All posts by mariusthienenkamp

Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier – why we are getting sick of Time-Travel

(Attention: massive spoilers!)

I might be a little too late with this article, but the last few weeks were rather stressfull. I wrote the last exams before my finals begin, and I actually have to start preparing for my finals RIGHT NOW. But this is a topic that I find very interesting, because it’s just something that’s been going on a lot in comics lately. So here’s what i think about “Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier” and the last issue within this story.

Let me get this straight first: I really like Bendis’ work on the X-Men. And I really enjoyed this particular story. It was a great read and I didn’t even think it was too long, even though it took 9 issues. That being said, I liked the end of the arc, but…

…I think all of us are getting sick of the Deus Ex Machina that is time-travel.

To show you why this is something that really bothers me, let’s start where it all began. More than 30 years ago, in the year 1981, Chris Claremont’s short, but great storyline “Days of Future Past” was published in the issues Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142. The scenario: Kate Pryde runs through the ruins of a world that was destroyed by the Sentinels with mutants either dead or living in concentration camps. In order to prevent all this from ever happening, Kate is sent back in time by the mutant Rachel, who would later turn out to be the daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, taking control of her 13-year old body. She now has to prevent the assasination of Senator Kelly in order to prevent the Sentinel program from uprising. The interesting thing about this story is that it was one of the first stories in comics books with a dystopian future and time-travel as central plot elements. It was innovative and good.

Farst forward to the year 2012. A lot of things have happened in the world of Marvel comics, we have seen countless dystopian futures and/or time-travel stories, and these things are no longer innovative. But we’re about to face three Marvel stories that will ultimately make us hate these kind of things.

  1. Age of Ultron
  2. Apocalypse Twins/ Ragnarok Now/ Avenge the Earth (Uncanny Avengers)
  3. Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier (Uncanny X-Men)

The problem is that all of these stories did not start that bad after all. But in the end, 95% of the story didn’t happen at all because one of the characters decided that preventing the events that caused everything would be a better solution that just fighting the problems in the present. And who can blame them? Writers often put characters into totally desperate situations. The earth is controlled by Ultron. The Apocalypse Twins have destroyed earth. All the X-Men are dead and there’s a mutant that is even more powerful than Omega-level mutants that can kill anyone on earth at any given time. These kind of things make the story extremely dramatic and powerful, but fixing everything with time-travel makes the end extremely anticlimatic. It also makes you wonder why you read the story at all, since most of the events never happened. Hawkeye saving Spider-Man? Never happened. Rogue killing Wanda, Grim Reaper killing Rogue and Wanda killing Wonder Man? Never happened. Beast realizing that Cyke was right all the time, Scott and Magneto arguing about wether they should use Mathew for the revolution? Well, that never happened.

This scene was absolutely great, but unfortunately, it never happened

Doesn’t mean that I never want to see dystopian futures or time-travel again. I love both things! I just want to see them less often, and I don’t want great stories to always end in the same, boring way. In this story especially, it’s annoying, because we got to see so many awesome things. I loved how Beast was totally pissed because Scott was right about the Mutant/Human relationship. I loved how Scott was the only person who actually wanted to help Mathew with all the flashbacks to his youth that really helped to understand his character, and how Kitty and Kurt were totally kind to each other because they miss each other so much.

I’m tired of seeing great character developement and epic scenes just to realize that all this has been prevented via time-travel. The fact that these three stories all came out in the last two years makes it even more frustrating. These stories always follow the same pattern, so the end is never surprising. Writers should focus on great stories without time-travel as a Deus Ex Machina that can literally solve ANY problem. It kind of makes you think “why don’t they just use time-travel right now”, but then again, in the most cases, they do. The “Dark Angel Saga” is a great example for a modern story with great characters that is extremely dramatic and has a great ending without time-travel. That’s something I want to see more often!

I know that this phenomenon of more and more timey-wimey stuff is all leading to something. It’s basically about the fact that characters use time-travel too often and they break time and space. That’s what Age of Ultron was about. And the use of more and more time-travel and different futures and time-displaced characters is certainly leading somewhere. So we will probably not see that much time-travel once Secret Wars is finished. I’m still annoyed, though.

Let’s see what the future holds for Scott and his students

But I don’t want to be too rude to this arc, because I really enjoyed it. I love the fact that Tempus has gone totally apeshit with her powers. I loved to see Xavier again. And seing Scott tell everyone that he loves them was heartbreaking. I’m excited to see what Scott will do without his school and how/if his former students will come along with the students at the JGS.

Actually. I enjoyed every single issue. It’s just sad that most of them didn’t happen now. 


What does the future hold for the X-Men comics?

