ResurrXion: Marvel's Upcoming X-Men Titles
By Ethan McIntyre
The blog is back!
Unfortunately, circumstances have prevented me from being able to write for the past month or so. I’ve been much busier than usual lately, and I simply haven’t had the chance to sit down and post a new article. Luckily, this week, I managed to get ahead of things a bit.
In the time since my last entry, Marvel Comics has released some details about ResurrXion. ResurrXion refers to the upcoming re-launch of the X-Men comic book lineup. Taking place after the big Inhumans vs. X-Men crossover that recently began, this relaunch will see the re-establishment of the Xavier Institute and the resolution of the M-Pox storyline that the X-Men books have been dealing with all year.
Six new titles have been announced; I’d like to examine each one.
First up, let’s talk about Jean Grey’s first-ever solo title. This book will be written by Dennis Hopeless, with art by Victor Ibanez.
This series will focus on the young, time-shifted Jean Grey introduced in All-New X-Men in 2012. She receives a premonition that the Phoenix Force will return, and sets out on a quest to prepare herself for it.
While I didn’t care much for Jean in All-New X-Men, her tenure on Jeff Lemire’s current Extraordinary X-Men run has increased my tolerance for her considerably. In addition, I think the pitch is a solid one: Jean has known her future self’s fate for years now, and seeing her face the Phoenix Force - the power that destroyed that version of her, who was older and more experienced than she is now - should be interesting.
The book also promises appearances by other bearers of the Phoenix Force. This setup seems like a fantastic way to examine the character and her history, in much the same way that the newly-started Venom series is examining everyone’s favorite Spider-Man villain.
At the end of the day, though, the biggest draw this book has is its writer. Hopeless has been doing a phenomenal job on Spider-Woman, and seeing his name on a book is a great way to convince me to read it.
Another original X-Man is getting his own book: Bobby Drake, a.k.a. Iceman, will star in this series written by Sina Grace, with Alessandro Vitti on art.
The book will focus on the adult Iceman, not the younger, All-New version. Bobby is a teacher at the Xavier Institute, but this series will showcase his adventures outside the school. A key element will be the development of his mutant powers - while Iceman has long been classified an Omega-Level (in other words, extremely powerful) mutant, his powerset has never seemed all that impressive; this book aims to change that.
Again, Iceman has never been one of my favorite characters, so at the surface level, there’s not a lot drawing me to this book. However, something in the pitch caught my eye: writer Grace posits that Iceman’s powers are beginning to expand in part because he has finally accepted his sexuality, having come out of the closet a few years ago. Mutant powers are often tied to emotional states and self-understanding, and Bobby’s difficulties concerning his homosexuality may have been affecting his ability to access his mutations. I think that’s a really interesting approach, and I’m always happy to see positive representation in comics, so Iceman may be a title to watch.
Writer Greg Pak and artist Greg Land are in charge of the team book Weapon X, which brings together a motley crew of heroes and villains.
A new incarnation of Weapon X is on the rise, and Old Man Logan assembles a team to stop them from achieving a new goal: the eradication of mutantkind. Logan’s team consists of former Weapon X experiments like himself, including Sabretooth, Domino, Lady Deathstrike, and Warpath.
Weapon X promises to be a gritty, brutal, and violent book. While I’m not overly fond of grim anti-heroes and villains, I have been enjoying the current Old Man Logan series, and I’ll likely pick up the first few issues of Weapon X just to see that character’s journey continue. Who knows? Maybe the book will exceed my expectations.
Generation X is a tale of lovable losers courtesy of writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna.
The new Xavier Institute has three classes: X-Men, Mutant Ambassadors, and... well, everyone else. Generation X tells the story of this third class: mutants who have less-than-useful powers or bad attitudes; the kind of mutants who wouldn’t fit in with the X-Men or the Ambassadors. Outcasts, essentially. Leading the group is fan-favorite Jubilee.
I really love this concept. With the amount of mutants in the Marvel universe, it stands to reason that some of them would have fairly useless powers, or simply wouldn’t feel the urge to fight crime and save the planet. However, characters like that have seldom been given a spotlight; this is a great opportunity to do so, and placing Jubilee in a leadership role earns this book a lot of points, too.
The time-displaced young X-Men star in this team book, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Jorge Molina.
The damage to the timeline these characters are causing will return to the forefront of their stories, having taken a bit of a backseat since the Battle of the Atom event. While the timey-wimeyness of their situation is nothing new, the young X-Men will be dealing with a major shakeup in that arch-nemesis Magneto will be acting as their mentor; while Magneto has had a lot of character development over the years, these kids haven’t been there for much of it and still view him as the ultimate evil, meaning sparks are likely to fly.
Honestly, while I don’t have the vitriol for the time-traveling X-Men that a lot of people seem to, this book isn’t exactly jumping out at me. I felt their story sort of ran out of steam some time ago, and while returning the focus to their time-travel issues is a good step, execution will be key. I’m also not sold on the idea of Magneto-as-mentor. I know Bunn has done extensive work with the character, but none of it has ever grabbed me. I like a lot of Bunn’s other work, but for whatever reason, his X-Men stuff just doesn’t do it for me.
Finally, we’ve got X-Men: Gold, a team book written by Marc Guggenheim with art by Ardian Syaf.
Gold will be the ‘main’ X-Men series, so to speak, with a roster of beloved characters: Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, Old Man Logan, and Rachael Grey (who is adopting the codename Prestige). The first arc will see them face down against the modern incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
There’s not a ton of other information on Gold right now, but I absolutely love the makeup of the team, and the art looks beautiful. It also sounds like the most ‘traditional’ of the upcoming X-Men series, which I’m all for. While it may be too early to tell, I think this one sounds like a lot of fun.