CCI: X-Men Panel

CBR's coverage of Comic-Con International in San Diego entered Day 2 with the Friday morning Marvel X-Men panel. Arune Singh, Axel Alonso, Nick Lowe, Rick Remender, Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction, Marjorie Liu, Daniel Way, Peter David,Victor Gischler, Chris Yost, and Craig Kyle were on hand to announce new titles and discuss all things mutant, with a strange focus on Cyclops' anatomy.

"You're going to see a lot more of the Marvel universe interacting with the X-Men over the next few months and years," editor Nick Lowe said.

"Do the X-Men ever get a welcome to the bright shiny new age without having to go to a little bit of trouble?" Victor Gischler joked, referring to "Curse of the Mutants'" role in the "Heroic Age" banner.

Way said that "Wolverine," "Daken," and "X-23" would form something of a "Wolverine Universe." The Logan goes to hell story in Jason Aaron's "Wolverine" would affect the other two books, Alonso added. "It's not a crossover, but they do conect."

"Wolverine: The Best There is" launches in December, written by Charlie Huston with art by Juan Jose Ryp. "It goes directly into Logan's future, without looking at his past," Alonso said, referring to the number of stories already existing dealing with Wolverine's past.

Remender's "Uncanny X-Force" will begin by resurrecting Apocalypse, which "obviously has ramifications to a number of characters, notably Warren [Worthington, Angel/Archangel]."

"With 'Second Coming' over, Scott [Summers] is no longer a wartime president," Alonso added, but Logan still sees a need for the team and Cyclops doesn't need to know.

In January, the X-Men will begin teaming up with other superheroes in Gischler's series, Alonso announced. "The X-Men are always under siege--why don't they rescue cats in trees, or stop the Rhino when he's rampaging around?"

Singh then showed another "Who is the new Man without Fear?" trailer, this time featuring Gambit.

"Generation Hope" will begin in November, in which Hope will "seize her destiny by the throat." It spins out of "Uncanny" and is written by Kieron Gillen. "There haven't been new mutants in a long time, and it's no longer an easy thing," Gillen said. Next week's "Uncanny" #526 would begin the build-up to the new series, Matt Fraction added.

"In reading the first couple issues, I think it's going to be a lot like 'New Mutants' when it first started," Lowe said of the series.

"It was funny in the old days that new mutants would show up with costumes," Fraction joked. "'I not only have powers, but this is what I do in my spare time!'"

Marco Djurdjevic's X-Men poster will be dividing into covers of the X-titles over the next several months.

Singh then opened the floor to questions.

The first question was, "Who decided to kill Nightcrawler?" "Bastion," Craig Kyle offered. Alonso said it was a natural and necessary story beat, adding "the buck stops with me." He then joked, "because we don't care about the fans," to general laughter.

Next, a woman said, "Matt Fraction, thanks for giving Cyclops his balls back." "Wait'll you see the action figure!" Fraction joked. Peter David added, "We're going to kill Cyclops' balls." The fan's question, though, was, when will Havok return from space? Lowe said, "He will return, but I can't tell you when. Then we'll kill him in the next issue."

Lowe said that there would be at least several arcs before the next X-crossover, in response to a question.

A fan from San Francisco said he enjoyed the focus, but "have any of you ever been to San Francisco?" "Motherf***** I'm from San Francisco!" Alonso said, again to laughter. The fan replied, "it's not that sunny!"

Another fan asked about Ruby Summers, an "X-Factor" character in a dark future. "The obvious thing to do would be to bring her to the present, because what we really need is more Summers children in the present," David joked. He added that there are no plans for her just now, but if she returns it will likely be in a future-based story.

Clues as to Sabretooth's status can be found in "Wolverine" #1, Lowe and Singh said. David joked that there would be a limited-edition statue of Sabretooth's head and Cyclops' balls.

"How do you decide who you're going to disfigure, how you're going to disfigure them, and who you're going to kill?" a fan asked. "We don't target characters and say, what story can we tell to utterly annihilated them," David said. "Killing Nightcrawler means we don't get to write him," the writer added by way of showing that such deaths upset creators as well. "We like writing him."

Alonso added that, in putting together "Second Coming," "we knew there was a high probability Cable would not make it out alive," simply because a sacrifice was needed and it made sense for the story. "When we talked about the architecture of how Cable died, there wasn't a dry eye in the house-I deflected by looking to Jason Aaron and saying, 'You're crying, bitch!' Because I didn't want anybody to see I was crying," Alonso said.

After some more back and forth, Alonso joked, "And as you know, when you're dead in Marvel, you're dead! You're never coming back!"

As to whether Rogue and Gambit would get back together, Lowe said, "We've seen a lot of Rogue and Gambit together in the past. You might want to look to other suitors."

David joked, "I want to see Rogue get together with a vampire, just to confuse the 'True Blood' fans."

Kyle confirmed that he and Yost would be taking a break from the X-books after "X-Force: Sex and Violence." "I'll be working on the Thor film, so if I don't do a good job there I won't be doing any Marvel books." Yost, too, will be working on features and animation.

Lowe said that "New Mutants" is "about to go into a brutal arc-so I hope nobody likes those characters." He added that it would payoff story elements that have been building since the first issues, especially things related to Illyana.

The Children of the Vault will return in "X-Men Legacy" in an arc where Rogue takes several of the young X-Men characters to India, Lowe continued.

David said he would not "blow up the status quo" any more in "X-Factor," but would see Longshot in Las Vegas and Rahne Sinclair coming onto the team, "and how that affects the Rictor/Shatterstar

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