When “All-New, All-Different Marvel” arrives this October, the fates of the Inhumans and the X-Men will be intertwined more than ever before. Paralleling the upcoming plot development, the characters also shared a panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, taking place towards the end of the day on Thursday. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso was on-hand to guide the conversation between “Uncanny Inhumans” writer Charles Soule, upcoming X-writers Jeff Lemire (“Extraordinary X-Men”) and Cullen Bunn (“Uncanny X-Men”), and “Extraordinary” artist Humberto Ramos.
Moderator Jake Friedfeld kicked off the panel by playing a previously seen featurette for “Ant-Man” highlighting Scott Lang’s crew. After introductions were made, Friedfeld began the panel by talking about the last issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ run, “Uncanny X-Men” #600, due out on October 7.
Alonso then spoke about the new “All-New X-Men” #1, written by Dennis Hopeless with art by Mark Bagley. Alonso said that the world these time-displaced mutants will find themselves in will be hostile, but not without fun.
Lemire and Ramos’ book, “Extraordinary X-Men,” came up next. “I couldn’t be more exited for writing this book and teaming up with Humberto,” said Lemire. “The world has changed and moved on and it’s a much more dangerous place for mutantkind and in the wake of that, Storm takes on the burden of Xavier’s dream and keeping the team going. She assembles this team, and there are a ton of surprises in those first few issues. She’s assembled the best.”
“Yeah, what he said,” added Ramos. “I’m really happy drawing a team book again. We had breakfast this morning and Jeff explained the whole scenario coming up for the next year and I can’t you nothing, but it’s gonna be huge.”
“I pretty much hand-picked all my favorite mutants,” said Lemire of his roster. “Magik is pretty much the best mutant ever.” Soule revealed that he’s seen a scene from the first issue with Colossus and Magik and he gave it high praise. Issue #1 ships on October 14th.
Lemire’s other book, “Old Man Logan,” came up next, which re-teams Andrea Sorrentino with the writer. “I think this is one of the coolest characters Marvel has ever created,” said Lemire. “We get to see the new universe through the eyes of this man who is out of time and out of place. He has to carve his way through this new world.”
The other Wolverine series, this one titled “All-New Wolverine” and starring X-23 in the title role, came up next. “This is a fun book,” said Alonso. “What’s not fun about a female Wolverine with a lot of baggage and a chip on her shoulder? I love that this book can exist and complement what Jeff is doing in ‘Old Man Logan.’ I’m looking forward to the inevitable crossover,” added Alonso with a laugh. The first issue comes out on October 7, and will be written by Tom Taylor.
“That’s a mean looking team of X-Men,” pointed out Cullen Bunn when the cover for his series, “Uncanny X-Men,” popped up on the presentation. “I’ve been living in the head of Magneto for twenty issues and I couldn’t escape. I wanted to put together a team that, really, is upholding Xavier’s dream but don’t have any business doing so.”
“This book invites comparisons to ‘Uncanny X-Force,'” said Alonso. “These are a bunch of bad guys. The reformed Sabretooth has a moral compass but he has a problem there.”
“Sabretooth is sort of the good guy on the team,” said Bunn with a laugh. He said that the roster — which includes Magneto, Psylocke, Fantomex, Mystique and Sabretooth — will expand some.
With “Deadpool” #1 coming on October 7, Alonso teased that this will be “Deadpool like you’ve never seen him before,” most likely having something to do with the fact that he will become the most popular superhero in the new Marvel Universe.
Alonso revealed that editor Nick Lowe came up with the idea of doing a Karnak book, and that he used his “Ellis whisperer” power to get Warren Ellis to write the book. “If you don’t know anything about him, he can find the weakness in everything,” said Alonso. “That’s at the core of the series.”
The flagship Inhumans book, “Uncanny Inhumans,” came up next. Soule said he had a blast collaborating with Steve McNiven on “Death of Wolverine” and enjoys the chance to work together on this series. “When you write him a scene where someone is going through the worst or best thing in their life, Steve will just hit it every time,” said Soule. “The Inhumans have two sides, one is the established characters like Medusa and the royal family. They have this regal, super power, kings and queens in the sky kinda tone to them. Recently there’s been this explosion of Inhumans all over the Earth that could be anybody… Integrating those two sides has been the story so far. This is the most epic story we can tell. Just before ‘Secret Wars,’ there was a #0 issue we did where Black Bolt gave his son Ahura to Kang the Conqueror. He said, ‘Take my son into the past and keep him safe.’ He didn’t tell Medusa about this, he just did it. In ‘Uncanny’ #1, the consequences of that deal are going to come home to roost. They’re going to have to figure out how to get their son back from Kang.”
With the floor open to questions, the panel was asked how they decide which characters and powersets to use. Lemire said that it’s hard narrowing down the X-Men to just a team, but it’s also a necessity to create new powers. “You don’t want it to be redundant and that can be challenging,” said Lemire.
“I feel like when I went into this, I made a list of characters I want to have in ‘X-Men,'” said Bunn. “Jeff took Magik and Nightcrawler. He’s sort of a miser and a jerk. [laughs] You have to look at the characters that give us the most emotional impact. Certain characters work best with the story I’m trying to tell. You’ll see new characters and new takes on existing characters.”
