So yesterday I wrote a long long long post about my issues with Earth X because I spent a lot of time reading it and it was just really flawed. It was too long with too many tangents, too many ideas that went nowhere and too many stories given equal billing, I can appreciate that it tried to go big and use all of these ideas, but it didn’t work. They say that better stories are made by what you can take out and that is my idea for Earth X; edit, cut and reorganize.
So following it up, I want to try and layout my plan to fix it.
One of the big issues is there were too many stories and some of them have been done before and better. Some of them fall to the wayside. Some of them go nowhere or actually need more time.
The Machine Man and The Watcher stuff is essentially used as a framing device for the story but that is a giant flaw. It allows us to know more than we would actually ever need to know. There are literally 4+ extra pages after each chapter of more worldbuilding – and it never really matters to the world. I’d actually cut out these stuff – yes it builds as Aaron Stack is trying to argue for his humanity but the important stuff – him explaining stuff to Reed could be solved by Reed himself. Too many red herrings and exposition.
The Skull story feels rather inconsequential the way it is presented within the comic. Like it never causes a lot of drama, just a general complacent unease which is a failing of the story because so much of it revolves around Skull taking over and killing people but they ever get excellent moments. It’s like “Oh Hydra is also taking over minds”, Skull needs some actually violent and horrible moments. He needs to be this force for evil that makes it worse that people can’t stand up against him.
Captain America eventually assembles the team to fight and he needs to be in – but he needs more of a struggle against a country that changed so much and gave away his liberty. He needs to be there as a leader of choice, hope and inspiration. He needs more showdowns, he needs to fight more and needs more of a focus. As to who he is with – give him loads of heroes we know whose characters tell the stories instead of taking the time for each.
And then all of the while have Reed Richards get a sense of dread from something coming – something returning. The Inhumans!
One of the issues with the comic is that there is no singular scale, no build up. While we have Captain America fighting on the streets we also have galactic level stuff going on and it switches between. We are pulled so many places that it doesn’t work.
So when Captain America kills Skull in the 3rd or 4th issue let’s say, have the Inhumans return – but then then Loki comes around with Thor and Captain Marvel falls to the ground. Have the petty problems that they were seeming to deal with suddenly pale in comparison. “Oh you got an evil kid mind controlling the country? Not anymore, now you have gods falling.”
So now Reed has to step up with Banner and Clea the Sorcerer Supreme and it is a larger picture – these are the scale of gods. They are trying to figure what is going on and the Terrigen Mists enter the picture. The Inhumans are suspected but Black Bolt won’t say anything – but he doesn’t need to since his own daughter has started to change. She’s transformed by the world’s environment. It’s not Reeds fault. But Reed and the crew discover that Black Bolt was behind everything – Loki sells him out. But it was to save the world and as the inner sanctum is fighting Black Bolt the Celestials appear and his reason – to prepare the Earth to fight the Celestials is revealed. And this was another 3-4 issue arc, spliced in with some smaller moments with characters checking in as they try to find why the Earth’s population transformed.
And now you have the Celestials, Black Bolt dies fighting him. This is global scale stuff. Reed and Banner and Clea who doesn’t do the pointless heel turn find out all of the stuff about the Skrulls being hyper advanced creatures by these guys from Captain Marvel and Marvel reveals the gifts the humans have been given, to make them stand up against the Celestials and how Galactus only attacks planets with Celestial seeds. Banner and Clea and Cap want to summon Galactus to help but then Reed reveals he killed Galactus but the need was so great that Franklin as Galactus appears and kills the Celestial seed because it was such a major thing. And then we see the Celestials leave.
And it is a story that scales reasonably. You don’t need an X-men story because explicitly leaving them out tells a story. You don’t need Namor to just run in and get mind controlled. You actually have an order for everything that scales to the giant size of the Marvel Universe. You can have a Spider-man story without giving him a giant focus that goes nowhere. You can have Ben and his wife without needing them to constantly reappear. It is still long but it fits the 9-12 chapters and best of all I wouldn’t have to spend time retelling each hero’s origin.