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Comics 411: The Worst X-Men Ever

December 5, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Green Lantern #1, Black Order #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we asked “Is Comic Book Continuity Overrated?”. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Dorath: “If it’s a major plot point, sure. Otherwise, don’t sweat the small stuff.”

duh: “The problem with when they tweak continuity partially. The New 52 wasn’t a bad idea in theory but while Superman and Wonder Woman were significantly changed, Batman and Green Lantern weren’t touched causing continuity errors right out of the gate. My feeling has also been if you need to use a convoluted plot device to make a story make sense, then you shouldn’t do it (for example, see the continuity mess that was the New 52 Superboy)”

D2Kvirus: “If something is vital to the story’s canon, i.e. the Wayne’s being killed, Krypton being destroyed, Cassie Hack’s mother being a slasher who murdered her classmates etc etc, then obviously that shouldn’t be touched as that’s messing with the central pillars of both the characters and the comic itself

On the other hand, Martha Wayne’s cause of death flip-flopping between being shot by Joe Chill to dying of a heart attack at seeing her husband murdered and back to being shot again doesn’t affect the continuity as much as in both versions Thomas & Martha Wayne were killed by Joe Chill

If anything the real issue is trying to shoehorn something into the existing canon, for example in Preacher where Allfather D’Aronique revealed he was a distant relative of the L’Angelle that just felt tacked-on for the sake of it”

Mark of Excellence: “Im willing to be a little flex on continuity. My main issues are death/rebirth and stories that alter reality. Thats when comics lose me.”

D-Unit: “An overall backstory and certain events are important, but some tweaking over time is not a big deal.”

Double J: “Continuity doesn’t mean it’s an all or nothing situation in my opinion. It’s no big deal to let some of the small continuity errors slip through, as long as the major ones stay intact. Like if a hero was married at one time but it gets forgotten about who cares , but something like forgetting that the character ( who’s now a hero ) was once a villain and has all this topical history as a villain then u have a problem.”

Elia Notari: “I’d say that, personally, I prefer an universe in perfect continuity, like the new Valiant one, its continuity is a strong point for the fans.

I also don’t mind some mistakes, especially if an universe like DC began almost 80 years ago, it’s totally acceptable”

Aejhaa: “Sure continuity gets in the way but the DCYOU initiative showed that ignoring it doesn’t always mean good comics will come out of it.

Also by keeping the continuity in mind, it gives writer a base to work from and force them to try and keeps things going on a track that fans can understand. Rather than drop a pas event, plot point or characteristic because it doesn’t fit their current narrative.”

Zeus: “Continuity only matters in terms of how they use the characters in my opinion. If they are completely revamping a character for a specific storyline, that makes no sense, but overall, there are far too many story archs to maintain perfect continuity without potentially limiting options within storylines. Just make sure that you are true to the characters and not continually monkeying with major plot points, and who really cares?”

Kevin McCarthy: “With Marvel slowly farming everything out to IDW its only a matter of time where its not going to matter.

In that I do appreciate the aging continuity, where if Dick Grayson grows up to be Nightwing, he should not be featured as Robin in any more stories.”

Shawn S. Lealos: “Kind of? I mean, what about TV shows? If Flash or Supernatural entered a new season and changed everything, ignoring what happened the previous few seasons, it would make fans mad. Things can change (especially little things that really don’t mean anything) but major changes need to be done with an explanation why otherwise it shows no respect for what came before.

That is hard in something that is 70 years old because of the World War II and stuff like that, but DC actually has it right when it reboots every couple of decades but explains why things are changing.”

prowriter: “Are questions overrated?

Seriously though, it’s not dogma, it’s poetry. Stories without end cannot be expected to remained unchanged as time passes and new generations familiarize themselves with the material. As long as things rhyme and a few major plot points remain unsullied because they define the character (like Batman not killing people or, say, Green Arrow is a liberal or Superman gets power from the yellow sun), then everything can change and remain healthy for doing so. I am excluded Elseworlds/What Ifism in that statement.”

To read all the comments or to read last week’s column, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

Worst X-Men Ever

In this week’s X-Men: The Exterminated #1, Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson take a look at the impact the death of Cable has had on the lives of other mutants, particularly his daughter Hope and mother Jean Grey. All this is a set up for a new world, the reality-altering tale “Age of X-Man”.

I originally was going to do a ‘Best X-Men’ list but realized it would be very Wolverine focused even though we all know it’s really Magneto.

Instead I decided to go with the Worst and when you cast the net to gather the Worst X-Men characters, you are surprised by just how much selection you get back. I admit that I’ve not been keeping up with the mutants as much as I should have recently but I’m in the midst of rectifying that.

Take someone like Wraith. Power: Invisible skin. I don’t know what inspired his creation but that’s not a handy power to have unless you’re teaching a class on the human body. It should be noted that in Wraiths first appearance, his look set a street full of people to start beating him to death.

Then you have someone like Slipstream. Slipstream‘s can “generate a warp portal in the fabric of space and ride the resultant warp-wave…Slipstream could use this ability to travel to virtually any point on Earth at faster-than-light speed, and can ferry others through the portal with him.” What does that mean? He can teleport but only when he’s on his little surfboard. He’s a poor, poor, poor man’s Silver Surfer.

I can’t mention Slipstream without talking about Lifeguard. Shocker! Lifeguard is actually Slipstream’s sister! Her mutant power? When people are in trouble, she saves them, either by transforming or developing a situation-specific mutant power. Credit this one to a lazy writer.

Kylun can mimic any sound. Oh, and has magic swords which could not harm the pure of heart. I get the feeling they designed him to do something cool but that didn’t work out so they kept adding to him, trying to turn him into…something. Didn’t work.

I know X-Treme has his fans but…UGH. Pure ’90’s right here. Adam Neramani never had a chance. He had the power to set fire to people’s blood and his own blood is acid. To note how cool he was, they had him wear his cap backwards and wear a motorcycle suit with lots of pouches and gadgets. Oh, he turned down membership in the X-Men. I remember reading that he was to be the “third Summers brother,” but thankfully that idea was ditched.

My gut says Maggott will be the guy everyone in the comments will agree really deserves to be on this list. Where to start with this guy? His mutation was that his digestive tract could crawl around likes large worms and turn his skin blue. He also spoke in South African slang. Honestly, when I thought of this, he was the first one to pop into my head. I’m sure the day will come when some writer will attempt to do a “classic” Maggott story but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

This one will cause me a little backlash but Cypher belongs on this list. He’s the original lame character, in my book. Cypher can read any language. That’s his power. They keep bringing him back around but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s D-level at best.

I wanted to put Ink and Skin together but the jokes would be too obvious. OK, Ink is on the list but isn’t a mutant but he is actually empowered by another mutant. See, there’s another mutant named Leon whose powers is giving power-bestowing tattoos and Ink is that guy. This could have been cool but is really, really dumb.

I was going to put Shatterstar on here BUT just read his first issue and found it…pretty good. He earns his stay-of-execution. For now.

I’ll close with Choir. Multi-ventriloquism. That’s all.

Who did I miss?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!