Monday, 9 November 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 2001

Fans of parallel universes got a boost in 2001, with the introduction of the Exiles. Dimension-hopping mutants from various different worlds, the Exiles were led, mostly, by Blink, who was a throwaway character from a mid-90s X-Crossover, who, after being killed off, had proved unexpectedly popular with the readers. The Exiles, although a standalone book, had enough ties to the Marvel Universe proper, to keep the fanboys happy, at least until the book was killed off earlier this year.

2001 also saw the Powers-What-Be at Marvel decide to tell the origin of Wolverine, apparently in order to prevent the X-Movies from beating the books to the punch. Although, some might argue, that since Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada and Publisher Bill Jemas each got a writing credit on the book, it might just have been in order to make them some ready cash, helping to tell a story that some fans had been waiting 30 years for.

Finally, it was all change at the X-Books this year, with Grant Morrison taking over the reigns of the Adjectiveless X-Men, henceforth renamed New X-Men, and Peter Milligan relaunching X-Force with an entirely new, entirely bonkers, set-up. Chris Claremont found himself turfed off Uncanny X-Men, again, but got a new book out of it: X-Treme X-Men. Most other titles found themselves facing the axe, as part of a plan to reduce the number of X-Books to a manageable level.

Incidentally, for those of you who care, in January 2001 there were 12 ongoing X-Books (Bishop, Deadpool, Gambit, Generation X, Mutant X, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Force, X-Man, X-Men, X-Men: Hidden Years, and the quarterly X-Men Unlimited), whilst December had 8 (Deadpool, Exiles, Uncanny, Wolverine, X-Force, New X-Men, X-Treme, and Unlimited). The solicitations for January 2010 show the following regular X-Books: Dark Wolverine, Uncanny, X-Force, X-Men Legacy, Cable, New Mutants, Deadpool, Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth, Deadpool Team-Up, Wolverine: Weapon X, Wolverine: Origins, X-Factor, Uncanny X-Men: First Class, X-Men Forever. 14 in total. So much for progress.

In the real world, of course, 2001 was the year the World Trade Centre came down.

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