By Rabbitearsblog 19 Comments
For many years, the X-Men has the largest number of characters in any comic book franchise as it has characters that range from different countries to different parts of America. While it is interesting to have a very diverse cast of characters, is it possible that there are too many X-Men characters to keep track of over the years?
Take the situation during the big X-Men event called “M-Day.” “M-Day” was the result of Marvel’s decision to cut out a lot of the X-Men characters because there were too many characters for the writers to keep track of and the easiest solution to Marvel would be to cut off as many characters as they can by killing them off or depowering some of the mutants when Scarlett Witch caused the majority of the mutants to disappear when she stated “No More Mutants.” While the concept of “M-Day” was really interesting since we never really witnessed a situation where the X-Men have to use their survival instincts to survive in a world where mutants are going extinct, there could have been other options as to how to handle the increasing number of characters in the X-Men universe. For one thing, Marvel could have shown us what happened to the depowered mutants after M-Day. It does make sense to not entirely focus an entire story on a dead character, but since the depowered mutants are still alive, why shouldn’t they have their own stories about what happened to them after M-Day and how they coped with the disastrous situation? Maybe, if there was a different writer who could write a story about the depowered mutants or if one of the main X-Men titles (Uncanny X-Men for example) has a little short story about the depowered mutants, then we might get a really good story about the depowered mutants without having to resort to placing the characters in a limbo where they are never mentioned again until the next big event comes up.
Another way that Marvel could have solved the problem of having too many characters in the X-Men franchise is that they could have rotated the cast so that way, everyone would have a fair chance at getting their own stories told. This is definitely needed in Uncanny X-Men since most of the time Uncanny X-Men mainly focuses on Cyclops, Emma Frost and Wolverine and barely focuses on the other characters, although we do have brief glimpses of Colossus, Storm and Beast’s side of the story. If the writers rotated the cast such as having Emma Frost, Cyclops, Wolverine, Hope Summers as the main team on the first issue and then the next issue would have Nightcrawler, Colossus, Shadowcat, Rogue as the main team, then it would help writers to be able to write about a different array of characters without stressing on using all of the characters in one issue and risking some of the characters being put into the background.
Personally, I have no problem with having new characters added to the X-Men universe, as long as it is written correctly. I really like the idea that the X-Men has a very diverse cast of characters and it would sadden me if any of the characters were killed off or never developed fully as memorable characters in the X-Universe. I think the biggest issue here is not the fact that there are too many characters in the X-Men universe but the fact that the writers don’t know how to write so many characters into one issue. It is difficult to write a story that is told from several different characters’ point of view since we might get so many mixed messages about the story since each character might have a different view on the situation, but it isn’t necessary to put all the X-Men characters into one issue, especially if the writer is not going to give some of the characters any dialogue throughout the issue. Also, the X-Men comics need to start focusing on the other characters other than Cyclops, Emma Frost and Wolverine in every issue. Yes, Wolverine, Emma Frost and Cyclops are iconic characters in the X-Men universe, but the X-Men is a team book and so, it needs to center on various members of the X-Men other than just the three members I’ve just mentioned. Furthermore, new characters should possibly be added every five years or so, so that way the writers would have enough time to develop the characters and we would not have that distinct feeling that the characters are just being added just for the sake of shaking things up in the X-Universe. I’m guessing that X-Men: Schism is trying to solve the problem of having too many characters in the X-Universe by splitting the cast into eight different books and whether or not that will work or not will remain to be seen.
So what do you think? Do you think that there are too many characters in the X-Universe and some characters need to be written off or do you think that it’s fine having so many characters and that there just needs to be better writing in writing all of these characters?