By Zack Quaintance
Uncanny X-Men will return this fall, Marvel announced Sunday at it SDCC X-Men panel, but no word on the creative team yet.
“It was a title we wanted to come back to,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski said at the panel. “We just had to find the right creative team to do that. Unfortunately, we are not going to announce that team today, but Uncanny X-Men will be coming back this fall.”
Also coming this fall will be X-Men Black, a five-part weekly series to begin the first Wednesday in October. Each issue will focus on a different villain, with back-up stores about Apocalypse. The creative teams and villains are as follows: Magneto by Chris Claremont and Dalibor Talajic, Emma Frost by Leah Williams and Chris Bachalo, Juggernaut by Robbie Thompson and Shawn Crystal, Mojo by Scott Aukerman (a.k.a. Hot Saucerman) and Nick Bradshaw, and Mystique by Seanan McGuire and Marco Failla. The writing team of Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler with artist Geraldo Borges will do Apocalypse backup stories each issue, while J. Scott Campbell will do variants.
That was the big news. The rest of the panel proper was heavy on story tidbits for a packed room of rabid X-Fans, doled out by panelists Sina Grace (Iceman), Matthew Rosenburg (Astonishing X-Men), Tom Taylor (X-Men Red), and X-Newcomer (plus also bestselling sci-fi prose author) Seanan McGuire (X-Men Gold Annual #2). Cebulski moderated.
There was also a video clip of Charles Soule talking about the Return of Wolverine, which is due out in September and already notable for making Wolverine’s claws hot. And not like, oh that’s hot, but like hot plate hot. Soule and Cebulski both noted the idea for that power came from how Wolverine’s claws used to heat up in an old X-Men Capcom video game, and this power will likely only activate when Wolverine goes berserk, as the hirsute fellow has been known to do when some rapscallion runs afoul of him.
Also seemingly there in spirit was writer Ed Brisson. Rosenberg spoke on his behalf, talking about his forthcoming comic Extermination, noting that what he was saying would probably make Brisson mad, and then also noting (via tone and body language) that making Brisson mad was making himself glad.
Rosenberg described Extermination’s place in the X-Universe thusly, “If you like anything in the X-Men universe, this is the must-read book…it’s the must-read book that’s going to change everything.”
As for his own continuing work on Astonishing X-Men, which he said he was hesitant to take over, because Soule’s preceding run had felt like such a complete story.
“Then I looked at the landscape of X-Men and tried to figure out what was missing,” Rosenberg said. “A couple things were missing. Number one was Havok. He’s in books but he’s not redeemed yet. Havok has had a bad couple of years, and Havok is one of my all-time favorite characters.”
He wanted to also redeem some other X-Forgottens who haven’t had a lot of spotlight of late, bringing them back into the X-Fold, characters like Dazzler who has been on tour and Banshee who was not quite dead but he did have a demon seed inside him because comics.
Grace, meanwhile, provided new info on his revived Iceman series, telling the crowd he plans to bring Emma Frost into the story and that Mr. Sinister would be the book’s big bad.
“Iceman is an Omega level mutant,” Grace said. “To be that powerful you have to have a pretty epic bad guy to fight.”
Tom Taylor talked about both his own current X-Book, X-Men Red, and X-23 by Mariko Tamaki and Juan Cabal, which is a successor to Taylor’s recently-concluded three years or so run on All New Wolverine. He noted that after doing that work, he felt ownership over the characters (as so many departing superhero scribes say they do) and was hesitant to read the new series…but guess what folks? He loves it! (The crowd was pretty stoked, too.)
As for X-Men Red, Taylor’s upcoming plans include plunging the team under the sea with Namor, where they will live in a place called X-Atlantis and use technology called sea-rebro. Groan.
Taylor said, “It’s not that clever, but it was Honey Badger’s idea. Even though Jean Grey is an Omega level telepath, Honey Badger has decided to get this name into her head and she’s just saying it to her constantly.”
Finally, McGuire talked about what it was like to be an X-Newbie.
“My life’s goal since I was 7 was to write the X-Men,” she said. “My entire career—I’m an internationally best-selling author—has all been just so I could write the X-Men.”
She’ll get a chance to do so with the upcoming X-Men Gold Annual #2, which will tell a story about teenage Kitty Pryde returning going to summer camp in a time period “after the events of Days of Future Past but before the Brood Saga.”
Quick mention was also made of Kelly Thompson’s forthcoming Mr. and Mrs. X, which details Gambit and Rogue’s honeymoon after their surprise wedding in X-Men Gold (which Cebulski noted would be continuing with a new arc about Storm).
Speaking of that surprise wedding, during the question and answer session with fans that ended the panel, a reader asked if Marvel had initially planned to have Kitty Pryde and Colossus marry without a hitch. At a Marvel creative retreat, however, someone suggested this idea (Cebulski thinks it was maybe Donny Cates, which, of course it was) and the Rogue and Gambit story evolved from there.
The highlight, though, for presumably every single person in attendance was when Cebulski asked which depowered mutants should be brought back and some brave hero in the crowd took a stand and immediately shouted, “Maggott!”
“Maggott?!” Cebulski responded, understandably repulsed since what we’re talking about here is a hero whose digestive system is made of sentient slugs.
All told, this was yet another year lacking in Maggott-related announcements at SDCC.