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Astonishing X-Men

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Hey, Christian, if you can explain your love of Milligan's run for me, I'll give you an ice cream sandwich. I just don't get it, man. At all.

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It's hilarious! It's Milligan's distinctive style of not taking his writing seriously. He's seriously become a new art form of writing unto himself.

Almost everything he writes anymore makes me laugh, because he writes these tongue-in-cheek stories deadpan, and all the people who read comics straight read them and go, "That was awful!" But, if you don't take it seriously, and see it all as one big parody, the genius of Milligan's writing shines through.

I will admit, he had me fooled when he first came on board X-Men with that emotion controlling entity from space. I liked the story well enough, but it just wasn't very good.

And then, by the next story-arc, it dawned on me. This isn't supposed to read like a well written superhero story. This is supposed to take the bombastity out of superhero comics.

The X-Men characters have been going around with sticks up their arse for way too long. Granted, I like the X-Men as characters. Chris Claremont's original run was meant to be serious and I really enjoyed it.

But today, with Claremont doing the same boring routine on Uncanny X-Men and Whedon doing god knows what, I think it's high time to see a writer of Milligan's talent, (who is famed for doing absurdist, surreal pieces of literature which wouldn't fit with an X-Men book in a hundred years) pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.

He's getting away with making the X-concept look as silly as his "X-Statix" series, but doing it from the INSIDE this time, instead of through deconstruction and pastiche.

For example, with the newest story-arc, read how Apocalypse is talking. He's the doing the same old routine he's been doing for 20 years, but this time he sounds like a complete lunatic. Every other writer who's worked with Apocalypse has made him so serious, and Milligan is too, (he's not doing a DeMatteis/Giffen "Let's make this into one big joke!") he's pointing out the ludicrousness of Apocalypse by playing him totally in-character, but just off enough (though the self-mocking writing style he's embraced) to make you wonder about him.

And if you get the joke, you're laughing along with Milligan, as I am.

Read the dialogue in Milligan's X-Men. It's all serious and by-the-numbers, but look at the word choices or the character reactions. It's a slightly skewered universe than we're used to seeing the X-Men.

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I wouldn't put Sublime on any list. Rev. Stryker is really hard to call. He had one very major story and then was rarely ever seen again.

Sublime is a close call for me. There's some classic Morrison in him (virus anyone?) and he was a great adversary in the Weapon X series. Yeah, I guess he'd be on my list.

Rev. Stryker came back in Austen's (?) run I believe for GLMK pt.2 and was recently featured in XM Academy X (or whatever the hell they're calling it these days). The former was terrible and the latter I haven't read and probably won't ever.

I'm adding Sauron and Juggernaut to the list.

Juggernaut, Proteus, and the early versions of the Sentinels (up to around issue #240 of UXM) would go on my list.

But, I never meant there was a huge number of great X-villains.

I never said that's what you meant, nor did I mean to imply that; it just got me to thinking who the good villains are. (Particularly since no one wants to discuss Astonishing X-Men. ;) )

 

Seriously, is anyone still reading AXM?? Anyone? Hello?

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I should point out that, as a non-X-fan, I've only actually encountered Stryker in the original God Loves, Man Kills and Sublime in Morrison's New X-Men, on the basis of which, both characters struck me as distinctive and potentially-interesting villains. Any shit stories which have been written featuring them since have no impact on me, since I haven't read 'em.

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The only time I've come across Sublime was from Morrison's run, where he wasn't exactly coherent about what Sublime actually was.

I've heard that the "Weapon X" series revealed that Sublime is actually John Sublime who now controls the Weapon Plus program, which seems totally at odds with what little I did gleam from Morrison's run about Sublime (a living mutant virus).

 

God Loves, Man Kills II was from "X-Treme X-Men" by Chris Claremont. I didn't hate it, but it was a poor sequel to the classic original. Claremont only wrote it because it tied into the X-Men 2 movie.

I wasn't aware of any other appearances of Rev. Stryker.

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The only time I've come across Sublime was from Morrison's run, where he wasn't exactly coherent about what Sublime actually was.

I've heard that the "Weapon X" series revealed that Sublime is actually John Sublime who now controls the Weapon Plus program, which seems totally at odds with what little I did gleam from Morrison's run about Sublime (a living mutant virus).

