Oct 17, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 600: X-Men #7, April 1992

http://www.comics.org/issue/51149/

Had I thought ahead, I'd have planned something a little more impressive for my 600th day of writing. But instead, let's let the chips fall where they may.

I've often thought that there are both good and bad aspects to writing a team superhero book. On the one hand, you've got variety, so you're not likely to get bored writing the same character month after month. You also get to play with some second-stringers, who, by their nature, are more malleable than the A-list characters who have their own titles. Variety and opportunity for creativity would seem to be the good parts of a gig like this. On the other hand, though, you have to be able to balance the team's representation well, and I think this is where Jim Lee's X-Men falls apart. I look at someone like George Perez, who has an uncanny (if you'll pardon the pun) knack for having huge groups of superheroes on a single page but still is able to make each character feel like they're an individual, rather than part of an amorphous group. It's the sense that, for each character they are the center of the story. With this comic, and the last few issues, it's really felt like all of the other characters are there simply to further Wolverine's story, rather than to be stories in and of themselves. Jubilee, for example, pops her head in, says something witty with the word "like" inserted a couple of times, and then disappears.

So, the long and short of it is, I'm going to switch to something else before I just start ranting about how bad X-Men comics can be for a paragraph or two every day. That doesn't seem healthy. We'll get back to the X-Men at some point. There are eras of the team that I really love, but, as the last few days have proven, there's eras that I have very little time for.

Onward.

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