View Poll Results: Should the X-Men be allowed to age?

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  • YES

    35 66.04%
  • NO

    18 33.96%
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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member AppleJ's Avatar
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    Default X-Characters and Aging

    Superhero comics are famous for iconic characters that stay perpetually youthful, between their teens and late twenties. The X-Men have hardly been an exception, as the O5 are still considered to be in their late twenties by editorial.

    Certainly there is a marketing benefit to keeping a certain degree of status quo when you view a character as a property and a concept.

    Less clear is how much value that lends to storytelling potential and diversity. For certain it limits the ability to cycle new characters into spotlight roles and also puts some restraints on the types of stories you can tell without going into AU/What If/Old Man/Old Woman territory.

    I know this has many pros and cons as discussed so often on this board. And obviously the advent of resurrection brings a whole bevy of new considerations.

    With the promise of resurrection, you could let characters age, retire, have families, die, and be resurrected in all sorts of ways that redefine/reimagine them for new generations.

    As a reader, would you prefer to see the X-characters allowed to age past 29 or not?

    *not counting characters like Wolverine that don't age normally

    Feel free to discuss!

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Hi-Fi's Avatar
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    Yes.

    One of my favorite things about serialized comics is watching characters grow and evolve into new stages of life. That's why I've always loved Peter Parker's journey through high school, college and into adulthood.

    Likewise, seeing the New Mutants become X-Force while trying to find their own identity and the X-Men become teachers after years as students was a treat to me. Kitty Pryde also joined the X-Men as a 13-years old and we've seen her become a headmistress (a very young one, for sure lol) after attending college.

    But it seems like all of these characters reached the final allowed point in their aging and I doubt we'll see more evolution on that side of things anythime soon. Which is why the current generation of mutant students will forever be teens.

  3. #3
    Grizzled Veteran Jackraow21's Avatar
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    Now with the Resurrection Protocols they don’t have to.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member AppleJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi-Fi View Post
    Yes.

    One of my favorite things about serialized comics is watching characters grow and evolve into new stages of life. That's why I've always loved Peter Parker's journey through high school, college and into adulthood.

    Likewise, seeing the New Mutants become X-Force while trying to find their own identity and the X-Men become teachers after years as students was a treat to me. Kitty Pryde also joined the X-Men as a 13-years old and we've seen her become a headmistress (a very young one, for sure lol) after attending college.

    But it seems like all of these characters reached the final allowed point in their aging and I doubt we'll see more evolution on that side of things anythime soon. Which is why the current generation of mutant students will forever be teens.
    I agree. I really enjoy character evolution and seeing different life stages and the new perspectives they bring.

    It feels like the lack of aging is causing a bottleneck, so that new characters can't be moved forward or introduced to pass the torch.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AppleJ View Post
    As a reader, would you prefer to see the X-characters allowed to age past 29 or not?
    Definitely. One of my favorite things about DC, back in the eighties, was how they were embracing their legacy characters. The New Teen Titans were growing up, Dick Grayson had left behind being Robin, Batman's sidekick, and had his own team, and his own new superhero identity as Nightwing. Barry and Hal had moved on, and Wally and Kyle were the 'new' Flash and Green Lantern. All sorts of change was in the air. And yeah, it all went south, but I liked that sort of thing.

    I could totally see an X-verse where various older X-Men had aged out, for various reasons. Scott and Jean were now the co-headmasters of the school. Xavier was off in Shiar space (or dead, or at the UN full-time mutant ambassador-ing, whatever). Sean runs Black Air. Emma is trying to turn the Hellfire Club around (two steps forward, one step back, some things are resistant to change, and there's always the risk that it pulls her back into the dark, rather than her dragging it into the light...). Dani, Sam and 'Berto are now the big leads of the X-Men, while Storm's in Wakanda, Scott barely ever leaves the mansion, etc.

    The previous generation doesn't have to be utterly killed off or replaced, some can take on more distant roles, such as the Xavier role, or liaising with SHIELD, or the UN, or the Shiar, or the Savage Land, or Black Air, or Wakanda, or whatever. So many places they can be sent, without necessarily just taking the cheap out of saying 'all the olds died, now the New Mutants / Generation X / New X-Men generation is running things.'

    On the other hand, just because *I* have enjoyed many decades of Cyclops, Storm, etc. stories and would be satisfied with their generation retiring from the field and letting some new people step up, newer fans haven't had that, and the company obviously doesn't want to put all of their *proven* cash cows out to pasture just because I've read enough Scott-love-triangle nonsense to last me three lifetimes. They'll keep retelling variations of those stories for the next five decades, for younger audiences.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member AppleJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Definitely. One of my favorite things about DC, back in the eighties, was how they were embracing their legacy characters. The New Teen Titans were growing up, Dick Grayson had left behind being Robin, Batman's sidekick, and had his own team, and his own new superhero identity as Nightwing. Barry and Hal had moved on, and Wally and Kyle were the 'new' Flash and Green Lantern. All sorts of change was in the air. And yeah, it all went south, but I liked that sort of thing.

