In the last few years I’ve had a very on-again, off-again relationship with the X-Men franchise. Though there have been some really good runs like Brian Bendis recent work, I’ve been mostly burnt out by the X-Men’s scattered quality level over recent years. When ResurrXion was announced I was extremely excited to get back into the X-Men franchise. While I enjoyed, and reviewed favorably, the early issues of X-Men: Blue and Gold recent issues have reminded already brought back the burnt out feelings that caused me to drop the X-Men core comics. That reason was not hard to figure out as it all is centered around the overexposure of Wolverine.
Wolverine is by far the most popular X-Men and he has been featured in two very good comics in the last few years with Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine and Jeff Lemire’s Old Man Logan. Both comics stand as some of the best comics that Marvel has produced recently. Though both main Wolverine titles have been excellent Wolverine is a major problem for the X-Men at the moment.
Taking a look at all the current X-Men comics post-ResurrXion relaunch there is absolutely no escaping Wolverine’s presence. The Old Man Logan version of Wolverine headlines his own ongoing series, X-Men: Gold and will soon lead the Astonishing X-Men. Then there is the Weapon X title that features Logan alongside every character related to him. And most recently the displaced of Ultimate Wolverine’s son has joined the team in X-Men: Blue. That is on top of Daken recently showing back up in the pages of All-New Wolverine.
That is a lot of versions of Wolverine running around in a period where he is supposed to be dead. The only X-Men titles that aren’t featuring a version of Wolverine in some way are Cable, Generation X, Jean Grey and Iceman. Of those titles Generation X is the only team book not featuring a Wolverine as a member.
As interesting as Old Man Logan has been in his own ongoing series seeing him all over the X-Men comics makes it harder to appreciate what makes him a special character. There is a real sense of overexposure that takes away from the cool factor in how Old Man Logan is a return to being more of a loner character. It’s to the point that just to maintain how enjoyable the Old Man Logan is that I can’t read X-Men: Gold, Astonishing X-Men or Weapon X without fear of burning out on the character.
Then there is the problem with Jimmy Hudson, the son of Ultimate Wolverine, suddenly showing up and joining the X-Men: Gold team. For one the character creates unnecessary confusion in his inclusion thanks to being a universe displaced version of Wolverine’s son. That instantly creates questions of his history and the feeling that to understand why he is important readers have to read a bunch of other comics.
Secondly, his appearance takes away a spot that could’ve been used by another unused former X-Men to fill a similar role. But since that did not happen Jimmy’s appearance will only be seen as Marvel’s way to have a version of Wolverine on every X-Men team, especially with his design matching Logan’s and having a similar amnesia storyline his father made famous.
Then there is the fact that Daken, the main Marvel Universe’s Wolverine son, also running around alive with a recent appearance in All-New Wolverine. Both Daken and Jimmy end up being the same character that take away from how important it should be that Wolverine had a son. But any important in the son of Logan is taken away because their are two of them that is hard to explain how that can be the case to a non-Wolverine fan.
This all doesn’t help how hard it has always been to penetrate the X-Men franchise comic book series. The X-Men by far have the most confusing history and all these universe displaced characters, especially if you add in the original X-Men still being around in the present, aren’t helping make the franchise very welcoming
Seeing a version of Wolverine at the center of every X-Men comic just highlights how while ResurrXion present a fresh start it has been far from it. Instead ResurrXion has been more of the same from the impenetrable X-Men franchise with Wolverine front and center like always. If the editors and creative teams working on the franchise really want to return Marvel’s mutants to their former glory they need to explore the untapped potential of the X-Men Universe beyond Wolverine.