Jonah Puskar / Emertainment Monthly Comic Books Editor
Creators on Marvel’s beloved mutant comics made an appearance at SDCC 2018, with a panel full of reveals and announcements.
The panel began with moderator and Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski introducing his panel of current X-Men writers. The panel included Sina Grace (Iceman), Seanan McGuire (X-Men Gold Annual), Matt Rosenberg (Astonishing X-Men, Multiple Man) and Tom Taylor (X-Men Red, Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda)
Cebulski mentioned before delving into announcements that they would be spoiling X-Men Gold #30, warning those that hadn’t read the issue yet.
The first major announcement of an upcoming book was Extermination #1, with writing by Ed Brisson and art by Pepe Larraz. Cebulski vaguely hinted that the book would deal with timeline disturbances that deal with the younger versions of the original 5 X-Men that are displaced in the present day, and would tackle death and rebirth. Rosenberg chimed in that Extermination is a “must read book.” Cebulski ended the talk on Extermination by hinting the a surprise character would appear in #4.
Next up was information of Grace’s upcoming Iceman #1 with art by Nathan Stockman. Gace said that the book would tackle Bobby’s new status as an omega level mutant, with an “epic” bad guy coming, which he then revealed as Mister Sinister. This Iceman, Grace said, would be funnier and more quippy. In terms of other characters in the series, it was revealed that Emma Frost will be in #2, and surprise friends from “other places” coming in #3.
X-Men Red #7 was then discussed, with story by Taylor and art by Carmen Carnero. Taylor turned to the crowd and asked “Like it?” which was met by cheers. He then mentioned that readers might notice there is a focus on Jean Grey as of late. A bit of upcoming story was revealed too, with Taylor mentioned there will be an attack on Atlantis, and that the X-Men will have an Atlantean base with its own Cerebro for Jean Grey which was dubbed “Searebro” in-universe by Honeybadger. Cebelski and Taylor wrapped by praising artist Jenny Frison’s covers of the upcoming issues.
After some abrupt screen issues, Cebulski presented a look at the upcoming X-23 #2 with writing by Mariko Tamaki and art by Juann Cabal. Rosenberg, who wrote the character of Laura for the past three years, said he was excited for Tamaki’s take on character he’d worked with for so long. Cebulski also mentioned that a reason will be given for Laura to return to her Weapon X moniker, and that she will be embracing the name of X-23.
The question was then raised for the audience “Which X-Men would you most want to see return?” After cheers for for Wolverine, Cebulski revealed on the screen a look at the first issue of the new title Return of Wolverine #1 written by Charles Soule and art by Steve McNiven. Cebulski pointed out Wolverine’s new red-looking claws, pointing out we might see Logan with hot claws in this iteration, with also a more classic look. He then showed a video interview Soule had done recently. In the video Soule reveals a new villain for Wolverine named Persephone and that readers should also expect an upcoming Wolverine team. When asked if Wolverine had a new costume, Soule answered with “Sort of.” When asked if he’ll still suffer from adamantium poisoning, Soule answered again “Sort of.” Soule also revealed that while Logan will have these hot claws, he can’t exactly control them, especially when he’ll have a lot to process with his return. Cebulski concluded that segment by saying fans should check the series out come September 2018.
Another revealed first issue of a series was Mr. and Mrs. X #1 written by Kelly Thompson and with art by Oscar Bazaldue. The series was described as following Gambit and Rogue following their surprise wedding in X-Men Gold. The two characters go on a “space honeymoon” and end up on an adventure facing different space-faring characters.
After that, the audience received free issues of X-23 #1 with special variant covers.
X-Men Gold #33 written by Marc Guggenheim and art by Michele Bandini was briefly discussed, with Cebulski saying how readers will see the follow up to Storm’s trip to Asgard and how she deals with her new Stormcaster hammer.
