[preview art follows the reportMarvel's X-Men panel Friday at NYCC focused on announcements about a variety of new comic series coming out this year.
Marvel Marketing and Public Relations Manager Jim McCann oversaw the panel. Also on the X-Men panel were Axel Alonso, Mike Carey, C.B. Cebulski, John Barber, Nick Lowe, Duane Swiercynski, Marjorie Liu, Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, Daniel Way and Chris Claremont.
The announcements in the panel were:
- This summer's Old Man Logan Giant-Sized Special, which concludes the Old Man Logan story by writer Mark Miller and artist Steve McNiven. "It's an extra long conclusion," Barber said. Issue #73 and #74 will be half-written by Jason Aaron and Daniel Way.
- Young X-Men will end with Issue #12.
- New Mutants is a new ongoing series by writer Zeb Wells that begins in May and features the classic characters from New Mutants, including Cannonball, Magma, Sunspot, Illyana, Xi'an, and Dani Moonstar. The artist will be Diogenes Neves, most recently seen on X-Men Worlds Apart.
- "Dark Reign: Dark Wolverine", the story in the Wolverine ongoing series that will begin with Issue #75 in June, causing the title to be renamed to reflect its tie-in to the 'Dark Reign' story. The comic will explore how Daken took up his father's mantle, and whether Logan will stand by and let his son run rampant, using his name. The story will be written by Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu. "This is Daken with the keys to the kingdom. This is his first time out in the Marvel Universe as a character," Way said. "But the catch is that he has to wear Wolverine's costume."
"And it drives him insane," Liu said.
- X-Force: Sex & Violence, a painted three-issue mini-series starring Wolverine and Domino that comes out in late 2009 from writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, and artist Gabriele Dell'Otto. It is a team-up between Wolverine and Domino, after she shows up at the X-Compound, badly beaten and looking for help. She tells Wolverine that she's being hunted by the Assassin's Guild, and he vows to help her. However, she isn't telling Wolverine everything -- so look for a twist, said editor Barber.
- X-Men Forever is a bi-weekly series that brings writer Chris Claremont back to the X-Men with artist Tom Grummett. The story will pick up where X-Men #3 left off, with Magneto dead and the X-Men greatly changed. It begins in May 2009 with X-Men Forever Alpha, collecting X-Men Vol. 2 Issues #1-3, plus a new eight-page story. Then X-Men Forever will begin with a new #1 issue in June.
"We are about to embark on a world where nothing that you think you know implies any longer," Claremont said. "The X-Men's place in the world is about to be radically changed." The writer said he's taking the series in a new direction with new heroes and new adversaries. "The sky, as they say, is the limit," he said. "I dare you to guess what's going to happen next, because none of you will have a clue."
- GeNext United, which is the return to the future world of the children of the Children of the Atom. The five-issue mini-series will begin in May by writer Chris Claremont. It picks up where the last one left off, and we're going to India and introducing new heroes and villains, Claremont said, plus a new villain.
Cebulski talked a little about X-Infernus, where the X-Men have descended into the depths of hell. "Issue #3 comes out next week," he said. "And not to give too much away, but as I've been saying, Magic with a 'c" and Magik with a 'k' will both be making an appearance by the end of the series."
Mike Carey talked about X-Men Legacy, saying that upcoming issues will see "profound changes" to Professor X, to Rogue and to the book.
Barber talked about the previously announced Messiah War crossover that will take place between X-Force and Cable. It kicks off in March with a one-shot by Kyle and Yost.
"We can't really get into it because there are some big surprises," Alonso said. "If you read "Messiah Complex", this is the second chapter of that."
Alonso also said the little mutant who was born in "Messiah Complex" will be very important to the future of the X-Men Universe.
Fraction talked about the story in Uncanny X-Men where he is exploring the future of Emma and Scott. The upcoming arc will have a "resurrection," Fraction said -- "an old favorite" -- with art by Greg Land.
Jason Aaron joked that Wolverine: Weapon X will be a departure from previous Wolverine stories because it will have lots of stabbing. But he said what happens in the first story is that files from the old Weapon X program fall into the hands of a contractor who sets out to create perfect killing machines. And whenever that happens, Wolverine comes and reminds them that the perfect killing machine has already been made. He also said the comic will have a possible love interest for Wolverine.
Way talked about the upcoming crossover between Deadpool and Thunderbolts. The four-part crossover will be called "Magnum-Opus". After that, there will be a Deadpool vs. Bullseye arc, Way said. It will be three issues and will wrap up the Deadpool vs. Norman Osborn story arc. After that, the comic will transition into the next big arc.
