At New York Comic Con over the weekend, the big Marvel Comics news was that the publisher is cancelling Fantastic Four in the new year, just months before the new FF movie is released in theaters everywhere. Many pundits and fans are taking the move as an “Eff You!” on the part of Marvel Comics to a rival company that owns the license to make movies based on their characters and won’t give it back. The X-Men are in the same boat, so the question was asked at NYCC, or at least one related to the issue of whether or not Marvel likes other people getting to play with their toys. The rumor’s been persistent, so one dedicated fan asked, “Why doesn’t Marvel make any new mutant characters?”
“If you’ve been reading my books, almost every character is a new one,” said Brian Michael Bendis, one of the current architects of the X-Men universe. “I’m not exactly sure where that’s coming from. I’m constantly creating new X-Men to put them in the toy box. I’ve been doing it constantly.”
So there you go. Not only is Marvel not not creating new mutant characters, they’re going out of their way to create new characters. I understand the concern, but the X-Men movie universe is way more established than Josh Trank‘s efforts with the Fantastic Four, and has been ongoing for 14 years and counting.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at some more comic book X-Men news, and the biggest thing going on right now, The Death of Wolverine, took up the most discussion. X-Men line executive editor Mike Marts calls the event, “The most fun we’ve ever had killing a character.”
Writer Charles Soule talked about the series so far and where the story will end with the final issue which hits store shelves this Wednesday. “We’ve been building up to this big ending,” he explained. “We’ve hit touchstones on Wolverine’s life. We’ve done Canadian wildman, and Madripoor and Japan. So the last issue we go back to Weapon X. We look at how that affected me and how it will affect the Marvel Universe going forward.”
Of course, this being the modern age of comics, don’t expect this Wednesday to be the last we hear from Wolverine. Follow-up books will include a series a seven one-shots called Death of Wolverine The Logan Legacy, the bizarro team-up book Death of Wolverine: Deadpool and Captain America, an anthology called Life After Logan which features stories about Colossus, Armor, and Cyclops reaction to Logan’s death, and a new ongoing series called Weapon X Program which features five new characters. “These are not the heroes, not the super soldiers, they’re the lab rats of Weapon X and they escape. I think of it as Runaways meets Frankenstein,” said Soule.
In the future, we’ll also get Wolverines #1, a new weekly series coming in January by writers Soule and Ray Fawkes, with art by Nick Bradshaw. “This isn’t a save-the-universe kind of team. This is the ‘we’re all trying to survive each other’ team,” explained Soule. “Fin Fang Foom shows up at one point, sort of. There’s crazy guest stars. It’s really gonzo. Remember Nextwave? This isn’t that, but it reminds me of how anything can happen in there.”
All-in-all it promises to be a very busy couple of months for the X-Men books. The All-New X-Men will make their way to the Ultimate universe, Spider-Man will be teaching young mutants in Spider-Man and the X-Men #1, The Juggernaut will return in The Amazing X-Men, and the All-New X-Factor will continue full steam ahead even though the book will be cancelled sometime in the next year.
So don’t worry X-Men fans, it seems that Marvel is still merry with its mutants.