Jordan White (X-Men group editor), Sina Grace (writer of Iceman), Leah Williams (X-Men: Black Emma Frost), Annalise Bissa (Assistant Editor), Ed Brisson (Uncanny X-Men, X-Force), Matthew Rosenberg (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny X-Men), and Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thomson (X-Men: Black).
Ironically, White started with X-Men Black. Williams says that she doesn’t see Emma Frost as a villain but that doesn’t mean that she can’t or won’t do truly horrible things for the right reasons. She considers the issue a love letter to the character. White is super excited for Chris Bachalo’s art.
We just got X-Men: Black – Magneto, which ended with the first part of “Degeneration”, a five-part Apocalypse story. Thompson says that the story looks at what Apocalypse, the self-proclaimed mutant messiah, fears most. “We might ruin this character for some of you and we’re sorry.” They also noted that they are some of the first to write Apocalypse’s interior monologue.
The big news on everybody’s mind is Uncanny X-Men which returns next month as a ten part weekly story by Brisson, Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson and a slew of X-Men artists. Rosenberg, very delicately, promised that the threat will come from very close to the team. Brisson is excited to give some younger X-Men and characters who haven’t been seen in a while a chance to shine. The fourth issue cover features the Four Horsemen of Salvation, Magneto, Blob, Angel, and Omega Red looking very different and issue #7’s features new characters from the Age of Apocalypse.
The panel also announced Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 by Brisson and Carlos Gomez. The solicitation will read “Cyclops: dead or alive?”
Astonishing X-Men – featuring the better Summers brother, says Rosenberg – is about Havok trying to get the X-Men back into their rightful place as heroes, but it’s not going well. Alex might well be on the path to becoming a villain and issue #17 is his moment of truth.
Brisson is bringing back the classic team in X-Force, which will spin out of “X-Termination”. There will be unanswered questions about Kid Cable at the end of “X-Termination” and X-Force demands answers. Kid Cable and Deathlok seem to have teamed with some anti-mutant terrorists and the series will explore that and some of the history of Cable that we’ve really never seen. Brisson promises new spins on characters, plenty of old X-Force characters, and big surprises.
Speaking of killing beloved characters, Brisson is also writing Dead Man Logan with Mike Henderson and Nolan Woodard on art. Old Man Logan knows that his time is limited and he’s decided to go after Mysterio to make absolutely certain that his future can never come to pass.
The Wolverine: The Long Night podcast is about to be adapted as a comic by Benjamin Percy and Marcio Takara. After a series of killings in Alaska, Logan is the prime suspect. The series will follow FBI agents investigating the X-Man.
What If?: Magik is appropriately out on Halloween. Williams and Bissa worked together with Fillipe Andrade and Chris O’Halloran on the issue. The issue asks what if Magik didn’t join the New Mutants after returning from limbo and features some mind-bending, beautiful art.
Iceman #2 is out this Wednesday. Grace does write Emma Frost as a villain, if one that has good motives. It’s a one and done story that sees Emma taking advantage of Bobby’s kindness in order to help her brother. Despite the completeness of the story, there will be some breadcrumbs laid down for Mr. Sinister’s latest plot. “There is a good Admiral Ackbar joke,” promises Grace.
Thompson and Nadler are writing “Age of X-Man”, a top secret story that begins with Age of X-Man: Alpha.
One fan asked the panel where you would start someone on the X-Men. The panel agreed that Morrison’s New X-Men and Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men are great choices. Grace and Williams felt that the best thing to do now is just hand someone X-Men: Grand Design and let them pick their favorite era.
One fan asked about Sunspot, particularly in light of X-Force’s return. Unfortunately he didn’t fit with the story that Brisson wanted to tell. White, however took pity and confirmed that Sunspot will return in a presently unannounced story.
Jordan White almost forgot to mention the Merry X-Men “advent comic”, which features work by Chris Claremont and the entire panel. Look for all 25 stories in December.
The panel insisted that questioners reveal their favorite X-Man villain in exchange for answers, but they were kind and offered their own first. Thompson has really come around to Apocalypse, while Nadler chose Shadow King. Rosenberg picked Magneto, stealing Brisson’s first pick forcing him to chose betweenMr. Sinister and Stryfe. Arcade and the Hellfire Club are favorites of Bissa. Williamson went a little controvercial and offered Xavier. Grace couldn’t choose and said the Brotherhood. And White had to go with Mojo.
Fans picked Shadow King, Magneto (II), Cyclops, Sabretooth (II), the Juggernaut, Onslaught, Sinister (III), Polaris, Sublime, Senator Kelly, Dark Phoenix, Fabian Cortez, and Toad.
This set off a chain reaction of fans asking for other favorites from the panel.
One questioner also asked about X-Heroes. White went to Kitty Pryde, Grace is “basic” so he picked Wolverine, Williams was firm on Emma Frost, Bissa had to say Storm, Brisson wanted Wolverine and Glob Herman, Nadler and Thompson both picked Nate Grey but offered Nature Girl and Nightcrawler, respectively.
This was followed up by asking for a favorite X-Men series of all time. White and Williams chose X-Caliber, Grace loves New X-Men, Bissa picked Astonishing, Remender’s Uncanny X-Force inspires Brisson and Peter David’s X-Factor is a favorite of Rosenbergs. Nadler picked the New Mutants and Thompson named Uncanny X-Force, though he didn’t specify which version.
Favorite Storyline followed. “Mutant Massacre” was Rosenberg’s, Grace chose “Days of Future Past”, White championed X-Caliber #42-50 and Williams picked “Crosstime Caper” to keep the X-Caliber love going. Bissa received approval from the crowd after picking “God Loves Man Kills”, which was seconded by Nadler. Thompson went with “E Is for Extinction”.
The final one was favorite cut ideas. Brisson wanted to have Scarlet Samurai cut off Old Man Logan’s head and have it grow back over an issue and a half. Williams wanted to put Kitty Pryde back in the Shadowcat costume at the Caliber reunion but there wasn’t time.