Sunday, March 4, 2018

X-MEN '92

Time to delve once more into everyone's favorite digital subscription service, Marvel Unlimited, and look at something more recent from the ol' House of Ideas. This time around I'm going to dedicate a few weeks to X-MEN '92, a series which spun out of Marvel's "Secret Wars" event in 2015, and ran for a number of digital-first installments, followed by an ongoing series that was cancelled with issue 10. This one has been on my to-read list practically since it started, and I'm excited to finally read it.

As I understand, the idea is that this series is a continuation of the X-MEN cartoon series which aired on Fox in the early to mid-nineties, but that's practically all I know about it. I'm not really familiar with the creators, other than that co-writer Chris Sims is a comics journalist/reviewer of some repute -- and perhaps some notoriety? (I've never really been big on the whole comics journalism scene, for good or ill.) So the main draw to me is stories written by a guy who was a fan of the X-Men in the nineties, starring the X-Men wearing their Jim Lee-designed costumes. But I'm going in totally blind otherwise, so we'll soon find out what I think.

I'll be looking at this one a few issues at a time beginning this Friday, and I expect that overall, it should take a little more than a month to cover, so be back here in a mere five days as our journey into nostalgia begins!

Available on Amazon:
X-MEN '92 vol. 0: WARZONES!


  1. Your understanding of Chris Sims is about right, though for what it's worth, he has admitted to, and apologized for, the shitty things he did that have made him notorious.

    Having read a fair amount of his stuff about comics, I also know him to have an irrational dislike of Cyclops in all his iterations, but especially the animated one (which he constantly needled while reviewing each episode of the animated series), which is one of the reasons I've stayed away from X-MEN '92 (though I'm sure I'll probably read it someday).

    1. What precisely did he do to become notorious anyway? I used to read his blog but stopped because if you disagreed with him, even mildly, he tended to show up in the comments and get rather rude at you, so I appeared to have missed something.

    2. The short (ish) version as I understand it is that years ago (when he had some fame within the comics blogging community but before he became as a big a name as he is) he started & then directed an online harassment campaign against a female writer at Marvel, attacking both her work and her personally (more or less what's become standard Gamergate-style tactics from ridiculous, stupid men online), to the point where she basically quit Marvel and had to disappear for her own well-being.

      Later, when his star started to rise a bit, the situation surfaced again, after Comics Alliance started leading the charge against the toxic harassment environment endemic to the comics industry and people pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of their work given that Sims was writing for them, having done the exact sort of thing they were speaking out against himself. This led to a pretty public mea culpa on his part and he formally apologized to the writer (and, I believe, she publicly accepted the apology, though she still maintains a low profile, understandably).

      His behavior, and specifically the way he chased her out of Marvel, also caused some consternation when, shortly after his apology, he started getting gigs writing comics for Marvel (just in a general "he ended this woman's career and now he's working there, which seems...not right" kind of way; no one was suggesting he forced her out to, like, claim her spot at Marvel or anything like that).

      Like you, I got turned off from his stuff because of how stridently he held some of his opinions (and could make you feel like an idiot if you, say, liked Cyclops more than Wolverine...). I started reading him on his personal blog back in the day and enjoyed his style and approach, but by the time he was on Comics Alliance, it was pretty clear he had no interest engaging any opinion that conflicted with his own, at which point I began reading his stuff much more sparingly.

    3. Thanks for the info, fellows! I had heard a bit about the Sims cyber-bullying thing, but I was never aware of the full extent. At least he owned up to it and apologized, even if it took people pointing fingers to get him to do so.

      As far as Cyclops goes, he doesn't come off too bad in X-MEN '92. He's a stick-in-the-mud to be sure, but he's mostly just a non-entity -- and after the first story arc in the digital comics, he and Jean leave the team and he doesn't put in many appearances from that point.

    4. Meant to add -- it's funny... nowadays I will read "retro reviews" on Gentlemen of Leisure, Not Blog X (or at least his Twitter feed at this point), etc. -- but I never had interest in reading comic reviews as the books were coming out. I guess I just didn't care what other people thought, as long as I was enjoying it (to the point that I'm still surprised sometimes even now to find that people disliked something I enjoyed, or vice versa).

      And I never read fanzines, at least not of my own accord. I had a friend who read WIZARD and I would peruse his copy whenever I visited, but that was about as far as I went with comics journalism. I never got into it in the internet age, either. I used to read Comic Book Legends Revealed until CBR became an unusable clickbait site, but that was the extent of my dabbling in that arena -- and that column wasn't really journalism anyway, but rather a trivia column.

      Nowadays I see all sorts of things on Twitter about comics creators doing terrible things, and I figure that sort of thing was always going on, even pre-social media, and I'm sure fanzines and whatnot ran gossip, but I was blissfully ignorant of all of it -- and sometimes I wish I still could be!

  2. Oh yeah, I remember that business with Sims now. Frankly I can't say I'm shocked by it: the guy was a jerk on his blog. Kind of wish he hadn't gotten that gig at Marvel, honestly.