Marvel time is a funny thing. Due to the need for Marvel's stable of valuable intellectual properties to retain their peak value, they must be kept in their most pristine, iconic states. But how do you keep characters fresh when they've been around for decades? Marvel's answer is a concept called Marvel Time, wherein past stories are compressed on an ever-sliding scale so that stories that took place in the 1960s now took place sometime after the turn of the century, except in a few notable cases, such as heroes who are tied to specific origins like World War 2, in which even more timey wimey gymnastics are required to make things make sense.
Marvel X-Editor Jordan White took to Twitter this past week to talk about what this means for the 90s teen mutant team, Generation X.
Uncanny X-Men and X-Force writer Ed Brisson used the tweet to pitch a new series…
While Bleeding Cool's own Rumourmonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston even jumped in the fray, leading to a new concept for an Excalibur relaunch…
And White had another observation that might be a shock to readers who still think of the X-Men's origins in terms of the 1960s comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, or even the 1980s Claremont era… the original X-Men, at this point in Marvel Time, are all Millennials!
This revelation was, of course, ripe for some humor…
And White addressed, perhaps less bluntly than we did, why the characters cannot be allowed to age in real time…
And White also put a date on the launch of X-Men #1.
Or do they? Isn't not changing the whole point of all this?
So there you have it, X-Men fans. It's best not to think too hard about it.
Instead, turn your attention to the events of the X-Men comics that came out this week as we recap them for your reading pleasure…
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 with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
The Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1
(W) Charlamagne Tha God , Chris Sims, Various (A) Marco Failla, Kris Anka, More (CA) David Nakayama
Twenty-five holiday tales of merry mutants, one for each day of December 1 through December 25! What does Magneto do for Hanukkah? What's Rogue and Gambit's first married Christmas like? Is Jubilee truly the master of navigating malls during the holidays? These questions and more are answered as all your favorite X-Men and more creators than you can shake a jingle bell at come together for a holiday celebration to last all month long!
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
December kicks off with a special holiday issue featuring 25 tales, most of them a single page taking place on a single day, except for the one that takes place on December 25th, and, well, if we're being technical about it, that story also uses up a few of the other days of the month as well. Let's start with that then, a story starring Jubilee by Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, Marco Failla, and Israel Silva. All the stories in the book are lettered by Travis Lanham.
On December 1st, Jubilee prepares for a month-long vacation to Hawaii. While packing, she comes across Magik's old stuffed Nightcrawler doll, Bamfy, and gives it to her son Shogo as a gift. As they leave the mansion to catch their flight, however, they're abducted by what looks like one of those garbage trucks Arcade uses to kidnap heroes. On December 6th, we learn that Jubilee and Shogo have been trapped and living inside a shopping mall, harkening back to her original introduction to the X-Men (start at Uncanny X-Men #224 on Marvel Unlimited). On December 11th, Jubilee is chased through the mall by robots in Santa costumes who look like Marvel heroes, and as she and Shogo run, Shogo drops Bamfy on the ground. Also, it's snowing inside the mall. Jubilee and Shogo get the doll back on December 20th, after Jubilee finds him used as a Christmas tree topper in the food court.
Finally, on December 25th, we learn that Arcade was indeed behind this, being contracted by some business leaders to design an immersive shopping experience for customers to increase sales, and instead creating Murder Mall. Though many of the customers die in beta testing the mall, Arcade believes he's gotten it right because Jubilee, who he calls the weakest of the X-Men, is able to survive it. His partners are none-too-pleased, as killing their customers is not going to make them money, and one of them, whose daughter is an X-Men fans, even excuses himself from their conference call to call the X-Men and tell them where to find Jubilee. Before they arrive to rescue her, however, Jubilee breaks into Arcade's control room, kicks his ass, and retrieves Bamfy once more, who must have somehow fallen back into Arcade's clutches. Jubilee and Shogo didn't get to take their month-long Christmas vacation, but she does Nightcrawler, or "Big Bamf" as Shogo calls him, to teleport them to Oahu for New Years.
Okay, ready for the rest of the stories?
