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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Malachi's Avatar
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    Default To Many Characters, AKA what is your workable lineup!

    I have seen these threads before but I am approaching it from a different angle this time. From a numbers angle.

    We have so many characters. Ranging from A to D list status, or E and beyond even.

    How would a line up look that actually managed to use most of these? Built from the top down.

    So we have a huge number of characters considered A or B list. Roughly there are 30+ of them. All depending on your own preferences. I am counting New mutants as A or B. There goes about 7 only in that group.

    Topping a team at 6 characters since that seems like a reasonable number for a medium writer to juggle.

    So we need 5 titles with 6 members each just to satisfy the A and B lists.these are the characters most want to read about. The core of characters who sell titles. Still like members here we want new or underused C or D lists to spice things up. But let’s stick to the numbers,

    We have:
    X-Men
    Uncanny
    X-Force
    X-Factor
    New Mutants

    Just to have A and B lists. Honestly I didn’t count characters like the PAD team of X-Factor in here. Love them but mathematically I didn’t. So maybe we even need one more title just to house that too.

    6 titles with 6 members.

    Then we add a New Academy title for that generation.

    We add Red for Arakkoa. So 8 ongoings and we aren’t done. I think people want more.

    This is of course without Logan pulling double or triple duty. The same for Jean, Storm or Scott. This is just one character confined to one book.

    It becomes a mess. The line has swelled to large.

    I don’t think it’s wise to keep Warren out of the loop like he has been. Or to name another character.. Polaris is a prime example. We just can’t have them all up and running and not have the line implode under its own weight.

    So how do we fix this? Rotating casts? The eventual sidelining of Scott, Jean, Kitty or Storm just so others can have some spotlight? Ship off characters to other corners of Marvel?

    I have no perfect plan. I just don’t want to go through periods like the one we have where so many good characters are sidelined.

  2. #2
    Super Dupont Nicoclaws's Avatar
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    I don't care that there are too many characters (I would say around 230-ish X-characters ? Probably more if we count non-mutant villains). I love lots of them so I'm happy to see some in books, and I can accept that the others have other **** to do.
    I LOVE the idea that characters grow up and leave to do other things.

    I don't exactly like when a character appears in multiple books, because I think it stiffens the possibility of evolution.
    I do believe that writers should pick the characters they want to write better stories, but I think a healthy equilibrium would be classic and new/Z-list characters. That's why it's more entertaining when fans like Ewing or Foxe write the books : they will go deep and give life to amazing characters that have been mostly left off on the side.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Thundershot's Avatar
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    I miss the old days… when we just had three X-books and they rarely interacted with each other, but still affected each other. Five if you count Excalibur (I loved it but it wasn’t really an x-book since they were so far removed) and Wolverine (just his solo, and again, rarely connected to the other books). Give me a book called Uncanny X-men and have Scott, Jean, Warren, Bobby, and Hank and give them a mission statement and go from there. Add another character or two over the course of the first year. Then a second book with Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, Banshee, and Sunfire. Have them somewhere NOT around the other book. West coast. Outback. Mars. Somewhere else. Again, have one or two more added (and maybe a couple leave as well) over the course of the first year. Expand the line logically, not just to find a home for wayward characters.. We have two many x-characters at this point and it’s at the point where it’s no longer special to be considered an x-man. Let them free and join other teams.

  4. #4
    Braddock Isle JB's Avatar
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    While I greatly prefer ongoings, or at least a run that lasts 12 issues, one of the good things about mini's is that different characters get to be featured. If a mini like Dead X-Men does well then maybe the demand will allow for them to stay together in a second mini. If not, at least those characters were featured for 4 months.

    I actually like the current mix of books and I'd probably aim for something similar. Four or five team ongoings that feature some big names with a few minor characters sprinkled in each, then mini's that rotate other popular characters. Brevoort said the number of books in the line under him will stay about the same so let's say there's at least 10 books at all times. With five team ongoings that leaves room for Wolverine and four rotating slots for mini's, which can be teams, solos, or duos (like CotV). Some characters will be off the board for a time but we know that's inevitable with such a large pool of characters.
    "Danielle... I intend to do something rash and violent." - Betsy Braddock
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  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member CGAR's Avatar
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    I'm one of the fellas that wants all the titles.

    Uncanny X-Men
    X-Men
    New X-Men
    Astonishing X-Men
    X-treme X-Men
    Dark X-Men
    Mighty X-Men

    Just give us all the X-Men and let each generation shine for like at least 12 issues.

    And I feel like they would sell well if you put at least 2-3 A-list X-Men in each title.

