Marvel’s Next Big Thing: Brian Michael Bendis Brings Back the Original Five in ALL-NEW X-MEN

In today’s edition of Marvel Comics’ press conferences, writer Brian Michael Bendis and editor Nick Lowe were on hand to discuss the upcoming All-New X-Men, which launches on November 7th, 2012.  Bendis started the press conference by telling the press that anything goes and to ask whatever we like, and boy did we take him up on that…

Before taking questions Bendis talked about All-New X-Men, already revealed to feature the original five X-Men traveling from the past to the present and how the world around them is different than what they’re used to.  Bendis explained his approach to the new book, “I come in with hopefully a new take, and something that is true to the core idea of the book, but is something new.”  Bendis further explained that he had been offered the writing chores on X-Men previously but turned it down because he lacked that idea or concept, and it wasn’t until the planning discussions around Avengers Vs. X-Men that Bendis thought that he not only had an opportunity for a graceful exit from the Avengers, but he had come up with a good idea for the X-Men and AvX seemed like a good opportunity to pursue that.

Joining Bendis on the title is long time collaborator Stuart Immonen on art.  Bendis and Immonen previously worked together on Ultimate Spider-Man and New Avengers, and they’re tapping into the same emotional core of both those titles when approaching this. While Bendis explains that this book is unlike anything they’ve ever done before, it’s similar in the approach of Ultimate Spider-Man where the story puts the characters through an emotional adventure. “To put them in the mos extreme situations to see how they respond and see where the heroism lies,” is how Bendis explained the approach. Bendis expressed how pleased he has been with Immonens work so far on the title, saying that every time they get art in, he wants to release it to the public immediately, which is no surprise given the wealth of art that was given to us by Marvel Comics and can be seen below.

The biggest take away from the press conference was the impression of confidence in the story Bendis has. He explained that since this direction has was established pre-Avengers Vs. X-Men, he’s been able to work on the concept, research the history and ultimately get a head of schedule on the book, which he referred to as a real gift to be able to do.  It’s that lead time and confidence that allowed Bendis to speak candidly about the approach to the book and what fans may expect.  Among the key things revealed on the call were:

  • While the original 5 X-Men from the past is the hook of the book, the book is not just about them and will feature many of the other characters in the X-Men universe
  • We will see the specific moment in an early issue of Uncanny X-Men where the original 5 transport from (and those using Marvel AR can see that moment in the old comics on their phone or tablets with the Marvel AR App)
  • The title “All-New X-Men” is no accident, and there will be new mutants introduced, as early as the first issue
  • The villain of the book will be Mystique.  Bendis described her role as “a very big positioned antagonist…she’s going to be very interested in the past X-Men”
  • There will be ramifications to the past X-Men coming to the future.  Bendis cited that there is a “butterfly affect” but it may not occur on earth, rather somewhere in the galaxy, a thinly veiled hint to some sort paths being crossed with Guardians of the Galaxy, the other Marvel NOW! title Bendis is writing

With the past X-Men and the current X-Men in the mix, it appears that Bendis will have a lot in play in the pages of All-New X-Men.  When asked about the approach of bringing characters from the past, he was firm in his decision not to make this a Back To the Future 2 type story, focusing less on the specific year they’re coming from and focusing more on the fact that these are 16 year old students who come to a future that to them, is like the X-Men story Days of Future Past, with Bendis explaining: “This is about where the characters are in their heart…it’s not a story about time travel”  Rather, the idea of the seeing the characters again, filled with idealism and hope for the future is what will make the story compelling.  Highlights to lookout for are the dynamic of Scott Summers, with young and present day Scott Summers in the mix; the budding romance between Jean Grey and Scott Summers; as well as the presence of Jean Grey, a beloved character that’s been absent for 10 years.  Editor Nick Lowe specifically called out how delightful it has been to see Jean Grey back, stating “She leaps off the page in such a special way.”

It’s clear that Bendis, a long time X-Men fan and reader, has done his homework going into All-New X-Men, citing that the research for this book was much more elaborate than Avengers research, which was contained within the 500 back issues of Avengers.  Bendis described having piles of papers on Onslaught, Apocalypse etc.,  not that he intends to use those characters, but rather did the research for himself in his approach. Again the confidence in the characters and the material was apparent as Bendis prepares to launch what promises to be a long run with a unique status quo for Marvels mutants as he continues to work laid out by Editor In Chief Axel Alonso and writer of Uncanny Avengers Rick Remender to bring the X-Men to the forefront of the Marvel Universe.  Bendis explained, “One of my goals is to make sure the X-Men aren’t ghettoized” and cited the nature of the X-Men’s powers opens up the world to them to interact with Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and other beings from space, where the X-Men have traveled to in the past.

All-New X-Men #1 comes out on November 7, 2012 and you can see the cover and interiors, as well as covers and interiors (in various states) from the first 5 issues below:

Comments

  1. That cover to issue 3 is too good. It can’t be legal for a cover to look that good.

  2. Every time I read about this I picture the original Superman during Infinite Crisis complaining about how the world as gone to hell in a hand basket.

  3. RecksDeud RecksDeud says:

    Immonen is one of my favorite comics artists. I could look at his work all day and still not be satisfied.

    Bendis, however, is a writer whose work I’ve enjoyed about 5% of the total reading time I’ve given him.

