Marvel’s X-Men panel at Chicago Comic-Con Sunday afternoon found Jim McCann, Chris Yost and Craig Kyle of “X-Force,” and Jason Aaron, writer of “Wolverine: Weapon X” announcing several new projects and teasing a few more in response to fan questions.
McCann announced a new ongoing series, “S.W.O.R.D.” by Kieron Gillen and Stephen Sanders. It will star Agent Brand, Beast, and Lockheed. “They’re picking up on the threads that Joss [Whedon] laid,” McCann said. “the actual leader of sword is Henry Peter Gyrich,” he added, “so you know things won’t go smoothly.” His first directive is to get rid of all the aliens on Earth. It starts in November.
“Dark X-Men” by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk is a five-issue series starting in November. “This also has something to do with an X-Man named… X-Man”
“Wolverine: Mr. X” is a one shot in January 2010 by Frank Tieri and Paco Diaz Luque.
September 9 begins a Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited exclusive story teaming Wolverine and Thor. McCann didn’t say much about it, but “the good news is, you don’t have long to wait.”
“Necrosha,” announced at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, teams “X-Force,” “New Mutants,” and “X-Men Legacy.” “This is the Black Queen’s big story,” Yost said. It begins with a one-shot in October. “The first big resurrection is coming in the next few issues of X-Force,” Kyle added. He said there are characters “hidden amongst the bodies” in the promotional images.
Aaron briefly discussed the upcoming “Wolverine: Weapon X” arc, which will take Logan to a mental institution.
“There’s a character from the New X-Men days called Wither. Seline seduced him, cuz she likes the youngin’s,” Yost said. Other resurrected characters share a trait with him. “There’s a lot of death, which might be surprising coming from us,” Yost joked. “This is one of two big stories that X-Force is telling.”
McCann then opened the floor to questions.
Asked if Marvel was angry with Wizard, leading to Marvel not having a booth presence, McCann said “we wouldn’t be here doing these panels if that were true.” He added that he had heard a lot of the artists liked the current environment.
Will there be a new Ghost Rider series after the miniseries? “I don’t know. I’m leaving it after the miniseries,” Aaron said, adding that he would guess it will be a year or so before Ghost Rider gets a new series.
What’s up with Hope? “Elixir knows,” Kyle said, and that answer will be revealed. “A little sooner than you might think,” Yost added.
Asked about Bishop’s current agenda, McCann noted that “looking back to that character’s origins, he has always done what he thinks needs to be done to protect mutantkind.” Yost added that, “right now, there’s at least a 50/50 chance that Bishop is right.”
Asked if Marvel was trying to bring back the ’90s in “X-Force” and “X-Factor,” Yost said, “With Messiah War in particular, it did kind of turn into a mid-’90s explosion. But we read everything. If it’s cool, we’ll use it. We’re shameless. (Stryfe.)”
“Coming out of Messiah Complex, the team was X-23, Wolverine, Warpath, and Wolfsbane,” Yost said of the X-Force’s composition and acknowledging there were criticisms of the blade-focused debut group. “We knew we wanted Archangel, and we needed a van, something to carry them around. So we got Vanisher.” He noted that the team continues to evolve, with Kyle adding that Domino was added to lighten the mood. “We didn’t want this to just be the most violent, depressing book you’ve ever read–we also want you to laugh,” he said. Kyle concluded, “Deadpool is coming. He’s on his way.”
“Marvel’s very conscious of not tying in just for the sake of tying in,” Aaron said when the panel was asked about Marvel “forcing” crossovers and events upon the regular series. The other writers agreed.
Kyle said that “Necrosha” would “reward the fan and what they want to read,” saying that one could just read “X-Force” but will “get a richer story” by buying the crossover books.
Anything about Kitty Pryde, possibly in “Necrosha?” “The last issue of Joss’s run was called… Gone,” McCann said. “She’s gone for now.”
There are no plans for a continuous story between the various X-books, McCann said.
“Seline is probably the biggest story we’ve done in X-Force. But Bastion is bigger,” Yost said of stories percolating in “X-Force.”
“There are very very strong ramifications for the mutant community as a result of Dark Reign,” McCann said, citing the current “Utopia” storyline.
Regarding confusion about Psylocke’s current powers, Yost said his “Psylocke” mini in November would clear this up. “You’ll get a very concrete answer as to what she can and cannot do,” Yost said. As to whether she’d appear in “X-Force,” “you’re definitely going to want to read the Psylocke miniseries to see what direction she’ll be going in.”
“The Xavier Mansion had literally become a graveyard,” Yost said of moving the X-Men to San Francisco. “Cyclops just said, enough. It’s time to look forward.”
As to the fact that X-Force’s mission to the future nearly led to Boom-Boom’s death, Yost said that some of this would be addressed in this week’s issue. “Wolverine and Cyclops are going to have their little face-to-face, and Wolverine will explain very simply that he didn’t like it.” Cyclops will stress that he’s fighting for the future of the entire race, Yost said.
“We like the Cyclops we’re working with now, he’s making the best decisions possible in the worst situations possible,” Kyle added. Cyclops’s hiding X-Force from Emma (and, reciprocally, her hiding her role in Osborn’s Cabal) will soon be addressed.
Psylocke’s role with the dimension-hopping New Exiles will not be addressed in Yost’s miniseries, he said, “but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it revisted someday.”
“You will see events with” the X-Science team, McCann said, noting that Beast is appearing in “S.W.O.R.D.”
“There’s a team coming up with Doctor Nemesis and X-23,” Yost said. “They’re both very happy people,” Kyle added.
New characters in “X-Force?” “There will be a big roster shift after Necrosha,” Kyle said, “not all tragic.” In addition to Deadpool, “over the next 15 issues or so you’ll see a lot of new characters.”
Though Vanisher has currently vanished, Kyle noted playfully, “Vanisher will come back! He has terminal cancer! He has to come back!”
A chance for Jubilee’s return? All: Noooo. ‘Not in our book,” Kyle said.
After a continuity question about Stryfe, Yost wrapped thing up by saying, “What happened between the pyramid-crushing of Latveria, and the time Bishop found him in a bar? An untold story of the Marvel universe!”
Prodigy in Necrosha? “He’s still alive. For now,” Kyle said. The writer added that, though “we love those kids,” he and Yost felt it was time to step away from the characters.
Asked whether Deadpool mentioning X-29 in “Messiah War” was a joke, Kyle smiled thoughtfully before answering. “Here’s the thing. Chris and I probably have less issues ahead of us with X-23 than we do behind us,” Kyle said. He saw his and Yost’s role as “going from the guys who effed her up to the guys who protected her.” “We’re going to do every story we fear is in her future now” to prevent bad stories in future. “We want to establish her so that when someone effs her up, you’ll scream about it.” He said X-29 was a joke by Deadpool, but may also be true.
Daken and X-23 will not have an incestuous sexual relationship, Kyle said, though a fan quipped that the writer just said he trying to tell all the potential bad X-23 stories. “That might be the one I don’t tell.”