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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Default "X-Men is an offshoot of Marvel" -- Is this a strictly modern view?

    I pointed this out in the mutant racism thread, and I really wonder about it. Do the people who speak of X-Men as though it were an offshoot of the Marvel brand, rather than a true part of it, realize just how badly premised that is? It seems the people who didn't want the X-Men to be part of the MCU, or want them to be in their own separate universe, justify this by saying they exist in their own void as a self-contained thing. For the MCU's case, they'll say something like "If it's true to the comics, none of the X-Men will ever appear outside the X-movies anyways."

    I groan whenever I hear this, as this argument is so riddled with holes that it's practically Swiss cheese. To begin, they don't know that for most of their history the Avengers were NOT the core of Marvel. The X-Men were far more popular than the Avengers collectively, and especially individuals like Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Panther and so on. If you were to divide Marvel into several pillars, say X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and Avengers, then the Avengers were least popular among them.

    I also think the idea that the X-Men never crossed over to the wider universe to only be a half-truth, and again, badly premised, for two reasons:
    1. The X-Men did cross over with the wider universe. Secret Wars portrayed them as prominently as the others, they've had adventures alongside the Fantastic Four, Avengers, Spider-Man, the Power Pack, among others. Several events considered "X-Overs" actually did feature characters outside the brand, such as Mutant Massacre crossing over the X-Men, New Mutants and X-Factor while also featuring appearances from Thor, Daredevil and Power Pack. It just didn't happen every single issue, nor did every storyline have to have outside elements, with the reason being that the X-Men brand was fascinating enough that it could stand on its own. Kinda like Spider-Man in that regard. Compare this to Iron Man, where his best stories often do feature outside elements, because his core mythos doesn't hold up without them. Overall, throughout history I'd say there's still enough crossover that putting them in the MCU should be easy.
    2. The X-Men were far and away the most popular franchise in Marvel, with more minis, spin-offs, events that were considered important compared to the Avengers. Only Spider-Man could rival them during this time. The Avengers were a dumping ground for various heroes that couldn't hold a title, seen as a place for lessers to build a fanbase. As the X-Men were the top dogs, it was in their best interests to keep the Avengers away from them, and in the times they crossed over, the Avengers were second-stringers to the X-Men. Example, the Avengers #300 was just a tie-in to the X-centric Inferno event. Can you imagine a milestone for the Avengers today taking a backseat just to promote an X-Men event?

    Remember, the terrible Heroes Reborn reboot is the closest thing to this -- only the Avengers were jettisoned to their own universe, not the other way around. It's also why I'm completely against the idea of separating X-Men from Marvel and just having them "be their own thing". The fact is, Marvel works best as a unit with everyone in the same world.

    This brings me to my big question:

    Would you say this idea that the mutant and non-mutant sides of the Marvel Universe are "two universes smushed together" is a strictly modern perspective, born out of Fox owning the X-Men film rights for twenty years, and Marvel running the massively successful MCU without them? Will it disappear when everyone gets used to seeing the X-Men in the MCU?

    I sure hope so.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member jwatson's Avatar
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    Marvel made it an offshoot with their own story lines because they didn't have the rights. When their were 17 million mutants running around why was marvel creating new characters rather than their being a slot for mutants on each book. It would have increased their representation as well as give Avengers and other teams a hold in the mutant verse in times of need. Except not one avenger showed up to fight the Terrigen cloud, No one gave condolences for the Genocide on Genosha. So i don't think this is something that was on the viewer. Over time it became very clear that the mutants of the Marvel Universe were at the bottom of the totem poll and should be grateful to be even seen in the greater MU. I do see that chaning now though.

    And yes i would say it's more recent, since the early 2000s i would say. Before that in the older stories i read the x-men use to get around the MU quite a bit.
    Don't let anyone else hold the candle that lights the way to your future because only you can sustain the flame.

  3. #3
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's one thing. As much as I love Marvel, I think someone in the upper management (Ike Perlmutter) is very petty about this stuff. I had a sigh of relief when Disney bought Fox, not just because of X-Men in the MCU, but because them being shafted will finally end.

    Gee, I hope Spider-Man doesn't suffer this fate...