Adding to the X-Men Gold discussion, the panel also revealed details on X-Men Gold Annual #2 written by McGuire with art by Marco Failla. McGuire described the story as a time period piece, with Kitty Pryde at summer camp when 15, being placed just after Days of Future’s Past. Being a superfan, McGuire discussed how it was her dream to write X-Men, and when the opportunity arose she had jumped on it immediately.
Cebulski then revealed another upcoming series, showing the crowd the cover for X-Men Black #1. Cebulski told the audience how X-Men Black will be a special mini-series event focusing on X-Men villains with 5 issues total. The first will focus on Magneto, followed by Emma Frost, Juggernaut, Mojo, and Mystique, with a continuing backup story with Apocalypse. McGuire, who wrote the Mystique issue, revealed it will have a grifter feel to the story
Also briefly announced was Shatterstar #1 written by Tim Seeley and drawn by Carlos Villa
Rosenberg got a chance to discuss his upcoming Astonishing X-Men #14. Rosenberg discussed wanting to take the book in a different direction than previous writer Soule and having it be his own. Rosenberg’s team line up will consist of Dazzler, Havok, a reluctant Beast, a heart-broken Colossus , Warpath, and newly revealed member Banshee, who has been revived since his apparent “death”.
The last major announcement addressed a previous teaser reveal with just the X symbol and something coming this Fall. Cebulski revealed that iconic X-Men title Uncanny X-Men would return, but wouldn’t give any plot or creative team details.
After a promo for Marvel Insider, the Q&A began.
The first question was for Rosenberg, and what fans might expect from Dazzler in Astonishing X-Men. Rosenberg revealed that in this next issue readers find out that Dazzler isn’t happy that she hasn’t been invited to work with the X-Men in a while, and this feeling of being neglected has made her develop a grudge. Grace quickly added though that in his latest Iceman script he has Bobby Drake mention having pre ordered Dazzler’s new album.
Next question was for McGuire, and who she would like to write an ongoing series for. McGuire mentioned that she would prefer a team book because there are multiple characters and personalities to work with. However, if asked to pick she would like to write a solo series for Blink.
Another question for McGuire was on what source material she utilized while writing Kitty Pryde. McGuire mention that she has reading lists, and often pays less attention to authors and more to characters. Her experience with the character stemmed from love of the older Chris Claremont, and she wanted her Kitty to be written as a believable 15 year old.
Grace was then asked on if he might be delving into the history of Mister Sinister and his usage of clones. While Grace didn’t reveal much, he added that clones would be brought up in his story
The panel as a whole was asked if readers might see any more new Omega level mutants. Grace mentioned he already has one to handle, which got a laugh from the crowd. Rosenberg answered that while there are no plans for new Omega level mutants, more existing ones will pop up soon with hints in X-Men Black for figures with interest in those minutes.
A question was asked if there were plans to bring back any de-powered mutants. While Cebulski wouldn’t say much, he did mention “there are plans”.
After a question on if readers will see the present-day versions of the original 5 X-Men together again soon, Cebulski only offered that they read the books? Rosenberg added that Astonishing X-Men Annual #1 will have 4 of the 5, but Cyclops is still dead.
Going off that, someone asked if there were plans to bring back Cyclops, as well as Professor Xavier. Rosenberg felt that to bring back Cyclops now would devalue other stories such as Jean Grey’s. He added that the existing Young X is sort of Xavier, and he will be in Astonishing X-Men Annual #1
One fan asked if readers might see Kitty Pryde in X-Men Red soon. While not giving a specific answer, Taylor mentioned that was a frequent request.
It was asked if there were future plans for Majik soon, as the New Mutants series is ending. Rosenberg said that Majik will continue to appear, though he can’t reveal how yet. He added that the end of New Mutants will change things.
The last question was if there were any plans to have the Colossus and Kitty wedding to work or if it was always planned to end in heartbreak. Cebulski said how originally it was planned for the wedding to go through, but plans changed at a writer’s retreat. He added that they were proud to have kept it secret for so long, utilizing fake cover art and news releases.
That was it for the Marvel Comics: X-Men panel. Hopefully comic fans will see something new coming out soon for them to enjoy.