I've always been the hardcore Spider-Man guy (well, until recently--that was a baaaad breakup) but I can't say the same about X-Men. When I read X-Men comics, I read Grant Morrison's run, Joss Whedon's run, Warren Ellis's new run, and the occasional "event" like Deadly Genesis or Messiah CompleX. I won't buy anything with an X on it unless it's popular. I'm like the kid who only listened to Green Day on the radio and pissed off all the other kids who really liked Green Day because he gave them a bad name--and then I went and cut off the bottom hem of my pants to look like a skater and told everyone that I was "totally sad for Kurt." And I tried to pretend I didn't still have my collection of pogs and slammers and I got the Official Marvel Swimsuit Edition for... ehm... dark purposes. (Your tour of the early 90s is now complete.)
Anyparts. I read Messiah CompleX and was impressed, but, man, meh, mewooooo... the only part of it that hadn't been done before was the reduction in mutant numbers, and that started in House of M. Well, Cable being an actually interesting character--that was new.
If you haven't read it, I'll save you 25$. SPOOOOYEEEOYYYYYEEELORRRRR
At the end Bishop betrays them and kills Professor X. When I was about eleven, there was some big question story thread about one of the X-Men betraying them shortly in the future Bishop came from. Jim Lee knew where that one was going, supposedly, before he jumped ship to make Dan Quayle an alien in WildCats. I think it became such a big deal that Marvel ended up making Professor X the traitor through Onslaught because everyone kept asking. Which made no sense. But this kind of did. Bishop actually went back in time to kill this kid. Thanks for resolving a plotline from 1991.
So then I got Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire. Yeah, so Billy Tan draws him a good space opera, and this had all the makings of one, and was using an X-Force character, Warpath, and I'm all about the X-Force love for some reason even though the early issues of that comic were so self-parodical you couldn't parody them. (The Fabian Nicieza/Greg Capullo run had potential until they had to bring Cable back, and then the John Francis Moore/Adam Pollina "road trip" story was great.) Plus they had Nightcrawler, who is totally underused lately in the trendy books. (Why did Morrison, Ellis and Whedon use Wolvy, Cyke, Colossus, Kitty and now Storm but not Nightcrawler? He's the best one!)
Okay, I like that Brubaker is giving the love to the fans who have been reading for a while and tying this into the earlier runs on the books. Except I didn't feel like I knew anything about Havok, Polaris, Rachel Grey or James Proudstar until I read the summaries at the end--and then all I knew was how they were before. The only character who changed a little bit in the course of this story was Vulcan, who Brubaker invented just a few issues ago in Deadly Genesis. Everyone else just kind of talks about stuff and does stuff and chases Vulcan around. Rachel Grey makes out with a Shi'ar. But it's all so very flat and had so much potential.
I actually fell asleep reading Uncanny #500.
X no longer marks the spot. Neither does Spider-Man. I'm feeling rather depressed about marvel.