For the second year in the row SDCC was once again held virtually with the [email protected] Marvel hosted its [email protected] X-Men panel to tease what’s coming up for the Merry Mutants. The X-Men panel Moderator Ryan Penagos, aka Agent M, was joined the current writers of various current X-Men books including Vita Ayala (Children of the Atom, New Mutants), Gerry Duggan (Marauders, X-Men), Benjamin Percy (Wolverine, X-Force), and Leah Williams (X-Men: The Trial of Magneto), as well as senior editor Jordan D. White.
Penagos kicked things off by discussing the highly publicized Hellfire Gala event. Everyone in the creative team agreed that they would love to do another Hellfire Gala next year. If you’re up to date on the current X-Men line then you know that mutants now own the planet Mars and have declared it the capitol of the solar system. “Humans weren’t doing anything with it,” joked Duggan. Other ramifications from the Hellfire Gala include Storm being made regent of the solar system, England severing ties with Krakoa, and of course the death of the Scarlet Witch which will lead into the Trial of Magneto five-issue miniseries.
Trial of Magneto writer Williams teased that the trial threatens Krakoa’s peace and relationships and will dive into the House of M family unit.
The Hellfire Gala also spawned a new X-Men team lineup and book by Duggan. The final member of the team was voted by fans and ended up being Polaris. Duggan admitted he voted for Tempo. The other panels revealed their votes:
- Pengaos- Forge
- Williams- Marrow, then voted for Tempo under a different IP address
- White- Tempo
- Percy- Maggot (despite not being on the ballot)
- Ayala- Marrow
The panelist marveled at the fan campaigning that took place online and social media for the different potential X-Men candidates.
Over in the Wolverine ongoing solo series, Percy is launching the next storyline “The Unusual Suspects” that sees Wolverine playing detective against his new arch nemesis Solem. Percy described Solem as the “Loki to Wolverine’s Thor.” Over in X-Force, Percy is bringing back Manslaughter, the Man-Thing product of Weapon Plus introduced a few years ago. Percy also teased the identity of the Chronicler will also be revealed.
When asked why the villain Mister Sinister is allowed on Krakoa despite his crimes including the Mutant Massacre, White pointed out that Sinister was the key for mutants to escape death, so he’s a necessary evil. Ayala also noted the X-Men still don’t trust him.
Ayala was inspired to include the classic villain Shadow King in New Mutants not only because he’s a past foe for the team but also he represents a potential bogeyman for kids that adults overlook.
White said that Layla Miller fans can expect the character to appear in the X-books soon.
Regarding the Inferno limited series from Jonathan Hickman, White kept things close to the vest but said it would a “turning point” for this era of X-Men.