On December 2nd, in a story by Chris Claremont, the Dodsons, and Chris Sotomayor, Kitty Pryde lights a menorah on Genosha in honor of mutant genocide and vows to run for President. On December 3rd, by Charles Soule, Ryan Browne, and Jordan Boyd, Wolverine inadvertently helps a family clear the snow out of their driveway with his hot claws while chasing some ninjas. On December fourth, by Jean Grae, Shawn Crystal, and Rico Renzi, Deadpool and Jean Grey are dolls living inside a little girl's dollhouse. On the 5th, in a story by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, and Amilcar Pinna, Nature Girl hates Christmas because of all the trees that are killed. On December 7th, in a story by Styles P, Poobs, Luciano Vecchio, and Carlos Lopez, Gambit steals Wolverine action figures from a warehouse after a grumpy old man locked them all away, presumably Ike Perlmutter because Fox owned their movie rights. On December 8th, in one by Sina Grace, Cory Smith, and Jordan Boyd, Iceman ditches dinner with his parents to stage a white elephant gift x-change with the Xavier school students. On the 9th, saves some kids in Warsaw from mutant-hunting robots, but it's actually the kids who save Magneto, as they remind him that he has to have hope about the world, restoring his Hanukkah spirit. On December 9th, in a story by Charlemagne Tha God, Alitha E. Martinez, and Jay David Ramos, Storm takes some advice from Charlemagne Tha God and starts a mini thunderstorm over the head of an anti-mutant bigot. On the 12th, in one by Christopher Daniels, Ray-Anthony Height, LeBeau Underwood, and Jay David Ramos, Beast tries to impress Dr. Kavita Rao with a box set of Star Wars movies on a tip from Doctor Nemesis, but Nemesis was screwing with him and got Rao a copy of the Last Jedi script signed by Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley, overshadowing Beast's gift. On the 13th, Rogue and Gambit wreck their apartment while trying to give one of their cats some medicine in a story by Kelly Thompson, David Lopez, and Chris Sotomayor. On December 14th, Nigthcrawler gives Old Man Logan a photo of himself as a callback to X-Men King Size Annual Vol. 4 #1 in a story by Chip Zdarsky. On the 15th, in one by Al Ewing, PJ Holden, and Antonio Fabela, Canninball, Smasher, and their kid visit Shi'ar planet 37th Floogsbury, where Cannoball wishing someone a merry Christmas sets off a greenskinned Space-Republican who takes the greeting as more evidence of the War on Glorpsday, the planet's Chrismas equivalent. On the 16th, in a story by Anthony Piper, Domino shoots a human trafficker in the head during the human trifficker Christmas party after he tries sexually assualt a coworker. On the 17th, Psylocke gets together with Captian Britain, Meggan, and their baby, and Captain Britain is surprised to find Psylocke back in her old body. On the 18th, in a sad story by Ed Brisson, Pere Perez, and Chris Sotomayor, Glob Herman hangs some mistletoe and then site underneath it, waiting for someone to kiss him. On the 19th, in one by Vita Ayala, Pere Perez, and Chris O'Halloran, Honey Badger gets a secret santa gift from the Cuckoos. On the 21st, Hope Summers gets everyone at Iceman's Winter Solstice party to watch videos of her dad father on her phone. This story, by Tini Howard, Brent Schoonover, and Chris O'Halloran features the song Baby It's Cold Outside playing in the background, taking a stance on the biggest culture wars issue of the holiday season. On the 22nd, The Beast visits his parents for Christmas and listens to his family talking trash as he hangs out alone in his old bedroom in a story by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka, and Matthew Wilson. On the 23rd, Seamus "Esoteric" Ryan, Michael Shelfer, and Federico Blee present a Nightcrawler story wherein Nightcrawler stops some juvenile delinquents from breaking into a toy store, backed up by their mom. And on the 24th, in a story by Matthew Rosenberg, Andy MacDonald, and Tamra Bonvillain, Gambit gives Multiple Man a gift that he says was Winston Churchill's pocket watch and informs him that all of the X-Men are buying gifts for each other this year. A panicked Jamie makes a bunch of dupes of himself while holding the watch, and then regifts it to each of the X-Men.
Phew, that was a lot! This issue was a ton of fun, and if you can't appreciate an X-Men holiday special featuring a bunch of great short stories, you must be some kind of grinch!
(W) Skottie Young (A/CA) Nic Klein
• Deadpool gets his most difficult mission yet…TAKE OUT SANTA CLAUS!
• Jolly old St. Nick ain't so jolly no more. He's downright DEADLY!
• The best Christmas story since Die Hard! YOU HEARD US!!!
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
We get another holiday special in Deadpool #7 as Deadpool is contracted by a bunch of kids who didn't get any presents for Christmas to kill Santa Claus. After accepting money they raised from a GoFundMe, Deadpool travels to the North Pole, where he encounters a gun-toting Mrs. Claus and an emaciated, heavily-drinking Santa and gets in a fight with him. Eventually, Deadpool learns that Santa's chief elf made a deal with Roxxon to produce toys for them instead, and tricked the other elves into joining him, leaving Santa with no one to make presents. Deadpool decides to fulfill his contract by taking out the person responsible for ruining Christmas, so he heads to Roxxon's toy plant and kills the elf, setting the other elves, who were trapped under Amazon warehouse level working conditions. He also steals all the toys they made and borrows Santa's sleigh to deliver them, which he does by dropping them out of the sky, making a mess of all the cars in the streets below.
