While Morrison was working over on New X-Men, Marvel hired another writer to take over Uncanny X-Men after the departure of Joe Casey. That was Chuck Austen. At first, Austens run was met with a positive response by fans. He focused on a small team of Archangel, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and new character Stacy X. He reformed the Juggernaut, bringing Professor Xs step-brother and frequent X-Men enemy onto the team. And Alpha Flights Northstar, who is gay, also joined. Did I mention hes gay? Because thats apparently his most important character trait. But despite a decent opening arc, things quickly went downhill. The initial cast grew a lot larger when Austen brought back Havok, whod bee in an alternate dimension and was in a coma for a while, and being watched over a creepy nurse named Annie (who despite her bizarre Florence Nightingale thing, was invited to join the schools staff). He also brought in Polaris, Havoks psychotic ex-girlfriend who had never been psychotic before. And Husk from Generation X, who went from being a strong, intelligent character to an X-Men groupie who begins a relationship with the much-older Archangel. They even have mid-air sex. In front of her mother. I wish that were a joke. And Jubilee joins the team, but she never does anything more than stand in the background and marvel at the size of Nightcrawlers penis. Again, I wish that were a joke. Characters were written terribly. In Chuck Austens world, women are all sex-crazed nymphomaniacs. They jump into the sack for the smallest of reasons. Everyones always sniping at each other for absolutely no good reason. Iceman went from being the team comedian to consummate whiner. And the storiesoh benevolent spirit of Dave Cockrum, patron saint of X-fans, give me strength First weve got the Church of Humanity and their plan to destroy the Catholic church with Nightcrawler as the pope and exploding communion wafers. We also got Nightcrawlers origin. Apparently, hes the son of Azazel, who also happens to be Satanor something. Azazel is trapped in another dimension and he needs his children (who can all teleport) to open a portal to free him from the dimension hes trapped in. The very same dimension he leaves to father these children. Does your head hurt yet? Because its going to get worse. After Morrisons departure, the retcon I mentioned about Xorn and Magneto was handled by Austen. He revealed that Magneto was not Xorn, but rather Xorn was Xorn, and somehow could make himself look like Magneto. You see, Xorn posed as Magneto, posing as Xorn, becauseevil? And the X-Men found out about this thanks to a convenient explanation from Xorns twin brother. Who also has the same powers. And Xorn II knew about this becausetwins? I dont even freaking know any more. There are no words to describe how horrible Chuck Austens run on the X-Men was. Id say this is what youd expect from a brain-damaged ten-year-old fanfic writer, but that would be an insult to brain-damaged ten-year-old fanfic writers. Its justwow. You sit there reading this, and you wonder just what sort of blackmail material Austen had on his editors. Oh, and by the way, Northstar is gay. Just in case you forgot.
Percival Constantine is the author of several novels and short stories, including the Vanguard superhero series, and regularly writes and comments on movies, comics, and other pop culture. More information can be found at his website, PercivalConstantine.com