Pipeline #1129: Why Hickman's X-Men Might Just Work

Nightcrawler in the new Hickman X-Universe
(Photo: RB Silva, Marvel Entertainment)

I'm as cynical as they come to the world of Marvel and DC comics these days.

So when Marvel announces that they're restarting/rebooting/jumpstarting the X-Men universe of titles, I immediately unsheathe the claws and get ready to pounce.

Surely, this will be worth a few hundred words of biting sarcasm, right? We all know that the comics world works in ever-shrinking cycles of publishing. Reboots are annual happenings and events are quarterly.

Why invest in this new reality when your dedication to the last three re-imaginings of Cyclops and Pals have all been shot down in increasingly speedy time?

It's enough to ponder what move DC will counter with. Is it time to throw Bendis off the Superman titles now? It's been a year, right? DC is great with things that last 52 weeks, and then it's time to throw a garbage can over their heads, bang a wooden spoon against the side a few times, and toss the garbage into the nearest incinerator.

I may have mixed a metaphor there...

That whole thing being said, Jonathan Hickman is restarting the X-titles.

And, heaven help me, but I think this might just work this time. I'm half considering taking Marvel at their word.

This may be something worth reading.

Why? I can give you four reasons:

1. Jonathan Hickman is well known for having long term story plans. He has proven repeatedly that he can stick around for a long time to tell an intricate story arc from start to finish.

I also hope we get charts and graphs and stuff.

If he says they have the next couple years of X-Men publishing figured out, I believe him. He's shown that he's capable of that level of detailed planning before.

2. Marvel likes the mutants again. With the movie right situation being sorted out, isn't it time for the mutants to get some real love? Isn't it time they at least attempt to reclaim the throne they held for decades before that young upstart Brian Bendis relaunched the Avengers and turned that team into the center of the Marvel Universe?

That's not going to happen overnight. It's going to be a hard nut to crack. And without a superstar artist to hold things down, it's not going to work. It can, however, still be a very good series with very good art.

3. The preview art from Pepe Larraz and RB Silva all looks good. Hickman says they have a nine month schedule to get these two six issue mini-series done. I'm glad to hear that, because we all know how quickly things slide off the rails with most bi-weekly shipping comics. (We're looking at you, DC.)

Getting work done in advance means there's a chance that if Marvel sticks to their own schedule, they can have artistic consistency, which is very important in the X-Men books.

4. Marte Garcia is doing some great coloring in those preview images, also. I'm impressed by just how bright and shiny everything is.

Too many people want to take these characters in their colorful costumes and immediately try to make them look dark and grungy. It destroys the art. Garcia, thankfully, is keeping the art in mind.

I haven't read an X-Men title regularly in a long time. A very very long time. I'm guessing it was "Ultimate X-Men", and that was 15 years ago.

I'm curious enough about this one to give it a shot when it arrives.


I didn't think I'd see myself typing that up today....

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