  4. #4
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    Yeah, that's one thing. As much as I love Marvel, I think someone in the upper management (Ike Perlmutter) is very petty about this stuff. I had a sigh of relief when Disney bought Fox, not just because of X-Men in the MCU, but because them being shafted will finally end.

    Gee, I hope Spider-Man doesn't suffer this fate...
    I hope so, too, but he's too much of a moneymaker for Marvel in terms of merchandising for Marvel to shoot itself in the foot (or somewhere higher that might be just as vulnerable) like that.

    That said, the Avengers/Fantastic Four were spirited off to Image because they were seen as more expendable compared to Spider-Man and the X-Men, given that like you said, they weren't nearly as popular with the readership/fandom as they were in-universe. I found that to be an interesting inversion; Spider-Man and the X-Men were the most beloved and iconic of heroes to fans and readers in real life, but almost uniformly hated and feared by the general public and distrusted and recurrently hunted and hounded by the authorities in-universe. On the other hand, the Avengers and Fantastic Four were "less relevant," to phrase it more charitably, in the real world, but widely liked if not admired and revered by the general public and (grudgingly) tolerated if not respected by the authorities in-universe. A very fascinating contrast, especially nowadays.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Havok83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    Yeah, that's one thing. As much as I love Marvel, I think someone in the upper management (Ike Perlmutter) is very petty about this stuff. I had a sigh of relief when Disney bought Fox, not just because of X-Men in the MCU, but because them being shafted will finally end.

    Gee, I hope Spider-Man doesn't suffer this fate...
    Spider-Man is the face of Marvel and their highest selling book. They arent going to sabotage him in the books bc they cant afford to

  6. #6
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    I hope so, too, but he's too much of a moneymaker for Marvel in terms of merchandising for Marvel to shoot itself in the foot (or somewhere higher that might be just as vulnerable) like that.

    That said, the Avengers/Fantastic Four were spirited off to Image because they were seen as more expendable compared to Spider-Man and the X-Men, given that like you said, they weren't nearly as popular with the readership/fandom as they were in-universe. I found that to be an interesting inversion; Spider-Man and the X-Men were the most beloved and iconic of heroes to fans and readers in real life, but almost uniformly hated and feared by the general public and distrusted and recurrently hunted and hounded by the authorities in-universe. On the other hand, the Avengers and Fantastic Four were "less relevant," to phrase it more charitably, in the real world, but widely liked if not admired and revered by the general public and (grudgingly) tolerated if not respected by the authorities in-universe. A very fascinating contrast, especially nowadays.
    You know what I take away from that?

    Everyone likes an underdog.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Honestly, back when I was a kid, I don't recall anyone and I mean ANYONE trying to suggest that the X-Men were somehow "less Marvel" than the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and especially the Avengers. I didn't hear anyone say the X-Men should be put into a separate universe and be their own thing, just so that the mutant racism can "make more sense". That in itself is funny because it was never intended to make sense, like real-world racism.

    X-Men as a whole was meant to convey those themes, but in a way that was still as fun as the other superheroes in Marvel, because dedicating an entire series about the persecution of black people or gay people, or any real world discriminated minority, would carry a lot of baggage and wouldn't exactly be fun. Let's be real, it's more fun to take in the themes of X-Men when it's coupled with superpowers, crimefighting and adventures, and the idea that there's a hero for everyone (hence it's so diverse but organically so), than it is to present a real-world minority and have actual racism be the focus. There's a place for that, definitely, but not in superhero comics meant to be entertaining.

    But really, no one had any real issue with the X-Men existing in the Marvel Universe for most of their history.

    That's why I think this perception is largely born out of the movies. More specifically, people introduced to Marvel via the FoX-Men films, the MCU, or both, and taking in the differences between the two, while only having superficial knowledge of the comic books. As such, they seem like very separate entities, when really, both are just as Marvel as each other. What really makes me sad is the effect that some people legitimately don't know that the X-Men shares the same universe in the comics as the others, because they weren't in the MCU. That's part of the reason I can't wait to see how the MCU revitalizes the X-Men brand outside of just the comics.

