NYCC 2013: X-Men panel announces Jean Grey trial, new X-Factor, more

Oct. 11, 2013 | 11:36 a.m.

"All-New X-Men" No. 22 by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Stuart Immonen is part of "The Trial of Jean Grey." Cover art by Immonen. (Marvel)

"Guardians of the Galaxy" No. 11.NOW by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli is part of "The Trial of Jean Grey." Cover art by Pichelli. (Marvel)

"All-New X-Factor" No. 1 by writer Peter David and artist Carmine Di Giandomenico has cover art by Jared Fletcher and Kris Anka. (Marvel)

"Savage Wolverine" No. 14.NOW by Richard Isanove is a Logan tale set in the 1930s. Cover art by Isanove. (Marvel)

"Thunderbolts" No. 20.NOW sees writer Charles Soule take over and introduces Ghost Rider as a member of the team. Cover art by Julian Totino Tedesco. (Marvel)

All-New Marvel Now announcements are continuing throughout the weekend at New York Comic Con. Be sure to check back at Hero Complex for more. (Marvel)

"X-Men" No. 6, by writer Brian Wood and artist David Lopez, came out Wednesday. It's Chapter 7 of "Battle of the Atom." Cover art by Ed McGuinness. (Marvel)

"Astonishing X-Men" No. 68, by writer Marjorie Liu and artist Gabriel Walta, came out Wednesday. (Marvel)

"Cable and X-Force" No. 15, by writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Gerardo Sandoval, comes out Wednesday. (Marvel)

"Deadpool" No. 18, by writers Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan with art by Declan Shalvey, came out Wednesday. (Marvel)

[Updated 6:30 a.m. PDT Oct. 12 with art of All-New Marvel Now announcements.]

Marvel kicked off a weekend of teased-for-weeks announcements Friday morning at its “Amazing X-Men and the Marvel Universe” panel at New York Comic Con with several reveals, including an interstellar trial for the young Jean Grey and a new X-Factor title for longtime writer Peter David.

The teenage Jean Grey, recently brought into the present, will be taken from Earth by the Shi’ar to stand trial for the mass-murderous actions of the Phoenix force the unlucky redhead’s future history is so entwined with, and her fellow young original X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy will try to help her.

The six-part “Trial of Jean Grey” crossover begins in January with “All New X-Men” No. 22, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Stuart Immonen, and “Guardians of the Galaxy” No. 11, by Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, and continues through three issues of each title. The youngsters, sporting new uniforms designed by Immonen, may find some connections out in space that readers will recognize, editor Nick Lowe said.

“When the rest of the universe learns that there’s a Jean Grey on Earth again, that’s not exactly good news to a lot of broccoli people or the friends of broccoli people,” Lowe said.

PHOTO GALLERY: 50 moments in the X-Men evolution

Where David’s recently concluded “X-Factor” followed Jamie “Multiple Man” Madrox and his X-Factor Investigations private detective agency, “All-New X-Factor,” with artist Carmine Di Giandomenico, will feature a corporate-backed team (after Madrox has sold the name rights) that includes Quicksilver, Gambit and three additional members that will be unveiled later. Responding to an audience question, David said he would be playing with Quicksilver’s little-explored relationship with his half-sister Polaris.

In developing the new premise, David said he became fascinated with corporations’ omnipresence in our lives, especially Google’s: “They’re looking into space travel. They’re trying to cure cancer. And, oh yeah, they have a search engine…. I thought, ‘Why wouldn’t a corporation get into superheroes?’” So he created Serval Industries, the company behind the largest search engine in the Marvel Internet. Its CEO, Harrison Snow, is assembling the team.

Two upcoming projects belong to writer Charles Soule (“Strange Attractors”), who also has a couple of series at the Distinguished Competition (“Superman/Wonder Woman,” “Swamp Thing”). The January start of his “Thunderbolts” run with artist Carlo Barberi joins the previously announced “She-Hulk” with Javier Pulido (February) on his House of Ideas slate.

The green-skinned, superstrong litigator Jennifer Walters holds special appeal for Soule, a practicing attorney himself.

He said he wants to incorporate experiences from his law career into She-Hulk’s life, albeit “not literally, because that’d probably break privileges.” Soule says she’ll be put in a position where she feels like she has something to prove, and that her work as an attorney on “fun, weird cases” means she “can meet almost anyone in the Marvel Universe at any time.”

The writer’s “Thunderbolts” debut finds Ghost Rider joining the team in an arc titled “No Mercy,” because, Soule says, “I like dudes with flaming skulls.” He thinks Johnny Blaze, a good guy but also the spirit of vengeance, fits with the tone and roster: Punisher, Elektra, Venom, Deadpool – “frankly horrible people.” And, yes, the “Mercy” in the arc title may very well refer to the team member bearing that name, a David-created character now free from her “X-Factor” obligations, Soule suggested.

