Karen: Thanks to regular reader and poster Edo Bosnar for today's topic. Recently we've discussed the Claremont/Byrne/Austin X-Men run through posts and comments, and it's been given high praise of course. But as time went on and the book and its own X-universe grew, it became a lost cause for some of us.
Karen: I think that the biggest problem for me is the book seemed to cave under the weight of itself in later years, as so many characters and their individual backstories were incorporated into the X-Men mythology. Maybe part of the issue was that Claremont stayed on the book so long, too. It just seems like every character's history became hopelessly complicated. That started with Claremont, with Cyclops suddenly finding out his father was still alive and the member of an intergalactic band of rebels, and Nightcrawler discovering that his girlfriend was his step-sister (ugh), Colossus finding that his little sister had been kidnapped by a demon and returned to Earth a teenager...and so on and so on. Nobody in the X-Men universe has a straight-forward background.
Karen: As Edo mentioned in his comments, the "Days of Future Past" story also set up a possible future for the X-Men, and this idea came to dominate the title for some time, with characters like Bishop,Cable, and Rachel Summers showing up. I recall at the time getting pretty tired of all that stuff. I'm fairly clueless about things that happened after 1992 or so. All I know is that I've tried to get back into X-Men several times over the years and I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. I've managed to return to other titles without too many problems. But X-Men remains completely impenetrable to me.