The comic book industry that had once been so successful was floundering. Stan Lee decided to take his wife’s advice and wrote a superhero comic book the way he wanted. This was born the Fantastic Four, then Spider-Man, the Hulk, Dr. Strange, Iron Man, the Avengers and more. At some point he decided to create a new kind of superhero team called the Mutants (re-titled the X-Men). It didn’t take off in the same way as his previous efforts, but the school for gifted youngsters founded by the wheelchair-bound psychic Charles Xavier had a unique persona that kept it in print through many iterations.
Years later the X-Men took off in a big way, appealing to readers who associated with the young mutants who had no place in the world, even one where gamma-radiated monsters roamed the desert and men made of rocks wore trench coats and sunglasses. Forever the outsiders, forever hated and feared even when they were the next step in evolution. During the Avengers Vs. X-Men cross-over, the mutant population’s problems became everyone’s problems as the Phoenix Force arrived on Earth. Now the X-Men are a more integrated part of the Marvel Universe than before.
Like him or hate him, Bendis revolutionized the Avengers when he disassembled the team and rebuilt it into anew, bringing the title to a level of popularity that was previously held by… the X-Men. And so the circle is apparently complete as Bendis will be trying the put his touch on the mutant titles that have somewhat fallen in recent years.
Will it work?
“Everything in ‘Uncanny X-Men’ came right out of our story planning for ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men,'” Bendis told Marvel.com. “There was a great deal of time where Marvel had asked Jason Aaron and [me] to bring all the elements of the story together. It was during this process that both of us came up with a lot of ideas for the mutants going forward. By this time I knew that I was taking over the X-Men and that allowed me freedom to take his [X-Men] characters into places I probably wouldn’t have the guts to [in ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’] if it wasn’t my job to clean up the mess so to speak. While we were discussing whether or not it was time for Charles Xavier to die, one of the reasons I was all for it was because it made all of my books so much more interesting.”
Bendis’ team consists of Cyclops and the remnants of his Extinction Team: Magneto, Magik and Emma Frost. While Bendis states the romance between Cyclops and Emma is finished, readers will get to see the fallout in the pages of “Uncanny.”
“The romance is done. They are not together anymore romantically,” Bendis said. “It’s pretty hard to come back from what they went through in Avengers Vs. X-Men. Things were said, powers were stolen, and as we will discover in the very first issues of ‘Uncanny X-Men,’ some things happen between them that cannot be taken back.”
The writer teased new developments for Magneto, stating “Uncanny X-Men” will be “a very bold, new chapter” for the Master of Magnetism, and hopes to link “Uncanny” with “All-New X-Men” much in the same way he linked “Avengers” and “New Avengers.”
“The books will connect thematically and sometimes even story-wise, but you don’t have to buy both books to enjoy them,” Bendis said. “Hopefully I will make you want to buy and read both books with our stories and our characters. But these books are both looking at mutants and Marvel from their unique point of view. Both of these books’ points of view are, in my opinion, very legitimate and very much a concern.”
“Uncanny X-Men” #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo hits stores February 2013