WWLA Aftermath – Uncanny X-WHAT??

WizardWorld LA sure had a ton of news coming out of it, didn’t it? Last I checked Wizard conventions didn’t really matter, but wow, LA really made a name for itself. Both Marvel and DC were in full force, making announcements and breaking news. If you’re an avid iFanboy reader, you know we’re not much for the covering of every little news detail of who is exclusive where. We leave that to the pros. But every once and a while some news drips into the iFanboy office that we can’t leave undiscussed.

Yes, I’m talking about the announcements related to Uncanny X-Men and the other X-Men.

Let me just run down the bullet points for you:

  • Matt Fraction joins Ed Brubaker as co-writer of Uncanny X-Men.
  • Greg Land and Terry Dodson will be trading off on art duties

Saturday night, as I was out and about for the evening (lovely dinner followed by a kick-ass Rock Band party), as the news of this spread I was greeted with Twitters, text messages, phone calls and even startled reactions in person at the party. Pretty much everyone was echoing the same response, and it was a feeling of disgust.

What I found fascinating was that not everyone was disgusted with the same things. For example, a close friend and fellow podcaster who shall remain nameless heard that Fraction was joining on writing duties and instantly said, “Well, I just dropped that title.”

Another friend when hearing about Greg Land literally almost vomited.

I have to give Marvel credit, it’s a ballsy move. On paper, I like it a lot. Many people take issue with Matt Fraction’s writing, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Order, which showed to me a lot of maturity within a super hero book, and it’s pretty much been established that The Immortal Iron Fist, his other co-writing gig with Ed Brubaker, has been an success. Even if you dislike Casanova, it’s a safe bet that Fraction knows when to lay it on thick and when to play it straight. I for one am enjoying watching his career develop and am looking forward to his collaboration with Brubaker on Uncanny X-Men. It adds a potential for the unexpected, something that was, ironically, expected with the X-Men, but has been lacking for a long time. So ultimately, as far as the writing news goes, I’m ok with it. In fact, I applaud it.

As for the art, well I’m none too pleased.  I think, despite my aversion to the concept – when longing for a complete run from one artist – it’s a smart move to have two artists rotating on art duties. Especially if it means it’s always on time.  We’ve seen Marvel try this successfully so far with The Amazing Spider-Man, so I applaud the dedication to the monthly release.

But did it have to be Greg Land?

I like Terry Dodson, despite the bad rep he’s gotten from delays and drawing lots and lots of boobs. But the addition of Greg Land is something that I’m going to have a hard time with. I dropped Ultimate Fantastic Four because of him, and for the past few years he’s been trapped in the Ultimate universe in books I didn’t read, where I was happy to have him for eternity. That way I could ignore the whole tracing/photo reference issue and just live an ignorant life. But now he’s back in the 616 and on MY book. But, being the Marvel Zombie I am, I’m trying to be supportive, but then I see this:

And I see that this is not going to be good. Right there, front and to the left, Pixie, a teenage New X-Men drawn in full on porn pose glory. I just had to shake my head.

They say change is inevitable and you can only hope for the best.  For the first time in a very long time, I’ve been pleased and excited for the future of the X-Men.  With the end of the epic Joss Whedon/John Cassaday run on Astonishing X-Men and the upcoming 500th issue of Uncanny X-Men, I would like to say that the future of my favorite comic book is bright, but now, after this, time will tell if that’s the case.

What do you think? Are you worried about Fraction coming onboard?  Am I overreacting to the art assignments?

UPDATE – Check out this amazing image showing the origins of Greg Land’s X-Men Cover  by our friends at 4thletter.net:


  1. You want to know something even better? Check out this GIF. http://4thletter.net/gregland.gif

    I’m pscyhed for Fraction, Brubaker, and Dodson. Land is almost a deal breaker for the whole shebang, though.

  2. I am excited. I don’t hate Greg Land’s art. But by no means do I love it either. I think for me it has a lot to do with the colorist on his work. When his art is "shiny", I don’t know how else to describe it. It doesn’t work as much. I agree with that the porn tracing is annoying.

    I can’t wait to see Dodson’s take on the characters though.

  3. the news of fraction/brubaker taking over the writing has actually got me interested in this comic, I was almost excited, until I heard about Greg Land… damn it…

  4. I have no problems with greg land, after reading this article and the couple of posts it makes me feel like I missed somehting that made him bad.  I think his art is not bad at all and should be an interesting take on the x-men. 

    As a diehard x-men fan I think if my blind neighbor Rimjob was drawing it and my handicapped cat was writting it I would most definately still buy it.  Even when it sucks I still get some sort of enjoyment out of it…call me crazy…i dont know

  5. This news is making me want to be a Stephen Colbert-style "I called it" dance.  As soon as I saw the previews about San Francisco, I said to a friend, "Fraction’s taking over the book."  I find this to be great news, because I’ve found him to be one of the most intriguing up-and-coming voices in comics.  I’ve been in love with "The Order" since issue 1, and I’m psyched by the energy that Fraction brings to everything.  The collaboration is even better news, because Brubaker’s the kind of veteran who really complements Fraction’s strengths.  Though as long as I’m calling things, I bet the collaboration only lasts as long as it takes to be sure the book doesn’t tank with Fraction at the helm. 