Sublime is John Sublime is a primordial virus.

CBR has some good info on Sublime in its FAQ.

Tieri was pretty faithful to what Morrison laid out with the character, and Morrison was more coherent than you think--- you just have to pay close attention to Here Comes Tomorrow and read between the lines.

The only drastic thing Tieri did was to sort of retcon Wolvy's initial escape from the Weapon X facility by having the Sublime entity present.

God Loves, Man Kills II was from "X-Treme X-Men" by Chris Claremont. I didn't hate it, but it was a poor sequel to the classic original. Claremont only wrote it because it tied into the X-Men 2 movie.

I wasn't aware of any other appearances of Rev. Stryker.

You're right, it was Claremont and not Austen.

He's recently become a major villain for the New X-Men, post-HoM. They actually needed one. I'll tell you, that series is no "New Mutants."

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"New Mutants" died after Chris Claremont left the book and will forever remain dead in my eyes. Better to blow out in the wind than slowly burn out.

 

"and Morrison was more coherent than you think--- you just have to pay close attention to Here Comes Tomorrow and read between the lines."

 

I had enough trouble trying to read the actual lines as printed, seeing as they were horribly written and edited.

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"and Morrison was more coherent than you think--- you just have to pay close attention to Here Comes Tomorrow and read between the lines."

 

I had enough trouble trying to read the actual lines as printed, seeing as they were horribly written and edited.

Ha!

 

Go check out this. (It'll only take a couple minutes of your time.)

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Either Austen or Claremont, if I recall correctly. It's not really fair to blame the writer, though - it was clearly an editorial decision, as were most of the shitty retcons which immediately followed Morrison's run.

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And despite all those, they actually left Jean dead. I'm still surprised at that one.

 

Sorry Christian . . . if it's really meant to be read like that, then it's dryer than burnt toast. I prefer my humor a bit more moist than that. ;)

 

I'm still reading AXM. I loved the first issue of Whedon's return, and am eagerly awaiting the second, which comes out sometime this month, no?

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I'm pretty sure it was revealed that the fake-Magneto was Xorn's twin brother who had gone completely insane during his time in captivity.

 

It was Chuck Austen who came in and ret-conned almost all of Morrison's run, but to be fair to Austen (god, I hate to do this!) it was an editorial edict. Austen was doing his job. But, to knock Austen on his ass (like he deserves) the story where he revealed that Xorn was real, Magneto was a fake, etc. really came across as if Austen hadn't even bothered to read Grant Morrison's run.

Chris Claremont was the writer who I had a problem with ret-conning Morrison's run. Claremont actually took shots at Morrison's run in his actual stories. That was unprofessional. Claremont hates anyone to mess with his babies.

Claremont had the real Magneto show up on Genosha hanging around Prof. X and pretty much acted like none of Morrison's run ever happened.

It all made no sense!

 

I think the only part of Morrison's run that wasn't ret-conned or completely ignored was the death of Jean Grey and Scott and Emma becoming lovers.

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Claremont had the real Magneto show up on Genosha hanging around Prof. X and pretty much acted like none of Morrison's run ever happened.

It all made no sense!

 

Again, to be fair to Claremont, that's apparently because there was fuck-all communication between Morrison, the X-editors, and the rest of the writing staff. According to most of the people involved, when Claremont wrote that arc Morrison hadn't even submitted his scripts for Planet X, and Claremont's resurrection of Magneto was intended to be a follow-on to the apparent death of Magneto on Genosha back at the start of Morrison's run. By the time Planet X came along, with the revelation that Magneto had been alive all along, it was too late to take account of that. In light of that, as I understand it (I haven't actually read the books, so I can't say for sure, but this is how it's been explained to me by several people who've read far more of this stuff than me), several of Claremont's creative decisions in regard to Morrison's New X-Men continuity make a lot more sense.

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AH!

I guess I can understand Claremont doing his best to try to bury Morrison's plots under the rug since he had already submitted scripts that contradicted Morrison's plots.

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Re: Xorneto

Numerous reports have it that Morrison didn't want to run things by editors for fear of changes, so he was notorious for turning in scripts at the last possible second, and didn't really give a fuck what other X-writers were doing.

