Marvel Comics Creator Peach Momoko Says Her ‘Ultimate X-Men’ Relaunch Will Draw Inspiration From “My Own Time As A Student”, Compare The “Similarities And Differences” Between Past And Present School Environments
In a potentially worrying statement which suggests that the publisher’s arguably best working creator could be gearing up to hop on the ‘self-insert’ train, Marvel Comics writer-slash-artist Peach Momoko has teased that her upcoming relaunch of Ultimate X-Men will be heavily informed by both her “own experiences during my own time as a student in junior high and high school”.
The eponymous creator of Marvel Comics’ ‘Momokoverse’ line of comics – an alternate universe, as seen in the Demon Days and Demon Wars series, which reimagines the publisher’s iconic characters and lore in a feudal Japanese setting – shared this insight into her next dance with Mutantkind while participating in a fan Q&A session regarding the relaunch hosted by comic book news outlet AIPT.
Asked by a fan, “[I] observed that this take on X-Men seems to very much be a coming-of-age story. Were there any themes from coming-of-age stories you were particularly excited to explore in this series?”, Momoko asserted, “I am writing many of the stories looking back at my own experiences (and what I saw) during my own time as a student in junior high and high school. But also keeping in mind and comparing the similarities and differences of the environments that young children find themselves in today.”
Further, when pressed by a pair of readers as to whether or not her relaunch had “tak[en] inspiration from or [had] been influenced by any classic X-Men stories,” Momoko explicitly answered, “My Ultimate X-Men isn’t directly influenced by classic X-Men stories.”
“I like to believe C.B. and Jonathan Hickman chose me because they wanted something completely new and different,” she added, “so I think sometimes no influences is a good thing!”
Understandably, Momoko’s comments have prompted many fans to immediately write off her upcoming addition to Jonathan Hickman’s reboot of the Ultimate publishing line as nothing more than yet another case of a comic book creator using an established IP as a platform for self-therapy.
However, in light of her body of Marvel Comics work, the creator has earned at least the benefit of the doubt that she is using her history not as a script for the series, but rather as reference material to be used in service of penning a genuine high school story.
After all, as near anyone who has read them can attest, despite clearly being inspired by her own Japanese heritage and cultural history, Momoko’s aforementioned Demon Days and Demon Wars outings both treat their source material with respect and genuine creativity, resulting in some of the best ‘alternate universe’ stories presented by the Western industry in quite some time.
For an example, of how even Momoko’s changes to established characters are informed by a genuine care for who and what they are, look no further than the Momokoverse incarnation of everyone’s favorite mutant berserker, Wolverine.
Rather than a human character, Logan is instead presented as a literal dog (a narrative decision based
However, rather than treating his character as a joke or spending the series patting herself on the back for being oh so clever in her annoying of fans, Momoko instead goes to great lengths to translate Wolverine’s qualities into canine form, resulting in a loyal, gruffy-looking companion whose tough exterior steels away a loving nature for those who genuinely care for him – especially those of the female persuasion.
Taken in combination with Hickman’s thus far enjoyable work in shepherding the return of the Ultimate universe, as seen with his work on the Ultimate Invasion Vol. 1 miniseries and the debut issue of Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 3, Momoko’s genuine understanding of her source material – at least in this author’s opinion – warrant’s reserving judgement for her work on Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2 at the very least until its first issue hits shelves on March 6th.
(Of course, should the series turn out to be everything readers fear, this author is also ready to accept any and all razzing regarding his being wrong in this call to caution.)
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