I posted about this online the other day, briefly. But this week, I read my first X-Men script. It was weird. It wasn’t just that I was venturing into some untested waters, but also that the scale of the venture is so great in scope. This is a far cry from building a new relaunch for
I’m very excited for you to take over the X-Office! I can’t wait for the new direction.
I demand the X Books make these changes, which all fans agree are necessary:
1) Wolverine stops wearing clothes. It never made sense he’d ever be anything but nude
2) storm changes her code name to Weather Controller. This will help people know her powers. Storm is too confusing because she doesn’t always make storms!
3) reveal The Thing is a mutant and have the FF kick him off the team.
if I were to write a SUPERMAN VS. THOR fight I'd have them start by saying "Who would win in a fight between us?" and then trade blows for dozens of pages before finally turning to the reader and saying "You, the fans!"
There are two things X-Men fans could agree on to 99% certainty: that they disagree on 99% of things, and that they aren't as intense as Spider-Man fans. Also, that Fantomex should be in every comic, including non-X-Men ones (and non-Marvel ones).
I'm delighted to hear that you're making "non-traditional choices" with the X-books. As a megafan of the Krakoa period and a longtime X-reader, my experience has generally been that the more the line moves forward and the less it moves backward, the more I enjoy it. I'll be sad to see Krakoa go (if indeed it's going), but I hope something we've never seen before replaces it.
Thanks for your candor, which is refreshing in any creative field. I’m not in the comics biz, not an artist, not a writer. I do have a creative practice in music. When I face challenges like this I find it helpful to look at my record, rather than speculating about whether or not I’ll be able to pull something off. You’re record speaks for itself, so I’d just say -- trust your gut! Looking forward to seeing where it all goes!
Here's a question, though the answer might turn out to be a spoiler about your approach so feel free not to answer: in preparing for the job, were there any X-comic runs you read that you now think were not as well known or acclaimed as they deserve to be?
Has a comic company ever experimented with what in user interface is called an A/B test? Release 50% of a comic with a Character A cover, and 50% with a Character B cover, in order to see which cover sells better? And maybe which character is more likely to move more books in the future? It'd be a bit pointless now -- "boy, I wish there was a way I could hear the opinions of comics fans" -- but maybe in the 1970s or 1980s it could have generated some usable metrics.
I’m excited to see what happens to the X-Men under your hand. I am a Storm fan (lol) and I’m sure she’ll be fine under your editorship. I will miss Krakoa (if indeed it goes away) as it’s been the best the X-titles have been, in my opinion, since the end of Claremont’s original run. But things can’t stay the same forever.
Thank you for answering my questions about Starhawk and that other book! I never knew that they were never completed, so that nice to finally learn.
Trust your instincts when it comes to the X-Men. The reason you got this job and the reason you've been at Marvel as long as you have is because you have had such a good track record. They're confident in you, and I think any reader who looks at your resume would share that confidence.
Personally speaking as one of those readers, what I'd like more than anything is to keep the line manageable - part of what killed me with the Hickman era is realizing I had to buy like 12 monthly titles to keep up, and some weeks 4 of them would all ship on the same week. Growing up, it was easy for me as a reader when Uncanny, X-Factor, New Mutants, and Wolverine were only ones in the rotation - while I don't expect that, I hope it could be something easy to keep up with. (I say the same with DC releasing 8 Batman books every week. Good thing I wasn't alive when Harvey published what looked like 30 different Richie Rich titles!)
But again, thank you for having this line of communication and answering our questions. I am very much looking forward to when the new X-books are announced.
I loved the Avengers/JLA crossover - a great capper to the stellar Busiek/Perez Avengers run.
Can you share what the original plan was for issue 3? I seem to recall reading about some 'amalgam' type universe that mixed and matched the heroes and villains (Iron Man/GL amalgam) - can you share details and why it was changed?
Here's hoping you can fix all that's wrong with the X-Men. Suggestion #1: limit the number of titles, including team and solo books, to no more than 4.
I love Krakoa, I really do. I love the idea of what Krakoa means to the mutant ethos.
I ususally love big crossovers. I've read entire crossovers before. I loved reading all of the books in Fear Itself.
I'll admit- trying to keep up with Krakoa is a bit exhausting. I read in spurts, and I've read up to Inferno, and haven't read since then other than the most recent Hellfire Gala (which was an incredible comic).
But I also respect that Marvel has done a lot to try to make this massive story digestible, from trades collecting the stories in order to reading guides to creator interviews.
I don't know if Krakoa is a financial success for Marvel, but even with my reservations on the size of the story- it's easily the biggest superhero story I've ever seen- it's a creative success. I've enjoyed what I've read, and will read the whole thing at some point.
I want some complexity in my Marvel comics. It's okay to challenge the reader. I don't mind using marvel.wikia.com to research characters I don't remember or haven't heard of. It's okay to make me work a bit. I don't always need a reader-friendly access point.
I'm looking forward to what you do on the X-books.
I'm greatly looking forward to everything you and your team are building for the X-Office! I echo the others in appreciating your candor. Generally speaking, what factors are considered when deciding how many books a line will consist of? Do the number of marquee characters factor in? Is there a sweet spot number that Marvel tries to aim for? The X-Universe has sooo many characters so I've always been curious about what goes into deciding how many books to put out at any given time. Thank you for your time!
Tom, once again you've mentioned that you thought JLA/Avengers #3 was where the series went off the rails, at least a little. You've mentioned this several times over the years, but have never explained why (or what happened) to make you feel that way. As a reader, I remember thinking that it was an interesting but uneven issue that didn't really advance the plot until the very last part of the book, when the two teams resolve to take the fight to Krona. Are you able (and willing) to provide the back story on this issue?
I know you said you don’t really engage in these and although I’m worried I’m also excited about a different direction even though I did love the Krakoa era. I’m really hoping editorial brings on writers that can actually juggle a team ensemble and give every character time to shine. And I know you stated everyone is a fan of a character but I hope you course correct for Betsy Braddock. Her just taking her brothers Captain Britain mantle wasn’t as successful as expected. Or give her another shot with a good writer artist combo and push her like you all did the Mighty Thor 🙏🏼 And I hope in your era the younger generations get spotlight (Academy X-Men). I was shocked you even mentioned Rockslide lol