Recently, I wrote a little piece about how the concept of Damage Control was one of the most under-utilized things at Marvel. A few days later, ABC announced they're doing a show based on the Damage Control concept. Coincidence? Totally. Did I still let it go to my head and tell myself that higher-ups at ABC/Disney/Marvel are reading everything I write? Totally!
Now, utilizing my one-time power of writing articles that can turn things I love into television shows and films, I've decided to delve deeper into my comic fanaticism to talk about a team that needs to come back to either comics or get a whole feature film made about them (doubt it... Fox would own the rights): X-Men 2099.
Hey Mat, isn't X-Men 2099 one of those lame books from the 90s where they just made Marvel characters all futuristic and flashy, with little to no substance? Yes and no. Trust me, there was a lot of that in X-MEN 2099 as well as a plethora of other 2099 books, but there's also a lot worth picking up from that, which can work in today's comics.
A lot of my love for this group comes from the fact that X-MEN 2099 was the very first on-going series I picked up, every month. Before then, I'd just grab whatever cover looked cool, which usually featured Wolverine on the cover. Yes, there is a nostalgia factor here because this was the first book I became invested in, and there was a part of me that thought these books would be worth millions in 2099, when I'll be 117.
What the heck is X-Men 2099 though?
During the early-mid 90s, Marvel put out quite a few books in a new setting: the backdrop of the year 2099. Some of these books told some amazing stories: DOOM 2099, SPIDER-MAN 2099. Some of these books were just cashing in on the 2099 brand: GHOST RIDER 2099, PUNISHER 2099. Then, there was X-MEN 2099 created by John Francis Moore and Ron Lim in 1993, which had some great characters, a few really great character arcs and stories, and a few head-scratching moments.
In the future of 2099, Xi'an (Desert Ghost, which I refuse to call him) held a gathering of mutants to help him with his vision of the future. He wanted to assemble a team and wanted to fashion it after Charles Xavier's X-Men from the past. Xi'an was once an outlaw but changed his ways for a new vision of mutant kind.
The mutant Xi'an finds is Tim, who will later be known as Skullfire, who is lost and still trying to understand who he is and his powers. From there, Xi'an has the last member of his team and the adventures more forward.
Who the heck is X-Men 2099?
As previously mentioned, there's Xi'an, who is the leader of the group who can heal with one hand and kill with the other. The newest recruit is Skullfire, who can absorb electrical energy and fire it back. Other notable members, early on, include Cerebra, Bloodhawk, Krystalin, Meanstreak, Metalhead, and Serpentina.
It's easy to compare a lot of these characters to people from the regular old 616 universe, but what made these characters stand above said counterparts was their personalities and character arcs. Every single character had their own arc within a great story that was great to follow, from Bloodhawk leaving the team to go to the Savage Land, where he worked with Doom 2099, to Xi'an and the Theater of Pain, to Serpentina... she went through a lot right away.
What the heck is so great about X-Men 2099?
The characters are what make them so great. There's a lot to work with here. The world, minus the who re-rising of Atlantis storyline, is also something that can be great to work with as well. Sure, there's a lot of over-used science-fiction tropes within the book, but it still could work for a new series.
As mentioned above, it's the individuality of these characters that made parts of this book great. There are some great story arcs throughout the series and a whole lot of betrayal as well. Each character is on their own journey and sometimes, especially with Skullfire, it takes them far away from the original point of the book, rebuilding the idea of the X-Men. That may sound like a bad thing, but it help build relationships with new character, like Skullfire and La Lunatica's adventures.
Why the heck should it make a comeback?
In short, if Spider-Man 2099 can make a comeback, why can't X-Men 2099? Miguel has found success in the new current Marvel universe, and while it's true that Spider-Man 2099 was a lot more popular than X-Men 2099, there's still room for the X-Men in the post-SECRET WARS world, right? On top of that, the biggest slap in the face was SECRET WARS 2099, which featured zero members of the X-Men books. In fact, most of the characters were made up just for the series, aside from Spider-Man and Hulk.
What makes this such a topic of interest is because the X-Men 2099 made their way into Marvel books this year. In UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1, a few of the team weaved their way into the story line and it was a big "oh yeah, those characters were awesome" moment. Why not try to give this team another shot or at least a few of their characters?
What do you think about the cast of X-Men 2099? Are they worth revisiting at Marvel?