This was an unexpected treat, a nice holiday issue (which we're a sucker for) and a one-and-done story (which we're also a sucker for). Well done!
(W) Tim Seeley (A) Carlos Villa, Gerardo Sandoval (CA) Yasmine Putri
Shatterstar's past as an extradimensional gladiator comes back to haunt him in the present…and his future's no guarantee! Sharpen your double bladed sabers, True Believers, and get ready to fight!
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
Shatterstar has traveled to the planet of Horus IV, chasing the kidnapped tenents of his apartment building for interdimensional rejects who were brought there by his old partner/girlfriend, Gringrave, and her band of mercenaries, the Death Sponsors, at the behest of The Grandmaster. Shatterstar first heads to rescue Karl Snortenthau, who was deemed too week to fight in the arena like the other prisoners, from Deadair. A fight ensues, in which Deadair reveals he used to love Shatterstar when Shatterstar fought in Mojo's arena, but Shatterstar has lost his edge. Shatterstar wins the battle in the end, after some flashbacks that revealed more of his past with Gringrave.
In a previous issue, we saw how Shatterstar wanted to take his sexual relationship with Gringrave to the next level, but she rebuffed his advances, instructing him not to have feelings. The tables have turned now, however, as Mojo wants to mate Shatterstar with another arena fighter, Windsong, to make some babies. Gringrave appears to be jealous and wants to kill Windsong, but Shatterstar tells her they shouldn't commit crimes of passion because they shouldn't have passion (except for killing, of course). Later, however, Gringrave reveals that Windsong's partner, Soveriegnshard, is jealous himself and plans to kill Shatterstar.
Meanwhile, while Shatterstar is rescuing Karl, Grandmaster spends some time with Tina Cooke, who comes from a universe where there are no superpowered heroes. Grandmaster offers her the chance to be the hero for once, giving her powers to fight in the arena against Xeus. That's a fight she loses, which costs her her life. The issue ends with Shatterstar and Karl watching her name crossed off in a Hunger Games style display.
This issue was very poorly reviewed this week, but we didn't find it to be egregiously bad. This mini-series is probably not going to change the status quo of the X-Men forever or anything like that, but it has introduced some new characters and given Shatterstar some characterization outside of his usual material.
Uncanny X-Men #4
(W) Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, Matthew Rosenberg (A) Pere Perez (CA) Elizabeth Torque
X-MEN DISASSEMBLED CONTINUES!
Just when things didn't look like they could get worse… The ride of the Four Horsemen of Salvation? The coming of X-Man? And…a return to the AGE OF APOCALYPSE? The weekly epic that threatens to leave the X-Men in tatters rolls on toward its explosive conclusion!
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
This issue picks up where Uncanny X-Men #3 left off, with the Horsemen of Salvation — Magneto, Blob, Angel, and Omega Red — blowing up the X-mansion. It appears the X-Men are dead, so the Horesemen fly away, but it was actually a psychic trick pulled off by Jean, Psylocke, and Armor. At evil Nate Grey's headquarters in British Columbia, the Horsemen report their success to X-Man, who gloats a bit to his captives, Kitty Pryde, Apocalypse, and generic anti-mutant Senator guy whose name we've forgotten already. Then he sends a telepathic broadcast to the entire world telling the people of Earth that they've screwed everything up, but Nate is gonna take over the world and fix it all for them. It's hard to argue with his logic.
Back at the mansion, Legion rants and raves about how he tried to fix things, but Jean and Psylocke put him to sleep. That pisses off Glob Herman, who's joined by Armor in questioning the older X-Men's decisions. Pixie argues on behalf of Jean, however, essentially saying the older X-Men know best and the kids should follow their lead. This comes to a head when Jean orders Armor to join one of the teams of older X-Men to go and help solve world catastrophes while the rest of the young X-Men stay home and clean up. Armor refuses to abandon "her team," and Jean leaves in a huff with the other older X-Men.
