The art team for “Astonishing X-Men” #2 has been announced. The team will consist of Frank Martin and, as of today, Mike Deodato Jr. News of Deodato Jr.’s involvement was announced today by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso via a Twitter post.
The announcement was accompanied by two pieces of Deodato Jr.’s art that are slated to appear in the upcoming issue. The first is an uncolored two-page spread showing the X-Men in an ethereal theatrical production, framed by major figures from the mutant group’s past, like Magneto and a mutant-hunting sentinel. Sections of the image have been redacted, likely so that key plot elements aren’t given away.
The second image is the issue’s cover, which depicts several members of the X-Men as skeletons watching a play unfold. Seated in the theater are the likes of Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, Fantomex and Beast, the latter of which is an interesting inclusion, given that Beast hasn’t been announced as a member of the Astonishing X-Men roster. As it stands, the team will be comprised of Archangel, Bishop, Fantomex, Mystique, Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Rogue and Gambit.
Deodato subsequently posted an uncolored version of the cover via his Instagram account.
The issue will release in August and will be written by Charles Soule. Soule will collaborate with different artists for each issue. Each artistic team will offer their own take on the story, the events of which largely transpire on the Astral Plane, the dimension in the Marvel Universe where matter is comprised of ectoplasm and can be manipulated by powerful sorcerers.
Soule is the writer behind such series as “Death of Wolverine” and “Inhumans vs. X-Men.” Aside from Martin and Deodato Jr., Soule will collaborate with artists ACO, Ron Garney, Greg Land, Phil Noto and Ramon Rosanos in later issues. “Astonishing X-Men” will see the team venturing into the Astral Plane to do battle with a newly reborn foe and, hopefully, resurrect a former ally.
The “Astonishing X-Men” series is a part of Marvel’s ResurrXion initiative, which puts both the X-Men and Inhuman groups on new paths. “Astonishing X-Men” bears the same name as another series that began in 1995 and has been occasionally rebooted. The debut incarnation of “Astonishing X-Men” was a limited run four-issue series that took place aside the alternate universe Age of Apocalypse storyline. The title was brought back in 1999 for a three-issue series and focused on a diminished X-Men team protecting the Mannites.
The series would not see regular publication until 2004, when “Astonishing X-Men” was helmed by filmmaker Joss Whedon and artist John Cassaday. Warren Ellis was put in charge of the series as of 2007. “Astonishing X-Men” ran until 2013.
Soule’s “Astonishing X-Men” #1 is slated for release in July. “Astonishing X-Men” #2, featuring art from Martin and Deodato Jr., releases in August.