    The artist news is somewhat less good, though, well, I’m pretty sure this is a Greg Land image I have in my user avatar, so I can only fuss about it so much.  And since Land drew the <I>Phoenix:Endsong/ Warsong</i> books, it makes me wonder if there’s a Phoenix angle coming up.

    But seriously; no more pornface Pixie, please      


  6. i find that these big art announcements don’t tend to stick for very long.  After a couple months of delays, Igor Korday comes along, and starts trading off issues, and that’s all she wrote.

  7. Super excited about anything Fraction gets his hands on, has anyone seen the preview pages for Invincible Iron Man yet? I see in the latest Marvel Previews he’ll be flying solo on Iron Fist soon, and that’s been one of the best reads this last year. I’ve been digging Uncanny, but I haven’t been excited about it, now I am.

    As for art, Dodson is always solid, that gif brothers has given the link to is a little disturbing though, I thought some looked familiar about Lands drawing of Pixie. 

  8. @brothers – damn that’s amazing/sad/fascinating – he’s ripping himself off

     @josh – careful buddy, you’re dating yourself there with that reference – and yeah while they sometimes fizzle, for the most part I think the art assignments have stuck around for meaningful time periods recently…

  9. They don’t look very divided…..

  10. @brothers Wow.  Land is such a hack.  I’ve seen the BJ mouth on Pixie at least three times in his work.  I just don’t get why people enjoy his art.

  11. Very little could ever make me drop Uncanny X-men. If I survived Scott Lobdell and the era of editorial interference, I can take Greg Land’s mediocre pencils, especially since it’ll only be half the time and not every month. 

  12. That actually is Pixie?? I was reassuring myself it had to be someone else.

    Greg Land should not be allowed to draw characters created by Michael Ryan or Skottie Young. My head can’t organize that information.

    This could be the arc where everyone finds his voice and takes his work in a whole new direction. This could be the run everyone is talking about in twenty years.

    Right? Right??

    I wonder what Greg Land’s creator-owned book would be like. 

  13. Oh, wow. Look at this:



    Not only photos, but the same photos. 

  14. I’m all for all of these. The Brubaker/Faction team is enough to hype up the excitement for me, and Dodson can be a blessing for this book – he’s like a more readable Chris Bachelo to me, and Land is a decent storyteller despite his anatomy rip-offs, but that’s just me – maybe I’m just not looking at the right kind of porn?

  15. Fraction excites me, I’ve only read a few of the mans books. But with Brubaker and him clearly knowing how to work with each other and off each other, I’m looking forward to this, and gives me a reason to be excited for 500 (beyond the fact of it just being 500).

     As for the art. I like Dodson, I really do, maybe because he was one of the firsts artist I came across when I came back to comics (Issue one of Marvel Knights Spider-Man) and the boobs don’t bother me because…well I’m a guy…what can I say.

     As for Land…damn it…Dodson excites me because I find his pages dynamic, even before Land’s "art" became known to be what it is. I always found it a little posey, and that’s not my thing, for some people it is and that’s fine, but I want to read X-men in character moments and the like, not where every pages is "pose!" "Pose!" "Pose!" Just pages after page of stuff that may be posters later.

  16. Wow.  Thanks for sharing that GIF, brothers.  I like Land on covers (see avatar left) but I just lost a whole lotta respect for him after I saw that.  Why can’t editorial put their foot down and force artists to draw characters to appear their appropriate age?  Isn’t Pixie one of the youngest living mutants??  Ignoring that fact is a disservice to all post M-day storylines.  Pay attention to the story, Mr. Land.

  17. At least greg land isnt as bad as tim bradstreet, just photoshopped pictures instead of traced.  at least land puts ink to paper. Im not saying its justified, as an artist myself its offensive, but im with also right there with malakilii and shogunt. the only thing that would actually make me stop reading an x book is rob liefeld, and id still buy it for the sake of my (almost) complete runs of every x book, just not read it. jeph loeb couldnt even save his pencils in the onslaught reborn mini. great, now im gonna be pissed off about rob liefeld all day.

  18. I was a big fan of New X-Men, and seeing that picture of Pixie makes me sick to my stomach. How is this man allowed to keep working. Pornography? Seriously? Shouldn’t Marvel have fired him or relegated him only to the crappiest of crappy books by now?

     On the flipside, I don’t mind Fraction being on the book. Hopefully it’s liven up a dialogue a little bit, since I found Brubaker’s good, but a little dry. 

  19. Whatever will I do with that extra $3 a month?  Hmmm… perhaps I’ll buy an extra slice of pizza at lunch on Wednesday.

