Polling comic readers to determine story outcomes is a time-honored tradition in comic books. DC used a telephone poll in the ‘80s that ultimately decided to kill off Jason Todd in the infamout Batman story A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. Sure, that decision got retconned twenty years later, but the impact was still there. Audience polling makes for some exciting chaos where creative teams have to pivot and accommodate the demands of the masses. This is where comics can excel over other storytelling mediums, with its rapid continual production allowing for some unique nimbleness.
Let’s jump to 2021 and Marvel’s X-Men election. Marvel held an online vote to mimic an in-story election of the latest X-Men team. We readers had a vote between a variety of past X-Men characters to fill one empty slot. Polaris won, by the way. The green-haired mistress of magnetism who’s still Magneto’s daughter at the time of this writing. Comics, right?
Now, a month after Marvel’s second such election for the new year, last year’s election losers get their own book! SECRET X-MEN brings together the characters who lost — Sunspot, Cannonball, Marrow, Tempo, Forge, Banshee, Strong Guy, Armor, and Boom-Boom — in a book all on their own. The title is written by Tini Howard, a regular face in the Krakoa-era X-books with EXCALIBUR, so current X-fans should feel right at home.
This Week’s Issue
SECRET X-MEN #1
(W) Tini Howard (A) Francesco Mobili
SSHHH – IT’S THE X-MEN!
When the Shi’ar Empire faces an unexpected threat, they must call upon the X-Men. Team co-captains Sunspot and Cannonball must lead Marrow, Tempo, Forge, Banshee, Strong Guy, Armor, and Boom-Boom on a secret mission to save Empress Xandra.
Wait, those aren’t the X-Men. Aren’t those the mutants who lost the election?