 

Mark is right though, despite Morrison's intentional lack of communication, the editors helped tremendously in creating the Xorneto debacle. Austen and Claremont also had a hand in that part of the story-- the revelation that Xorn was actually Magneto all along.

 

Then Austen (probably at the behest of the x-editorial staff) retconned it so that Xorneto was one of the Xorn brothers, and introduced a 'good' Xorn who subsequently sucked a new Brotherhood of Evil into his blackhole brain, along with himself.

 

Later, HoM supposedly made the final statement on the matter when Dr. Strange confronted Wanda and basically accused her of creating a fake Magneto, (the one in question) whilst the real Magneto was on Genosha all along.

 

At various points during Claremont's Excalibur (the one that preceded HoM), he had Xavier talk to Mags about the other Magneto.

 

That's pretty much the Xorneto fiasco in a nut shell. Best not to think about it too much.

 

 

Wolfram: issue #14 (the second upon Whedon's return) came out last week.

 

 

EDITED to reflect the fact that I got served.

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"Then Milligan (probably at the behest of the x-editorial staff) retconned it so that Xorneto was one of the Xorn brothers, and introduced a 'good' Xorn who subsequently sucked a new Brotherhood of Evil into his blackhole brain, along with himself."

 

Don't be blaming my boy for this shite! Milligan steered as far away from that whole mess as he possibly could once he took over X-Men.

The whole evil Brotherhood, Xorn as the twin brother of Xorn shite took place during Chuck Austen's time on "X-Men".

 

"I think the Wanda did it!" explanation was the best possible way to reconcile the whole post-Morrison fiasco.

It's so convenient for Marvel and DC to have reality warping company wide cross-overs. Everytime there's a continuity problem or a story-line that is so stupid the fans don't want to buy into it you can "It was the Crisis!" or "Wanda did it!"

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"Then Milligan (probably at the behest of the x-editorial staff) retconned it so that Xorneto was one of the Xorn brothers, and introduced a 'good' Xorn who subsequently sucked a new Brotherhood of Evil into his blackhole brain, along with himself."

 

Don't be blaming my boy for this shite! Milligan steered as far away from that whole mess as he possibly could once he took over X-Men.

The whole evil Brotherhood, Xorn as the twin brother of Xorn shite took place during Chuck Austen's time on "X-Men".

You quoted me and yet you still missed my point.

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Except you missed my whole point.

Why would Milligan do something at the behest of the X-office when Chuck Austen was the writer at the time the story-line happened?!

Did Peter Milligan break into Chuck Austen's house, tie up Austen, write the script and send it into the Marvel offices? Or maybe you are saying that Chuck Austen is Peter Milligan's secret identity?

You were wrong!

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Shakes head!

You are a mess!

Peter Milligan is writing "X-Men".

Chris Claremont is writing "Uncanny X-Men".

Chuck Austen was writing "Uncanny X-Men" during the time Grant Morrison was writing "New X-Men". After Morrison left "New X-Men", Marvel needed someone to write "X-Men" until they could find a new writer. Chris Claremont already laid claims on "Uncanny X-Men" so Chuck Austen didn't have anything to write. He took the job on "X-Men" for about 6 issues, in which time he worked with the story-lines left over from Grant Morisson's run.

Marvel picked Peter Milligan to take over "X-Men" full-time, and kicked Austen's ass off the book. By the time Milligan had taken over the book, there were new editors on all the X-books, and Milligan was able to start his run with a blank-slate without having to worry about anything Morrison or Austen did with the book.

Milligan's first issue was the "Golgotha" story-arc.

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I OWN IT ALL! BOXES AND BOXES OF THEM!

MWA-HA-HA-HA!

Actually, 'tis nothing to be proud of. It's for collector reasons.

Even I draw the line when it comes to books like "Weapon X" or that new "New Mutants" series or 101 different X-spin-off books.

I buy "Uncanny X-Men", "X-Men", and "X-Factor" now. I enjoy the latter two. Plus, Brubaker and Carey are taking over Uncanny and X-Men this Summer, so I'll actually enjoy all three in a couple of months (even though I'll miss you, Peter!).

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I have a friend that has basically every X related book from 1989-2002. Poor stupid bastard.

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