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On The Hot Seat with Jude Terror! X-Men Forever Special!

Written by Steven Harris on Monday, July 26 2010 and posted in Features

Jude rants and raves about X-Men Forever! Why? Who knows! It's fun to read though!

Marvel is notorious for milking the cow dry with one hand while beating a dead on horse. The franchise Marvel continues to bleed dry is the X-Men franchise. With close to ten X-books each month, it makes you wonder if any fat can be trimmed off of Marvel's publications.

Today On The Hot Seat, we'll sit down and talk with Outhousers's commander and chief Jude Terror. Why? Because Jude Terror believes X-Men Forever to be one of, if not the best, book being published today.

And if you ask me, this is crazy and absurd. However in the spirit of fairness, I believe everyone here at the Outhousers should have the chance to defend the books they love.

Without further ado... I present Jude Terror and his love of X-Men Forever!

: What is this book? and why should people be buying it?

Jude Terror
: X-Men Forever is one of those rare fanboy dreams: a legendary creator comes back to the title he is synonymous with to pick up where he left off twenty years ago for one more run. Chris Claremont wrote Uncanny X-Men for over sixteen straight years from 1975 to 1991. His run is widely regarded as the definitive X-Men run, and is certainly a contender for greatest comic book run of all time. When people think of the X-Men, they think of his stories. The X-Men movies were based on these stories. All of the X-Men animated series stories were based on these stories. Claremont's X-Men ARE the X-Men.

I understand that comics are a constantly evolving medium (sometimes less than they should be), and that we've moved past where Claremont left the X-Men twenty years ago. But the fact is, with X-Men Forever, you're getting the best of both worlds. This isn't some DC Universe golden age reboot where all of the X-Men books and characters are reverting back to their "iconic" roots, destroying years worth of character growth and stories. Instead, this series is set outside of continuity, so readers can have their cake and eat it too. It is the least offensive form of fanboy nostalgia pandering ever, catering to fans who want to bask in some 80s X-Men glory, while allowing fans who have no interest to ignore it without breaking up their following of the regular titles.

And on a base level, this is Claremont doing what he does best. He's throwing out a ton of plotlines, developing them all slowly, and working in a universe where he has near complete control over everything that happens. While Claremont's style may not work in modern books that demand a single, five issue story for the trades, in this format, bi-weekly, twenty four issues a year, it is perfect. The best X-Men book on the stands today, if not the best book period.

Porcelain38: Very bold statements Jude. However me being of the younger generation of comic readers don't exactly have the same love of Claremont that you do. Yes, we love the X-men. Yes, we love those storylines but the past is the past. If new readers want to read Claremont's 16 year run we will buy the trades.

So here's my main question. Claremont being the genius he is returning to X-men, however it's in an alternate universe from the past. This seems redundant. Why not take that creative talent and put in on a current book? Why is there such a want/need to revisit the past?

Jude Terror
: So don't read it. This book is probably not for "younger generation readers who don't have the same love of Claremont that I do," though I would question whether you have any interest in an X-Men book at all, since pretty much everything the X-Men are today is a result of Claremont's run, and most of the time new writers simply rehash his stories anyway.

I'm not sure I even understand your line of attack, to be honest. This isn't Geoff Johns fanwank clogging up the entire DCU and affecting every book in the shared universe. It's a self-contained book, purposely set outside of continuity so that the regular X-Books can go on unaffected and the regular X-readers can remain blissfully unaware of anything that happens in it. So it's completely unoffensive from that perspective, and certainly less annoying than the thrice yearly Superman reboot that wall-punches the DC status quo back into 1971.

So why does it bother you? Is it a personal problem with Chris Claremont? Do you want him to not be able to make a living? Or is it a vendetta against fans who do enjoy the book, where you don't want them to be able to enjoy themselves? Because otherwise, I just don't see why this book would bother you at all.

As to your question, the reason Claremont isn't doing this in Uncanny X-Men is because Marvel doesn't want him to. Claremont's style doesn't fit with Marvel's current style. It's been tried, and current readers didn't really like it. The fact is that the comic book industry has changed. Readers aren't used to many plots developing slowly from issue to issue. They're used to trade-built storylines spelled out neatly in five issue arcs. Claremont doesn't provide that.

You're not going to get a payoff in five issues from X-Men Forever. It's more episodic, and issue #5 is going to set you up for things that are going to happen in issue #25. The great part is, by the time you get to issue #25, more things have happened in storyline than happen over six years of giant crossover events.

That's the nature of old school storytelling as opposed to the current model. I won't say one is better than the other, because I enjoy both, but I will say this: you might argue that current readers don't care for Claremont's storytelling, but Claremont's storytelling was popular at a time when comics sold ten times the number they do today. So I might not give X-Men Forever to your average reader today, but I'd certainly give it to someone who doesn't read comics at all, and expect them to enjoy it far more than they would a deconstructed, five minute, fraction of a whole read of a modern single issue.

Porcelain38: I mean this book seems like nothing more than a fan wank and Chirs Clarmont pleasuring himself than anything else. This book only exist so that Clarmont can do what he wants too. I mean why put this much energy into a book, when it can be used to progress the Marvel Universe foreword. There are already 5 million X books on the stand to begin with, why is there a need for more non-cannon books?

The nature of old school storytelling is still alive in well. I mean look at books like The Walking Dead, Invincible, Y: The Last Man and 100 Bullets. Each book lasted over 60 issues or is still ongoing. They all had over arching stories while having more included ones.

So what your saying is that if I pick up an issue of X-Men Forever I'll be able to read it and fully understand it? Is it really that accessible to readers who haven't read all of Claremont's 16 year run?

Jude Terror:
Absolutely. One of Claremont's greatest strengths is combining a rich continuity with accessibility to new readers. Sure, there's twenty or more subplots running in the book at any given time, but pick up Season 2, Issue 1 and you'll be introduced to all of those plots right in that issue, and you'll be able to follow along.

The thing is, Claremont's X-Men are the quintessential X-Men. Everything you know about those characters was defined by Claremont in his original run, so I would go so far as to say that X-Men Forever is more accessible than any of the current X-books. If you know the X-Men from the movies, or from the cartoons, or just from pop culture in general, you can pick up X-Men Forever and you'll recognize these characters.

Furthermore, the book isn't mired in the continuity of a shared universe like most mainstream comics. The X-Men Forever universe takes place only in X-Men Forever, so in that respect, it does indeed have more in common with books like Invincible. In fact, since Invincible is practically Spider-Man Forever, I think fans of that type of book would really enjoy X-Men Forever.

Thanks to Jude, however him accusing me of hating Chris Claremont was a little weird!

(And for the record it's not Claremont that I hate, it's the little things that bring Jude happiness that I hate the most)


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