Marvel Comics has placed a lot of emphasis on the Avengers over the years, and it makes sense given what the Marvel Cinematic Universe was trying to accomplish with the movie franchise, a goal that began to fully come top fruition in Avengers: Infinity War. During this same period, the X-Men, once MArvel's comic book powerhouse, was seemingly snubbed as a franchise, often taking a backseat to Erarth's Mightiest Heroes and, in the biggest perceived insult, the Inhumans.
It has long been assumed by fans that this change in editorial focus was because Marvel Studios didn't film rights to the publisher's mutant characters. Now, with the Disney/Fox merger close to being finalized, the heroic mutants will be under Marvel Studios' control for the very first time, and whether or not it's mere coincidence, it looks like 2019 is shaping up to make the Children of the Atom the most powerful team in Marvel's comic book universe once again.
2018 saw some of the X-Men's biggest guns leap back in action, although they didn't reunite in battle. What's even more exciting is they're all more powerful than ever before; Xavier came back in 2017, occupying a new body and going by the moniker of X, and while he didn't pop up often, his abilities have exponentially grown. The older Jean Grey returned to action as well, leading her team in X-Men Red while also acting as mentor to the younger, time-displaced Jean.
Last but not least, Wolverine returned, laying low until we found out late last year that both the present-day and future versions of himself have been imbued with the power of the Phoenix Force. This gives us a Logan like we've never seen before, leaving fans eager to see him partnering with a freshly-resurrected Cyclops and a brand-new squad.
At the end of Extermination, Scott Summers returned to the land of the living as a mentor to his son, Kid Cable. We don't know if his power-set has changed following his death from Terrigen poisoning in Death of X, or if he retains some residual Phoenix powers after Avengers vs. X-Men, but once they can all put aside their differences, the X-Men basically have all of their heavy-hitters back on the board. It's just a matter of assembling them once again, and getting everyone to work together for the greater good.
We expect romantic tension with Scott, Jean and Logan, and we know there'll be fallout over Scott killing Xavier in AvX. But everyone, even Xavier, seems dead-set on leaving the past behind and moving forward. Heck, if Logan is willing to partner with Cyclops after they fell out in Schism, then there's no reason they can't all unite and follow in the footsteps of Jean and her team to become true heroes once again rather than walking, talking weapons.
Over the past several years, the X-Men have splintered off into so, so many teams, but now, with such big names back, it makes sense to adopt a strength-in-numbers approach. The younger X-Men in particular, such as Gabby (aka Honey Badger), Armor and Glob Herman, would really benefit from the presence of experienced veterans to help them weather the coming storms under a united front.
We know there are a number of deadly X-villains poised to strike, including Apocalypse, Miss Sinister and a freshly-rabid Sabretooth, so having seasoned X-Men around to lead the charge will only make the overall X-Men team stronger. Of course, the newly returned X-Men have strong ties to current thorns in the team's side, with Emma Frost, Magneto and anti-heroes such as Nate and Legion currently playing big roles in X-Men continuity. This will set up an interesting family dynamic for this corner of the Marvel Universe, with relationships that could fuel any number of massive events.
The X-Men may have felt short on power players in recent years, but now the bench is deep, and Marvel could be set to truly usher in a new era of prosperity for mutantkind.