Plus an exclusive first look at the cover of 'X-Men: PRIME'
The X-Men have had a hard couple of years in the comics, having had to continuously fight for mutantkind’s survival.
However all of that’s going to change come spring, when, following the conclusion of its big event series Inhumans Vs. X-Men, Marvel will be launching a whole slew of new titles under the banner of ResurrXion. Instead, the focus will be on what the X-Men are going to do with future they’d spent all this time fighting for.
“ResurrXion is all about embracing the [X-Men’s] original dream of coexisting with humans and fighting together to make a better world. All the books in some way, shape, or form, embrace that idea,” explains Daniel Ketchum, one of the editors overseeing the entire X-Men line up. “We’re going to get back to flights, and tights, and capes, and all the classic X-Men tropes. We very much want to harken back to that era where it’s the most classic iteration of the X-Men.”
One way in which the launch will do this is by leaning into the nostalgia of older series, with titles like X-Men Gold, X-Men Blue, and Generation X.
The other is by featuring new costumes. For Blue, artist Jamie McKelvie is in charge of the designs. For Gold, series artist Ardian Syaf will take the helm. And to welcome the new change, EW has an exclusive first look below at Syaf’s rough sketches as he worked out the final looks of each character’s costume.
“[Syaf] designed all of the costumes to specifically harken back to that classic golden age flavor,” says Ketchum. “They should in some way, feel familiar.
With Marvel launching so many series, EW asked Ketchum and X-Men line editor Mark Paniccia to break down what readers can expect from the rest of the series, as well as X-Men: Prime, a special standalone comic that’s meant to serve as a primer for the X-Men universe going forward. You can look at the exclusive cover reveal below.
Ketchum says that this will be a perfect jumping in point for fans looking to get into the X-Men when ResurreXion starts since the single, standalone issue is meant to serve as a primer. With that in mind, Ketchum and Paniccia called on most of the writers who’ll be helming one of the new X-Men series to contribute. “It’s a book that represents the X-Men line going forward, as everyone plants their seeds,” explains Ketchum, of the comic, which will pickup directly after Inhumans Vs. X-Men ends. “We’re just at the tail end of the war. They’re literally picking up the pieces.”
Ken Lashley will be the artist drawing a bulk of the art for the issue. “He’s currently involved in the X-Men, and will be involved moving forward as well, so he was the right guy to pivot us from Inhumans Vs. X-Men to ResurrXion,” says Ketchum.
Writer: Marc Guggenheim Artist: Ardian Syaf
Fan favorite and long time X-Man Kitty Pryde will finally be leading her own team of X-Men, consisting of Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan and Rachel Grey. With the X-Men line focusing on more hopeful storylines—and tapping into some of the nostalgia of older titles—Ketchum says it makes sense to see Kitty in a leadership position. “She really was the Xavier student,” says Ketchum. “So in a lot of ways, the dream has come full circle. Kitty is now the person picking up the mantle and leading the team forward in the name of Xavier’s dream.”
Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Jorge Molina
With their mentor Charles Xavier gone, the original five X-Men—Jean Grey, Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel—will not only be dealing with being stranded in the present day, but they’ll also be aligning themselves with Magneto, one of their greatest former foes. A large part of this has to do with humankind not considering mutants to be as much of a threat anymore. “Magneto sees that as an opportunity he wants to seize,” explains Paniccia of the unexpected partnership. “He makes a deal with them to take down anyone who’s going to pose a threat and disrupt the chance to have a peaceful, if not, neutral relationship with humanity.”
And this is just one of the big changes in the series. Another one is that Jean Grey will lead the team instead of Scott. “[Writer Cullen Bunn] and I just really felt that this is the perfect place for us to see her rise to the occasion and take control of the team. There’s no reason she couldn’t lead the team.” What’s more, Paniccia says that there will be new members joining the team, with the first one being hinted at in the series’ first issue. “As far as Jean goes, she’s the only woman on the team right now. This is a reflection of the fact that these are the original five. But the membership’s not going to stay at five.”
