OK…let me give you a bit of a back story here. For the longest time, Marvel Comics has sucked. The home of Spiderman, Fantastic Four and Captain America were still managing to sell titles, but were putting out absolutely nothing of merit. This was happening for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being the piss-poor way that they treated their creators. And hence, they were flooding the market with garbage, gimmick covers, and false promises of "Collector's Item!". Then morons (I guess thinking that they could buy up these comics, sit on them for a few years, hawk them off, lay back and collect the riches) actually fell for it and bought the stuff. So the circle kept spinning and crappy comics kept on getting made.
Then something amazing happened that would change the comic industry in a very big way. Enter into the picture a man by the name of Joe Quesada, a respected artist who had most famously worked on some Bat-stuff at DC. He followed that up with the creation of his own successful self-publishing venture, Event Comics. Someone at Marvel, in a rare flash of an actual good idea, gave over a corner of their super-hero universe to he and his partner lock, stock and barrel. It was to be known as Marvel Knights. A dark and gritty (excuse the cliché) corner of their world. The sub-imprint blasted off, even gaining much non-comic media coverage when it was announced that Daredevil (to be drawn by Quesada himself), would be written by foul mouthed fanboy favorite, Kevin "Clerks" Smith. Then the ball just kept on a rolling. Quesada is now head honcho at Marvel, running the complete works. And in his mad reign of terror, he's pretty much scooping up every single A-list writer and artist away from the other publishers to come and play on his team. A far cry from the Marvel from only a few short years ago.
The latest coup is snagging Grant Morrison, a very vocal Marvel hater, to write their flagship title, X-Men. Grant, by the way, is hands down my favorite comic writer…if not my favorite writer of any medium. A Scot, who on this side of the pond took DC's Vertigo imprint by storm, revamping Doom Patrol and creating the insane acid trip drug induced haze of adventures of The Invisibles. But, when Grant truly became my hero was when he took over JLA (a move that at the time was just as surprising as when he now took over X-Men). His pantheon-of-the-gods style of characters and story-lines showcased all of DC's big guns (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman…) at their best. You wanna read the best damn super-hero comic you're ever going to read. Read his run on JLA. When he finished up there, DC promptly dropped the ball (a big faceless corporations who deal in entertainment seem to do all the time) and refused to give him and his friends (some other big-shot comic scribes) the Superman corner of DC to write. So he screwed off.
Quesada quickly tried to scoop Grant up. Grant wasn't interested, telling him that Marvel didn't have any good characters. Quesada countered with an offer that few writers can refuse…you can do ANYTHING you want. Grant did Marvel Boy. A brand new character hailing from an alternate universe. He crashes on earth and proceeds to kick some ass, cause some trouble and view humans with about the same level of respect that we treat insects, or the french, for the remainder of the mini-series. Following that, Grant was given another tempting offer. You can do ANYTHING you want, no holds barred, with the X-Men. Grant accepted the offer and set out on a trek to make the #1 selling book into the best book as well. Joining him for the ride is artist Frank Quietly, another defector from DC's sinking ship (he left DC's The Authority in the 11th hour for the opportunity to work with Grant).
Anyhow…on to the actual topic at hand. New X-Men #114 was absolutely completely AMAZING! See, the thing with a Grant Morrison comic is that the first page is better than most whole issues of other comics. And, his comics are way better than most big summer blockbuster FX filled Hollywood movie extravaganza's. This is no exception. I won't really talk about the story specifics, I'll let you discover that for yourself if you're smart enough to go and buy it. It'll be interesting to see if the book continues to appeal to the Marvel loser demographic. I have a feeling that it won't. I find that a lot of geeks fear change. They'll be halted in place at the fact that there's no more super-hero costumes, that Wolverine's hair is too short, that The Beast looks like a cat, that the women don't look the way that they think they should. But what're ya gonna do? The opinions of 30 year olds living in their parents basement and living their lives vicariously through internet live webcam sites don't really matter all that much to us regular humans now do they, also like the french. All I know is that it looks like Grant's going to have a hell of a good time tearing apart a storyline that has lay stagnant for much too long.Plus…the logo's reversible…whooooah…freaky.