Have the All-New X-Men overstayed their welcome? When will the time displaced original team of mutants finally return to their own time?

Last week Marvel Comics announced an all new ongoing series starting in May that will star the time displaced Cyclops galavanting around the universe with his newly resurrected father. Written by Greg Rucka, this series does sound like an interesting read, but it further illustrates a potential problem for the Marvel Now X-Men Universe. How much longer can the All-New X-Men remain in present day?

When the All-New X-Men series was announced, I was very against it. Bringing the original X-Men to present day seemed like a leftover plot line from Star Trek. However, Brian Michael Bendis proved me wrong. His strong characterization on the book won me over, and it was fascinated to see just how far Lee and Kirby’s characters had grown since the 1960s. These characters seems to fill a hole in the current Marvel universe. Reminding us of a time when comics were more fun and innocent; something most books these days aren’t.

BATTLE OF THE ATOM DID WHAT NOW?

Then Bendis introduced Battle of the Atom. The big ten part crossover between all the teams of the X-Men. We had Wolverine’s team, Cyclops’s team, Kitty Pryde’s team, bad future X-Men, and good future X-Men: there were a lot of X-Men teams in this crossover. The essential crux of the crossover was to return the original team back to their own timeline. Primarily, so they couldn’t make the space time continuum break anymore than it had. (See Bendis’s Age of Ultron storyline to see where he broke it the first time. He sure likes to make the space/time continuum a mess.)

Of course, the original team didn’t return to their own time! They joined the Uncanny X-Men; the very team they were brought from the past to rebel against!

So now we have the Trial of Jean Grey and an ongoing Cyclops series, that feature the All-New X-Men heavily. This team’s return ticket home doesn’t look like it’s anytime soon.

I understand the reason for keeping them around. (SALES!) Although, one has to question whether this team has purpose in the present day anymore.

Beast brought them from the past to convince older Scott Summers the wrong of his ways. Basically to give him a proverbial slap on the wrist in the hopes that it would wake him up to his wrongdoings.  Of course, this didn’t work. Some could also make the argument that Beast brought himself from the past because he knew that only his younger self could cure his mutation, which his younger self did. So they have fulfilled one purpose and failed the other.

SHOULD THE ALL NEW X-MEN STAY IN THE PRESENT?

My vote is no. I’ve loved the series so far; in fact, I’ve been quite surprised by how much I have liked it. It was a fun little diversion and change to the overall X-Men landscape. It let us view the characters through a new lense. Let us see these character fresh, and let us learn that ideals never change, people do.

All-New X-Men has been a great series, but as a concept, I hope there is a conclusion soon. I would prefer this to be a short series that I remember fondly for its complete and fun story, and not one I scoff at for jumping the shark. All roads lead home, and the All-New X-Men’s path is back in the 1960s.
(Of course, I could also tell you my theory for what happens when they return home. How Brian Michael Bendis will use it to soft reboot the X-men line, and resurrect a dead X-Men hero. But I think I will leave that for another post. What do you think? Should the All New X-men stay or go?)

The Author

Jason Inman

Jason Inman

Born in the land of Superman and now living in Los Angeles, Jason is a simple man who one day dreams of writing a scene where Superman punches the moon. He's worked for many companies including Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Youtubers Rhett & Link. During his ever escaping free time, he produces content for his award winning Youtube channel while reading more comics than any one man should in a week.

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13 Comments

  1. February 26, 2014 at 10:42 am — Reply

    I think they should go . . . eventually. Like “Superior Spider-Man”, the problem with “All-New X-Men” is the premise is ultimately close-ended. I like this series a great deal and I want to see it continue for a little while longer, but I really hope Bendis has an ending in mind which doesn’t involve two sets of X-characters, old and new, bumping around the Marvel Universe long-term.

    Here’s one theory: what if they return to the past and the Professor doesn’t wipe their minds for some reason, and it’s used as an aforementioned “soft reboot” for X-Men, as the knowledge of the future creates some kind of ripple effect?

    • February 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm — Reply

      That ripple effect is exactly what I think is going to happen. Giving Bendis his choice of continuity and characters for X-men going forward. Kinda a cliche “Star Trek” move, but a brilliant move from a writer’s perspective as it allows him to get his choice.

      • February 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm — Reply

        I’m somewhat okay with that. On one hand, I don’t like the direction of older X-Men, specifically Cyclops, but on the other hand, I’d kinda like older Cyclops to have his own redemption storyline. But it feels like we have so much invested in the All-New X-Men (thanks in no small part to Bendis’ characterization) that it feels like SOMETHING has to come up this storyline . . . there has to be some sort of satisfying conclusion.

  2. comicfan1974
    February 26, 2014 at 11:31 am — Reply

    I was strangely moved by the first few issues of the series but gave it up once I realized that it wasn’t going to be a symbolic kind of story arc reflecting on comics, nostalgia, aging and change but had rather become just another schtick.

