've got a few REALLY BIG surprises in store that I don't want to hint at for fear of spoiling.
The only two things I'll share are: Not every X-Man is going to make it out of this alive and the ending is going to leave a lot of jaws on the floor.
Of course, if Marvel cares so much about its legacy, one has to wonder why they would continue to keep Chris Claremont, objectively the greatest comic book writer of all time, under contract but only let him write something once every few years. Perhaps that will be rectified after Extermination and the ensuing relaunch/reboot? We'll have to wait and see.