Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Breaking News: Matt Fraction OUT as Uncanny Writer, Kieron Gillen IN

Well it's finally happened! I've been bringing it up in my reviews time and again. Now the change has been made! The torch has been passed! The minute hand has moved! On and on with the Bob Dylan style metaphors, a new writer has joined Uncanny X-men! The new writer is (in the least surprising surprise ever) the current co-writer, Kieron Gillen.

CBR: Gillen Prepares His Uncanny Solo

It's not without precedent. This same shit went down when Ed Brubaker passed the torch for Uncanny to then co-writer, Matt Fraction. Fraction went on to have a very successful Uncanny run, moving the X-men to San Francisco and setting up Utopia. He had his share of moments and his share of flaws, many of which I've been pretty vocal about. I've lost count on how many times I've ranted about his mindless Cyclops/Emma bias and how he'll gladly cut off the dicks of other characters in order to make the dick on those two just a little bit bigger. It's been pretty infuriating because it's killed any element of surprise his stories may have had. You could always go into an issue of Uncanny and assume that somehow Cyclops and Emma would come out golden at the end and you would be right. Nothing on that front ever changed even when it probably should have.

Same with issues like Namor. Fraction brings him into the X-men, hints at a history with him and Emma Frost, and does absolutely dick with it. He did it with Kitty Pryde, bringing her back into the picture and essentially making her background fodder until recently. Same story with Magneto. The guy show sup again, becomes an X-man, and not much is done with it. He's like that kid in kindergarten who starts playing with a new toy and only finishes putting it together halfway before getting bored and moving onto another. The question is now will Kieron Gillen continue that tradition?

Kieron Gillen does have some credibility coming in. He's been getting his feet wet in the pool of X in Generation Hope, a series anybody with an X-men itch seriously needs to check out! I've given Generation Hope high marks in each of my reviews and Mr. Gillen earned them in a way Fraction didn't. He was attentive to detail, he wrote solid and believable dialog, and told a damn good story. Since Generation Hope spun out of Uncanny, it makes sense that he would transition naturally to Uncanny. The question remains, what will he bring to the table?

Will Kieron Gillen be willing to take more chances than Matt Fraction? Will he take those personal elements that make Generation Hope so enjoyable and fit them into Uncanny? CAN they fit into Uncanny? He may not have much of a chance because his run begins right in the midst of the Fear Itself event. That's like a 10-year-old trying to play a violin in the middle of a Metallica concert. The chips are stacked against him since it's been documented that Fear Itself will filter into the X-books along with pretty much every major Marvel book. Since that event won't end until the fall, we won't really know what he can do until the dust settles.

If there's anything X-men fans can hope from Mr. Gillen, consistency would be at the top of the list. Matt Fraction had his moments, but he was wildly inconsistent at times. Some stories were new levels of awesome while others were just painful to read. Consistency in comics is golden. That's how writers like Chris Claremont and Brian Bendis and Peter David become legends. They keep the quality consistent on titles for an extended period. That's a high standard to live up to, but Uncanny has lacked consistency for so long. Not having to flip a coin every time they open an issue of Uncanny would be considered a gift from Odin himself.

That and a resolution to the agonizingly drawn out Hope/Jean issue will surely endear Mr. Gillen to X-men fans for generations to come! Welcome to Uncanny, Kieron Gillen! May every issue you write from here on out blow the minds of every reader who comes within a twenty foot radius of your books. Nuff said!


  1. I'm really hoping something positive will come out of this: more specifically the possibility of Jean's return, and giving the background characters more time in the mainstream spotlight. As you mentioned, Kitty Pryde was brought back to the X-Men after this whole big set up was built up for her (and some of us were hoping it was for Jean) just to have her thrown into the background. Crossing my fingers here!

  2. Thanks for your comment! I always appreciate them. I too hope that Jean's return will come of this because Fraction sure as hell wasn't going to do it. Then again I've been hoping for that for years and so far absolutely dick has come of it. At least with Gillen the pieces are in place with Generation Hope. It won't take much to make Hope into Jean Grey. They're practically the same character already. Just one little step needs to be taken.

    But I wouldn't get your hopes up too much. It did nothing for me. For Jean along with the rest of Kieron Gillen's run, I'll take an I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it approach. I'll welcome it when it happens, but I won't expect it to. That's the only safe way to go about this shit. No finger crossing will help. So let's just hope the people are Marvel aren't completely retarded and let Hope turn out to be some shameless derivative of a character.