    I could totally see an X-verse where various older X-Men had aged out, for various reasons. Scott and Jean were now the co-headmasters of the school. Xavier was off in Shiar space (or dead, or at the UN full-time mutant ambassador-ing, whatever). Sean runs Black Air. Emma is trying to turn the Hellfire Club around (two steps forward, one step back, some things are resistant to change, and there's always the risk that it pulls her back into the dark, rather than her dragging it into the light...). Dani, Sam and 'Berto are now the big leads of the X-Men, while Storm's in Wakanda, Scott barely ever leaves the mansion, etc.

    The previous generation doesn't have to be utterly killed off or replaced, some can take on more distant roles, such as the Xavier role, or liaising with SHIELD, or the UN, or the Shiar, or the Savage Land, or Black Air, or Wakanda, or whatever. So many places they can be sent, without necessarily just taking the cheap out of saying 'all the olds died, now the New Mutants / Generation X / New X-Men generation is running things.'

    On the other hand, just because *I* have enjoyed many decades of Cyclops, Storm, etc. stories and would be satisfied with their generation retiring from the field and letting some new people step up, newer fans haven't had that, and the company obviously doesn't want to put all of their *proven* cash cows out to pasture just because I've read enough Scott-love-triangle nonsense to last me three lifetimes. They'll keep retelling variations of those stories for the next five decades, for younger audiences.
    Really good points!

    It does seem like leading an X-team in the field has become the be all, end all pinnacle for some characters and it's difficult to chart a course for them afterward that doesn't somehow feel lesser. In reality there are so many other valuable roles to fill and it also would allow new characters to step up.

    But you definitely identified the crux of the situation. Popular characters are the most identifiable and make the most money. They're an easy sell, whereas new characters take time to build a fan base. So until new fans gravitate to the newer characters and away from the originals, it's a cycle we remain stuck in.

  7. #7

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    Yes. Also any writer that says Emma isn't a 40-year old MILF is a hater. (Morrison is forgiven because my headcanon is that Emma was joking with that "I'm only 27!" line).

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Kingdom X's Avatar
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    Yes. I honestly feel like the X-Men (more than many other franchises) would not only be able to survive aging up the characters, but would actually thrive as a franchise. There’s been pretty consistent success when it comes to establishing younger mutants so allowing them to grow-up and take the spotlight would simply keep the franchise fresh. Also, it’s not like you couldn’t have older characters still play a role or even become the focus of certain stories.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
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    That's my only gripe with DoX -- after everything the X-Men have faced, 10 years seems wayyy too compressed and maybe even too harsh (remember, in true comic fashion, even their days off will see fighting). I'd be more comfortable if it was 15 or 20 years of compressed time (so maybe 1 year comic world = 4 years real world) , but then those don't make the thematic roman numeral X.

    I remember back when the first X-Men movie came out and there were some complaints that James Marsden was too young for the role -- except he was 26 when he played the role, the same age Cyclops is purportedly (and mentally) in Dawn of X, but I feel like the Cyclops we got from Morrison-on, and especially during big moments like House of M and AvX, had to have him in his 30s by this point in order to have the gravitas and experience for those roles.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Funnily enough, while a big deal is made about how certain characters are centuries or millennia old, there's a section that are older than they look without being ancient. There's a lot more than most people would think that are in their 60s or 70s.

    Magneto obv, but also Nekra Sinclair and Dragoness to name a few.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Omega Alpha's Avatar
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    With the ressurection protocols, that doesn't matter anymore.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Captain Nash's Avatar
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    yes but slowly, as currently has been. In my head canon one issue is roughly one week, so 50 issues is just shy of a year - means that roughly 14 years have passed since X-Men 1. Of course, with resurrections, deaging and what not, especially in these times, it makes it more difficult to pin down those ages, but that rate of aging in general is fine by me.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Cruelrain's Avatar
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    Well Jean just went back to her roots and she looks exactly like she did in the 60s version

    youthful queen

  14. #14
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    Give me grandpa cyclops

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member AppleJ's Avatar
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    I still think an easy problem solver is to make it cannon that mutants age more slowly than normal humans. I mean, irl some people are genetically predisposed to age more slowly than others and maintain a youthful look naturally. Maybe mutant X-genes function to protect their telomeres better as a side effect? Just saying, it's a simple solution to being 50 and looking 29.

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