  20. @conor   Are you that strongly anti-Fraction, or is it just that it’s not Brubaker?

  21. @ohcaroline – I refuse to willfully purchase anything Greg Land works on.  Which is too bad because back when he used to actually draw he was one of my favorite artists.  And I’m on the fence about Fraction.  I hven’t enjoyed most of what I have read from him so if it was just him alone (and not Land) I’d still probably drop it, but just with not as much relish.

  22. I dont understand how anyone could drop this book because of Fraction, dude is one of the best young writers around. From what I’ve heard, Brubaker dosen’t  contribute as much to Iron Fist as most people seem to the think so that book is almost all Fraction.

    That spread by Land is horrible, but I love the Dodsons so maybe it evens out?

  23. @Balefuego – I’m thinking about dropping Immortal Iron Fist too.

  24. @conor – Ok, I can respect a principled stand. 

    I’m not wild about either artist choice, but I’m enough of a Fraction fan that it balances out.

  25. What is the criticism of Fraction?  I haven’t read any of his stuff and a majority of reviews that I’ve read have been extremely positive.  Curious to know what makes everyone cringe…

  26. I was really enjoying the current team on Uncanny. This new art annoucment saddens me. I know Ron wasn’t a big fan of Choi but I enjoyed his style. Oh well guess I’ll find something else to spend the money on.

  27. @SmokMnky – No kidding!  There was a good thing going with Brubaker and Choi.

    Why does everything I like always have to get messed up…? 

  28. I like Land.  *ducks under the projectiles*

  29. My question is will the arrival of Land improve sales on the whole even though the internet is so vitriolic towards him.

    So will it? 

  30. Probably.

  31. When i heard Greg Land, I think of delays.  When I heard of Matt Fraction, I think of fun loony X-Men action.

  32. I’m going against the majority, but i like Land’s style, tracing or whatnot. BTW Dave Sim gives a great description on how it’s done on his Glamourpuss website. (check it out). It still takes time and talent! I will probably buy the book BECAUSE of Land. I hate the cartoony/animation style i see on so many other books now these days. I really love the photorealistic quality in my books. There is a place for everything but to me, the cartoony style just gets on my nerves….especially if the tone of the book is semi-"serious." I don’t want the artwork to distract from the story.

    Any you young guys: wait till you are married with children like me and you will enjoy the porn style! LOL

  33. I love Brubaker’s Criminal and Cap, but his Daredevil didn’t do much for me, so I dropped it a couple of issues ago.  And I haven’t seen anything I really like from Fraction, either.  I dropped Iron Fist a couple of issues ago— they really lost me when they got into the "mythology of the Iron Fist" and that Orson Randall character.

    As for Greg Land– yeesh.

  34. I’m just happy to be done with Ramos, Bachallo and Young. If the art above is Greg Land, then I have no problems with the man. I can’t remember what Dodson’s art looks like, but I’m pretty sure I don’t hate it.  Now if we can just get Yu off of New Avengers then and I can be REALLY happy.

    As for Fraction, while Casanova does nothing for me, I’m one of the biggest fans of The Order on this website. 🙂 Granted, I don’t read Iron Fist and I dropped Punisher War Journal, that’s because I’m not a huge fan of those characters.

    So all in all, this is a very good announcement and I’m very pissed I was late to WWLA and missed the X-Men panel.


  35. Land traces apart, the thing I can’t  stop imagining is the image of someone "almost literally" vomiting with the announcement.

    "Hi, did you hear the news? (cough & salivation)

    They’re gonna put.. (eyes watering, voice trembling)

    they’regonnapu.. (retch) 

    They’regonna…(retch again) 

    No! Sorry dude, I can’t even say it."

  36. Brubaker’s run hasn’t really done much for me so I don’t see Fraction’s addition to be harmful to the book.  It might add a little punch to the dialogue.

     As for Land, I’d rather look at his stuff than Ramos or Bachalo.

  37. Does anyone know if Land ever has addressed these issues in an interview or on some site some where.  I don’t like his art/traces at all, but I would be interested to hear his arguments/defenses for what he does–or to read what Joe Q. has to say.  I mean, he is a very good artist, at least in my opinion, and he is the E-I-C, so if he he doesn’t like it, he wouldn’t keep giving the guy work–I guess.

    Just wondering if that has ever been addressed in a web-accessible spot. 

  38. come on ron and others, Land isn’t that bad. I mean, did you guys read Ultimate Power? The art wasn’t that bad and it had three of the best writers in the biz to help carry it. I know I will be giving it a chance, and I know for the run alone, you Ron will be picking this up. I guess what I’m saying is give it a shot, it could be worse, we could be getting Joe Q on pencils lol!!!!!!!!

  39. Brubaker and Choi are indeed rocking. Ugh, I’m like the biggest Brubaker fan on the planet but I can’t stand Fraction. This just sucks.