House of M, Civil War, and whether Beast should be man, cat, ape or, in an unexpectedly popular option, fish, were just a few of the topics covered by Marvel's "X Men X Changes" panel at the NYCC. Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada greeted the large crowd before introducing the panel of editors that would field fan questions about the future of the now greatly reduced mutant crner of the marvel Universe.
Quesada was joined by Editors Jim McCann, Mike Marts, Andy Schimdt, Sean Ryan, John Layman, and Dennis Calero, as well as long, long, long time X Men writer Chris Claremont. The panel started with a slide show of the upcoming projects and current projects.
The panel started by talking about Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's "Astonishing X Men," announcing that the flagship title would run bimonthly until September to allow both Whedon and Casaday to catch up with their other projects, before returning to monthly status in October, an announcement met with extreme enthusiasm by the fans in attendence. Prompted by the crowd, they confirmed that the title takes place in the regular continuity of the X Men books, and that both creators want to the book to continue on if they leave.
Marvel's offering for Free Comic Book day this year will see Marvel's favorite teenagers on the run meeting the mery mutants in a special "Runaways/X Men" books by Runaways creator Brian K. Vaughnn and artist Skottie Young.
The panel announced that cover artist John Watson has signed an exclusive with Marvel, and his work will soon appear on the covers of "Civil War: Frontline" and "Uncanny X Men." "X Men: The 198" will chronicle the lives of the remain mutants as they make their way, heroes and villians alike, to the steps of Xavier's Westchester Estate. "Apocalypse versus Dracula", by writer Frank Tieri and artist Clayton Henry, will tell the story of the long rivalry between the immortal mutant and the undead master.
"Wolverine: Origins," by Daniel Way and Steve Dillion, will deal with Logan's search through his past, as he pursues the truth behind his now restored memory, trying to sperate fact from fiction in a tale that Quesada says will weave in and out of the characters established roots.
This year will see the return of Marvel's long dormant annual format when the "Uncanny X Men" annual is published in June with a story by Chris Claremont and Clay Henry that about the tough decisions that resident weather witch Storm has to make. The annual will have a cover by fan favorite Lenil Yu.
"New Excalibur" will show that, in the words of writer Chris Claremont, "that there's life after plant" when Black Tom Cassiady returns in force. "It's really cool," said Claremont' and you should buy it." "X Factor" will continue after good sales, with Dennis Colara handling the art through at least issue twelve.
"X Men Fairy Tales" by C.B. Cebulski will chronicle the exploits of a different, magical version of the X Men in a fairy tale world. "eXiles" will see big changes coming when long time writer Tony Bedard leaves the title after issue 83, to be replaced by the extremely prolific Claremont in a story line that will see the return of Psylocke as well as alternate version of Wolverine. "He'll be doing things that will curl your hair" said Claremont, " starting with killing the X Men."
The other big project coming up for Claremont is the brand new title "GeNext", which will feature the X Men if they had aged in real time since their beginning forty years ago.
"In essence, it's the book you chose" said Claremont, referring to the poll that lead to the book's genesis. "The book start with two basic premises'said Claremont, "First, Jean is dead, and has always been dead. She never came back. Second, the nineties never happened."
Skipping the nineties allows Claremont to create a new generation of characters that are just coming of age now. Claremont says not to expect what you think is going to happen to happen. The book will have characters from outside the X books, including, just maybe, the son of two members of a certain family.
They also showed some of Chris Bachalo' character designs for the new and old X Men that will debut when he takes over the art in issue #188. "Uncanny X Men" will also see the team of Ed Brubaker and Billy Tan on the title. The final big announcement was the announcement of the exclusive signing of the Simone Bianchi, with a project to be named.
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