Geriatrics Corner: Bill Jemas’ Marvel and New X-Men


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Most of all, it was one of my favorite periods of Marvel. I’m talking about Bill Jemas’ tenure as president of Marvel from 2000 to 2004. Oh sure, plenty of bad Marvel Comics came out back then and continuity was frequently violated. And yes, Marvel seemed dead set on creating as much controversy as possible. But the Jemas era was also a time of experimentation… and the good comics were so, so good. Join me and VolcanoRob (RobtheSolarMan on the blog) as we talk about this era in Mighty Marvel history, with special focus on Grant Morrison’s New X-Men and the other X-Titles of that period.

We begin by talking about one of the crown jewels of Bill Jemas’ reign at Marvel…

Gokitalo (12:28:16 AM): Mark Millar’s Trouble
Volcano R o b (12:28:23 AM): oh gawd. Trouble.
Gokitalo (12:28:26 AM): Ha! Yes
Volcano R o b (12:28:42 AM): Marvel =/
Gokitalo (12:29:01 AM): Everyone says Marville was one of the worst comics of the Jemas era
Gokitalo (12:29:07 AM): But no one remembers Trouble
Volcano R o b (12:29:19 AM): Mark Millar somehow managed to write it out of fucking history
Gokitalo (12:29:28 AM): Yes
Gokitalo (12:29:40 AM): I mean seriously
Volcano R o b (12:29:42 AM): but Marvel played it smart
Volcano R o b (12:29:54 AM): they let him run with it… without saying for sure if it was continuity.
Volcano R o b (12:30:12 AM): and in the end, being the heaping pile of SHIT that it was… it turned out not to be
Gokitalo (12:30:47 AM): Yes
Gokitalo (12:30:53 AM): Ha, that was crazy
Gokitalo (12:31:02 AM): Marvel seemed so sure controvery = sales
Gokitalo (12:31:08 AM): controversy*
Gokitalo (12:31:11 AM): Didn’t work for Trouble
Gokitalo (12:31:14 AM): Or Rawhide Kid
Volcano R o b (12:31:28 AM): That era was a bit hit of miss
Gokitalo (12:31:29 AM): I’m not even sure it worked for Elektra MAX
Gokitalo (12:31:32 AM): Yeah
Volcano R o b (12:31:35 AM): shudder
Volcano R o b (12:31:38 AM): But also consider
Gokitalo (12:31:56 AM): Bendis’ Daredevil, Morrison’s New X-Men, Waid and Ringo’s Fantastic Four
Gokitalo (12:32:01 AM): Those were hits
Volcano R o b (12:32:06 AM): It produced… Ultimate Spider-Man… Alias… Runaways…
Gokitalo (12:32:10 AM): Those too
Volcano R o b (12:32:16 AM): *nods*
Gokitalo (12:32:20 AM): Ultimates
Gokitalo (12:32:48 AM): There was a lot of bad, but the good was so good
Volcano R o b (12:34:30 AM): Thats true.
Volcano R o b (12:34:52 AM): other spectacular failures include… New Mutants/New X-Men 2/Young X-Men
Volcano R o b (12:35:14 AM): I don’t care WHAT they call it it is both hospital and graveyard where characters go to be born and die.
Volcano R o b (12:35:35 AM): Every single character in those series SUCKS.
Gokitalo (12:35:36 AM): I did buy the first trade of New Mutants
Gokitalo (12:35:48 AM): I… actually didn’t think it was terrible
Volcano R o b (12:35:55 AM): The only worthwhile characters were introduced by Morisson or Whedon.
Gokitalo (12:36:04 AM): Ah, Morrison
Gokitalo (12:36:07 AM): His run was THE run
Gokitalo (12:36:13 AM): I know everyone says Whedon, but man
Volcano R o b (12:36:17 AM): Dusk… Angel… That girl with the armor arond her…
Gokitalo (12:36:21 AM): Armor
Volcano R o b (12:36:57 AM): Nah, Morrison was the more comprehensive, thoughtout run.
Volcano R o b (12:37:19 AM): Whedon’s was fun, and the characters were really spot on, compared to Morrison, where everyone acted crazy.
Volcano R o b (12:37:25 AM): But Morrison’s plots were just fucking gold.
Gokitalo (12:38:53 AM): I dunno if I’d say they acted crazy
Gokitalo (12:39:08 AM): Now when Austen wrote the X-Men, THAT was the X-Men acting crazy
Volcano R o b (12:39:16 AM): It was at the same time -(
Gokitalo (12:39:22 AM): Yeah
Volcano R o b (12:39:23 AM): I hope Austen dies in a fiery car crash, seriously.
Gokitalo (12:39:25 AM): HA
Volcano R o b (12:39:28 AM): The things he did to Nightcrawler.
Gokitalo (12:39:35 AM): YEAH
Gokitalo (12:39:37 AM): And, what else
Gokitalo (12:39:40 AM): Oh yeah, Polaris
Gokitalo (12:39:31 AM): There actually is one good comic he did
 Volcano R o b (12:39:42 AM): Ultimate Gambit…
Gokitalo (12:39:58 AM): And what I’ve read of U.S. War Machine was actually pretty solid
Volcano R o b (12:40:02 AM): ehhh Polaris is a meh character anyway. She hasnt been relevant since 1990… lol
Volcano R o b (12:40:15 AM): those fucking Wolf things in Uncanny were atrocious
Volcano R o b (12:40:32 AM): its like every stupid writer has their version of the NEXT next evolutionary step after mutants.
Gokitalo (12:40:54 AM): HA
Gokitalo (12:40:55 AM): Yes
Gokitalo (12:41:16 AM): Wolf men
Gokitalo (12:41:18 AM): The NEO
Volcano R o b (12:41:23 AM): LOL
Volcano R o b (12:41:25 AM): Claremont -(
Gokitalo (12:41:28 AM): I know
Gokitalo (12:41:31 AM): And he used to be so good!
Volcano R o b (12:41:41 AM): what stupid offshoot is he writing now
Volcano R o b (12:41:44 AM): wait dont tell me
Volcano R o b (12:42:05 AM): X-Terminators or some shit
Volcano R o b (12:43:10 AM): New Excalibur. lol. Please tell me that abortion is cancelled
Gokitalo (12:44:59 AM): HA
Gokitalo (12:45:00 AM): Yes it was
Gokitalo (12:45:02 AM): He’s writing
Gokitalo (12:45:04 AM): NEW Exiles
Volcano R o b (12:45:29 AM): I mean… Claremont brought back Sat-yr-9 in New Excalibur
Volcano R o b (12:45:53 AM): do you even KNOW who that is? lol
Volcano R o b (12:46:50 AM): DONT even google it buddy
Gokitalo (12:48:24 AM): Oh! Her
Gokitalo (12:48:30 AM): … not that I Googled her or anything…
Volcano R o b (12:49:00 AM): uh huh.
Gokitalo (12:49:21 AM): Her brother was one creepy dude
Volcano R o b (12:49:17 AM): New Exiles will be cancelled by Marvel Comics with issue #18 being its final issue in February 2009. [36]
 Gokitalo (12:49:23 AM): Oh wow
Gokitalo (12:49:37 AM): Oh wait, he’s doing something else
Gokitalo (12:49:39 AM): Big Hero Six
Volcano R o b (12:49:49 AM): oh youve got to be kidding
Gokitalo (12:49:55 AM): Hahahahaha
Gokitalo (12:49:53 AM): Maybe more GeNext, which is basically the kids of the X-Men
Volcano R o b (12:49:56 AM): can they just put the old man out to pasture
Volcano R o b (12:50:17 AM): yeah isnt GeNext part of X-Men: The End
Volcano R o b (12:50:20 AM): which was AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gokitalo (12:50:26 AM): I don’t even know why he tied them together
Gokitalo (12:50:44 AM): It’s not even a matter of X-Men: The End’s quality
Gokitalo (12:50:53 AM): House of M basically killed X-Men the End
Volcano R o b (12:50:58 AM): did it?
Volcano R o b (12:51:07 AM): oh yeah cuz everyone dies
Gokitalo (12:51:10 AM): HA
Volcano R o b (12:51:11 AM): or is no longer mutanty.
Gokitalo (12:51:23 AM): Yes
Gokitalo (12:51:09 AM): Well, maybe in a few years, they’ll decide to let mutants come back

