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Grant Morrison looks back at New X-Men, and how it's inspiring X-Men stories today

New X-Men
(Image credit: Frank Quitely (Marvel Comics))

Not to make you feel old, but it's been 20 years since Grant Morrison's New X-Men run began.

I know, I know....

(Image credit: Frank Quitely (Marvel Comics))

Morrison, along with Frank Quitely and others, propelled Marvel's mutants forward in a way that made most subsequent X-Men runs (until recently) feel outdated, showing just how ahead of its time that 3-year-run really was. That run cemented them and Quitely as two of the best X-Men creators of all time by our standards.

But now, 20 years on - how does Morrison feel about it?

"It feels okay. Time passes," Morrison says with a laugh. "20 years is cool, I feel good about that. And that book was something that I really enjoyed doing. That was a very interesting time because it was the turn of the century and we had a lot of freedom at Marvel."

2001 was a unique time for Marvel - it was in the middle of a creative renaissance under the new regime of editor-in-chief Joe Quesada and publisher Bill Jemas and was riding high as the anti-corporate superhero comics company (as opposed to DC). The success of the 2000 X-Men film didn't hurt either. 

The recent revitalization of the X-Men line under writer Jonathan Hickman has led to several comparisons to Morrison's work. The opening salvo, in particular, House of X / Powers of X, drew heavily on the same time of world-rebuilding as Morrison - something they recently framed as treating work-for-hire projects "like they are creator-owned. Like they're your own self-published comic."

Although Hickman's X-Men era has been underway for some time now, Morrison says they haven't actually read any of the books yet - and doesn't read new comics much, with few exceptions. 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"I haven't seen anything. I don't really get to comic shops these days, to be honest. The only stuff that I see is anything that DC sends with its comps," Morrison tells Newsarama. "But I do read online reviews, I kind of keep up with what's been going on. People seem to be really excited about what Jonathan Hickman has been doing with X-Men. As usual, Jonathan's got a whole massive mega-plan so I'm sure it's great. But I haven't actually read it."

(Hey Marvel, if you're reading this - let us put you in touch with Grant to send over some new X-Men comics.)

That being said, Morrison says there's a reason that some elements of their now-two-decades-old X-Men run are just now being absorbed fully into the X-Men line.

"I think we're seeing elements of New X-Men and elements of that era's stuff because I think a lot of the younger writers do lean on the writers they grew up with," Morrison says. "Since they grew up with it, now they kind of want to put their own spin on it."

Grant Morrison's New X-Men run ended with an arc titled 'Here Comes Tomorrow.' Now, in a way, that tomorrow is here - it just took almost two decades.

Keep apprised of all the new X-Men comics, graphic novels, and collections in 2021 and beyond.

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)