As if three different versions of Marvel's X-Men wasn't confusing enough for casual readers, this weekend saw the announcement of yet another take on the mutant franchise. But at least this one has a gimmick: They're a bunch of babies.
Marvel have announced that they're bringing back one-time joke characters the X-Babies for a new four issue series later this year. Surprisingly, this won't be the first time that the characters - clones of the one-time de-aged versions of the original X-Men, created to star on an alternate dimension reality show (Confusing, I know) - have had their own comic book; they'd previously headlined 1998's X-Babies: Murderama and 2000's X-Babies: Reborn. So what makes this third try so different? As writer Gregg Schigiel explains, media satire:
The new programmers have a very specific vision for what should air-[they are] more interested in 'safe, pleasant, cute, educational and moral-heavy' programming... This is distinctly different than the rock 'em-sock 'em, fight-heavy stuff more common in classic super hero stories. Obviously, the X-Babies-who've been replaced by kinder, gentler, cuter versions of themselves-think that's dumb.
The new series also offers nostalgia for the longterm fanboy, as the replacements for the X-Babies turns out to be revived characters from Marvel's 1980s kids line, Star Comics. Schigiel:
What's cool about it, to me, was that the story idea came first... And then came the 'holy moley' moment where I realized there was this untapped reservoir of characters in Marvel's publishing history that fit the story perfectly. You know, you kind of search the landscape for unnoticed or unused characters, which can be tough these days. Kind of made me glad to be old enough to remember these guys.
As someone who suffered through the adventures of Planet Terry way back when I was a kid, I can't deny that I'd be interested in seeing him get punched a few times by Kid Colossus. Or maybe more than a few times.
X-Babies will launch later this year.
Heroes Con '09: X-Babies [Marvel.com]