Evolution is in the bedrock of Marvel’s X-Men comics line, and that can be painful – especially if you love what it was and see what it evolves into as replacing everything you liked about it. That’s arguably what is happening right now for X-Men fans, as the five-year ‘Krakoan Era’ is being cast aside for a linewide revamp called ‘From the Ashes.’

Image credit: David Marquez (Marvel Comics)

It all begins May 4 with the Free Comic Book Day special BLood Hunt / X-Men #1 and, as that day draws closer, the countdown among fans of the current era to say goodbye to what they’ve loved for the past five years and say hello to an uncertain future that is potentially a nostalgic rewind to the past.

Heading up this X-Men relaunch is Marvel’s longtime executive editor/senior VP of publishing Tom Brevoort, and he has become the de facto face of the change. No stranger to massive revamps, Brevoort recently spoke directly to those fans disappointed by the decision to end the five-year X-Men era conceived by Jonathan Hickman and others known as the Krakoan Age in favor of a more ‘back-to-basics’ approach to the franchise.

“We’re going to do a bunch of good comics, Xavi,” Brevoort says in response to a fan on his Substack asking what Krakoan fans can look forward to in the revamp. “That’s the only way to attract and enthrall any readers, new or established. We’re going to make you want to read them by making you want to read them.”

In answering another fan’s question, Brevoort points out the cyclical nature of comics – and of fictional entertainment in general.

“Here’s the thing: in comics especially, things change, all the time,” writes Brevoort on his Substack. “We move forward, we evolve situations, we play out storylines and then we do other storylines. Nothing really remains all that static for all that long, even if there is often a magnetic pull back towards some platonic ideal as to what each character is all about.”

Image credit: Ryan Stegman (Marvel Comics)

Brevoort, who worked extensively with the Krakoan Era architect Jonathan Hickman on various projects at Marvel including Avengers and Secret Wars, says that its foolish for them to consider aping to replicate what Hickman did, especially following Hickman’s decision to exit the X-Men books in 2021.

“Nobody else on Earth thinks the way Hickman does, and it would be a fool’s game to even attempt it. You’re not going to outdo him that way,” says the longtime Marvel editor. “Instead, we’re going to do our own thing, and count on the talent and inventiveness and commitment of our creative teams to see us through.”

While Brevoort is a proponent of the change, and was part of one of Marvel’s biggest ever with the transition From classic Avengers storylines to modern-day storytelling with ‘Avengers: Disasssembled’ in 2004.

“And I for sure understand that this is a difficult time of transition for the readers who absolutely love the Krakoa era,” says Brevoort. “But to quote the Doctor (or Stephen Moffat, take your pick), ‘Everything ends, and it’s always sad. But everything begins again, too, and that’s always happy. Be happy. I’ll look after everything else.'”

From one franchise about regeneration to another, its seemingly apropos – as is fandoms circling around specific eras (and Doctors) and decrying the ending of one to set about the beginning of another.

“So were Jonathan’s plans ambitious and ostentatious? Absolutely, I’d expect no less from him. Are ours? Also yes, but in a different way,” says Brevoort.

Keep up to date on Popverse’s Marvel coverage, with these highlights: Inside Marvel Comics’ plans to fix its pricing issues, Overgrown children of the atom: Marvel’s X-Men can’t evolve past their ’90s commercial peak, and the biggest outstanding questions of the Marvel Studios’ movies & TV shows.

“}]] Marvel explains why X-Men’s Krakoan era is ending after five years, and why it’d be foolish not to revamp the franchise  Read More