Since Uncanny X-Men just got renumbered – oh, I’m sorry, “ended” and “restarted” – today’s X-Men panel was pretty sure to bring interesting news.
It’s been pretty clear for the last few weeks that Marvel’s big push this convention was probably going to be X-Men, which makes sense, since the line has been losing visibility for years, overtaken by the various Avengers. And now, with a successful new X-Men movie under their belt, the time must have looked right. So what’s up?
X-Men Schism, the big mutant event comic wherein Cyclops and Wolverine reaffirm that, indeed, they hate each other, and have some kind of philosophical falling out, taking their favored followers in the breakup, will be released in digital simultaneously with print, and by the end of 2011, all X-Men titles will follow. According to Axel Alonso, Cyclops vs. Wolverine is supposed to be the new Magneto vs. Professor X. (Ah, but will the tension run as high? Good luck with that.) The two core X-Men books will now become the new Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine and the X-Men. The other X-books will not be cancelled, but will be effected by Schism.
According to the panel, Marvel’s plan for the X-books this year is to make the mutants more involved with the rest of the Marvel universe. Therefore, in an interesting case of incongruity, Wolverine’s clone/daughter X-23 will go up against the Fantastic Four in a story written by Marjorie Liu. Meanwhile, there will also be a story in which the X-Men team up with the Fantastic Four. Awwwwkward.
Jean Grey will not be returning in the near future, but alternate Jean Grey from Age of Apocalypse will be a major character. Other dead-ish characters currently remaining dead-ish – this is X-Men, that’s rare! – include Cable. Meanwhile, Cyclops may or may not die or vanish, but if he does, Marvel editors assure us people will follow in his footsteps. Iceman will get a major plot this year, and so will Rictor, Shatterstar and their Liefeld-rage-inducing romance.
Kate Fitzsimons is the producer of PW Comics World’s new podcast More To Come, starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald. You can subscribe to it on iTunes here. She will be covering San Diego Comic-Con all week for The Beat – if you have a tip, twitter her at geekiferouskate.