Not long ago, the X-Men packed their bags and moved from Westchester County, New York to San Francisco, California, a city, editor Axel Alonso said, that's known for its tolerance.
So it's only fitting that "Uncanny X-Men" writer Matt Fraction and Alonso came to WonderCon in San Francisco to announce a major mutant-related event - a summer crossover between "Uncanny X-Men" and "Dark Avengers." The Marvel Comics crossover, written by Fraction and drawn by the two series' respective art teams, will be bookended by two specials written by Fraction and drawn by artist Marc Silvestri. Terry Dodson will draw the "Uncanny" issues, while Mike Deodato, Jr. will draw "Dark Avengers."
The first question at the panel was from a fan who wondered if the project that meant "Dark Avengers" writer Brian Michael Bendis was leaving the title. The answer? Bendis isn't leaving. Fraction is only writing issues # 7 and #8 of "Dark Avengers." "I get to screw with his house for awhile," he said.
Alonso added that Bendis would consult on the story, and that Bendis and Fraction play X-Box online together, so they're constantly in contact.
The X-Men's new home city will play prominently into the story. Fraction even asked the audience for suggestions on what San Francisco landmarks to destroy as the two teams clashed. Alonso, who used to live in San Francisco, said The Mission District would be "the safest district in the city."
A fan asked the panelists to leave the Golden Gate Bridge intact, as seeing it destroyed has become cliche. Fraction said it may be the only thing left standing. Another fan suggested they destroy Los Angeles as well, an idea Fraction seemed to like.
All the talk about destruction and mayhem coming to the Bay Area didn't seem to affect the duo of Fraction and Alonso, as the writer gave the editor a friendship bracelet with his name on it that he bought off the street. "Will you be my forever friend?" Fraction asked.
In addition to the crossover, Alonso and Fraction also updated the audience on what else is up in the world of mutants. Next month sees the debut of the **Messiah War,** a crossover between "Cable" and "X-Force." It's the second part of a trilogy of "messiah" themed books centered on the little red-headed girl from **Messiah Complex.** Currently, Cable has hidden the little girl in the future, with Bishop hot on his tail. "Two guys operating from very different perspectives," Alonso said.
The crossover involves Cyclops sending X-Force into the future to see if Cable needs any help. "He really needs help," Alonso said.
Two Rob Liefeld-created characters tied to Cable's earliest appearances will appear in the book, including the villain Stryfe, who will team up with Bishop. Alonso said Deadpool will show up as well.
Speaking of Deadpool, the "Merc with a Mouth" will crossover with "Thunderbolts." During **Secret Invasion,** Deadpool stole some intel that was crucial to Earth winning the war against the Skrulls. Now, Deadpool wants to be compensated by Norman Osborn, which leads to a confrontation with the Thunderbolts.
Upcoming "X-Men: Legacy" issues by Mike Carey and Scott Eaton will find Professor X and Gambit heading to Australia to find Rogue.
Alonso mentioned several projects starring Wolverine, including a double-sized finale for "Wolverine: Old Man Logan" and the new series "Wolverine: Weapon X" by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney. The latter will feature an appearance by the Adamantium Men.
"You'd almost think there was a Wolverine movie coming out this summer," Fraction laughed.
With issue #75, "Wolverine" becomes "Dark Wolverine" and will star his son, Daken, who Alonso said is "up to no good."
Jumping into outer space, "X-Men: Kingbreaker" will leave the Starjammers, the Shi'Ar royal family and Marvel Girl changed forever, Alonso said.
Though "Young X-Men" is coming to an end, fans can look forward to the return of "New Mutants" in May by Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves, starring the classic cast of Cannonball, Karma, Sunspot and Magma, among others. Magik, currently searching for her soul in the "X-Infernus" miniseries, will also appear in "New Mutants."
Fraction gave an update on what would happen in "Uncanny X-Men" before the big crossover this summer: the upcoming "Sisterhood" arc will detail what the Sisterhood is doing in the Bay Area and "why they don't want the X-men around." He said old favorites will come back, current favorites will take a dirt nap, and the story will feature the biggest fight scene of Fraction's career - 26 pages.
Issue #512 is a stand-alone story that involves the X-Men traveling back in time to find the parents of the very first mutant on Earth.
During the Q&A portion of the panel, fans asked about Magneto, Jean Grey and the Scarlet Witch. Fraction didn't comment on Scarlet Witch, but said Magneto would be back in issue #507. As for Jean Grey, "she and Bucky, they stay dead. That's the rules of comics," he joked.
Speaking of Bucky, "Captain America" writer Ed Brubaker, who used to co-write "Uncanny X-Men" with Fraction, appeared near the end of the panel and ran up to the stage and sat down. He apologized for being late and asked if he missed anything, and Alonso jokingly broke the news to him that he no longer writes "Uncanny X-Men."
A fan asked Fraction who his favorite and least favorite X-Men characters were. He said he didn't have a least favorite, but it took him awhile to really understand how to write Storm and Iceman. As far as favorites go, he said he has a crush on Pixie, this generation's "Jubilee or Kitty Pryde," and that he considered Nightcrawler to be his voice in the series. Fraction he loves Emma and Scott and loves them being in love, but he also "loves them falling apart."