It’s been a big year for Marvel Comics and the entire 616 universe. The Avengers and X-Men squared off and (SPOILER ALERT) the brainy, handicapable Professor X kicked the bucket by none other than his boy scout former student, Cyclops. Because of these events, times are changing for the entire 616 world, which facilitated a relaunch of some of the company’s top books.
At New York Comic Con, Marvel gave fans a taste of what’s in store for the X-Men, Avengers, and the relaunching Marvel NOW! titles. Not to be confused with DC Comics “New 52″ reboot, Marvel professes that “nothing is broken at Marvel” and that this relaunch won’t be taking steps back, but taking the 616 universe into the future.
Writers Marjorie Liu, Gerry Duggan, Si Spurrier, Peter David, Jason Aaron, Rick Remender, Dennis Hopeless, as well as Editors Nick Lowe and Jeanine Schaefer spoke all things X-Men. Arune Singh moderated. Here’s the breakdown.
The panel started with news of a new X-Men title: All New X-Men. This book brings something rather bizarre to the table. The original five X-Men–Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Bobby Drake, Hank McCoy, and Warren Worthington III–come from the past during their time as Professor Xavier’s students to the present day Marvel universe. The future, obviously, isn’t what they hoped it’d be. The book launches in November, with the first six issues running on a bi-weekly schedule. Artist David Marquez of Ultimate Spider-Man fame fills in for main artist Stuart Immonen.
Next up, Rick Remender discussed his Uncanny Avengers plans. The premise is a team composed of both Avengers and X-Men members after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. The first arc involves the newly resurrected Red Skull, whom has obtained Professor Charles Xavier’s brain. This story will build across other X-titles, and will involve the latest Age of Apocalypse story in Uncanny X-Force, along with the character Kang.
A new title, Cable and X-Force, features Forge, Domino, Colossus, Doctor Nemeses, and Cable himself going on one final mission before he can retire from superheroing. This snowballs into several other problems that forces them to come to head to head with the Uncanny Avengers themselves!
Speaking of X-Force, the current Uncanny X-Force will come to an end. The Uncanny X-Force‘s creative team, Sam Humphries and Ron Garney, promised to bring the badassery expected from any X-Force book with a lineup consisting of leader Psylocke, Storm, Puck, a female Fantomex, and Spiral going against Bishop. Artwork revealed Storm rocking her mohawk. Humphries and Garney also addressed why Storm would be a member of such a vicious team by stating that it was purposely done to invoke arguments and morality clashes, which is always a problem within an X-Force team.
X-Men Legacy was the next topic. Writer Si Spurrier said he’s tackling the books main character, Legion, and what the character will do now that his father is deceased. “He feels lost,” said Spurrier. “Not knowing what to do with himself, being one of the most powerful mutants in the world, but mentally broken and sort of the black sheep of the X-Men, the story will progressively get weirder and weirder.”
Editor Jeanine Schaefer talked Frank Cho’s Savage Wolverine, and how Wolvie will battle the Savage Land’s beasts. There will be notable guest stars, and an event will unfold that will change the Marvel Universe.
Our favorite Merc with a Mouth is off to kill the previous presidents of the United States! Yes, you read that correctly. S.H.I.E.L.D. hires Deadpool to go off and kill the arisen zombie presidents in classic Deadpool fashion. Arune Singh chimed in by saying, “People ask if Disney has changed us. Disney would NEVER let us do this, so of course they haven’t changed us!”
Peter David opened this segment and before he spoke about X-Factor, he took a jab at DC Comics saying that the seemingly lackluster applause he got was okay for DC, but not for Marvel. The crowd then burst with enthusiasm as Peter excellently segued back into X-Factor.
Peter talked issue #245 and how major ramifications will occur that will cause readers to literally exclaim “WHAT!?” when they get to the page in question. He also said there will be an issue solely featuring Pip although there “has been no demand on an issue only featuring Pip.” Then, in #250, David will launch the “Hell on Earth War” story line that the writer has built up for fifteen years. In the story, all the Hell Lords are waiting for the seven billionth human to be born, so they can fight to become the sole Hell Lord in the Marvel Universe. This six issue arc will bring to culmination a few story lines he’s been writing, while at the same time making these stories accessible to new readers. David stated that by the end, almost the entire Marvel universe will be gunning for X-Factor.
Next, Astonishing X-Men. Marjorie Liu discussed a new artist joining the book, Gabriel Hernandez Walta. His run starts with Warbird’s “secret chapter.” It’ll be a bit Indiana Jones-esqe in that there will be artifact hunting and visiting Egypt.
Daniel Ketchum chatted Gambit and doing a fun take on the character where he’s getting out of trouble as well as getting into it: romancing ladies, lots of punching, and lots of heart-throb shirtlessness.
Finally, Schaefer spoke X-Treme X-Men and Dazzler’s role as team leader of alternate reality X-Men squad featuring Kid Nightcrawler, Governor James Howlett, Hercules, and an alternate reality X-Force team.
If you’re a person who isn’t into many X-books, but desperately wants a jump-in point, this panel allowed attendees the opportunity to delve into the mutant mythos. During the Q&A, a fan asked about whether the new renumbering will stick. Editor Nick Lowe responded by saying, “When we were relaunching after Schism, we didn’t really focus on this, it was a bit unforeseen. I’d like to promise you we won’t be renumbering anything. Our plan is to build books that have staying power. But if some of these amazing writers here pitch an event that changes things, that demand renumbering, we’ll do it.”
Peter David chimed in and said that he would get rid of numbering entirely by using months and years. I couldn’t agree more.
So if you’re looking for a nice point in time to jump on the X-Men wagon, I recommend picking up Uncanny Avengers now and waiting for the rest of these intriguing books as the weeks progress.