The panel was opened up to questions:
- Will Nightcrawler get less whiney? Lowe: Big things are coming up for Nightcrawler after he quits the X-Men.
- Will Eternals show up in any other X-books? Lowe: It can't be very far off. "Something's going to happen at some point."
- Any chance of the X-Men going weekly? Fraction: "It's more than monthly on occasion." McCann: "You've got great X-Men products coming out every week that are starting to weave their story together."
- Is the Scarlet Witch going to show up in any X-Men books? McCann: Ask Dan Slott.
- What's up with the cover that features Deadpool and Cable? Swierczynski: Deadpool may be around in Cable's future somewhere.
- Where will Nocturne turn up? McCann: Exiles may feature her.
- Is Layla Miller showing up anytime soon? Barber: Peter would kill us if we answered that question. "You're not going to believe what happens in these next few issues of X-Factor," Barber said.
At this point, Peter David showed up. "Layla will, I would have to think, eventually come back," David said. "Look, Layla disappeared in connection with a really, really, really big crossover/marketing event. So when she comes back, as I'm sure she eventually will, you know that it's going to be another major marketing event. So as soon you see 'It starts here: The return of Layla Miller,' that's your clue that it's going to happen.
- Any plans on making Storm a mother? Alonso: It's not out of the realm of possibilities.
- Any plans to bring B- and C-list characters into books? McCann: There have been spotlights on some of them, for example in Manifest Destiny. Fraction: He throws them in whenever possible.
- What's up with Psylocke? Claremont: She's in Sword of the Braddocks reuniting her with Captain Britain.
- When is Kitty Pryde coming back? Claremont: She never left X-Men Forever. David: And she's in X-Men First Class.
- Will Apocalypse return soon? Lowe: We want to make sure when we bring him back, it's in the right way. We want to make sure when we do bring him back, it's big and important.
- Will there be a return to "Old Man Logan"? Barber: Mark Millar has a certain notion of what he wants to do with that. There might be something more down the road.
- What effect will it have on Madrox's powers what happened with his baby in the last issue? David: None.
- A fan said that with prices of comics going up to $3.99, he's becoming disappointed with the X-Men books because of all the changes. McCann: None of the X-Men books cost $3.99.
Lowe: The changes that Claremont made to the X-Men all the time was what made him love the X-Men. That makes it exciting.
Claremont: If you want to focus down to one title, X-Men Forever offers a specific view of the X-Men from a specific point of view. It's totally different from what the other books are doing.
A fan said: "Go blog about it!" Alonso then talked about how he hopes the fan will give the books a chance, because while it's a reader's prerogative not to like things, this is an important time for the future of the X-Men.
- How big of a year will Cyclops have? Alonso: They're on a big journey and he's making a lot of big decisions. As Matt quipped earlier, it's going to be a complicated year for Cyclops That mutant girl has green eyes and red hair. Draw your own conclusions. Messiah Complex was the first chapter of a trilogy of events, with Messiah War being the second.
- So Scott's keeping X-Force from Emma, and Emma's keeping the Dark Illuminati from him? Fraction: Yes. It's going to get very complicated.
- In the last issue of X-Force, who is that? Barber: There are people there who are important, but he can't confirm who was there.
- How does Wanda Maximoff's return affect the X-Men? McCann: Ask Dan Slott how her return will affect the entire Marvel Universe.
- Will we see any interaction between the X-Men and the Avengers in the coming year? Fraction (jokingly): Wolverine appears in the Avengers monthly.
David (again, jokingly): We're doing a major story where at the end of it Wanda whispers "No more crossovers."
McCann: Maybe, but maybe not.
- Are there plans for different publishing formats like OGNs? McCann: No. There are no real plans.
Cebulski: Claremont is doing an original X-Men graphic novel for France.
- Any more Guthries? Lowe: In time, probably, but not the next six months.
- Any Hellion? Barber: The X-Force Prelude to War.
- Is Phoenix going to return for the white hot room? McCann: If that room gets too white or too hot, possibly.
- Any more Quicksilver in X-Factor? McCann: He's in Mighty Avengers.
- Lockheed? Lowe: Yes, in an upcoming convention. We're not ready to talk about it.
- Are Warlock and Cypher in New Mutants? Lowe: Yes.
- Will we find out Hopes powers anytime soon? McCann (to laughs): She has red hair and green eyes.
- When is Iceman going to show up again? Fraction: I'm planning to play with him a little bit in Uncanny.More New York Comic Con 2009 Coverage: NYCC '09 Video Page