From the very start, the X-Men comics have centered around a school. Even if the school had an incredibly small student body or was a school in name only, the mutant team has almost always (a jaunt through the Australian Outback aside) been housed in a building with the word “school” or “institute” in its name. That’s been the case up until recently, when the school concept took a backseat in the X-Men line following “Secret Wars.” “Extraordinary X-Men” has nominally featured a school set in Limbo (a.k.a “X-Haven”), but the book doesn’t focus on the student body. Similarly, “Uncanny X-Men” set up shop in the Savage Land and the teens in “All-New X-Men” ditched school altogether. The school hasn’t played a major role in the comics since April 2015 when “Spider-Man and the X-Men” concluded.
All that will change with the launch of the new “Generation X” series. After two years on the periphery, the school will once again be front and center in an X-comic from writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna. “Generation X” will reintroduce the X-Men’s school, bringing with it a new structure, name and location.
For one thing, the school is going back to being called the Xavier Institute, a moniker it took on in 1994; interestingly, the school changed its name from the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters to the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning because of the launch of the first “Generation X” series. The X-Men’s school has been known as the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning for the last five years, since the launch of “Wolverine and the X-Men” in late 2011.
The new Xavier Institute will also be comprised of three different classes, series writer Christina Strain told CBR. Each student will either be part of “the Next Generation of X-Men, the Next Generation of Ambassadors, and the Next Generation of… well, lovable losers. These are our Gen Xers. And they include mutants with benign powers, mutants who are considered liabilities during missions and/or battles, and mutants with personalities ill-fitting of an ambassador. They’re basically all mutants who just don’t seem to fit in anywhere — including the very school where they were promised they would fit in.”
The “lovable losers” in the new “Generation X” series include Quentin Quire, Bling!, Eye-Boy, Benjamin Deeds, Nature Girl and a new character named Hindsight.
Quite possibly the biggest change, though, involves the school’s location. For most of the franchise’s history, the Xavier School has been located in Westchester, New York. The first “Generation X” series was set outside Boston, Massachusetts, and the X-Men briefly relocated to San Francisco and Utopia, an island off the coast of California. This change, however, puts the X-Men right in the heart of New York City: the new Xavier Institute is located in Central Park. It doesn’t get much more centrally located in the Marvel Universe than that. While many X-Men members themselves have lived in the city, and a number of their enemies have as well, the team has always had to commute back to Westchester after fighting the Morlocks or Hellfire Club. This change marks the first time that the X-Men will actually be headquartered in New York City, alongside many of Marvel’s other heroes.
“Generation X” from Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna will arrive in spring 2017.
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