Comic-Con@Home 2021: X-Men Panel

by Tony Thornley

The next phase of the Krakoan X-Men story is just getting started following the Hellfire Gala. But Comic-Con@Home’s X-Men panel didn’t give much in the way of new information. It was a fun discussion, though, with teases of what’s to come and some behind the scenes stories.

Moderated by Ryan Penagos, the panel consisted of line editor Jordan D White, X-Men & Marauders writer Gerry Duggan, New Mutants scribe Vita Ayala, Wolverine & X-Force architect Benjamin Percy, and Leah Williams, writer of X-Factor and X-Men: Trial of Magneto.

The team started by recapping the Hellfire Gala — highlighting the creation Planet Arakko, Storm’s new role, and Terra Verde’s hostile takeover by Beast. From there, the conversation immediately swung to Williams and Lucas Werneck’s work on the upcoming Trial of Magneto series.

Trial of Magneto #1 cover by Valerio Schiti

As described by Williams, there’s obviously going to be an investigation into the murder — especially because Wanda made a lot of enemies on Krakoa. The book is a deep dive into Krakoa’s first murder investigation that gets outside attention as well as a deep dive into the ‘House of M.” It’s called Trial of Magneto and “trial” has more than one meaning. Wanda has kind of become a boogeyman on Krakoa, and this is confronting that.

When Penagos asked a fan question — Will there be an annual Hellfire Gala? — White immediately jumped in. “Definitely. Emma said this is the first of many!” Everyone agreed, stating how much they enjoyed the experience.

One of everyone’s favorite things coming out of the Gala? The New X-Men team written by Duggan with art by Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia. Penagos took a moment for a diversion, asking, “Who did Duggan vote for in the election?” 

“I personally thought it was time for Tempo,” Duggan responded (obviously pleased with the pun about Tempo’s time manipulating powers). He continued talking about his work on Planet-Size X-Men and X-Men #1. The benefit of the Gala was that few questions were asked about Planet-Size. Additionally, their job is to make their artists happy and X-Men definitely seems to be the work of Larraz and Gracia’s careers.

Penagos took a step back and asked the entire panel who the voted for:

Penagos offered his favorite first: Forge

Williams: Marrow and Tempo

White: Tempo

Percy: Created 10,000 dummy accounts to vote for Maggott (don’t forget, Maggott wasn’t a choice)

Ayala: Marrow, but just to troll Duggan

Duggan was really excited to see how the election was received. He thought it was fun to see the fan community rally around their choices, especially with campaign ads. Williams agreed, feeling it was unreal how much happened and how fans organized so quickly within 24 hours. Duggan cheekily suggested the line is going to do this annually and if your favorite isn’t on the team, it’s because “you let them down.”

Jumping back to X-Men #1, Duggan said the fun thing about this team is that it is Earth’s gift from Krakoa. There’s going to be a lot of threats thrown at Earth and the X-Men will be there to stop them.

Penagos went on to ask about the team’s favorite moments since the era began.

Williams grinned and immediately asked, “In the books or on the [fabled] X-Slack?”

Penagos was immediately intrigued: “Oooooh, tell us about your favorite moment in the X-Slack.”

Everyone laughed as Williams continued that there’s a moment every day or so that she thinks, “I want to remember this the rest of my life.”

Most recently Duggan caught a guy trying to mess with his wife’s car, and he went out and threatened the guy with a shillelagh. When Ayala asked why he had a shillelagh, Duggan replied, “You don’t need to reload a shillelagh.” (Duggan reached off screen at this point and retrieved the club to show it on-screen.) 

This was the same day Jonathan Hickman received a wrong number call, but nonetheless listened as the stranger on the other end vented about her awful ex-husband and talked him through her divorce. William recalled both incidents all happened within one hour.

White laughed and said, “Tell you what, I’ll pick a moment from the books.” He loved that they pulled off a 22-part crossover (X of Swords), but the best part was bringing back the Captain Britain Corp and they’re mostly Betsys.

Ayala interjected, “They’re all Betsys!”

Duggan continued with his favorite moment: the handshake between Apocalypse and Xavier in House of X #5.

Percy’s favorite? Seeing the team come together in X-Force #3, especially as depicted by Josh Cassara.

Ayala had two — the mythical battle between Shatterstar and the Morrigan in X-Factor #9 and their second was Mystique’s rage at Xavier and Magneto for refusing to push her wife Destiny into the resurrection queue.

The remainder of the panel continued with teases of the titles to come, though there was little word about Inferno or what might be happening to the line after that series and Trial of Magneto end in January.

Check out the full panel in the video embedded above and be sure to follow the rest of our coverage of Comic-Con@Home and the X-Men line!

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