I haven’t consistently read any of the X-titles for at least 10 years. While I enjoyed the characters, the never-ending plots and seemingly infinite history was overwhelming.
Marvel’s solution to this has been to “relaunch” titles — grab a new creative team, usually with a “cool” writer and artist to produce more finite stories and slap a #1 on the cover. They’ve tried to strike a balance between decades of backstory that has created loyal fans and making characters accessible to those who’ve never touched a comic before. It hasn’t always worked, but the concept isn’t a bad one.
The X-books are getting the relaunch (or, as Marvel’s dubbed it, the “reload”) treatment once again in May. Joss Whedon of Buffy fame and John Cassady of Planetary is creative team for the flagship title, Astonishing X-Men, in stores May 26.
I don’t believe that this is going to simplify the over-abundance of X-titles, but for the first time in 10 years, I’m once again interested in reading X-Men, so that can’t be a bad thing.
For more information, read this interview with Joe Quesada and Mike Marts.