    It's also why I groan when people say it doesn't make sense, that Marvel was dumb to try to make a franchise out of fantastic racism in an established superhero universe, and label it a massive "plot hole" that can only be fixed by segregating the mutants off to their own world (super ironic if you think about). It's amazing how they just don't get it.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member powerpax's Avatar
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    IMO the X-Men ate the entire company in the 90s, and it ultimately bankrupted Marvel both creatively and financially. The X-Men may have been my first and best love but I thought the whole Onslaught/Heroes Reborn stunt was a fundamental betrayal of the entire line - because initially, at least, it didn't seem like a planned temporary stunt. It just felt like another excuse to consolidate the entire company into suffocating X-mania. It was wrong.

    I think it was far more healthy for the company when Quesada/Jemas/etc. made the Avengers more central and A-list (which is how they've always been perceived in-universe, but it sure wasn't the case IRL for most of the '90s), and allowed the X-Men room to grow and change in a more organic way. The downside came later, first when the company got cold feet about Morrison's work, and then when they took the Fox rights debacle out on the entire X-Men line for years. That was an inversion of the 1990s' "all X-Men, all the time" mentality that was equally toxic. That's why they now sometimes seem disconnected.

    IMO it's important for the X-Men to have a degree of difference or disconnection that makes them stand out from the Avengers or FF, of being alien and different; otherwise the mutant analogy falls apart. When the X-Men were basically Marvel's Avengers in the 90s, basically the flagship books, there was no sense of them being dangerous or different or non-commercial in any way. But that doesn't have to mean isolating or segregating the franchise commercially, which is what happened from 2005 or so onward.

  9. #9
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok83 View Post
    Spider-Man is the face of Marvel and their highest selling book. They arent going to sabotage him in the books bc they cant afford to
    Keep in mind that before Avengers vs X-Men and for some time after, Uncanny X-Men (and All New) were still Marvel's #1 selling titles. They could absolutely do the same thing to Spider-Man that they did the X-Men, and potentially even easier because Spider-Man is a single character that could be relegated to a single solo title.

    As for the topic... I'm not going to make this long winded, but to me, there is no Marvel universe without the X-Men. Period.

    "I'll always love you, Jean Grey." "I'll always love you too, Scott Summers." - Scott Summers and Jean Grey

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerpax View Post
    IMO the X-Men ate the entire company in the 90s, and it ultimately bankrupted Marvel both creatively and financially. The X-Men may have been my first and best love but I thought the whole Onslaught/Heroes Reborn stunt was a fundamental betrayal of the entire line - because initially, at least, it didn't seem like a planned temporary stunt. It just felt like another excuse to consolidate the entire company into suffocating X-mania. It was wrong.

    I think it was far more healthy for the company when Quesada/Jemas/etc. made the Avengers more central and A-list (which is how they've always been perceived in-universe, but it sure wasn't the case IRL for most of the '90s), and allowed the X-Men room to grow and change in a more organic way. The downside came later, first when the company got cold feet about Morrison's work, and then when they took the Fox rights debacle out on the entire X-Men line for years. That was an inversion of the 1990s' "all X-Men, all the time" mentality that was equally toxic. That's why they now sometimes seem disconnected.

    IMO it's important for the X-Men to have a degree of difference or disconnection that makes them stand out from the Avengers or FF, of being alien and different; otherwise the mutant analogy falls apart. When the X-Men were basically Marvel's Avengers in the 90s, basically the flagship books, there was no sense of them being dangerous or different or non-commercial in any way. But that doesn't have to mean isolating or segregating the franchise commercially, which is what happened from 2005 or so onward.
    Agree with everything here
    DC, hurry up and make your own version of Marvel Unlimited!

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member jwatson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerpax View Post
    IMO the X-Men ate the entire company in the 90s, and it ultimately bankrupted Marvel both creatively and financially. The X-Men may have been my first and best love but I thought the whole Onslaught/Heroes Reborn stunt was a fundamental betrayal of the entire line - because initially, at least, it didn't seem like a planned temporary stunt. It just felt like another excuse to consolidate the entire company into suffocating X-mania. It was wrong.

    I think it was far more healthy for the company when Quesada/Jemas/etc. made the Avengers more central and A-list (which is how they've always been perceived in-universe, but it sure wasn't the case IRL for most of the '90s), and allowed the X-Men room to grow and change in a more organic way. The downside came later, first when the company got cold feet about Morrison's work, and then when they took the Fox rights debacle out on the entire X-Men line for years. That was an inversion of the 1990s' "all X-Men, all the time" mentality that was equally toxic. That's why they now sometimes seem disconnected.

