It’s truly the dawn of a new age for Marvel’s X-Men comics. Fans already knew big things were in the works when celebrated writer Jonathan Hickman was brought on to take over the X-line. Ahead of the launch of his House of X and Powers of X miniseries later this month, Marvel unveiled the new lineup of X-Men comics that will spin out of them at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
“House of X and Powers of X lay the groundwork for a whole new world of X-Men stories for years to come, and the Dawn of X books are the promise of that new world come to life,” X-Men senior editor Jordan D. White said in a statement. “They are the start of the new era that will change how we think of the X-Men and the kinds of stories we tell with them. It all begins here.”
There are six new books in total: X-Men, Excalibur, Marauders, New Mutants, Fallen Angels, and X-Force. Longtime X-Men fans will surely recognize some of those names. Each series will feature a different lineup of characters and a different combination of creative talents. The flagship X-Men title will be written by Hickman and illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu, and will follow Cyclops and a handpicked team of heroes as they find themselves in “a whole new world of possibility” in the wake of House of X and Powers of X.
Excalibur will be written by Tini Howard and illustrated by Marcus To, with a cover by Mahmud Asrar. As with the classic Excalibur team, this one will be led by Captain Britain — though this time the mantle appears to be held by Betsy Braddock, formerly known as Psylocke, the sister of Brian Braddock (the classic Captain). It will also feature Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, Rictor, and most surprisingly of all, the typically villainous Apocalypse.
Marauders will be written by Gerry Duggan and illustrated by Matteo Lolli, with a cover by Russell Dauterman. This team appears to be acting as pirates, sailing the seas to protect mutantkind. The crew will be led by Captain Kate Pryde and funded by Emma Frost and the Hellfire Trading Company, and will also feature Storm, Pyro, Bishop, and Iceman. Most of those character possess elemental or weather-based powers, which could be pretty helpful on the open seas.
The first arc of New Mutants will be written by Hickman, with Ed Brisson taking over afterward, and illustrated by Rod Reis. It will feature the classic New Mutants team (Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Karma, Magik, and Cypher) joining up with new members Chamber and Mondo to embark on a mission in space alongside the Starjammers.
As mentioned earlier, it appears that Betsy Braddock has moved on from Psylocke to become the new Captain Britain. But Psylocke is still around, headlining the new Fallen Angels series written by Bryan Edward Hill and illustrated by Szymon Kudranski, with a cover by Ashley Witter. The mantle of Psylocke now belongs exclusively to Kwannon, the assassin who was fused with Betsy for decades (X-Men comics! You gotta love ’em!). Here, she’s teaming up with Cable and X-23 to figure out their place in the new mutant world.
The sixth book is X-Force, written by Benjamin Percy and illustrated by Joshua Cassara, with a cover by Dustin Weaver. As usual, X-Force is the most violent and covert mutant team. This one is explicitly billing itself as “the CIA of the mutant world — one half intelligence branch, one half special ops.” Beast, Jean Grey, and Sage constitute the intelligence branch (could you find any smarter characters?), while Wolverine, Kid Omega, and Domino will handle special ops (could you find any more badass characters?).
The first three books will launch in October, with the other three following in November. Check out the covers below.