In Beast's lab, Beast is analyzing the mutant cure he stole secretly and hasn't told the other X-Men about, when he makes some kind of discovery and learns a vial of something has gone missing from his lab. Meanwhile, Nate Grey sends Magneto and Angel to stop a conflict between soldiers and civilians in Chernaya and Blob and Omega Red to shut down an oil drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico. Storm, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Cannonball, Jubilee, and Psylocke head to Chernaya, where Magneto has taken away the soldiers' guns and used them to build an X-Man statue that probably costs slightly less than you could buy one for on eBay. That didn't stop the conflict though, forcing the X-Men to step in. In the Gulf of Mexico, Jean, X-23, Iceman, Northstar, and Bishop confront Blob and Omega Red, but rather than stop then, they're forced to choose saving the oil workers from giant sharks.
Back at the X-Mansion, Legion tells the young X-Men that he can lead them to X-Man. The kids are split over what to do, but Anole wakes up and can provide the tie-breaking vote (we don't see what it was, but we can guess). Shortly thereafter, Glob Herman finds Multiple Man in a bar and convinces him to join them in going after X-Man. That's our cliffhanger.
The X-Men continue to fall apart as tensions between the generations are high. X-Man is ultra-powerful and he's got four powerful mutants on his side as well as Kitty and Apocalypse (and the Senator) prisoner. And the X-kids are about to engage in some serious teenage rebellion. Yup, the X-Men are going to have a rough time over the next few months.
X-Men: The Exterminated
(W) Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Chris Claremont (A) Neil Edwards, Ramon Rosanas (CA) Geoff Shaw
A Death in the Family!
In the aftermath of Extermination, the X-Men mourn for their fallen brother, Cable. But no one is taking it harder than his adopted daughter, Hope Summers. Will Hope be able to cope with the loss, or will she be led down a dark path that she won't be able to return from? Only Jean Grey can save Hope from herself! Plus, celebrate the life of Nathan Summers with a story from his past by Chris Claremont!
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
This issue features two stories, the first of which sees Hope Summers team up with Jean Grey on a tour of Cable's safehouses as they mourn the loss of their respective father and son and clean up his belongings. At the first safehouse, they encounter Deadpool, who'se fulfilling a pact with his dead friend to get rid of all his stuff after he dies so his enemies can't use it. Hope lashes out at him, but he manages to convince her that he really did love her dad. He also hints to her that he knows what she's really up to do. Jean and Hope explore a few more safehouses before Hope finds it: a time machine. But Jean won't let her use it to go back and prevent Cable from dying. They fight, but eventually Hope breaks down and the women bond over their loss. Hope destroys the time machine and when she says she can't picture Cable her head, Jean helps her out with a telepathic vision of Cable holding baby Hope in his arms.
In the second story, written by Chris Claremont with art by Ramon Rosanas, colors by Nolan Woodard, and letters by Joe Sabino, Chris Claremont goes back to the time when Scott Summers was still married to Madelyne Pryor, and shows the two raising baby Nathan in Alaska at his grandparents home, along with Havok and Polaris and Corsair and the Starjammers as one big happy family. In the story, narrated by Nathan, who is completely aware even as a baby.
In the story, instructed by his own father to get Scott back on track, Corsair finds Scott sleeping on the couch, as he did back then as he and Maddy's marriage was falling apart. Corsair takes him for a walk in the woods where he talks about believing Scott and Alex were dead after ejecting them from their crashing plane back when the Summers boys were kids. We get a basic recap of Scott's time before the X-Men, and how just as the Starjammers are Corsair's family, the X-Men are Scott's. But now Scott has his original family back, complete with a wife and kids, who he needs to be there for.
Their conversation is interrupted by an earthquake, and Maddy finds herself trapped under a fallen tree with Nathan. Scott leaps over a chasm and saves them, shielding them with his own body until the Starjammers can teleport them to safety. Scott and Maddy make out (while she's holding the baby -uh…). Later, back at the house, the whole family is together again, and Scott and Maddy are sleeping in the same bed.
So does this change everything that happened, with Scott never leaving his family to return to the newly resurrected Jean Grey over in X-Factor? Did Chris Claremont rewrite the history of the X-Men, as he vowed to do?!
Perhaps we'll find out more when Scott Summers returns in January, and maybe Marvel will finally announce a new ongoing written by Claremont, perhaps one that follows the Summers family in Alaska?
It would make sense. After all, the divorce rate is way lower than it's been in years thanks to Millennials.
BOOM! That's how you bring a 3000+ word article full circle, baby!
Whatever the case, this does of Claremont awesomeness is enough to make X-Men: The Exterminated the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week.
Congratulations to the creative team, as this was a week of very strong competition for the coveted award.
See you all back here next week for more recaps, X-Millennials fans!
Read more X-ual Healing here: