Hickman’s arrival had been teased by Marvel for weeks, first with an ad in all of its books that was sparse black type on a blank white page that said “When two aggressive species share the same environment, evolution demands adaptation or dominance.” They followed this up with the same black font on a mostly blank page that read “Hickman. July 2019.” These teases turned out to be for the former Avengers scribe’s return to the company to tackle the biggest project he hasn’t yet taken on: Marvel’s mutant heroes, the X-Men.
Plot details are scarce, but the official announcement from Marvel did specifically call out four major milestones from X-Men history that these books would be building on: Giant Size X-Men, Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s X-Men#1, Age of Apocalypse,and Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s New X-Men.
Hickman is perhaps best known for his colossal, multiverse-spanning Fantastic Four story that ran for the large part of a decade through three separate Fantastic Four books, five separate Avengers books and culminated in Secret Wars (don’t believe me? Check my work: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four; Fantastic Four; FF; Ultimate Comics Ultimates; A vs. X; Avengers; New Avengers; and Avengers World). But his best work, and the most relevant here, might be East of West: it’s huge, apocalyptic, full of politics and melodrama and meticulously planned. This is the guy who blocked out his entire Fantastic Four run on a “cascading plot sheet“. Putting him on the X-Men is only going to get us some crazy stuff.
Hickman’s art partners will be Pepe Larraz (Avengers, Extermination) on House of Xand RB Silva (Uncanny X-Men, The Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda which was the New Avengers one and the best of the batch) on Powers of X. The books will publish biweekly on alternating weeks starting in July, so we should have a new issue of Hickman X-Men in our hands every week through the end of September.
The teaser image above is by Mark Brooks.
The panel at C2E2 assured listeners that everyone on that image is there for a reason. As is natural with these things, we have questions.
Hickman loves New Mutants so much he made Sunspot and Cannonball Avengers. Where are the New Mutants on here? Besides Warlock and a half a Magik.
Is Blink really the newest character he’s using? She’s 25 years old now.
And specific character questions, going clockwise from Toad:
Did Magik and Colossus merge?’
Hell yeah, Punk Storm AND Firestar.
Is that Gabrielle Haller? Legion’s mom?
What the hell is Red Nightcrawler? That can’t be Azazel, can it?
Oh god is that Vulcan.
Age of Apocalypse Iceman died in Uncanny X-Force, right? Killed by AoA Nightcrawler?
Needless to say, we’re excited. For more on Jonathan Hickman including speculation on whether he’s going to pick up on the more or less dropped Phoenix Egg plot point from Secret Wars and Avengers, stick with Den of Geek!