Writer: Dennis Hopeless Artist: Victor Ibanez
Not only will Jean Grey be leading a team of X-Men this spring, but she’ll also be helming her first ever solo series, which sees her taking her future into her own hands in an even more direct way. “Jean’ll get a premonition that the future she feared is actually a lot closer than she thought. The Phoenix is a very real threat,” says Ketchum of the premise for the series. “She realizes she is not where she needs to be to fight that thing.”
Ketchum says that writer Dennis Hopeless’ pitch for the series was that in between her adventures with the team Jean Grey will also be traveling the Marvel Universe in preparation for this encounter. “She’s going to study with Doctor Strange and maybe have an adventure alongside Ghost Rider,” says Ketchum. “Anyone who knows something about other forces or being possessed, or speaks to the mission she’s undergoing she’s going to have an adventure with.”
Writer: Sina Grace Artist: Alessandro Vitti
“The book is primarily focused on older Iceman, because it’s really his journey, informed by the younger Iceman’s journey,” explains Ketchum of the aim of Bobby Drake’s first solo series. “Younger Iceman is a hero who knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be as a hero. He’s completely well adjusted in many ways that adult Bobby is not.” It’s recognizing this that inspires the older (and now, openly gay) X-Man to reconsider his legacy beyond being known as “The X-Man who tells jokes” while also fully exploring his Omega-level powers. Ketchum says that the series will see the character “focus on him getting his act together both in his superhero life and also as a human being.”
Writer: James Robinson Artist: Carlos Pacheco
The third and final character getting his own solo book as part of ResurrXion is none other than Cable. “With Xavier, Scott Summers, and Logan fallen, Cable is now the patriarchal figure of the X-Men line,” explains Paniccia. “The big man gets the big solo series.” The series—which Paniccia says is one of the darker of the ResurrXion line up—will see the X-Man traveling back and forth through different time periods in order to fix time itself. “It’s one of the best things about Cable in one book,” says Ketchum. “Cable jumping through time, and kicking ass, with preposterously huge guns and even bigger shoulder pads.”
Writer: Christina Strain Artist: Amilcar Pinna
“Not all mutants are created equal,” says Ketchum of series writer Christina Strain’s pitch for the series. “When you look at the line of X-Men, not every mutant is destined to be a world-saving X-Man. Some are just kids with a bunch of extra eyeballs.” And it’s exactly these young mutants that the series will focus on—a group of “lovable losers” led by none other than Jubilee, and includes Nature Girl, Eye Boy, Bling, and Quentin Quire just to name a few.
“You’re going to see these kids go through all the growing pains of finding their way, finding out who you love, trust, or don’t,” says Ketchm of what you can expect from the series “[They’ll be] learning those hard lessons and fighting for their lives all along.” Ketchum adds that part of the fun of the book is watching these inexperienced teens encounter villains they’re not really equipped to go up against. “What does a girl who talks to squirrels do against a sentinel?”
And just like Blue and Gold, the series will pay homage to the series from which its name comes—and not just be continuing to be a book about Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Teases Ketchum, “One of the villains is actually from the original series because we wanted to make sure we paid homage to the predecessors.”
Writer: Greg Pak Artist: Greg Land
“Weapon X is back as a reaction to [mutants’] resilience to extinction. It’s like bringing out a can of industrial Raid,” explains Paniccia of the titular program. “They’re going to wipe [mutants] out for good this time.” And as part of the program’s bid to extinguish mutants forever, they’ll primarily be going after the mutants they know are going to “fight dirty,” including Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Warpath, Lady Deathstrike, and Domino.
And with the series’ core group being a mix of heroes and villains, the team’s dynamic is going to definitely be interesting. “Logan and Sabretooth have no love for each other, so it speaks volumes for how effective and dangerous the Weapon X program is for him to end up seeking out Sabretooth and forming an alliance with him,” says Paniccia. “It’s going to be a dark book. It’s arguably our darkest book out of the line, and is going to have some really shocking moments in it.”
X-Men: PRIME will be released Spring 2017. You can look at the rest of the series’ covers below.