Episode 34: X-Men 2099 #1

We’ve put it off long enough. It’s time for host Nathaniel Wayne to take a look at one of the most 90s things to come out of Marvel: the 2099 line. An excuse to get even more outlandish than the company was already doing with far future versions of established characters (and also something called “Ravage” for some reason.) We kick it off with a glimpse at what’s changed for mutantkind in the future… spoiler, it’s not very much.

Listen to Episode 34: X-Men 2099 #1.

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Finally, a reminder that the podcast theme song is by Erica Dreisbach, and you can find more of her work at her website right here.

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3 thoughts on “Episode 34: X-Men 2099 #1

  1. Not sure how I feel about you excusing the comic of the sins of that next-issue preview by shifting the blame to editorial/publication, but I’m not the one who has to sit and think about these things the way you do so I won’t dwell on it anymore.

    As for the art, I’m not surprised that it holds up well. Ron Lim did a ton of Marvel cosmic stuff in the late ’80s early ’90s, especially on Silver Surfer. He also came on to finish INFINITY GAUNTLET when George Perez fell behind schedule after a couple issues. And with one of the Kubert brothers inking Lim, yeah, no reason this issue shouldn’t look solid.

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  2. Frank says:

    I think 2099 was one of Stan Lee’s harebrained ideas to use popular brands to sell only superficially related books, and sat in development limbo for a bunch of years before the moneygrubbing ’90s made Marvel game for the scheme. I was hip to this type of con early on, and always kept 2099 at arm’s length due to its perceived “illegitimacy” as another one of those self-aborting alternate futures (which proved correct.) I was also fast losing tolerance with the expansion of the X-line, and really, I think X-Force was the outer limit of fans’ broad support (as it rendered New Mutants redundant, it found obsolescence upon the launch of Generation-X.) Besides all the new X-teams, there was also the solo projects and guest appearances and being de facto co-stars in every Marvel UK title. Even the Chromium Age had limits on its extremities, and as I recall, X-Men 2099 was among the earliest exits as the sub-line contracted (along with Hulk, Ravage, and the quarterly anthology.)

    I think the only 2099 title I lasted more than an issue on was Ravage, because I still thought Stan Lee might have a story left in him (he didn’t) Mostly though, it was because Ravage bore a strong resemblance to the second incarnation of Grimjack; one of the most popular and long lasting indie titles to that point; recently ended due to the collapse of First Comics.

    I bought X-Men 2099 #1 just to give it a chance, but I believe I was beginning my own detoxification from brand X, so that was the full length of its rope. In retrospect, I can appreciate its nods to multiculturalism, but the characters did not endear me, the names and costumes were mostly dumb, and the story was too opaque to draw me in. This was also post-Image exodus, when Ron Lim stepped up as one of the main “company men” tasked with drawing a couple of top titles per month (often including sprawling cast-of-thousands spectacles like the Infinity events.) Lim had been on track for superstar status thanks to his Silver Surfer work, and X-Men 2099 should have been a perfect fit for a guy who got his start on Malibu’s copyright testing Ex-Mutants franchise (which shared shades of post-apocalyptic sci-fi.) Instead, the workload burnt Lim out and turned his output into a simplified shell of its former quality. Marvel rewarded his loyalty by dumping his creator-owned project in the D.O.A. Epic Heavy Hitters line before the work dried up entirely, and he ended up thumbing a ride out of town on pre-cancelation issues of second string Wildstorm books. Ron Lim could have been a millionaire like Jim Valentino, but today he draws Marvel themed mass market children’s books.

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  3. I didn’t read the 2099 line at the time (no Marvel Comics at all during this period, in fact), but everything I’ve read of it since (the Spider-Man revival, Avengers 2099 in Secret Wars) I liked. I do have some interest in collecting the line and doing something with it on the blog, but X-Men is the one I’m LEAST interested in. And yes, that’s a list that includes Punisher 2099.

    Controversial verdict, but I think we can have our cake and eat it too the way you put it.

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