Joe Rice came up with this term recently, and I really liked it, so I am offering it up to you folks here now. Rather than saying “Morrison’s X-Men,” the Progressive X-Men Era is expanded to include all the titles from the X-Line of the time, which marked a specific tendency to try new, progressive ideas.
The era started in May of 2001, with the launch of both Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, but also Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Force, plus Joe Casey’s Uncanny X-Men and X’s The Brotherhood. Not all of these projects worked out, of course (Casey and X’s projects basically flopped), but this time marked an age when the X-Books were willing to at least TRY new things. Other examples include the X-Factor mini-series and the David Tischman run on Cable.
The era officially ended with Morrison’s last issue of New X-Men in March 2004, but really, it probably ended a few months earlier, in late 2003, with the capitulation of Marvel editorial regarding the Princess Diana storyline in X-Statix. That was a clear statement of a return to conservative thinking on the X-Books.
Ah well, at least we got almost three years of progressive comics!
And, thanks to Joe, we also have a term to refer to it.