It’s shaping up to be an interesting month in the world of comic books. First, DC Comics announced that they would be re-launching their superhero universe in new first issues, which means Action Comics will never reach a thousand. Now, Marvel is also putting an end to the numbering on one of its longest running series. Yes, it’s the end of an era, as Uncanny X-Men #544 will be the final issue of the long running series.
According to a Marvel press release, the events of X-Men Schism tear the X-Men and the Marvel Universe apart, which results in the state of mutantkind being irreparably changed forever. The Uncanny X-Men #544 is scheduled to arrive in comic book stores in October. It will be written by Kieron Gillen with pencils and cover by Greg Land. X-Men: Schism #1 goes on sale on July 13, 2011. While there have been many re-namings and such for the book in the past, one way or another this title has been a staple of Marvel’s publishing schedule since 1963 (though operating as a reprint series in the early 70s).
To say the comic world that I grew up with is changing is an understatement. The comic creators have their work cut out for them to keep the familiarity of the Marvel way of comics which is to keep the current lot of readers and bring new people on board with new ideas with out losing old readers. The fresh ideas and direction will in the long run work out even though I sense people are getting tired of catastrophic story lines always changing things. The stories about our favorite characters are the best, when we see them rise to the occasion and save the day and over come the trials of life and try to cope as we do with everyday living. When everything is changed I hope we see the limits of super heroes be tested in a good story that does not mean the end of the world.
Stan Lee in the sixties and seventies supported using comic books to provide some measure of social commentary about the real world, often dealing with racism and bigotry. He influenced the change in the Comics Code which permitted negative depictions of drugs, among other new freedoms for comic creators. Those stories were good and changed the way people think. I may be overstating comics importance in today’s society but they do have an impact. The X-Men will survive in some form and Professor X’s reason for putting them together was noble trying to create a world where Mutant and non -mutant could live together in peace. He wanted to fight bigotry with good works not evil acts. Bigotry still exist in today’s world and racism and narrow minded people. The evolution of the X-Men is more that their genes, it is in their relationships with each other that make things change. I will be checking out those changes. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt