Saturday, December 17, 2005

Comic Dictionary - The Progressive X-Men Era

Joe Rice came up with this term recently, and I really liked it, so I am offering it up to you folks here now. Rather than saying "Morrison's X-Men," the Progressive X-Men Era is expanded to include all the titles from the X-Line of the time, which marked a specific tendency to try new, progressive ideas.

The era started in May of 2001, with the launch of both Grant Morrison's New X-Men, but also Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's X-Force, plus Joe Casey's Uncanny X-Men and X's The Brotherhood. Not all of these projects worked out, of course (Casey and X's projects basically flopped), but this time marked an age when the X-Books were willing to at least TRY new things. Other examples include the X-Factor mini-series and the Dan Mishkin run on Cable.

The era officially ended with Morrison's last issue of New X-Men in March 2004, but really, it probably ended a few months earlier, in late 2003, with the capitulation of Marvel editorial regarding the Princess Diana storyline in X-Statix. That was a clear statement of a return to conservative thinking on the X-Books.

Ah well, at least we got almost three years of progressive comics!

And, thanks to Joe, we also have a term to refer to it.

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Anonymous Matthew Craig said...

Don't forget CABLE/SOLDIER X, which sought to rehabilitate the vacuous Cable into a character with a second dimension and a global conscience.

No. Actually. Do forget it. Because the thought of what happened to Soldier X makes me want to cry.

Oh! And MUTIES, which was all kinds of ace.

...goddamnit, I fucking hate New-Nu Marvel so very very much.


12/17/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous thekamisama said...

I swore off mutants after Age of Apocalypse. Morrison/Quietly and Milligan/Allred drug me back. I promptly dropped the books again after they left. As much as I have fond memories of the X-Men from the 80's, even Claremont cannot make me care anymore.

12/17/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I also enjoyed the X-Factor mini-series with the FBI agents. Again, it wasn't perfect, but at least they were trying something new.

12/17/2005 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger CalvinPitt said...

I was actualy enjoying Casey's run on Uncanny, if for no other reason than the book was blessedly free of Jean Grey/Scott Summers, since I can't stand either of them. The fun ended when Chuck Austen took over and decided Stacy X had to go, because he wanted to do more stories about Archangel and Paige Guthrie, or the Havok/Polaris/Iceman/Annie storyline. Ugh.

12/17/2005 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Eli said...

It is great to have a term for this period, and great to remind people that Morrison's X-Men was part of bigger effort that produced a lot of good stuff. I hadn't read a mainstream superhero book in five or six years before this period, and these books brought me back.

Before this term, I had been thinking of the period in my head as The Last Stand Against the Bendati, since it seems like the last time Marvel gave any vision besides the current one a shot at major titles and characters.

12/17/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous daniel apodaca said...

I call them the wonder years.

12/17/2005 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

"Progressive" is a great term for that era. Darn Joe Rice and his cool ideas!

At the time, I remember thinking that Morrison was pioneering the future of the X-Men franchise. He seemed to be taking the concept several steps forward after being stagnant for over a decade. And looking back on it, it was more than just him. Other writers and artists were doing their own progressive ideas (as you mentioned with Milligan and Allred's X-Force). And the editors should be applauded for allowing these creators to use their talent to try and bring the X-books into the 21st century.

So yes, "Progressive" is a very fitting term.

12/17/2005 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

So I guess that would make the current era "regressive?"

*Thinks about it*

Yeah, with very few exceptions, I'd say that's about right.

12/18/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Bully said...

So, we've had two great ages of X-Men comics. That's more than most get; even "The World's Greatest Comics Magazine" has had only three and a half, in my opinion.

Word verification: qqgpamf. That's Nightcrawler transporting with a cold.

12/18/2005 07:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

First of all, Nightcrawler teleports! He's not a truck. Second, what was the half great age of the FF?

12/18/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike Loughlin said...

Casey gets points for trying, and some decent issues (I liked his last storyline, with the Vanisher). I thought I was the only one who bought Muties and the X-Factor mini. Whatever happened to Arthur Ransom? I really liked his art.

12/19/2005 03:36:00 PM  
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