Volcano R o b (12:51:47 AM): i mean lets follow him from his return to the X-Men…

Volcano R o b (12:51:57 AM): Uncanny and X-Men, during the first movie…
Gokitalo (12:52:02 AM): ROFL
Gokitalo (12:52:04 AM): The Slavers!
Gokitalo (12:52:08 AM): Tullamore Voge!
Volcano R o b (12:52:14 AM): oh my goddd
Volcano R o b (12:52:18 AM): those pirate somethings
Gokitalo (12:52:23 AM): Oh yeah! The um
Gokitalo (12:52:28 AM): ____ Pirates!
Volcano R o b (12:52:36 AM): Revolution, basically
Gokitalo (12:52:39 AM): Yes
Volcano R o b (12:52:44 AM): when Jean Grey and Psylocke switched powers
Volcano R o b (12:52:54 AM): which never got explained
Gokitalo (12:53:04 AM): And Kitty got a haircut
Volcano R o b (12:53:26 AM): No, wasnt that Age of Apocalypse
Gokitalo (12:53:37 AM): Then also
Volcano R o b (12:53:39 AM): and didnt she disappear in the first issue of Revolution?
Gokitalo (12:53:41 AM): Yes
Volcano R o b (12:53:43 AM): she got like shunted out to space
Volcano R o b (12:53:50 AM): whatever.
Gokitalo (12:53:53 AM): Truth
Volcano R o b (12:53:58 AM): the costumes were decent…
Volcano R o b (12:54:03 AM): except Beast…
Gokitalo (12:54:06 AM): I did like Nightcrawler’s
Gokitalo (12:54:12 AM): Oddly enough, I kind of dug Beast’s!
Gokitalo (12:54:16 AM): Moreso than Cassaday’s
Volcano R o b (12:54:16 AM): who must’ve been sweating his furry blue balls off in all that kevlar
Gokitalo (12:54:33 AM): Good point
Volcano R o b (12:54:34 AM): oh, I like Cassaday’s it is a nice mixture of old beast and cat beast.
Gokitalo (12:54:43 AM): I like the way he draws Beast himself
Gokitalo (12:54:50 AM): But the costume? I’m surprised it manages to stay on
Volcano R o b (12:54:58 AM): lol that is true.
Volcano R o b (12:55:10 AM): I think Emma must’ve designed it
Gokitalo (12:55:13 AM): HA!
Volcano R o b (12:55:16 AM): so then Claremont moves to X-Treme X-men
Volcano R o b (12:55:20 AM): VARGAS
Gokitalo (12:55:31 AM): The Sinister Spaniard!
Volcano R o b (12:55:31 AM): (another next evolution)
Volcano R o b (12:55:55 AM): WAIT the worst part of Revolution, that continued into X-Treme.
Volcano R o b (12:56:05 AM): Thunderbird III…………….
Gokitalo (12:56:09 AM): BAHAHAHAHA
Volcano R o b (12:56:51 AM): Death of Psylocke. that fucker.
Volcano R o b (12:57:01 AM): but if anyone had the right to kill her I guess it was him.
Gokitalo (12:57:14 AM): Archangel: “Oh really? REALLY?”
Volcano R o b (12:57:21 AM): lol.
Volcano R o b (12:58:35 AM): And the abortions that were Slipstream and Lifeguard
Gokitalo (12:58:55 AM): BAHAHA
Gokitalo (12:58:57 AM): Slipstream
Gokitalo (12:59:05 AM): He was in X-Men: The End!
Gokitalo (12:59:09 AM): I was all like, “who’s that guy?”
Volcano R o b (12:59:13 AM): was he? LOL
Gokitalo (12:59:21 AM): I remember him showing up in issue 3
Gokitalo (12:59:31 AM): And Sinister was all, “Slipstream, my boy! Come in!”
Volcano R o b (1:00:26 AM): *sighs*
Gokitalo (1:01:16 AM): You know something? This is going to sound strange, because his first several issues were pretty terrible
Gokitalo (1:01:25 AM): But I wish Joe Casey had stuck around a little longer on Uncanny
Volcano R o b (1:01:39 AM): Oh, i totally agree. I loooved his stories
Volcano R o b (1:01:53 AM): if he had done like an X-Force or X-Factor thing… people would’ve loved it
Gokitalo (1:02:01 AM): X-Corp was a step up, and the Nightcrawler and Vanisher stories were great
