Marvel Comics has announced this it is cancelling the entire line of X-Men comic books, including core books and all the various spin-offs, and will be rebooting the Mutants later this summer. This is not the first time that the X-Men books — once Marvel’s flagship line — have gone back to #1’s, and it hasn’t even been four years since they did it last.
The last time it happened, shortly after the 2015 Secret Wars event, the X-books rebooted with X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold, and later came X-Men Red. But now that Jonathan Hickman is in charge of the Mutant books, as Comic Book reported, Marvel Comics is starting from scratch — again.
The new X-Men line will begin with July’s Powers of X and House of X, two, six-issue miniseries that will set the table for the X-Men’s relaunch. After those stories wrap up, new core X-Men books will launch, along with a handful of spinoffs.
“I argued for cancelling the entire line: Why it would work, why it was a good idea, and most importantly, why it was what we needed to do narratively to return the X-Men to their rightful prominent position in the Marvel Universe,” Hickman explained.
We needed to sell the idea that this is what we’re going to be doing for the next few years. So if you want to read X-Men books during the run from late-July through September, House of X (HOX) and Powers of X (POX) are the only new X-books available and everything that’s going to follow is based on them. We wanted to be clear to the fans, to the stores, and just as importantly, to the creators who are going to be staffing these books in the future. We wanted the message to be very clear: This is a whole new era for the X-Men. This is what we’re doing now.
“And so, POX and HOX is how we’re starting. It’s a solid plan, I think.”
Many comic fans have grown tired of Marvel Comics’s constant rebooting, and have given up on the storied publisher. The X-Men cancellation and relaunch could also be tied to the recent acquisition of the Mutants film rights by Marvel Studios, as Disney, Marvel’s parent company, will most assuredly bring the X-Men to the silver screen within the next three to five years, and having a comic line to back up the stories that the films will tell will matter for potential new readers.
The last X-Men movie in the Fox line, Dark Phoenix, opens in early June, and after that, the iconic film series and the legendary comic books will both end, only to be rebooted later this summer for the comics and sometime in the future for the films, now under the Marvel Studios banner.
Only time will tell if this is a good move for Marvel Comics, as the reboot-weary fanbase may not come back this time. Recent comic sales numbers back up that Marvel isn’t as popular as it once was. Hickman is a great writer, and his work on Avengers leading up to the Secret Wars event was inspiring, but the constant cancelling and rebooting is taking a toll and at some point, a cancellation of an entire line could very well spell its doom.
Images courtesy of Marvel.