SDCC '13: X-MEN Panel - NIGHTCRAWLER Returns in New AMAZING X-MEN Series

Credit: Marvel Comics

Official panel description:

"Get the lowdown on X-Men: Battle of the Atom, the massive X-Men event that will forever change the landscape of the X-Universe! What happens when the original five X-Men come face-to-face with the future X-Men? Heads will roll in this fateful time-space showdown! Plus, find out the latest on all the other corners of mutant-dom! Editor Jeanine Schaefer, senior editor Nick Lowe, and writers Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men), Paul Cornell (Wolverine), Gerry Duggan (Deadpool), Sam Humphries (Uncanny X-Force), and Brian Posehn (Deadpool) bring you your definitive one-stop shop for all things X-Men! Sunday July 21, 2013 12:30pm - 1:30pm"

On the panel along with Bendis, Posehn, Duggan, Cornell, Humphries, Schaefer and Lowe — X-Factor writer Peter David and The Adventures of Dr. McNinja's Christopher Hastings.

Credit: Marvel Comics

First slide up on the screen concerns the "Battle of the Atom" story. "It's our 50th anniversary, so we gave a lot of thought to creating an event that was legacy-driven," Bendis says. "Jason Aaron came up with this funky idea for the X-Men of the future to tell the X-Men of the past to get the hell out of here. What is awaiting all of the X-Men of the future is a big part of this story, and there are a lot of twists and turns and surprises. I do promise that a lot of things are going to change for all of the books at the end of the storyline. It is absolutely, 100 percent a story that matters." Bendis says it's both a payoff for existing readers and a jumping-on point.

"Thank you so much, you have no idea how much it means to me to be on these books, and get the response I've gotten," Bendis, on his first X-Men panel, tells the crowd.

Credit: Marvel Comics

"It's a really special, special team," Lowe says of the "Battle of the Atom" writing crew of Bendis, Aaron and Brian Wood. Lowe says he wishes he could say more, but what's to keep a lot of it secret.

Uncanny Avengers is up next, with Marvel director of communications Arune Singh informing the crowd of Saturday's announcement that Steve McNiven is joining the series.

Cornell on the Wolverine "Killable" arc: "If Wolverine is vulnerable, if Wolverine is killable, than everyone is going to have a go." Following six issues of assault from Wolverine villains illustrated by Alan Davis, the story wil lead to a "major, major change" at the end. Singh: "Remember, we're the ones who killed Peter Parker. We killed him twice."

"It's a Wolverine you've never, ever seen before," Schaefer says. "It's not just in Wolverine that he won't have his healing factor, it's all the Marvel books that he's in," Lowe adds.

Humphries talks Uncanny X-Force, which will feature art from Ramón Pérez coming up, plus the first full story illustrated by Adrian Alphona in years.

Posehn on what's next for Deadpool: "We kill Wolverine. Spoiler." Duggan says the upcoming Declan Shalvey-illustrated "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" story will take a "dark turn," and go back to a place that's "Weapon Plus-adjacent." Posehn says the upcoming issue #20 is quickly becoming one of his favorites. "I think the best of our Deadpool is still to come," Duggan adds.

Credit: Marvel Comics

The final issue of X-Factor is coming in September, issue #262. David says the cover has nothing to do with anything that happens inside the issue.

"It's been tremendously exciting working on X-Factor for close to 10 years now," David says. "Fans have been tremendously supportive. The things I hear most from the fans is that they're, quote, impressed that I can take these 'B and C-level characters,' and make people care about them. I guess for me that's what it's all about." David says he thinks the strength of the book has been in its characterization. "The nice thing is that Jamie Madrox thinks he's a detective, and he's really not. But he keeps acting like he is, because it's a really cool gig. And everybody else keeps going on with it." David thanks the fans for their "unyielding" support.

Lowe calls X-Factor "one of the steadiest books in all of comics," with a devoted fanbase. Singh says that David has another book coming at Marvel, so fans will get their "monthly Peter David book."