Gokitalo (1:02:04 AM): X-Corps*
Volcano R o b (1:02:05 AM): but since it was on UNCANNY FUCKIN X-MEN it kinda freaked people out.
Volcano R o b (1:02:30 AM): yeah,it was decent.
Gokitalo (1:02:52 AM): I liked Archangel becoming becoming this CEO superhero
Gokitalo (1:05:30 AM): “Childs, wax my pimp hand. It’s time I paid the X-Ranch a visit”
Volcano R o b (1:05:43 AM): lol….
Volcano R o b (1:05:58 AM): I dont even remember what Claremont did after X-Treme
Gokitalo (1:06:19 AM): He went back to Uncanny
Volcano R o b (1:06:46 AM): Oh yeah with Davis.
Volcano R o b (1:06:58 AM): thats where I stopped reading.
Volcano R o b (1:07:02 AM): When Morrisson left.
Gokitalo (1:07:06 AM): I don’t blame you
Gokitalo (1:07:12 AM): I actually bought a fair amount of those
Gokitalo (1:07:30 AM): Some were actually somewhat decent
Gokitalo (1:07:34 AM): Usually the ones Davis drew
Gokitalo (1:07:57 AM): But still, you picked a good place to stop
Gokitalo (1:08:18 AM): Honestly, I’ve reached the point where Morrison’s New X-Men kind of feels like “the end” to me
Gokitalo (1:08:39 AM): Like I don’t really need to read anything afterwards
Volcano R o b (1:08:52 AM): I agree.
Volcano R o b (1:08:59 AM): Thats exactly what i felt.
Volcano R o b (1:09:09 AM): I was like… wow… the X-Men turned a point that they can never return from.
Volcano R o b (1:09:23 AM): Everything after that just seems like… acting as if Morrison never happened.
Gokitalo (1:11:15 AM): Yeah
Gokitalo (1:11:19 AM): Except Cyclops being with Emma
Gokitalo (1:11:23 AM): Thank GOODNESS that’s still there
Volcano R o b (1:11:45 AM): well Jean isnt back.
Gokitalo (1:11:50 AM): Most writers seem to get that they have a unique chemistry
Gokitalo (1:11:51 AM): Yeah
Volcano R o b (1:11:58 AM): They really do.
Volcano R o b (1:12:22 AM): I mean, when you think about the fact that like… 90% of his run takes place IN the school
Volcano R o b (1:12:30 AM): You have to think of what an accomplishment that is.
Gokitalo (1:12:35 AM): Morrison’s, you mean?
Gokitalo (1:12:37 AM): Yeah, absolutely
Volcano R o b (1:12:41 AM): yeah…
Gokitalo (1:13:09 AM): Although the Weapon XII story was in France
Volcano R o b (1:13:16 AM): thats true.
Volcano R o b (1:13:40 AM): thats kind of the only part of the run where i was rolling my eyes
Volcano R o b (1:13:53 AM): Morrison just took stroking his boner way too hard
Gokitalo (1:14:01 AM): And Fantomex came out
Volcano R o b (1:14:36 AM): I like Fantomex…
Gokitalo (1:14:48 AM): Me too
Gokitalo (1:14:56 AM): I wasn’t entirely into him when he was introduced
Gokitalo (1:14:59 AM): But I grew to like him afterwards
Gokitalo (1:15:16 AM): Especially in Assault on Weapon Plus and Planet X
Volcano R o b (1:15:23 AM): he’s one of those characters only Morrison can really write
Gokitalo (1:15:32 AM): True
Gokitalo (1:15:42 AM): So it’s only fitting he’s only shown up once or twice after Morrison left
Volcano R o b (1:16:29 AM): Another is Angel… the fly-girl
Volcano R o b (1:16:36 AM): But I heard she lost her powers.
Gokitalo (1:16:41 AM): Sadly, yes
Gokitalo (1:16:42 AM): So has Beak
Volcano R o b (1:16:44 AM): And so did Jubilee!? That made me so sad…
Gokitalo (1:17:08 AM): M Day was almost the anti-New X-Men
Volcano R o b (1:17:30 AM): lol
Volcano R o b (1:17:43 AM): “Wondra” now… fuck.

