In Comics Disassembled, my look at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the week of comics, our attention turns to…a news item from last week’s edition already having its mysteries revealed. Oooo…intriguing!
Anyways, let’s get to it.
1. Tom Brevoort, X-Man
In last week’s edition of this very column, we wondered, “Where is Tom Brevoort off to now?” on the heels of an enthusiastic, excited newsletter from him in which he spoke of an “electrifying” role change on the horizon. Evidently, I was not the only one, as hypotheses ran rampant ever since. That is, until Brevoort decided to reveal the news himself. No, he is not the new James Bond, nor will he be Marvel’s next Editor-in-Chief. Instead, Brevoort will become the new Head of X, running the X-Men line after 25+ years of leading the Marvel Heroes line — at some point. We don’t know when he’ll take over! But someday he will! Here’s what Brevoort had to say in that regard:
“I still have a ton of stuff cooking in AVENGERS (including next year’s big crossover event series) that needs to be seen to completion. And at the same time, current X-guru Jordan White and his team have a massive story that they’re in the middle of and that won’t run its course for a long while. What I do will grow directly out of what they’re doing—provided they leave me anything to work with.”
In his most recent newsletter, Brevoort said he’s not going to talk about it yet both because he has plenty of other, non-X-Men work to do and due to not wanting to take away from everything that’s currently happening in the X-Men line, which sure is a lot! That is a very fair thing for him to do, because he’s right, “it’s only right that the spotlight remain on (the current comics).” The only reason it even came out was due to the rumor mill spinning up to the max as soon as his last newsletter hit. That doesn’t mean the hypothesizing and doomsaying didn’t start again immediately, though!
I’m not sure if it speaks to the nature of social media or X-Men fans more, but it seemed like there was a lot of fatalistic talk about what this means for the X-Men line, both for today and tomorrow. A fair bit of “Well, the fun is over!” about Brevoort’s arrival was present. First off, in regards to the X-Men line of today bit, as Kieron Gillen noted in his own newsletter, “if you’re wondering how it impacts our present plans, the answer is basically ‘It doesn’t.’ I’ve talked about the story I’m telling and its broad length, and Tom will only be in the office after that’s done.” We know the X-Men line is heading towards some sort of natural conclusion-ish for its current story and that Gillen, for example, is somewhere around half or slightly past halfway through his run, I believe. So, it’ll be a bit.
Second off, in regards to Brevoort, I personally think the guy has earned a fair bit of faith over his time on the Marvel Heroes line. He’s not someone who is dreadfully risk-averse, and I’ve personally talked to some notable creators who love working with the guy. I mean, Avengers Disassembled – a storyline that would have immolated Twitter far before Elon Musk could have if it happened in this era – was under his watch, so I don’t think Brevoort’s taking over the X-Men to be a sleepy caretaker. It seems apparent Marvel President Dan Buckley and Brevoort have something up their sleeves. Instead of deciding it’s trash before they even get there, I’m going to say this: I’m excited to see what they’re cooking up, whenever we get to learn more.
And while this is more of a reshuffling than anything, I will say moving Brevoort off somewhere he’s spent a quarter century to a line that could always use his fearsome organizational skills is one way to enliven Marvel from its current funk. Keep in mind: Brevoort’s only going to be the first move. Where does Jordan D. White go? Who takes over Marvel Heroes? Who takes over the line that person previously worked on? Will it have a cascading effect across the line? Maybe! Or maybe Wil Moss just takes over the entire Marvel Heroes show. I don’t know! It’ll be interesting to see nonetheless, whether it’s the first of many dominoes or the first of only a few.
2. Jason Aaron, DC Man
In that aforementioned Marvel piece, I talked about Marvel’s brain drain and the migration of some of its creators over to DC. While I didn’t speak to it directly, one of those I knew was coming was Jason Aaron, a notable one if only because the writer had been at Marvel – besides his creator-owned work – for a long, long time. But hey, you stick around long enough, you’re certain to get familiar with the menu of flavors. Eventually, you might want to taste a little something else, like…maybe writing Batman! Or a Batman comic, at the very least!
That’s not to say he’s done done at Marvel – only Aaron really knows if that’s true – but it does mean Aaron’s up to some exciting stuff with artist Doug Mahnke and inker Jamie Mendoza. The title is called Batman: Off-World, and it’s, perhaps unsurprisingly, taking Batman off world…into space! It’s a six-issue mini-series in which Aaron’s rolling deep and having fun, it seems, and with Mahnke onboard, this book will likely be a blast. I enjoyed how Aaron talked about how he’s a DC guy at heart in the press release, with his comic roots belonging to that publisher and in its comics. After a long time at Marvel, it’ll be fun to see Aaron explore that side of him, because the guy is a heck of a talent and one that’s probably always looking for the next story to excite him. Batman in space with Doug Mahnke art might be just what the doctor ordered.
This limited series will be launching in November. I am genuinely excited to see what they’re cooking up for us in this one, and to see how Aaron responds to a new environment. My guess? Pretty well!