Marvel cancels Uncanny X-Men

Posted by under *dislike, Comics |

I had already planned to write about the X-Men today with the movie premiering last weekend and lots of other X related stuff always on my mind, but Marvel’s announcement that they’re canceling Uncanny X-Men at issue #544 in October took things in an “all new, all different” direction.

I haven’t said much about it here, but a big summer X-Men event called Schism is starting next month under Marvel’s MMXI – Year of the Mutants banner. The premise is that Cyclops and Wolverine will finally reach an irreconcilable point of disagreement and the X-Men will be divided as never before. The creative team of writer Jason Aaron and artists Carlos Pacheco, Frank Cho, Daniel Anuña, Alan Davis and Adam Kubert sounds phenomenal, but as a mini series announced in the midst of three other major events affecting the X-Men line (Fear Itself, X-Men: First to Last and Age of X) I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I certainly didn’t expect it to lead to the “cancellation” of the flagship Uncanny X-Men.

The story sounds interesting and it was clear the rift would result in two new teams led by the two lead characters. I just assumed the story would continue in the pages of the current Uncanny X-Men and Uncanny X-Force series. Admittedly, having issues numbered #534 and #14 as the launch points for the new status quo is a bit lopsided and isn’t ideal for new readers, so I get the allure of two new series starting at #1. Uncanny X-Men will certainly be replaced with another title (probably with the same name), I just hate the renumbering stunt.

I always appreciated that Uncanny X-Men was spared the relaunch treatment when all the other core titles went through it… and then came back to their original numbering… and then restarted again. The series’ publication history has been far from seamless since it began in 1963, but at least it’s in order and still in place. It’s hard not to think this is temporary though, so I’ll just have to look forward to seeing things return to the original numbering once Marvel has told their Schism stories. Hopefully, they won’t add up numbers to get to the milestone 600th issue faster when they do.

The other angle on this news is that it’s incredibly liberating. I’ve been building a collection of Uncanny X-Men comics for decades, and now it can be complete. I don’t have to feel compelled to keep buying the title through the not so good periods (although I’m enjoying what current writer Kieron Gillen is doing with the title and saying about the relaunch). Plus I always thought the series would outlive me. I’m glad to see this gimmick may spare me that fate. Did things get too dark just there?

There’s also a chance that this is some attempt at a joke on Marvel’s part in light of DC’s plans to relaunch and renumber their entire publishing line in September. Yeah, let’s hope it’s that.

Be sure to check out our review of Uncanny X-Men #544 – The Final Issue as well as the all-new Uncanny X-Men #1.

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