5 Responses to “Geriatrics Corner: Bill Jemas’ Marvel and New X-Men”

  1. gokitalo Says:

    Sorry the font is so small! If anyone knows how to fix it, let me know. By the way, ignore the time stamps: I rearranged some of what we said so you knew for sure which comments we were replying to.

  2. spiffyithaca Says:

    Awesome return of geriatrics corner! And good to see ya aboard Rob. Good stuff. It’s fun to read about the Jemas era in hindsight, because really, that was when I first started reading comics. The whole Marville/Trouble fiasco was unfortunate, but it overshadowed all the amazing work done in the Ultimate line, Marvel Knights and MAX like you guys mentioned.

    As far as New X-Men goes:
    To me, the only thing that kept New X-Men from being one of the best runs ever (and its still easily the best X-run I’ve read) was the inconsistencies on the art front. If Quietly had kept on, it would’ve been perfect, but Bachalo and all those other guys I hate that had to show up ruined a lot of it for me. I need to reread the entire run again, because I forget all the nuances, but what I remember more than anything else, after Cyke and Emma, is the art merry go round the title was on.

  3. Gokitalo Says:

    True, art consistency was a problem, especially during “Imperial” (which is probably my favorite storyline in the run). Still, there was some pretty good talent on there: Quitely, Ethan Van Sciver and Phil Jimenez did great work. I liked Bachalo’s art up to the action scenes, where things just got incomprehensible. Marc Silvestri’s art was kind of a mixed bag for me: he could draw an awesome Sentinel, but his woman were a bit too Top Cow-house style, if you get my meaning.

    Igor Kordey’s art was the big dud for me. I know he was rushed and all, but man…

  4. samza Says:

    I like julibee-diamond verymuch

  5. spiffyithaca Says:

    I can’t believe I forgot Kordey. He WAS my problem with it, more than anything.

    And I don’t mind Top Cow babes at all, even if it does suspend reality even more than usual in an X-Men comic. And yes, Van Sciver (who I remembered but failed to mention for some reason) and Jimenez (who I also forgot) did good. But the constant switcheroos of the artists made it hard to establish any continuity after Quitely left.

    And Samza’s drunk, I think.

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