Last weekend, Marvel ended weeks of speculation by announcing writer Jonathan Hickman will make his return to the publisher for two new X-Men-related series, House of X and Powers of X. The announcement came with a teaser image by Mark Brooks featuring many of the heroes and villains from the X-Men franchise. And while no overt storylines are spoiled by Brooks' art, it does give fans a super intriguing tease of what they can expect when the two series kick off in July.
Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski was quoted as saying " these new stories will redefine the X-Men and their place in the Marvel Universe," which is more than enough to get the speculation train moving down the tracks. But before we join in on the that game, there's the even more pressing matter of taking a closer look at which mutant characters appear on the X-Men teaser image.
Many of the faces will be familiar to longtime X-Men fans, though some characters haven't been seen for several years, and in some cases, decades. Also, many of the X-Men shown are in their classic and iconic costumes. So with that in mind, we're here to help breakdown exactly who these X-Men friends and foes are, with some added background information tossed in for good measure.
The Founders (Bottom Middle)
Front and center in the middle of the image is the man who founded the X-Men and a non-mutant who had a long association with its founder and the team: Moira MacTaggert and Professor Charles Xavier. Moira is one of the premier scientists in the field of mutant research, and was once engaged to Charles. She helped to create the mutant-tracking technology known as Cerebro (helmet is laying in the grass in front of Charles) and founded the Mutant Research Center Muir Island in Scotland. Moira would be one of the only humans to be infected with the Legacy Virus, which played a part in her death when Mystique and Sabretooth attacked Muir Island.
Of course, Charles Xavier brought Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel and Beast together as his first students at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. Cyclops, while possessed with the Phoenix Force, would take his mentor's life in the Marvel event Avengers vs. X-Men, but Charles' psyche was revealed to still be alive in the astral plane in Astonishing X-Men. The series saw Charles take over Fantomex's body, redubbing himself X. His whereabouts are currently unknown, but Charles' presence in the teaser alludes to his return to the X-Men franchise on a permanent basis.
Finally, the green-colored lobster in the bottom-left of the image above is Bill the Lobster, who gained super-strength and intelligence from a cyborg science experiment. He's definitely an odd inclusion in the X-Men teaser when you consider his small role in the comics. Bill the Lobster's last appearance came during the first Civil War.