The X-Men are legends in the world of comics. Anyone in the world of comics has a favorite X-Men story or character, and many (like myself) even picked an issue up as their first comic. At one time though the Uncanny X-Men were about to be cancelled. It’s at that time the reigns where turned over to Roy Thomas and Neal Adams. The short story is that the book regained popularity and was saved in the long run. (Obviously because its still around today!) Neal went on after that to do great things in comics, most notably his work on Green Lantern/ Green Arrow. If you don’t know about this guy, do yourself a favor and go research his work! I remember having some of the X-Men covers he did up on my wall from a poster magazine I got as a kid. I always loved his stuff! Then he left comics.
The year is now 2012, its been close to 20 years since he’s done much comic work at all, and a good 40 since he’s been on X-Men. Well guess what? He’s back! Kind of… Neal had an idea. He went to editor Nick Lowe with an idea for an X-Men story, but not one set in this decade. He was thinking about a team of X-Men set before the current X-Men even came together! Professor-X does make an appearance, but not the way you’d think. He declines to be part of such a gathering of mutants at this point in his life. So who leads the team? Who else? Wolverine. At this point in his life, with his bone claws and pre-Weapon-X mentality, he sees the need for a group of mutants (Still limited in number in the world) to gather together. So who does he gather and who does he fight?
Let’s start with the names everyone knows: Sabretooth and Magneto. A mercenary for hire, Sabretooth is recruited by Wolverine. Well, less recruited than hired. Magneto is hunting Nazis, quite similar to his portrayal in X-Men: First Class. They encounter such opposition as a homeless man, secretly a amnesiac Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the earliest versions of sentinels. What has me interested in this title is the names we don’t know. Bomb, Virus, and Meteor. Keep in mind, it’s been years now since we’ve seen real new mutants! The Scarlet Witch spoke those infamous words, ‘No more mutants’, and then we had to wait years for Hope to come around and bring us something new. This is another chance to see some new powers and personalities in the mutant community.
Normally, the opportunity to check out new characters is enough, but through in Neal Adams and Christos Gage? I’m going to check out the first issue for sure. I think its got some cool potential. The real seller for me was hearing these guys talk about it in Charlotte though. There was tangible excitement pouring out of Neal! He even was so bold as to prediction that after the mini series, “You will see the first X-Men in there own title”. Christos Gage described the series as “Dancing between the rain drops”, referring to the story’s time frame and potential for more exploration. Will it live up to the hype Neal Adams has built around it? I’ll be picking it up to find out, why not give it a chance yourself? Look for it in August at your local comic shop!
So while I was a Heroes Con, in Charlotte, I spent alot of my time moving from panel to panel. I was hoping to absorb as much wisdom as I could, and get to see some of my favorite creators along the way. Well when I took my seat in the First X-Men panel, featuring legendary artist Neal Adams, and current writer supreme Christos Gage, I got more than I expected in both.