Uncanny X-Men #600 delayed from May until after Secret Wars and what it could mean
Fans looking to close the book on the Marvel Now edition of the X-Men are going to have to wait a while. Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of Uncanny X-Men and All New X-Men confirmed on his Tumblr page that Uncanny X-Men #600 has been delayed from May to October 2015 for “editorial and commercial reasons”. Besides the obvious time difference, there are other, more scummy reasons why this delay sucks.
Issue #600 is meant to be the end of the story threads that Bendis put in play as part of Uncanny and All New. I read All New as each issue is released, but fell behind on the Uncanny trade paperbacks ages ago. This gap gives me time to catch up, but it also puts a somewhat artificial barrier between me finishing out a somewhat-tangentially-related series.
My bigger concern and potential disappointment stems from how Issue #600 interacts with the current arc of Secret Wars, which literally just destroyed the entire Marvel universe as we once new it. #600 was supposed to take place before the cataclysmic events of Marvel’s crossover. If that is still the case, then it’s an awkward shift back in time that people will have to make as they read the ending.
However, if the events of the book are released are as originally planned, which Bendis says is the case, but now sit after Secret Wars in the chronology, then it undermines the importance of this universe-altering event. At least in terms of the X-Men, who cares how Secret Wars ends if we already know that it won’t matter to issue #600? Even worse yet, it might be a sign that the X-Men‘s role in the event was never big to begin with if issue #600 can be moved after the fact without having to change any of its content.
As rumors persist that they’re pulling support for our favourite mutants and the Fantastic 4 over movie rights issues with Fox, this only adds more fuel to that fire. We’ve already had legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont speak to a panel about a mandate about writers not being able to create new mutants. More recently, some retro-inspired Secret Wars merchandise replaced X-Men and Fantastic 4 characters with others for no other reason. On the Fantastic 4 front, their mainline comic got cancelled while Johnny Storm gets to continue on in Uncanny Inhumans, a wholly-owned Marvel property that is confirmed to have a movie coming out in the future.
I am hopeful that we, as readers of modern X-Men comics, will still get the best possible ending even in the face of this unfortunate news. Fingers are also crossed that the future of this franchise is bright. However, it’s hard not to speculate in light of the current climate around X-Men. There are signs everywhere that Marvel has taken steps to cut support for the X-Men in order to focus on franchises that don’t require them to share money with others and this may very well be one of them. Guess we’ll have to wait till October to see if my fears were unfounded, which I hope they ultimately are!