    Sorry, Stuart, but I don’t buy books for artists alone…

  4. RobotZombie RobotZombie says:

    I really was all set to pass on this.
    The more I see the more I feel I need to be reading this.

    Damn you Bendis!
    Do NOT let me down.

  5. ragcage ragcage says:

    I’m reading Issue 1 to check if i will be trade reading this one

  6. “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

    Alright, here it is: UNCANNY AVENGERS, X-MEN LEGACY, THOR, and ALL NEW X-MEN, and not another red cent from me.
    No mas!

  7. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    I’m in. I’ve never been a huge Bendis fan and I sat out most of his Avengers work, but his enthusiasm and creativity is dialed up to 11 here and it’s just too tempting. I’m really curious to see what he does here, and Immonen tips the scales.

    I can’t wait to see Young Cyclops meet Wolverine for the first time. It should be golden.

  8. tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

    This was something I was sure I didn’t want. Then I read the teaser pages in the Marvel Now freebie and was very impressed. I am not a Bendis fan and avoid his books when possible, but I’m going to get this first issue and check it out.

    The other way that Marvel has hooked me is with the Skottie Young baby variant covers which don’t cost more at my LCS. I’m going to be buying several of the #1s just for those covers. But I’m not going to get ‘em all. No way was I buying that Now Point One issue from last week…

  9. befey says:

    I’m curious what Ron’s thinking…..

  10. undertak1983 undertak1983 says:

    Since Marvel isn’t bring back Uncanny X-Men, Marvel has declared that All-New X-Men is the new flagship “go to” title for the X-Men. This title will have some pretty big shoes to fill if it wants to replace Uncanny X-Men.

    From the start, this title has a lot of things going against it for me personally.
    ~Shipping twice a month at $3.99.
    ~I feel like the original five story has been told to death, no matter how you spin it.
    ~Brian Michael Bendis’s writing can be annoying at times, especially when it’s the banter in a large team book. Not every character needs to talk like Peter Parker.
    ~Could this be a cheap way to bring back Jean Grey? Her death facilitated so much emotion and story driven elements for so many other characters. Bringing her back this way seems like it will just evoke some cheap thrills and reactions. I’m already used to the “Nightcrawler! You’re alive!”, “I’m not your Nightcrawler, I’m from a different universe.” type of reactions.

    Although, this title does have some good points.
    ~Stuart Immonen
    ~Jean Grey (while I have my gripes and concerns, I’m still excited to see her.)
    ~Could this be a true and new direction for the X-Men?

    I’ll check out the first few issues and see if it pulls me in.

    • tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

      {Could this be a cheap way to bring back Jean Grey?}

      How else will they be able to kill her again if they don’t bring her back? This is just a fake out so that we’ll all accept her coming back. “It’s not the Jean that died. It’s the Jean that hasn’t died yet.” And then we’ll get to see her dying again.

      Having said that, I’m interested in the #1 based on the preview which really does seem good. Glad I’m not a continuity nerd or my panties would be in a bunch.

    • Grandturk says:

      Well if she’s from the 616 and this is purely a time-displaced team, then Jean (and everyone) has to go back and Prof X (in the past) has to mind wipe them – otherwise all of continuity would be screwed up because they would all have foreknowledge of the future – Cable-style.

  11. Mark_S says:

    Welcome to the future kids, let’s examine all the misery that you have to look forward too.

  12. diebenny diebenny says:

    I’m going to give this a chance despite my misgivings and having dropped USM due to how slow it moved and not caring about Miles. This is going to be double shipping for a bit, so it has some wiggle room to move a bit slower than other books.

    I miss the emotional USM style book though and Immonen is on art.

    I really really HOPE* Bendis focuses on his plotting. He can nail those character moments, and his plotting wasn’t bad in USM, but god damn was he phoning it in for YEARS on Avengers. I have such a bad taste in my mouth from those Avengers books that I’m hesitant, but man, if he just puts effort into this, it has so much potential. Yeah, I’m in to see how this goes.

    *(Classic comic book HOPE: “Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.”)

  13. Dean B. Dean B. says:

    I just can’t get behind this concept at all from the little I’ve read. Do we really need duplicate characters all in the same issue?
    Not to start a rant or anything but. part of what’s turned me off from Marvel in the last several years (after growing up a huge follower of the Jim Lee 90′s X-titles) is the lack of continuity and that they rehash a lot of the same characters in multiple books. I mean, how many books do we need with Wolverine in them really? It’s hard to feel like there’s character growth over time (which as an adult reader I enjoy) if there are 3 cyclops, 4 Iceman’s and Jean Grey specifically is dying/being resurrected/dying every few years.
    While I haven’t read a ton of Bendis’s work I have noticed that he tends to write quite a few of the same titles over and over again i the Marvel universe (X-man, Avengers and Spider-man for instance) and I’m kinda getting a little burned out seeing his name repeatedly. I’m almost having a hard time finding a team title he hasn’t written for or rehashed over and over again. Yes, he’s talented I’m sure but why not give a new X-man title to someone that hasn’t told the story already and might give a new writing perspective on it?
    With all that said, I do think Immonen’s art looks amazing in this title and would love to check out some more of his work. Can anyone recommend anything else he’s done?
    Thanks!

  14. fo sho says:

    Man these are some pretty pages…

  15. treysome treysome says:

    will definitely check this out

  16. Jimstra says:

    Well i didn’t really have any interest in this book, but these covers and the art make me want to check it out. Looks like it will be a good book.