(Attention: Spoilers ahead)

I’m sorry, guys. I was actually going to write this article yesterday, but I was busy all day writing letters to my friends that get published in a magazine once we’re done with our finals in a couple of months. It’s kind of strange to say goodbye to so many people in my life and to know that in 4 months, my life will be radically different.

Speaking about things that we need to say goodbye to and that will radically change within the next months, as you probably all know, the X-Men comics the way we know them will be over in may. Not only will we get the end of Brian Bendis’ run with Uncanny X-Men #600 (which i will probably write another article about), we will also see the old Marvel Universe (616) destroyed when it collides with the Ultimate Universe (1610) and see it replaced by a new universe. Marvel already stated that this new Universe will be a combination of 616, 1610 and other universes. Which is a pretty radical solution, since Marvel has never rebooted it’s main universe before.
“Secret Wars” will be the event to reboot the Marvel Universe

But what exactly will this mean for the X-Men? Tom from mahmusecomics has already written an article about this topic where he lists four theories about how the world of the X-Men will probably look like post-Secret Wars. ( In this post, I want to give you guys my personal opinion on these theories (and other popular theories). So, let’s go! Please note that this is, as I already mentioned, my personal opinion. It’s likely that you will disagree with me when it comes to certain points, but that’s alright, it’s entirely possible that there are things i didn’t consider, so let’s discuss this in the comment section!

The X-Men comics will end because Marvel doesn’t want to support Fox!

There have been so many rumors about this. Many fans feel like Marvel wants to boycott the franchise in order to damage the Fox movies. These rumors have been fueled by the fact that “insiders” from Marvel have stated that the X-Men will not be a part of the new universe.These statements have been proofed fake. So many people from Marvel have called bullshi*t on this,including Brian Bendis. But there’s another thing that worries fans a lot. The fact that Marvel cancelled both Fantastic Four books, supposedly to not support the upcoming Fox movie.
Marvel announced that the FF comics are about to end “Fourever”

I can probably calm you down. I don’t think it’s very likely that Marvel will cancel all X-Books. Our dear mutants have been Marvel’s cash-cow for a very long time (X-Men #1 is still the comic book that sold the most copies), and cancelling the books wouldn’t make a difference for Fox’s film franchise. Most people watching superhero movies don’t read the comics.

“But Marvel did the same thing with the FF comics!”

Well, that may be true, but then again, the sales of these books were horrible. The position the mutants have within the Marvel universe is in no way comparable to the position that the First Family has. The X-Men almost have their own universe within the Marvel Universe. Marvel would never totally give up on that.

I’m not a fan of these kinds of conspirancy theories at all. Marvel is not evil. Marvel does not HATE the X-Men.

All Mutants will be rebooted as Inhumans because Marvel wants to make them their new #1 franchise!

It’s true that the Inhumans have become more and more important in the last few months, especially in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers run and the “Infinity”-Event. They even got their own ongoing title, and we know that they will play an important role in “Secret  Wars”, as well (one of the teasers that Marvel has given us is called “Attilan Rising” and some of the Inhumans are visible on the cover to the new AvX).
The Inhumans have become more and more important for in the MU

But then again, rebooting all the X-Men as Inhumans to make us want to accept the Inhumans as Marvel’s new #1 franchise would just be incredibly stupid. Marvel wants to attract readers. It’s a company, so it’s obvious that they want people to buy their stuff. How does one attract people to buy a book about the X-Men/ about mutants? Well, make it about mutants! Rebooting them as Inhumans would be horrible for Marvel’s sales. They wouldn’t make Spidey a mutant either, would they?

The new X-Men books will be about the O5 again!

An interesting theory. It would be great to see Peter Parker as a high school student again, and it would also be great to see Scott Summers as a 16-year old, together with his four teammates within their first weeks at Xavier’s. Who knows, maybe the focus on the O5 in Bendis’ run has been a hint at what comes next.
Bendis’ run put the O5 into the focus of the X-Men universe again

But IF Marvel decides to make a book about the beginning of the X-Men story, I doubt that we will get to see Scott, Jean, Hank, Bobby and Warren. Marvel would most certainly make a book about more popular characters. Wolverine, Storm, Shadowcat and Rogue. These are all characters that people would want to see. And this is the central problem of starting from the beginning on: Marvel would give up on years of stories and characters. Especially with a franchise like the X-Men, where you have dozens or hundreds of beloved characters, this would disappoint so many fans!

Which is why I don’t think Marvel will start from the beginning. They already stated that they would not totally abandon their history. So if we get to see an O5 book at all, it will probably be as an additional book to several other books that take place 15 or 20 years later (that are similar to the X-books we have today).

Marvel will combine elements from several universes to simplify the X-Men comics!

