Over the course of this week, Marvel has been teasing a new X-Men title by unveiling a few characters that comprise the roster at a time, all leading up to the big reveal today. In July, the publisher will launch a new volume of Astonishing X-Men by Charles Soule, but unfortunately Marvel's own website neglects to inform us of which artist is involved, highlighting a systemic problem in the industry of favoring writers' contributions over those of the artists.

The new Astonishing X-Men are comprised of Archangel, Bishop, Fantomex, Mystique, Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Rogue and Gambit. As the roster was being teased out over the week, it seemed like it might be a new X-Force book, with most of its team-members having at least some passing association with the black-ops X-Men team, but instead the team invokes the name of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's widescreen superheroic title of the mid-2000s.

In an interview with Marvel.com, Charles Soule spoke a little about the team's roster and goals.

“The book is designed to tell a very focused, specific story, with a few cool main villains,I’m writing it like a puzzle box, with new layers and reveals opening up every issue. So, you’ll never know exactly where it’s going to go next – but the structure is built in such a way that almost anything from the long, incredible history of the X-Men can pop up. If you think about these characters, they’ve been present or involved for virtually every major era of X history, all the big events. That’ll play a role in a big way.”

The team's roster does open up some interesting storytelling opportunities, considering the interpersonal relationships of Rogue, Mystique and Gambit as well as the love triangle of Psylocke, Archangel and Fantomex. It's great to see Bishop looking like his classic '90s iteration too, after a decade of flitting between supervillainy and obscurity.

According to Axel Alonso, Charles Soule's collaborators are "soon-to-be-revealed" but hopefully that's the case, because Marvel have to send out its July solicitations soon!


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