SDCC ’13: X-Men

Andy Houldcroft ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Writer

Some big changes are coming to the X-Men universe with the newly announced Battle of the Atom crossover, with Paul Cornell’s new Wolverine series, and with the continuation of exciting new series such as Brian Posehn’s Deadpool. All of this was the topic of conversation at the San Diego Comic Con on July 21 at approximately 12:30 PM.

X-Men 1Battle of the Atom is an upcoming X-Men crossover featuring X-Men from the past, the present, and the future. It is slated to begin in September and is written by Brian Michael Bendis.

The major minds behind the current X-Men books (All New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis, Wolverine by Paul Cornell, Deadpool by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, X-Factor by Peter David, and Uncanny X-Force by Chris Hastings) convened in room 6DE to discuss the direction of the X-Men universe. As each member took his seat on the panel, the room burst into cheers and when the dust settled, a look into September’s Battle of the Atom began.

X-Men 2All New X-Men is an ongoing series written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Stuart Immonen. It features a crossover between the 1963 Uncanny X-Men with the X-Men of current continuity.

Bendis immediately confirmed that the X-Men of the future would be playing a major part in this crossover, but also alluded to their interaction with the past X-Men. The events of All New X-Men have apparently been wreaking havoc across a long-spanning timeline and it’s up to the likes of some aged familiar faces (such as Old Beast) to send the 1960’s X-Men back to where they belong.

Further details on the crossover will come with time. For now, Bendis will stick to his presentation of this simple premise and to his introduction of the incredibly talented Frank Cho as the artist of issue #1. This crossover was also described as a fabled “jumping-on point” in the insanely convoluted X-Men universe. Regardless, Battle of the Atom will guarantee satisfaction and payoff to both old and new readers.

Paul Cornell revealed interesting developments in his Wolverine title, appropriately named Wolverine. His run with the character will feature Logan without his healing ability. Though the story may not be the most original, it does offer plenty of room for exploration with a “killable” James Howlett.

For over 40 years Wolverine has been the face of the tough guy stereotype. He has been fearless, determined, and a firm believer in using aggression as a motivator. But Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men has portrayed the character in a finer light as more of a teacher than a fighter. Granted, he’s had his fair share of action with this year’s Savage Wolverine by Frank Cho, but he’s still significantly cooled down in recent years.

Cornell’s title could just be the icing on the cake for creating a more relatable and human Wolverine for audiences. Wolverine promises a new take on a character facing death, plenty of action, and some major changes for the character.

X-Men 3This is a first look at some of the challenges Logan will have to face without his healing factor. Wolverine is an exciting new series written by Paul Cornell with art by Alan Davis.

Uncanny X-Force announced Adrian Alphona’s (Runaways) future involvement and a collaboration with Ramon Perez (Wolverine and the X-Men). This was followed by a presentation of the new Deadpool cover art for issue #18.

X-Men 4 Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan have been continuing their work on Deadpool since the launch of Marvel NOW! and promise a continuation of fun, action, and satire in this incredibly fun and original title.

Posehn and Duggan hinted at some upcoming twists as the scripts for them were described as taking a “dark turn”. This new work on the title was hyped by Posehn’s praise and his excitement surrounding Deadpool issue #20.

The panel then broke into recognition of the tremendous job that Peter David is doing with X-Factor. Bendis chimed in to congratulate the writer on his work, but David pointed to the cooperation from his artist, Leonard Kirk, as the true source of his success. David cited Kirk’s “rock-solid storytelling” and made it clear to everyone that X-Factor’s success relies on both textual and visual excellence.

X-Men 5X-Factor is a continuing series written by Peter David with Leonard Kirk working on art. It features and brings light to lesser known characters in the X-Men universe while telling an incredible story.

Perhaps the biggest announcement this afternoon was the return of fan-favorite Nightcrawler. His return will pioneer the beginning of a new X-Men run by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness named Amazing X-Men.

The story featuring Nightcrawler will feature him battling his father, Azazel, who has taken up the role of a demonic pirate who is stealing something important to the X-Men. The story will also explain the significance between the little red and blue bamfs that have been popping up all over Wolverine and the X-Men.

This news concluded updates on the X-Men comics and opened the floor to fans. 2013 will continue to be a great year for the X-Men and guarantees new directions for characters that are celebrating or are close to celebrating a 50th birthday along with the X-Men universe. One thing is certain: Battle of the Atom will be Bendis’ first and most iconic X-Men crossover that will hold major ramifications for the universe in years to come.

X-Men 6Nightcrawler prepares to battle his father in this panel taken from Amazing X-Men, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Ed McGuinness.

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