In case you haven’t heard the drastic news: Uncannny X-Men is canceled as of issue #544.
That’s right. Uncanny X-Men – my favourite comic series – is concluding. All I can hear is Padme Amidala saying, “Anakin! You’re breaking my heart.” Or maybe that’s me saying, “Marvel! You’re ruining my fun!” The newest storyline entitled “Schism” is bringing the to a close.
Uncanny X-Men is the only Marvel title out of the 1960’s which has not had an interruption in numbering. What I mean, and if you read one of my more recent blogs about DC’s reboot, you’d know that most of Marvel’s comics have been revamped multiple times. Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Journey Into Mystery, etc., have all had many reboots. Heck, The Avengers is on Volume 4 already! The Fantastic Four just ended with issue #588 and The Incredible Hulk is ending with issue #635.
So what is the big deal about Uncanny X-Men? Let me tell you with my biased opinions.
FIVE Reasons Why Cancelling Uncanny X-Men is a Bad Thing:
1. The Numbering and the Collection
As an avid comic collector, the numbering change sucks. I both love to read and collect Uncanny X-Men. When I make a collection, nothing is more satisfying than saying that I own a full-run or having a large chunk of numbers in a row. Breaking that streak is not only a let-down for collectors, but also creates disinterest. Since I’m a fanboy, I’ll of course continue reading X-Men. However, this end of numbers may be the excuse many need to jump off the series. However, the sales and interest of Uncanny X-Men will peak with the reasoning behind its cancellation (this “Schism” storyline). This is also a big deal because Uncanny X-Men is doing very well with sales. This brings me to:
2. Too Many X-Titles
Uncanny X-Force, X-Men Legacy, X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, Generation Hope, X-Factor, New Mutants, Alpha Flight, Wolverine, X-23, Daken, Deadpool, mini’s (ie. Divided We Stand) – they’re all on the market right now. Some may argue that the series is being cancelled to help “sales.” That has to be completely absurd.
Case-in-point: The sales for comics in April 2011
Uncanny X-Men #535 – 56,795 – $3.99
Uncanny X-Force #7 – 54,292 – $3.99
Uncanny X-Men #536 – 53,502 – $3.99
Uncanny X-Men #534.1 – 53,473 – $2.99
X-Men Legacy #247 – 51,970 – $2.99
Uncanny X-Force #8 – 50,908 – $3.99
X-Men #10 – 50,553 – $3.99
New Mutants #24 – 38,701 – $2.99
X-Factor #218 – 24,826 – $2.99
April was quite the over-saturated month for Uncanny X-Men. With THREE titles coming out and selling over 50k at roughly $3.99 each, there’s no way to say sales are a problem. In the entire month, Uncanny X-Men – the flagship title – remains on top. The newest “X-Men” series which only recently released issue #1 is getting pummeled in sales when against its parent titles. Why cancel what is doing the best for all of the X-Titles? A reboot may not even work if you assume the sloping trend in sales “X-Men” is having.
3. Schism/Inevitable Comeback
“Schism” is the event which is to shake down what the X-Men are. It is supposed to make a Twilight fanbase out of Uncanny X-Men fans – deciding whether or not “Team Wolverine” or “Team Cyclops” will win the heart of Bella – I mean, the hearts of the readers. What bothers me most (and can be tied in with the first problem) is that a reboot will inevitably bring back the numbering. It has happened with Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Journey Into Mystery, The Avengers, etc. Yes. It happened to all of the comics I mentioned above. Heck, it happened in 2006 with X-Factor. It started a Volume 2 with issue #1-49, then switched back to Volume 1 with #200.
While I can see that the current “X-Men” series may eventually get phased into becoming “Uncanny X-Men,” these reboots are unnecessary for readers who are already familiar with the characters. Who needs to get a issue to “jump on” with when they’ve already been familiar with how Wolverine dislikes Cyclops, or why Jean Grey is dead (currently)? Hey, wasn’t Uncanny X-Men #534.1 meant for that? Wasn’t the new “X-Men” series meant for that too? Either way you look at it, it’s a very gusty move for Marvel because people may just use this as an excuse to stop reading the X-Men all together. However, I believe it is safe to say that Uncanny X-Men will come back. It’s just “when” I’m unsure of.
4. New Writer
Matt Fraction’s run on Uncanny X-Men was a lot of fun. For years with our mutants, he brought them through hell and back with incredible stories starting in issue #500 while introducing a new trademark of identifying each character with some silly one-line descriptions. But Fraction left the series with it feeling stale. Kieron Gillen takes over and suddenly – BAM! – New life is breathed into the series and it’s exciting again. Then Gillen does not even get a full year’s run on the series?! What in the world? Is this a cruel joke? Just when there’s light at the end of the tunnel, it ends up being hit by a train.
5. Greg Land
Nothing says farewell to the longest-unbroken Marvel series like that of Greg Land. I am so looking forward to seeing his great action scenes acted out by models and celebrities. Fml.
What do you folks think? Is this cancellation a good idea? Will it breath fresh air into the series which may have already been boring to you long ago? Will you continue following the outcome of Schism after this?
Keep on Space Truckin’.