It all started way back in 2004, when a David Finch cover for New Avengers #1 teased a drastic new lineup for the team. Joining Captain America and Iron Man were Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and... some person with a bubble-headed helmet on. Of course, by the time the issue came out, that person was replaced with Ronin, and everyone assumed "bubble head" was just an unused design for the character who would be a central mystery for some time.
Nick Lowe, editor of Uncanny X-Men, says that's not entirely true, and swears this was "all part of the plan." Now that writer Brian Michael Bendis (and artist Frazer Irving) have brought "Bubble Head" back in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #11 as a mystery villain sending Sentinels to harangue Scott Summers and his team, it obviously brought up some questions.
Bendis himself teased the return on his tumblr page, reposting the original image and saying, "whatever happened to this guy?" We asked Lowe, who tells Newsarama, "This has been Brian's plan since he wrote Daredevil #26, actually," seemingly in jest. However, when he was asked about reusing a design from almost a decade ago, Lowe reiterated, "it was all part of Brian's master plan."
Lowe praised David Finch's original design of this mystery character, saying, "he's a great artist and I miss him!" but while he couldn't say much about why the design was re-used (or if it has any true connection to the original face um... not seen on the cover of New Avengers), Lowe was able to give us a few hints.
While Uncanny X-Men #11 is the last issue before the X-over "Battle of the Atom," you won't see "Bubble Head" there, we learned, despite his seeming future-knowledge.
"This mysterious guy is not part of "Battle of the Atom." You'll be seeing him recurring in Uncanny X-Men in your future, though!" Lowe says, meaning we might not see the charcter again until after the crossover.
Any conversation with Lowe has to be taken with a grain of salt, as he likes to joke quite a bit. While we're pretty sure he was joking that "the bottled water bit in All-New X-Men is all set up for future epic storylines," we're also pretty sure he's telling the truth that "subliminal hints have been laid down," when it comes to the identity of "Bubble Head."
We did try to trick Lowe into revealing "Bubble Head's" identity and backstory, but he thought a little too quickly for us. Unless of course, "Bubble Head" really is President Teddy Roosevelt.