Bendis praises the work David and Kirk have done together on the series, saying he thinks they haven't gotten enough credit for it. David says that Kirk's claim to fame is his "rock-solid storytelling," which doesn't always get a lot of attention from fans, but to a writer, "it means absolutely everything."

Credit: Marvel Comics

Next up: The adjectiveless X-Men, which Terry Dodson is joining in November with issue #7. Dodson has joined the panel, and says it's a "real pleasure" to work with Brian Wood.

Schaefer says that the origins of the all-female team started with Wood's run on the previous volume of X-Men, which was all female characters other than Colossus. "It wasn't weird, it wasn't anything we did deliberately," she says, and it worked, so the current X-Men was the next natural step.

Singh asks Hastings if there's an X-Men character that he's really passionate about. Hastings answers Longshot, and discusses Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe. "He'll have to get very, very lucky," Hastings says.

Much more about that is in our interview with Hastings and artist Jacopo Camagni, over here.

Singh asks the fans who wants Nightcrawler back: Most of them do! That leads Lowe to announce Amazing X-Men, starting in November 2013, from the team of writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness.

Credit: Marvel Comics

"Nightcrawler is dead, but that's not the end of his story," Lowe says. The story will involve Azazel, Nightcrawler's father, as a "demonic pirate." "It is so good, I can't wait for you guys to read it." McGuinness is a major Nightcrawler fan and particularly enthused by this project, Lowe says.

The team will consist of Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Iceman, Northstar and Firestar — the latter who will start becoming a major X-Men character, Lowe says.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Audience Q&A time. Will the X-Factor characters appear in other Marvel books? "You'll see them pop up in different places in very important roles," Lowe says, adding that now fans know exactly where Longshot will be.

Fan takes the mic to say that he's happy to see David, who suffered a stroke in late December, at the panel and healthy. That gets applause.

Bendis says a lot of stuff has yet to be revealed about the future X-Men of "Battle of the Atom."

Why have so few X-Men joined Cyclops? Bendis says that he killed Charles Xavier, which is a definite factor, but it's also early into the story, with much more yet to be revealed.

David talks more about his recovery: "People were praying for me all over the world, including China and a temple of Buddhist monks. I guess it's part of the human condition to wonder what it'll be like after you die, and this was kind of a sneak peek for me. All of these people were saying so much about what my work meant to them. Not to get all Sally Field, but you guys seem to like me. Writing is such a lonely profession, because you sit there in front of your computer, day after day, and these kinds of things are generally the only real means we have of interacting with fans. But it was all over the Internet, and everybody was saying really positive things. I really just want to say thank you for the massive fan outpouring of support."

Credit: Marvel Comics

Chance of new Deadpool MAX from Posehn and Duggan? Duggan says they're plenty busy at they are, but he's happy to hear the fan likes their work. "I feel like we're pushing it, anyway," Posehn says in terms of mature readers content. "There hasn't been a lot that we haven't gotten away with."

Future plans for Ultimate Comics X-Men? Bendis says the plans are a "gigantic spoiler" for the recently releasd Cataclysm, so give them a month or so.

When is Kid Gladiator coming back? "You will see him in November," Lowe says. "There's a Wolverine and the X-Men Annual that's an Infinity tie-in that will deal with Kid Gladiator. You're going to see him interacting with the Avengers in space, and mouthing off to them a lot."

Bendis reads a text from Aaron, who isn't at the convention and is currently shopping at a grocery store. Aaron wrote that he's been waiting for years to write the Amazing X-Men story — and asks if anyone knows what a shallot looks like.

Any chance of a new Cable/Deadpool team-up? "You'll see Cable in Deadpool in the not-too-distant future," Duggan says. "I don't know when that book takes place, but you'll get to see it." "They might be wearing trenchcoats, and they might have tommy guns, and be from a different time," Posehn adds.

Do the creators worry about overusing death and resurrection? Bendis says that with so many superpowers and elements that are fantastic, things like resurrection can make sense within that context.

Bendis teases an appearance from "The Utopians."

The panel ends with something non-X-Men related — a young fan asking "how dare you kill off Peter Parker?"

That's it! Thanks for reading.

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