The X-Men Panel: Nightcrawler Returns, Longshot Goes Solo & More [SDCC 2013]
Marvel's weekend of announcements at San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up with the X-Men panel, which featured news of another X-Men team book and the resurrection of fan favorite character; an unlikely new solo mini-series from the creator of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja; and the addition of artist Terry Dodson to Brian Wood's upcoming X-Men storyline.
Marvel director of communications Arune Singh moderated a huge panel that included Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men), Chris Hastings (Dr. McNinja), Brian Posehn (Deadpool), Gerry Duggan (Deadpool), Paul Cornell (Wolverine), Peter David (X-Factor), Sam Humphries (Uncanny X-Force), senior editor Nick Lowe, Wolverine and X-Men editor Jeanine Schaefer (editor, Wolverine, X-Men), Frank Cho (Savage Wolverine), Terry Dodson (X-Men)
The biggest announcement is the launch of another (sixth!) X-Men team book, this one from Wolverine & The X-Men writer Jason Aaron and former Red Hulk artist Ed McGuinness. Amazing X-Men features an initial roster of Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Iceman and Northstar, plus new member Firestar. The first storyline sends the heroes off into the afterlife to bring back their late lamented team-mate Nightcrawler.
We spoke to Jason about what sets this X-Men book apart, and we'll have that interview on the site tomorrow. Amazing X-Men launches in November.
Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe is a new mini-series from Hastings and artist Jocopo Camagni (Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man). It sees the luckiest X-Man going it alone against the world when a killer starts targeting lucky people. The series debuts in November.
Finally for formal announcements: Terry Dodson joins Brian Wood on X-Men, starting with issue #7 for a story that pits the all-female crew against a restored Lady Deathstrike and a new Sisterhood of villains. X-Men #7 ships in November.
The X-Men panel also touched on the already announced Battle of the Atom crossover, which runs though a number of titles in September and October and sees X-Men from the future come to the present to try to send the X-Men from the past back home. Bendis described it as a "legacy-driven" event that would change a lot of things for the X-Men. "There is a lot of crazy stuff that happens," added senior editor Nick Lowe.
Battle of the Atom is intended to mark the X-Men's 50th anniversary, and for that reason the X-Men books will not tie in to the Infinity crossover. However, the panelists promised that the fallout of Infinity will impact the X-Men.
Paul Cornell's current Wolverine story, in which the character loses his healing factor, is going to be reflected across the Marvel line in every book that Wolverine appears in (which is most of them, let's be honest). Cornell said that a lot of old enemies will see Wolverine's vulnerability as an opportunity to try to kill him.
The panel's most touching moment came when X-Factor writer Peter David talked about his stroke at the end of last year. He noted that writers don't always have a sense of what people think of them -- "writing is such a lonely profession" -- so he was grateful to see such an outpouring of support from fans. "There were people praying for me all over the world ... including a temple of Buddhist monks. The head of a temple of Buddhist monks was a fan of my work on Hulk."
David's X-Factor is coming to an end, but Nick Lowe restated that David would have another book from Marvel soon. During the Q&A, a reader asked if the characters from X-Factor would appear in other titles. Lowe said, "You definitely will," and noted that other writers were keen to write those characters.
Lowe also indicated that X-23, currently in Avengers Arena, would come back to the X-Men world soon, and Bendis gestured wildly in a way that suggested she would be on one of his books. Another reader asked about other female characters like Blink, Hepziibah, Ariel and Lifeguard, and Bendis said some of those characters would show up in something called "The Utopians," but he wasn't able to say any more.
You can read our interviews with Christopher Hastings, and Terry Dodson and Brian Wood, here on ComicsAlliance tomorrow.