SDCC: Marvel Comics’ X-Men Panel

On the last day of San Diego Comic-Con (and after releasing huge news on the movie front) Marvel Comics convened a panel to discuss the much anticipated upcoming X-Men crossover “Battle of the Atom“. On hand were editor Jeanine Schaefer and senior editor Nick Lowe, and writers Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-MenUncanny X-Men), Peter David (X-Factor), Paul Cornell (Wolverine), Gerry Duggan (Deadpool), Sam Humphries (Uncanny X-Force), and Brian Posehn (Deadpool). Artists Terry Dodson and Frank Cho was also present.

Bendis covered the basic premise of BotA, which we already knew: the X-Men of the future arrive in the present to tell the original X-Men that they have to return to their own time.

Steve McNiven will team with Rick Remender for a storyline in Uncanny Avengers. A promotional image showed the Scarlet Witch’s mask (helment? tiara? no one was sure) lying on the ground, with claw marks across it (not Wolverine claws though).

The upcoming Wolverine arc, “Killable” sees everyone’s favorite Canadian loses his powers and getting old. He’s forced to confront his mortality and the fact that he will age. He’s forced to change his fighting style to suit his new vulnerability. This new status quo will extend to all the books in which Wolverine appears. He’ll be getting a new costume as well.

Sam Humphries talked about hsi work on Uncanny X-Force, which is currently focusing on Fantomex and Psylocke. Adrian Alphona will be drawing issue 12 of the series, which will focus on the character Spiral. It’s Alphona’s first full issue in several years.

Peter David talked about the final issue X-Factor, #262. David’s current run on the series has last for nearly ten year. David said he loves to see all the fan support for the series, and particularly likes to hear that he was able to make someone like a character that they previously never paid attention to. David also has a nex book in the works at Marvel, which is not being announced at this time.

Terry Dodson will be joining Brian Wood on X-Men on issue #7. Addressing the books all female team, Schaefer said that Brian Wood had previously written an X-Men arc that was all women with the exxception of Colossus. At this point, she and Wood conceived the idea of doing an all-female X team.

Chris Hastings, creator of the webcomic “Dr. McNinja” will be writing Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe. Hastings said Longshot will have to be incredibly lucky to pull this off.

Nightcrawler will be returning in Amazing X-Men, spinning out of Battle of the Atom. It’s being written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Ed McGuinness. The promo art shows Nightcrawler swordfighting his father Azazel on a pirate ship, with Wolverine, Firestar, Storm, and Northstar in the background. Beast and Iceman will also be on the team. The first arc of the story will be called “The Quest for Nightcrawler”

From there the panel opened to questions.

Many more characters will be appearing in the pages of Uncanny X-Men. More will side with Cyclops, but they will also fall all along the spectrum between the X-Men teams. Racism will be a recurring theme of the series, with some mutants being prejudiced against “less pure” mutants.

One fan expressed his happiness that Peter David, who suffered a stroke late last year, was up and about and doing well.  David thanked everyone and said he felt he was getting a sneak-peek of how people would react if he died.

X-23 will be appearing in one of Bendis’ books soon.

Ultimate Comics X-Men will be getting a new writer after Brian Wood leaves, but any announcement would be a spoiler for the Ultimate Comics “Cataclysm” event.

There will be a Wolverine and the X-Men Annual tying into Infinity, which will feature Kid Gladiator.

Infinity and “Battle of the Atom” will not really tie-in to each other, although the releases overlap. The fallout from Infinity will be felt in the X-books.

When asked about the weakness of the medium, specifically the habit of bringing characters back from the dead, Bendis said he likes to focus on the journey, rather than the actual act of death. Also, with the X-Men specifically, so many laws of physics are being broken by their powers that it’s easier to justify the return of dead characters.

Bendis said a new project coming down the line is called “The Utopians” and will feature some lesser-known residents of Utopia.

Zac Boone would like to have teleportation to avoid the lines here at SDCC. Follow him on twitter.