Other news and details from the panel:

"Savage Wolverine" No. 14.NOW by Richard Isanove is a Logan tale set in the 1930s. Cover art by Isanove. (Marvel)

“Savage Wolverine” No. 14.NOW by Richard Isanove is a Logan tale set in the 1930s. Cover art by Isanove. (Marvel)

– Everyone’s favorite adamantium-clawed hero will be seen in the 1930s against a new villain in “Savage Wolverine” No. 14, by Richard Isanove, in January, editor Jeanine Schaefer said. Earlier in No. 11, Jock will be wrapping up his sci-fi Logan tale, and 12 and 13 have Phil Jimenez telling a story about Wolverine’s annual hunt in Madripoor, where he’ll encounter old friends and, of course, old enemies. The series is about letting creators tell an “amazing” Wolverine story they’ve always wanted to tell and then “drop the mike,” Schaefer said.

– The cover for “Amazing X-Men” No. 2 showed the team split – with some in an area that looked heavenly, and others in an area that looked hellish. They are, after all, on a mission to the beyond in an arc that promises the return of deceased, beloved Nightcrawler. Lowe said writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness are “in it for the long haul.”

– “All New X-Men” – the title that brought the original five teenage X-Men to the present – continues after “Battle of the Atom” (which centers on whether they should be returned to their own time). But as that battle is far from over, Lowe said he couldn’t say who was even in No. 18. However, there was something on the cover for No. 20 that got audience members excited: X-23, the fan-favorite female Wolverine clone, kissing a figure in silhouette. (Dennis Hopeless piped in: “Nick doesn’t mind spoiling ‘Avengers Arena’ with that cover.”)

– “Uncanny X-Men” No. 15, and “Inhumanity” tie-in, will have people throwing things at writer Brian Michael Bendis, Lowe said.

– “Vendetta,” a four-part X-Force crossover, starts in January, continuing in two issues each of the Sam Humphries-written “Uncanny X-Force” and the Dennis Hopeless-written “Cable and the X-Force.” What happens? The present Hopeless (whose team is the “real X-Force,” he said) had some fun at the absent Humphries’ expense: “Cable kicks the … out of Sam’s imposters.” “Uncanny X-Force” No. 16, part of the crossover, includes the return of the villain Stryfe.

– “X-Men” Nos. 7 and 8 find writer Brian Wood joined by artists Terry and Rachel Dodson for a Lady Deathstrike arc that will include a cast member from the now-concluded “X-Factor”: Monet, who Wood previously wrote in “Generation X.” He said he enjoys the way she interacts with Jubilee.

– The cover for “Wolverine and the X-Men” No. 38 showed him busting through a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, and the one for 39 had him and who appeared to be Cyclops amid Sentinels. Details were scarce because the story flows out of the still-going “Battle of the Atom” crossover, but Lowe said S.H.I.E.L.D. and its place in the Marvel Universe would figure in. Artist Pepe Laraz joins writer Jason Aaron, who’s been on the book since No. 1.

– “Wolverine” No. 13, out in December, is the end of the “Killable” arc, in which Logan has lost his healing factor. The cover art shows him in the grasp of a dapper-looking, sword-wielding Sabretooth.

– The “Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe” miniseries by writer Christopher Hastings and artist Jacopo Camagni that starts in November will not have the character in his old mullet, editor White said. But his current hairstyle “will look just as bad in 10 years.”

– “X-Men: Legacy” writer Simon Spurrier couldn’t announce something he’d planned to, but thanked those “brave enough to take a shot on a really different book” about “that weird kid with the big hair,” Legion.

"Astonishing X-Men" No. 68, by writer Marjorie Liu and artist Gabriel Walta, came out Wednesday. (Marvel)

“Astonishing X-Men” No. 68, by writer Marjorie Liu and artist Gabriel Walta, came out Wednesday. (Marvel)

– “Astonishing X-Men” writer Marjorie Liu talked about her book wrapping with No. 68, saying her goal had been to make the characters feel so real that they seem like “folks you can run into in a restaurant or just walking down the streets of New York.” The main idea of her run, which featured the first same-sex wedding in a major superhero title: “You’re not alone in your difference. No matter how alone or how much an outsider you feel, you’ll find your family.”

– “Deadpool’s” Gerry Duggan said No. 20 is his, co-writer Brian Posehn and artist Scott Koblish’s “love letter to ’60s Marvel” and has plenty to offer anyone with “any love for some Kirby crackle,” referring to iconic comics artist Jack Kirby.

– A “Deadpool” annual by writer Ben Acker and Ben Blacker (“The Thrilling Adventure Hour” podcast) and artist Evan “Doc” Shaner also features Madcap and will answer the question of whatever happened to the Merc With the Mouth’s white caption boxes, editor Jordan D. White said.

Asked by a reader what she’ll be doing after “Astonishing X-Men” wraps, Liu said probably another novel – and she’s just turned in her 19th.

Not to be outdone, Duggan cracked, “I almost finished ‘Skyrim.’”

New York Comic Con, with an expected crowd of 130,000, is the East Coast’s largest pop-culture expo. The four-day event continues at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan through Sunday.

– Blake Hennon | @BlakeHennon | @LATHeroComplex


John Byrne's 1981 cover for “The Uncanny X-Men” No. 141, the first part of Byrne and Claremont's “Days of Future Past” story. (John Byrne / Marvel)

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