Here’s Axel Alonso answering a question about the future of the cast of X-Factor, over at CBR:
There will definitely be a lot of things in flux after “X-Men: Battle of the Atom,” 4thsummer. Lots of character shifts. And the current cast of “X-Factor” is no exception.
Lots of character shifts as a result of Battle of the Atom? That’s good. It’s only been seven months since the launch of All-New X-Men, after all. Wouldn’t want to think that we’d have more than a year of relative stability in the mutant side of the Marvel Universe.
I’m only being slightly sarcastic; I feel as the Uncanny X-Men of my youth – That’d be the Chris Claremont/John Romita Jr. issues, for those curious – was also in flux in many ways, with the very concept of “team” seeming to have been entirely abandoned at times in favor of some idea of the main characters in the book as a family that the book would follow wherever they went.
The difference between today’s flux and yesterday’s, however, is that it’s far easier for a creator to lose control of a character when they’re going through changes. In days of yore, X-characters “belonged” to either Chris Claremont or, perhaps, Louise Simonson. These days, they’re really the property of the X-Office, and that’s a much dicier concept to have to deal with for fans of a particular character.
With so many different X-Men books out there – All-New, Uncanny, Wolverine and, Astonishing and the adjectiveless Marjorie Liu-written title, not to mention Legacy and the titles that don’t include the actual words “X-Men” in the title – characters are already being shared between books, so the idea of having such freedom to (a) do whatever the creator wants with a character and (b) being able to follow them wherever they go, without fear of losing them to another part of the mammoth franchise feels almost impossible.
I’m not even necessarily arguing that this is a bad thing. What if the writer of Uncanny X-Men, say, wants to write a character who’s belonged to Astonishing for years? Uncanny is a far more successful series, with more potential for raising the profile for that character – Is it really that bad a choice for the editors to take the character from one book to another, if it means that more people will find out about the character?
That’s why the concept of “flux” in today’s X-Books makes me uneasy. On the one hand, it’s definitely staying true to the X-Men narrative DNA as established by Claremont – Hell, as established by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, if you think about the changes the book went through way back when – but on the other, such changes feel somewhat different when played out on a large scale as exists today.
The alternative, of course, is stagnant stories, which no-one really wants. Whither the old thing about “not change, but the illusion of change”…?