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Overgrown children of the atom: Marvel's X-Men can't evolve past their '90s commercial peak

It's not just the name; the X-Men as a whole are stuck in the past

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Image credit: Marvel Studios/Jim Lee/Ryan Stegman/Marvel

Longterm X-Men writer Chris Claremont might have been onto something when he complained that the name ‘The X-Men’ is outdated — it’s “so 1960s,” he said during a recent convention appearance, which leads me to wonder how he feels about ‘The Fantastic Four’ or, for that matter, Alison Blaire’s superhero name being the Disco Dazzler. He’s not entirely wrong, of course, but… are the X-Men themselves outdated, as well?

I’m aware that I’m saying this at a point when the X-Men are arguably as popular as they’ve been at any point in the past decade or so; a lot of people have been watching the newly-launched X-Men ’97 on Disney+, and the recent announcements about the summer 2024 relaunch of the X-Men comic book line have gotten a lot of people talking about what they want to see when it comes to Marvel’s mutant heroes — all of which is probably a very welcome thing to Marvel as an overall entity, coming as it does before this summer’s release of Marvel Studios’ first official X-Men movie.

There’s just one problem: Every single one of the above three topics is intentionally backwards-looking.

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Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.