  6. #6
    Grizzled Veteran Jackraow21's Avatar
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    I say the line should have two X-men titles, X-Force and Wolverine's solo as the "core four" monthly books. With tight casts of 5-7 team members tops in those three titles (especially X-Force which works better with a smaller lineup IMO), plus some supporting characters of course. And all other books should be limited series... so something with the younger characters (e.g., New Mutants, New X-men, Young X-men, etc.), maybe some solos or team-up books (e.g., Cable or Children of the Vault type buddy book), something off the wall fun (e.g., Hellions, Dark X-men), etc., rounding out the line and running 4-8 issues per LS.
    “Not as good as I once was… but I’m as good, once, as I ever was.”

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member davetvs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicoclaws View Post
    I don't care that there are too many characters (I would say around 230-ish X-characters ? Probably more if we count non-mutant villains). I love lots of them so I'm happy to see some in books, and I can accept that the others have other **** to do.
    I LOVE the idea that characters grow up and leave to do other things.

    I don't exactly like when a character appears in multiple books, because I think it stiffens the possibility of evolution.
    I do believe that writers should pick the characters they want to write better stories, but I think a healthy equilibrium would be classic and new/Z-list characters. That's why it's more entertaining when fans like Ewing or Foxe write the books : they will go deep and give life to amazing characters that have been mostly left off on the side.
    My thoughts exactly.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Kingdom X's Avatar
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    I agree that the franchise has gotten massive, but at this point it is what it is. I do think writers should adopt a "no new mutants" policy unless they've thoroughly done their research and not a single mutant out of the hundreds created couldn't fill the narrative purpose they're looking for.

    My ideal split to have a truly healthy line would be to have each team be a mix of characters of various popularities and generations. For example:
    1) An O5+ member
    2) An ANAD member
    3) An 80s recruit
    4) A New Mutant
    5) A 90s recruit
    6) A Generation X member
    7) An Academy X member
    8) Wild Card spot for later creations such as the Arakki

    Obviously, not every writer can handle an 8 person cast (or even seven) so give or take a slot or two. I think having a distribution of characters allows new dynamics to be explored, helps bump less popular characters up in status, and means that the books can truly be judged on merit and writing instead of solely on cast. The X-Office tends to consolidate all their A and B listers to two titles and then act shocked about the remaining eight titles not selling.

    In terms of how many titles, it's hard to say cause the current sales model is honestly a mess. For me personally, anywhere from 4-8 titles works but I prefer quality over quantity. 10-12 titles is where they truly lose me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundershot View Post
    I miss the old days… when we just had three X-books and they rarely interacted with each other, but still affected each other. Five if you count Excalibur (I loved it but it wasn’t really an x-book since they were so far removed) and Wolverine (just his solo, and again, rarely connected to the other books). Give me a book called Uncanny X-men and have Scott, Jean, Warren, Bobby, and Hank and give them a mission statement and go from there. Add another character or two over the course of the first year. Then a second book with Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, Banshee, and Sunfire. Have them somewhere NOT around the other book. West coast. Outback. Mars. Somewhere else. Again, have one or two more added (and maybe a couple leave as well) over the course of the first year. Expand the line logically, not just to find a home for wayward characters.. We have two many x-characters at this point and it’s at the point where it’s no longer special to be considered an x-man. Let them free and join other teams.
    I agree with the last statement. If the X-Office can't find use for it's characters offer them up to other books and lines. Let Warren be an Avenger. Let Colossus hangout w/ Black Widow for a while. It sometimes feels like the X-Office can be real protective of it's characters only to keep them as wallpaper or in roles waaaay beneath them.
    Last edited by Kingdom X; 11-27-2023 at 09:12 AM.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member Malachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingdom X View Post
    I agree that the franchise has gotten massive, but at this point it is what it is. I do think writers should adopt a "no new mutants" policy unless they've thoroughly done their research and not a single mutant out of the hundreds created couldn't fill the narrative purpose they're looking for.

    My ideal split to have a truly healthy line would be to have each team be a mix of characters of various popularities and generations. For example:
    1) An O5+ member
    2) An ANAD member
    3) An 80s recruit
    4) A New Mutant
    5) A 90s recruit
    6) A Generation X member
    7) An Academy X member
    8) Wild Card spot for later creations such as the Arakki

    Obviously, not every writer can handle an 8 person cast (or even seven) so give or take a slot or two. I think having a distribution of characters allows new dynamics to be explored, helps bump less popular characters up in status, and means that the books can truly be judged on merit and writing instead of solely on cast. The X-Office tends to consolidate all their A and B listers to two titles and then act shocked about the remaining eight titles not selling.

    In terms of how many titles, it's hard to say cause the current sales model is honestly a mess. For me personally, anywhere from 4-8 titles works but I prefer quality over quantity. 10-12 titles is where they truly lose me.



