Jonathan Hickman's Departure From X-Men, Explained

As part of AIPT's regular X-Men Monday, X-Men group editor Jordan D White, who I first met as a Marvel intern at Heidi MacDonald's karaoke evening one cold New York Comic Con, has been laying out just what the hell happened with Jonathan Hickman. Who, with Inferno, is stepping away from the X-Men books he had been showrunning for three years, with only the first arc of his planned X-Men storyline having come (partially) to fruition.

Jonathan Hickman's Departure From X-Men, Explained
Jonathan Hickman by Pat Loika, CC 2.0

Jordan: I feel like no matter how emphatic he is about it, people still kind of misconstrue it — that Jonathan came in with a plan and then everybody poo-pooed that plan so much that he left and that couldn't be further from the truth. Jonathan came in with a plan and then the plan changed based on the actual unfolding of the story and how everything played out. It wasn't a case where Marvel said to him, "We don't like your idea anymore — change it." Or where the writers said, "We don't like your idea — change it." Everybody loved Jonathan's idea, including me. But after seeing how things started to unfold, Jonathan said, "I think we might want to not do this." It was his suggestion and I think he said the whole time that he came in — even when it was the three-act plan — he came in going, "But who knows how long act one will last." In fact, at first, we didn't call it three acts. We called it "year one," "year two," "year three." But relatively early on, we stopped saying that because it's not a year. Like, "year one" could be 10 years — we don't know how long it will be. So the plan didn't change because no one liked Jonathan's plan. The plan changed because Jonathan changed his mind about what we should do. There are absolutely aspects of it that are going to happen. And there are at least some aspects that won't happen. But that's all part and parcel. And, of course, I can't say too much about any of that, because that's all the future of the comics. As you saw from a bunch of social media posts last week, Jonathan is still heavily involved in what we're doing. He was at our summit all three days, helping us plan out the next three years worth of stories basically. So, his influence is going to be felt very heavily going forward. He just isn't going to be writing a monthly book."

And as to Inferno, which seemed to have been set up since the first mention on House Of X, originally it had a different name. Jordan clarifies;

Jordan: It was called something else. But the other thing it was called is a title we're going to be using shortly. So I'm not going to tell you what that title was, but it used to be called something else. And it was always going to be his finale since I knew he was leaving. This is not the end game of his many, many years-long story, but this is where he said, "This is the story I'm going to tell and then I'm going to step away." And again, I'm sorry, I just need to emphasize, he's not stepping away with any disappointment or anger. He's stepping away with love. He's very happy with what we're doing. He's very excited about all the plans we have. He and I worked so closely with every single writer working on the line. I know he's really proud of them and the work that they're doing and that's why he's comfortable stepping away.

Very different from Nick Spencer then. And as for a replacement figure? Gerry Duggan? Tini Howard? Benjamin Percy? Al Ewing? Kieron Gillen?

Jordan: I don't believe there will be a new Head of X.

So, basically, Jordan D White… read the whole interview, including what happened with The Technet, here. However, they declined to ask Jordan about Kieron Gillen's involvement in the X-Men books going forward. A Sinister Secrets comic book maybe?

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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