  3. Zombi
    February 26, 2014 at 11:53 am — Reply

    I really can’t see Professor X reading their minds and going “Ok, Scott you kill me and become the new Magneto, Jean, you murder a whole planet, and Warren, you become the new Apocalypse, give birth to demon spawn, die, then comeback as a completely new person with no memory of yourself” and be all “Oh well, it is what it is (or, what well be is what will be?), time to wipe your minds and let this all happen.”

    Not really sure if this means they head back and we head to a reboot of the Marvel Universe à la “The New 52” *shudders* or they stay and we get a lame “Time can’t be changed, pocket universe/alternate timeline, blah blah blah fishcakes, Wolverine killed Pym” excuse (either way, they get a a resurrected Jean Grey, free of her past sins, as that whole Hope thing didn’t seem to work out.)

  4. February 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    This sort of story is a great idea in theory (and I enjoyed and still enjoy All New X-Men for what it is), but it can’t actually work at face value due to the way that the Marvel universe and comic book continuity work.

    The first class X-Men stories were published in the 60s, but due to the sliding scale of Marvel time, our original X-Men are supposed to be from the 90s at the very earliest. This immediately falls apart if any sort of attention is paid to it, and I don’t think Bendis has properly sorted it out himself. The way the original 5 interact with the world in the first issues of All New X-Men makes it really difficult to tell whether they are meant to be from the 1960s or 1990s, leading to a few anachronisms that should’ve been edited out.

    This sort of continuity exercise is also impossible when you have 50+ years of comics history to sort through without some really crazy mental gymnastics. I think the best solution is to just sort of hand wave it away rather than trying to clumsily “fix” things. Writers should just reference the stories they want to and sort of ignore the rest of the continuity.

    I dunno, I think Bendis’s ear for dialogue and interpersonal dynamics is much better suited for the character drama X-Men rather than the grand adventures of the Avengers, but I really really worry, like Blue Yonder says, that he has no endpoint in mind, which could make this series turn into an endless, insane continuity wank.

  5. L1701E
    February 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm — Reply

    I always felt the idea of the All-New X-Men should’ve been just a mini-series with a beginning, middle, and an end. Make it six issues, ten, even twelve for all I care, it should never have become an ongoing.

    • February 27, 2014 at 12:44 am — Reply

      Agreed!!

    • Chris
      May 1, 2014 at 12:46 am — Reply

      agreed!

  6. Luis Dantas
    February 27, 2014 at 4:33 am — Reply

    We have Rachel, Bishop and Cable already. We have Angela and Spider-Man 2099. I don’t even know how many continuities Starlord went through already (perhaps five) and I don’t particularly expect him to remain in the current one for long (the character has been quietly rebooted or retconned in every other series he appeared since the 2000s, it seems).

    Keeping a consistent continuity and a non-confusing set of character pasts and origins is simply not important far as current writers and editors go. I don’t particularly expect the All-New X-Men to return.

  7. February 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    I do believe they will go back, not sure if Charles Xavier will be able to wipe Jean Grey’s memory given her exposure to telepathy at the level of her future self and Emma frost. And personally feel it would be more interesting to see a soft reboot were the x men lead by Jean Grey made the World a better place to the extent they are as highly regarded by the general population as heroes much like the avengers (press conferences etc.) however given Charles penchant for rewiring the minds of his pupils (example : Vulcan lead x men) wouldn’t surprise me.
    Maybe the plan is to go with soft reboots more so than forced reboots like the new 52,and this is part of it.

  8. Ahmed S.I.
    April 29, 2014 at 3:47 pm — Reply

    I know that normal logic doesn’t apply to comics logic & all, but if you look at this carefully, the entire concept of All New X-Men falls apart. If the original 5 X-Men are here from the actual past (i.e – the 1960’s comics) then shouldn’t the future (present Cyclops & his awesome Extinction Team) already be changed? Just pulling the original 5 from the past should have changed the future immediately. Since they were pulled from their time, they didn’t go through all of the stuff that the present X-Men went through & therefore the future should already be different. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of this run & have every issue of it. This thought is just something I’ve been mulling over in my head.

    • J
      August 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm — Reply

      I think… and I could be wrong. Just a theory, but I believe that no changes to the present can be made until the original 5 go back to their own time. As long as they’re there, they’re sort of “frozen” in time. Perhaps a “pause” button. I assume, at some point, they’ll all go back. The only problem is that Cyclops is with Corsair. I don’t think they could go back in time, unless they all go together. Arrive together, leave together. It’s either that, or if the other four go back first, the changes to the timeline won’t take place until Cyclops goes back as well. This should’ve just been a mini-series, causing a “soft reboot.” I’m currently on Cyclops #4, which comes out tomorrow and from what I read, it’s an on-going series. I can’t imagine that the original 5 would go back any time too soon now. There’s no way they’d start a solo Cyclops series and then pull the plug on it, after only a few issues. I’d like to know if Marvel has an ending planned or if they’re just winging it and now they have their backs up against a wall.

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