I think that this theory is the most likely one. In the mahmusecomics-article, the example of Jubilee as a single-mom-depowered-vampire-teen was mentioned. I think that we will see many characters the way they were portrayed in the 90’s,especially in the 90’s cartoon show that will also be featured in “Secret Wars”. Many characters have become too complicated and need to be simplified without abandoning all of the X-Men-canon. But we will also see details from different universes included in the new X-Men world. I’m talking about Age of Apocalypse, Days of Future Past, House of M, Old Man Logan and the Ultimate Universe. I’m curious to see how that all will work out. For example, I would love to see an Ultimate Jean Grey in the usual X-Men canon, or AoA’s Nightcrawler.
“Secret Wars” will, among other things, feature the characters from the X-Men cartoon series from the 90’s

Probably, the end of Secret Wars will also mean the return of many deceased characters. Logan, Jean, Charles and Warren, for example. Think about it. That would be the perfect point to revive characters, reunite the X-Men and have a fresh start. Marvel already said that they would love to use this chance to bring characters back.

So, that was my opinion on the future of our favourite superheroes. What do you think? Do the X-Men comics have a future at all? Will we see Inhumans, O5 or a combination of different ideas from different universes? Let me know about your opinion in the comment section!

My first post: what this blog will be about and what the X-Men mean to me


Welcome to my blog about the X-Men comics. Since this is my first post, I’ll just use it to introduce myself and tell you what this blog will be all about.

So, hey guys, my name is Marius, I’m 17 years old and from Dortmund (Germany), I’ve been reading the X-Men comics for 6 years now and they have slowly become one of the most important things in my life. Obviously, I’m not a native speaker. But i’m in an advanced english course, so it will probably be enough to communicate with you. A german blog wouldn’t be an option since there’s not really a german X-Men fanbase that i know about. At least not when it comes to the comics. Well, however, it’s gonna be alright, I hope. I’ll already apologize for potential mistakes in the future.

What else can i tell you about me? I’m a student in 12th grade (which is the last year in Northrein-Westphalia, where I come from, so I’ll be writing my Abitur-Exams (finals) in a few months). Im really into philosophy, alternative/punk-music, video games (Titanfall, Pokemon…) and, obviously, comic books. But the X-Men have a very special place in my heart.

So what do the X-Men mean to me?

I’ll start like this: there’s really much hatred in this world. You might want to think that especially in a country like Germany that has a certain history, racism shouldn’t be a thing any longer. Well, unfortunately, thats not the truth. But it’s not only racism. Homophobia, hatred against certain religions… in the society we have today, you can still be hated for what you are. It’s horrible. This is the 21st century!

Two examples:

You probably haven’t heard of that, but with the PEGIDA demonstrations in Germany, we have a new wave of hatred against muslims rising. People start arguing that Islam is not a peaceful religion and that it’s a menace for german culture. Just yesterday, I read a comment on YouTube that had many upvotes basically saying that we should destroy all mosques, put politicians that support “islamization” into concentration camps (???) and forbid the entire religion. And the person writing this comment claimed that if we don’t do that, the muslims will take control of the country together with left-wing activists and the left/green gouvernment in order to kill all christians. So you can see that there’s really much hatred in Germany. I’ll probably make a particular post about that stuff where i compare what’s going on in Germany right now with certain scenes in the X-Books.


The second example would be german YouTubers, especially people who upload Call of Duty videos and comment them. Well, some of them are decent people. But most of them, for some reason, start to include homophobic statements into their videos. It’s all like “i don’t want to see two men kissing, it’s disgusting!”. Or sentences like “i don’t have anything against homosexuals, as long as they don’t act like homosexuals and keep for themselfs!”. So homophobia is also a thing.

The fact that these things slowly start to become more and more present in the society I live in makes the X-Men more and more important to me. For me, and for so many other people, the X-Men are about tolerance and peace. It’s a story about living in a world that hates and fears you, just because you’re different. I, personally, don’t live in a world that hates and fears me, but the fact that so many people are makes me sad. You should think that in an open-minded society like the one we live in, nobody should experience these thing.

Of course, this is not the only reason i love the X-Men. There are so many other reasons. The hundreds of great characters, my favourite characters being Cyclops, Kitty and Rogue. The time-travel/multiverse stuff that I always loved as a kid and that’s still fascinating for me today. Eras of great and epic stories about loss, tragedy, friendship, love, heatred and a big, wonderful family. These all are the reasons I love the X-Men. But the number one reason will always be what the X-Men are about. Which is why that took long to explain, It’s just so important to me. And I know that many of you feel exactly the same way.

So I really hope you enjoyed my first post and will enjoy the stuff I’ll be posting in the future. I’ll be posting my opinions on certain topics, writing reviews about new issues and other X-related stuff. So, see you later, X-Fans!