    I agree with the last statement. If the X-Office can't find use for it's characters offer them up to other books and lines. Let Warren be an Avenger. Let Colossus hangout w/ Black Widow for a while. It sometimes feels like the X-Office can be real protective of it's characters only to keep them as wallpaper or in roles waaaay beneath them.
    I would love it if every team could juggle 7-8 members. It will take careful scouting and editing from the X-office to keep it up.

    As it is now I would have no problem with a number of characters would migrate out of the X-umbrella for other titles. It's not like the line wouldn't survive without them. As it is many of them hardly appear anyway.

    Rogue has had very little to do these last years. Wouldn't have hurt her to instead have been an Avenger.

    Other characters it feel like gets thrown into solo's or mini's just so they get out of the way. As a Gambit fan it certainly feels like that. He has had more solo's or mini's then most X-men but he's struggelning hard to be part of a team.

    I have no problem with a template like the one you wrote. It allows for new teamups, new chemistry. Many characters risk running stale since they only interact with their usuall suspects.

    It's a scary thought, for me, to have teh X franchise be 10-12 titles on a regular basis. I just hope it can sustain it sales wise.

  10. #10
    Amazing Member shugahfree's Avatar
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    For one, not every character (including the A-Listers) need to be on the team at all times IMO. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    Secondly, I'd split up some of the bigger named characters throughout the line to

    A) Forge new dynamics
    B) Give star power to 'riskier' titles/concepts

    I do think fewer titles (ideally 4) with tighter casts and big rotating supporting players is the way to go.

    I think its also time to let some characters cook in other parts of the MU.

    Magik should be Sorceress Supreme or at least be on the journey to that title.

    Kurt is a very Avenger-y type of character.

    Let Cece Reyes join the Daredevil supporting cast.

  11. #11
    Mighty Member DarkMagnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGAR View Post
    I'm one of the fellas that wants all the titles.

    Uncanny X-Men
    X-Men
    New X-Men
    Astonishing X-Men
    X-treme X-Men
    Dark X-Men
    Mighty X-Men

    Just give us all the X-Men and let each generation shine for like at least 12 issues.

    And I feel like they would sell well if you put at least 2-3 A-list X-Men in each title.
    All the Adjetives all time, always!!

    But what about?

    Avenging XMen

  12. #12

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    About 5-7 core members to a team is fine but it depends on the team and story.

  13. #13
    Super Dupont Nicoclaws's Avatar
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    I do believe that keeping the "old" teams would be a mistake.
    Whenever they go for a 05 or ANAD team, it ends up weird. The dynamics between characters, while fun, have run their course and trying to add drama is tedious at best, but generally cringy. Let's remember "Beast is in love with Jean, Warren and Bobby are just there" thing. Characters who worked together before can have meaningful and interesting interactions, but in the long run it's honestly boring from a story pov.

  14. #14

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    I just like good stories. I think Lord Ewing has been incredible in his SWORD/Red/+ run, giving shine to whomever falls under his purview. Obviously it didn't hurt that he gravitated towards Storm as a central character for me personally, but I loved SWORD even before she showed up.

    Especially under the Krakoa banner, when almost all mutants were basically together, it was a situation ripe for exploration. Books like Sabretooth, Hellions, and Children of the Atom were surprise hits featuring obscure or completely new characters/combinations. That was great, but I also see how having soooo many options can overwhelm many writers, and they flounder under the embarrassment of riches. I think that was the biggest difficulty for this era overall. With hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of mutants operating as a telepathically coordinated society, most of the plots just couldn't serve them. I mean, even now with most of the earth mutants in the White Hot Room, Gillen is acting like only Exodus, Hope, Destiny, and MR are relevant or capable. It's too much suspension of disbelief. Same with ORCHIS as a worthy threat. We have dozens of omega mutants on the board. Any one of them should be able to neutralize that space station, but the plot demands they fail.

    Moving forward, I don't think Marvel should necessarily try to compile teams based on quotas from each generation. Nor should they just keep old crews together. Something in the middle is probably correct. Like, I miss seeing Ororo and Logan together. If you put them together with a random assortment of whomever else, with a great writer willing to highlight them all and create new dynamics, great. But if you just put Ororo, Logan, Kurt, Piotr, Kitty, Rogue, and Remy on a team, with the writer just phoning it in, my eyes will glaze over. Same with the O5. They are almost always boring together. Mix them up, but not to the extent that Scott and Jean can never be on a team together. Some things just work. It's a fine line between going with a tried and true formula and just throwing things at the wall at random.
    Last edited by yogaflame; 11-27-2023 at 12:01 PM.
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  15. #15
    Grizzled Veteran Jackraow21's Avatar
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    Agreed. I want new dynamics. For example, I loved the trio of Cable, Thunderbird and Manifold in X-men Red. Throw in Storm, Sunspot and maybe one or two others and that’s a great squad.
    “Not as good as I once was… but I’m as good, once, as I ever was.”

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