    IMO it's important for the X-Men to have a degree of difference or disconnection that makes them stand out from the Avengers or FF, of being alien and different; otherwise the mutant analogy falls apart. When the X-Men were basically Marvel's Avengers in the 90s, basically the flagship books, there was no sense of them being dangerous or different or non-commercial in any way. But that doesn't have to mean isolating or segregating the franchise commercially, which is what happened from 2005 or so onward.
    You know i never thought about it this way but you basically summed up both sides of the equation perfectly.
    Don't let anyone else hold the candle that lights the way to your future because only you can sustain the flame.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    You know the Avengers were high on the totem pole when their 300th issue was nothing more than a platform to promote Inferno. For the record, Inferno was an X-Over, with the core of the story being a crossover between all the mutant titles. The others were involved in tie-ins where they fought off demons in NYC. I know I pointed it out in the OP, but really, let the fact sink in: Marvel thought it was more important to use the Avengers' big milestone as just a means of promotion for the X-Men, than it was to celebrate the history of the Avengers or have them lead an event comic.

    Somehow, I doubt this would've happened today. Although, once the X-Men are fully reintegrated as a core franchise with Hickman's run, I wouldn't mind seeing a big event where the X-Men are the big stars, and the Avengers are secondary characters. You know, for old times' sake.

  13. #13
    X-Men & Green Lantern Fan Sam Robards, Comic Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hybrid View Post
    I wouldn't mind seeing a big event where the X-Men are the big stars, and the Avengers are secondary characters. You know, for old times' sake.
    I'd settle for a big event that had the X-Men in which they weren't vilified for not having an in-house multi-billion-dollar movie franchise.

    EDIT: To add to the overall discussion on the board, I've never felt that the X-Men should be separate from the Marvel Universe, but they can easily thrive if forced to do so.

    The Marvel Universe can clearly exist without the X-Men (see the MCU), but it doesn't feel right. Like it's a little too clean without that nasty, bigoted underbelly that anti-mutant hysteria brings.

    I'm glad the initial poster brought up the fact that having the Avengers as the top dogs of the MU (popularity-wise) is really a modern phenomenon. The FF were the MU's first superstars: that essentially transferred to the X-Men in the '80s, which was later transferred to the Avengers in the mod-2000's with the premier of New Avengers. Spider-Man's been omnipresent throughout his history.
    Last edited by Sam Robards, Comic Fan; 09-10-2019 at 11:40 AM.
    What can I say but, "I love comics."

  14. #14
    Incredible Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Not just that, but it didnít feel quite right to see Marvel not have access to much of their best villains and core worldbuilding the X-Men (and Fantastic Four) brings. Not just mutants themselves, but elements like the Shiíar, Savage Land, Otherworld, Mojoworld, Cyttorak, Phoenix Force, Brood, Limbo, and other stuff I know Iím missing. The X-Men gives them all that plus the numerous characters, and groups besides the X-Men such as the Brotherhood, Hellfire Club, New Mutants, X-Factor, Alpha Flight, Excalibur, X-Force, Weapon X, Marauders... itís insane. I always enjoyed the MCU, but felt the missing elements as time went on.

    I also hope MCU X-Men will bring more exposure to the mythos. A lot of people think Wolverine is the star, can only name Magneto, and believe itís entirely mutant racism. It got tiresome after a while. The X-Men can be as fun as the rest of Marvel, but Fox focused solely on mutant racism because they didnít know anything else. They do sci-fi, fantasy, horror, drama and general superhero. Thatís what I want to see on the big screen, and prove once and for all that the X-Men belong home.

  15. #15
    Mighty Member powerpax's Avatar
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    The Avengers were always treated in-universe as the A-list top-tier superteam. But it was the actual company IRL that marginalized them in the late '80s and through the '90s, and made the X-Men into McDonald's in the '90s.

    The Avengers being revitalized as the premiere superteam of the Marvel Universe was what needed to happen and was only right. It also gave the X-Men room to be differentiated and nuanced again as opposed to a toy/merch moneysink of bland writing and characters. They went into the wilderness for a long time, but that chance to grow and still remain relevant is back now.

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