“Bring back Jean Grey!” a girl shouted from the rear while the Marvel crew tried to get the sound system up and running.
“That trick never works,” said Chris Claremont. Claremont, along with Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, John Dokes, X-Office editors Nick Lowe and Sean Ryan, and writer Tom Bedard, was there to field questions about the future of the X-Men line after Marvel’s “House of M” event.
In true Marvel form, they started off with a PowerPoint presentation set to heavy metal and, at one point, ballet music, showing some of the key events coming up for the world’s mightiest mutants.
Former “Generation X” and “Death: The High Cost of Living” artist Chris Bachalo is returning to take over the art duties on “Uncanny X-Men,” with Chris Claremont again on board as the writer.
Fresh off his resurrection in “Astonishing X-Men,” Colossus is getting his own miniseries in “Colossus: Bloodline,” by David Hine and Jorge Lucas, a storyline said to have a major impact on the entire X-Men universe.
Akira Yoshida and Paul Smith are taking Kitty Pryde to Japan where, Quesada assured the crowd (or: in a moment we’ve all been waiting for), Lockheed will finally get some.
Wolverine will become the “House of M”‘s version of Nick Fury in “Wolverine” #33-35, while the rest of SHIELD gets the mutant treatment in the “New X-Men” segment of the mega-crossover.
Neal Adams and Joss Whedon will team up for an 11-page story in “Giant Size X-Men” #3. The book, which is a reprint of the original “Giant Size X-Men,” also has a cover by “Astonishing X-Men” artist John Casaday.
Responding to a question about the mysterious third Summers sibling, Claremont said that the answer would be revealed in “X-Men: The End” Volume Three #5.
When asked why they kept killing Jean Grey, Quesada said “Because she’s like the Kenny of the X-Men.” This time, she’s going to stay dead. At least for today.
Claremont expanded on that, citing the recent return of Psylocke in his book. Her death had been largely unnoticed and unmentioned by fandom, so her death had little meaning. By bringing her back, Claremont could explore the notion of resurrection from the point of view of the person experiencing it, the fear of the unknown, of not knowing why you’re here or how long it will last. This was a significant reason, enough to go beyond “dead is dead.”
“He started it with New X-Men.” It’s a marketing tool, a way to show a book is going in a different direction, as in “The New Excalibur,” which features a different cast, tone and setting than the old. It’s no different than Uncanny or Amazing.
“House of M” came up, with an audience question on the lasting effects of the event and whether it was just another alternate reality. The effects of “House of M,” according to the panel, will be widespread and long-lasting. The story is self-contained within the “House of M” miniseries, but the various tie-ins will add a level depth to the tale, as well as causing changes in the titles themselves. After “House of M,” any and all characters may be up for grabs.
The final question was about the long, long, long-delayed Kevin Smith books: “Black Cat” and “Daredevil: The Target.”
The answer: Don’t ask. Just don’t ask.