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NYCC: Marvel's Dawn of X Takes The X-Men Forward

The X-Men are in the midst of their biggest change in 20 years, and Saturday at New York Comic Con Marvel Comics prepped the next wave of all things mutant at their Dawn of X panel.

Marvel Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski welcomed line editor Jordan White, New Mutants writer Ed Brisson, Excalibur scribe Tini Howard and X-Force writer Ben Percy. Howard kicked things off by apologizing for her worn out voice but then joked, “I was promised mutant drugs!”

That reference wasn’t the first to House of X and Powers of X, the Jonathan Hickman-written series that are redefining the mutant franchise. “There’s been quite a few twists and turns,” White explained before recapping most of the reincarnating adventures of the past 11 weeks. “These are the X-Men presented in a different way than we’ve been seeing,” Cebulski said, noting that despite the big changes, the series is 100% built on what came before.

Cebulski then promised a “post-credits sequence” for the end of the panel, teasing something coming in the future of the franchise. Until then, White joked that next week’s Powers of X #6 will contain “no twists whatsoever.” He then sincerely promised that “It’s not going to undo the status quo set up in this series,” he said, noting that now that fans know about the resurrecting Powers of Krakoan society, the writers of these new Dawn of  X titles are now able to speak to the stories of their books in more depth and detail.

The line starts with Hickman and Leinil Yu’s X-Men #1. “Cyclops is the head captain of the X-Men, and he’s picking mutants for special missions...there’s going to be crazy adventures in every issue, and you never know which X-Men are going to show up,” White said, noting that the Summers clan on the cover of #1 are only the tip of the iceberg. R.B. Silva will rejoin the writer for issues #5 and 6, which see the X-Men (including a suit-wearing Apocalypse) will go to Davos for the world economic forum — an idea that has more action potential than people may thing, the editors promised.

Mauraders follows as a series focusing on “Captain Kate Pryde” leads a team tied to Emma Frost’s Hellfire trading company. White leaned off revealing too much about Gerry Duggan’s story, but they did show off some sea-faring art by Matteo Lolli.

The panel then showed off a video of Hickman and Duggan teeing up their new stories. “It’s a bunch of one-and-done adventures,” Hickman said of his book while Marauders is a full-on pirate story, which Duggan has wanted to do in some form for years. “We’re moving the medicines to the humans...and this is a much bigger book than you know what’s going on...big surprises are coming,” he said, and Hickman noted that this series was the one that plays most directly with the new elements of the X-Men mythos.

Hickman said, “There’s nothing that we’re doing that isn’t very well planned out...this is about as close-knit as the X-Men have been in a long, long time.”

Howard then took time to talk about Excalibur with the artist Marcus To. “To me, this instantly spoke to this idea of seeing mutants thrive,” she said, adding that their ability to build their own culture is a game-changer for the franchise. “They can make art and magic...and this is the story of Betsy Braddock, who was recently divorced from a body that was not her own. And she’s feeling adrift in the world of Krakoa...Apocalypse has a journey too. There are big, beautiful things he wants to create and share.” Howard compared To’s art to the classic art of Alan Davis on the original Excalibur, and the series will lean into those comparisons as Betsy becomes the new Captain Britain.

Percy and artist Joshua Cassara’s X-Force with the writer saying the team is “the mutant CIA.” Beast leads the intelligence side of the operation while Wolverine heads up the field team. “This is a dirty book, a rough book...a poisonous book,” Percy said while teasing that Jean Grey will don Xavier’s Cerebro helmet at the end of issue #1 with future stories using Forge in a key role.

Brisson teams with Hickman and artist Rod Reis for a new take on New Mutants that will use many characters from “young mutant” teams including Generation X (Mondo being particularly important) and New X-Men. While the first story sees Cannonball taking the core team into space to team with the Starjammers, later issues will bring Boom Boom into the mix in a major way.

Fallen Angels by Bryan Hill and Szymon Kurdranski will show the story of Psylocke, Cable and X-23 who all feel out of place in Krakoa. This darker series will also pull in Husk and Blink, as White promised a fun ride despite the serious tone.

During fan questions, White confirmed that Franklin and Val Richards’ status as mutants with an open invite to come to Krakoa will be addressed coming up soon. Also, White said that Moira X will be an integral part of the stories going forward, but she won’t appear regularly — instead popping up when she’s needed. The editor also confirmed that the House of X story is in the main Marvel timeline, and then said “There’s no evidence that that’s not Xavier.”

The panel wrapped with a tease of the lines “wave 2” — the announcement that Percy, Adam Kubert and Victor Bogdanovic would soon relaunch Wolverine. The writer called the character his favorite mutant, and the book will launch in February.

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