X-Men Vs X-Men – Where Are All The Villains?
At the moment in Marvel Comics were currently undergoing a big change. Marvel NOW! is a shift in talent and a more focused approach to the core titles that makes Marvel so good. This is all happening with some great results within the pages of the X-titles but additionally the mutants have also thrived since the burden of Avengers vs X-Men has fallen away and weve got back to X-family basics. Essentially, what Im trying to say is, the new X-Men titles have started with some real promise. The two core titles thus far are All New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, with Wolverine and the X-Men struggling to find a place just outside the core. This will soon be added to with the much anticipated all girl team X-Men #1 but time will tell if thats a core title or a side lined x-title like Uncanny X-Force and the like. Anyway on one side we have Kitty (amongst others) helping to train the First Class X-Men from yester year (Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Angel and the welcome return of young Jean Grey) after Beast thought it might be a good idea to rip them out of the past to help fight in the present and save the future. On the other side you have hero in turmoil Cyclops with his band of renegades that includes Magneto and Emma Frost, amongst others. Its a long tradition that the X-Men have a number of teams but these two teams are very much opposite sides of the same coin. In the world of Marvel, Cyclops team could be considered the bad guys given recent events regarding Cyclops killing Charles Xavier. On top of that we have the internal issues as well, making the All New X-Men the natural enemy of the Uncanny X-Men as the stories of discovering new mutants and training mutants from the past seems to be leading to another all-out war down the line. This is where the problem lies. All the X-Men seem to be doing is bickering with one another. A trait thats just been going on for too long now. Dont get me wrong, I'm loving the drama revolving around the First Class team coming to terms with how messed up their futures are here in the present. I love how young Cyclops feels like hes the enemy because of how people look at him and how young Jean is overwhelmed with the untapped power shes discovered she has. Additionally over with Cyclopss crew I like the collecting of New Mutants and the questions around why Cyclops, Magneto and Emma Frost have iffy powers but dammit what happened to all the great X-Men villains? Sure were getting slivers of Mystique and Sabertooth planning something on the side lines but all the big WOW moments in these core titles are either X-Men vs X-Men or even more boringly, Avengers vs. X-Men. Look, I know its an unpopular opinion of late but The Avengers do absolutely nothing for me in comics. Yeah, the film was fun and I love me some Hulk but despite my best efforts over many years of collecting comics the Avengers bore the hell out of me. I just wish the X-Men could be left alone and the Avengers holier than thou police state approach to right and wrong be left confined within the Avengers' own titles. Anyway, this isnt about The Avengers, this is about the X-Men. Despite improvements to writing (largely thanks to Brian Michael Bendis) the X-men family feel like a family again and I'm loving that. In fact, All New X-Men has almost the perfect balance of laughs, charms and action but Marvel either need to keep their X-Teams apart for a while and let them develop into something or bring in some major bad guys to stop the mutants finding reasons to take pops at one another. We need some Phalanx, some government led sentinels, a slice of Apocalypse, a twist of Mr Sinister, some Acolytes or a little bit of Mojo, just to get the ball rolling. Some of these seem to be brewing under the surface and like I said, Sabertooth and Mystique are up to something but something needs to happen soon because X-Men is once again falling into a pattern where inner squabbling is just going to lead to another hero vs hero war. To me this just means another round of 'Meh' given that no one at Marvel seems to want to commit to anyone in Cyclops Uncanny X-Men doing anything genuinely villainous to win their argument, we seem to be on course for yet another bout of wrist slapping and mutants screaming at one another. What we need is a villain to rock up and highlight all these issues. Someone to rock the boat, confront the X-Men's internal issues and get them to the brink of absolute defeat before the X-Men finally get over their nonsense and band together or something A common enemy is always the best thing to get the good guys back on track and one f the big X-villains doing just that is long overdue. It's a damn shame Magneto is so watered down nowadays actually, having him return to do this sort of thing would have been awesome. I know, this sounds like a rant about some bad X-titles. Its not. The two core X-titles in Marvel NOW! are solid so far, with All New X-Men being one of my favourite reads each month. All this is, is a sense that all that is brewing under the surface (all things Cyclops, the nasty side to Jean, Magnetos agenda, the Scott, Eric and Emma power problem and those bloomin Avengers butting in) are all internal struggles falling towards another XvsX blow out resolution and frankly, thats all X-Men has been for what seems like forever now. X-Men is no doubt one of the best titles in the history of comics to deal with internal struggles, genuine family issues and overcoming problems with team mates but when thats all its about, for such a prolonged period of time it just gets a little stagnant. With X-titles as strong as they are since the Marvel NOW! reshuffle, itll just be a massive shame to see all of it play out in the same old boring, heroes slapping heroes with no real drama ways. Snooze. Hopefully Mystique and Sabertooth can bring the goods What do all you X-fans think? Are you too missing some decent villains? Is the prospect of even more X-family feuds appealing and does the X-titles need this sort of thing at its core all of the time? Over to you, leave you comments below.