With Wolverine dead and replaced with an old guy, a fan wanted to know if Old Man Logan is still the best at what he does. “He’s older, wiser,” said Lemire.”
“I disagree, I think Wolverine’s the best at what she does,” added Alonso.
Considering the fact that this panel is an X-Men/Inhumans mash-up, an attendee wanted to know if there’s a conflict coming up between the factions. “Just between me and Jeff,” joked Soule. Alonso then explained that eight months will have passed between the end of “Secret Wars” and the new starts of all these books. New status quos will be in place, including seismic things that will make things “complicated” between mutants and inhumans.
“Spoiler alert, it might make it harder for mutants and inhumans to coexist,” said Alonso, teasing future stories.
A longtime X-Men reader asked how these new ongoings will honor the history of the franchise. “The X-Men mean a lot to me,” said Bunn. “The thing me and my dad did together was collect ‘Uncanny X-Men.’ I love those comics. My dad passed away a few years ago so he didn’t get to see this happen. The team in my book is very different from a team you’ve seen before, but the stories I’m wriitng will reflect that legacy. These characters reflect the things I love about ‘Uncanny X-Men.’ Characters in a role you haven’t seen before, but they will live up to Xavier’s dream in a different way.”
“The team I’ve picked echoes the classic Claremont team, with Colossus, Nightcrawler and Storm, but it also has teenage Jean and Old Man Logan,” said Lemire.
Lemire addressed how his two books with Old Man Logan will interact, saying that the team book will show his relationship with the X-Men. “In his storyline, he killed all the X-Men,” said Lemire. “‘Old Man Logan’ gives me a chance to tell more personal and singular stories. It doesn’t mean they won’t interact with each other. Inevitably those stories will connect.”
Soule addressed how Ms. Marvel will factor into his Inhumans book. “I think everyone at Marvel is excited about the impact she’s had,” he said. “I would love to use her, I have a couple spots where I think she’d be perfect [in ‘Uncanny Inhumans’], so we’ll see.”
A fan asked why some characters, like Storm and Wolverine, get the spotlight over others, like Rogue and Gambit. “It’s all about who’s writing the books,” said Alonso. “There’s a lot of love for Rogue and she’s in a team book [‘Uncanny Avengers’] and there’s been a lot of love for Jubilee. She’s popped up recently… The great thing about all them is that they could all anchor a solo series, like Cullen’s ‘Magneto.’ Meet the writer who gets the character and we’ll do it.”
Lemire revealed that he has plans to incorporate Magik’s magic lessons with Doctor Strange into his book, saying that he loved what Brian Michael Bendis did with the character.
The conversation then shifted to how the X-teams were formed. Alonso said that he started with Lemire, and at the writer’s first retreat the “Extraordinary” talks solidified. “Magneto” got Bunn on Alonso’s radar. With Lemire on the core book, he got the first pick of characters to build around. Hopeless’ situation was different, as he’s inheriting a cast from a pre-existing book.
“Jeff took Nightcrawler and wouldn’t give him up,” said Bunn. “I knew Jeff’s team and the book I was putting together and roster kept changing. One of my rosters at one time had Rachel Grey and Nate Grey on it because I love both those characters. But I really wanted to do a book that could easily be differentiated from what Jeff’s doing. This was the team, where we landed with Magneto and this group, these are two different X-books that show different sides of the world.”
“There’s nothing redundant about these two books,” said Alonso. “There’s also nothing redundant about the two Wolverine books, which hasn’t always been the case.”
Soule then mentioned that he has Beast and Johnny Storm on the team, and that Medusa is paling around with Human Torch now — “in every sense of the word. We don’t know how that’s going to go. Johnny actually dated Medusa’s sister Crystal for a while too, so… Beast is on the team too, and he’s a mutant, right? So it’s weird that he’s on the Inhumans. We’ve got a plan.” Soule said that he cannot wait to write the scene when Crystal finds out about Medusa’s new romance.
A Medusa cosplayer then wanted to know what’s up with Johnny Storm, a traditionally cocky immature character, that he thinks he can get in with this Royal Family. “He’s known all these people for a long time,” explained Soule. “The dynamic there — Black Bolt’s power is that when he speaks, huge blasts of energy come out. Johnny Storm doesn’t shut up. If you’re Medusa, you’ve been with your silent king for a long time, and maybe a guy who has things to say is interesting to you.”
Ramos then talked a bit about the redesigns he did for “Extraordinary X-Men.” “I like redesigning characters,” said Ramos. “When I did ‘Spider-Man,’ I did Green Goblin, Black Cat, Doctor Octopus — it’s so cool to leave your mark on these characters. With the X-Men, in Mexico and the rest of the world we love soccer. Now you do, congrats to the girls, it was a great match! Soccer teams change their outfits every six months, every season. This is the new X-Men season. We worked a lot for a long time trying to make them look cool but X-Men branded still, keeping the little things that remind us who they are. The team wanted to keep Storm’s mohawk, and Jean Grey they wanted to give her the Marvel Girl colors and skirt. The one I love the most is Colossus, because we gave him a beard and a hipster hairdo. I love it.”
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