This is pure opinion piece, I’m not even linking anything. Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken about something.

It’s been known for a little while now that Rick Remender is leaving Marvel soon. Another tidbit that very recently came out was confirmation that Remender was intended to helm the X-Men franchise before he decided to leave. Here are my views on that.

Remender has been instrumental in denigrating the X-Men franchise for the benefit of the Avengers franchise. In his pages, we’ve seen the forced retcon of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver out of being Magneto’s kids, Havok’s “don’t call us mutants” anti-mutant speech, Rogue made to look like an idiot to support that angle, and a lot of complaints about poor character treatment toward iconic X-Men characters in general.

Whenever people have complained (including some assholes that started harassing and attacking him directly), his response has been what many call a “troll” response. He’s given gleefully spiteful responses to outrage for things like killing characters.

Bearing all of the above in mind, it’s time for me to say something you wouldn’t expect: I think most of Remender’s writing that’s received outrage was merely doing what his higher-ups ordered him to do, and he’s leaving Marvel because he can’t take doing it anymore.

I think his spiteful responses to fan outrage were actually a self-defense mechanism. Writers have fragile egos, and with enough pressure put on them, it’s common to want to lash out at fans either with comments or even directly in the fiction. I say that from experience. It’s a hard impulse to control and it takes a lot of time and experience, and even having that, it’s easy to give in at the worst of times.

Furthermore, we know Marvel wanting to tear down the X-Men franchise, make it look bad and diminish the need to acknowledge it has any value to the rest of the Marvel universe goes well beyond Remender. Avengers and X-Men events he had little to no part in were engineered that way as well. The things he’s received the most hate for are things that we can safely say would have happened with or without him.

He had no real control over the things that mattered most. As an employee of Marvel, he was required to toe the line demanded of him, and he couldn’t say “blame it on the people above me” because it would definitively prove an agenda exists above him to hurt the X-Men franchise and its characters.

I think the original plans for him to take over the X-Men franchise were either Remender wanting to set things right, or Marvel wanting him to devote more time to tearing it down. In either case, I think Remender eventually realized now isn’t a good time for him to try. In the absolute best case scenario, he might write good X-Men work but receive a lot of hate no matter what he does thanks to his hand in ruining the X-Men over on the Avengers. Worst case, he might screw it up badly, or Marvel might make more demands on him he wouldn’t be ready to accept.

It’s overall better for him to step out. His reputation among X-Men fans (and even a lot of other fans) took a huge beating during his Avengers tenure. And frankly, if all my suspicions above are correct, it’s better for him to leave for now and come back when Marvel is ready to be a better company than it has been.

I think that’s also why a lot of writers and editors have left Marvel. It’s become a toxic environment for most creators.