Neal Adams & Christos Gage Reveal THE FIRST X-MEN

The First X-Men #1 cover by Neal Adams

Today Marvel Comics hosted a press conference call that revealed the details behind the project The First X-Men, which was teased late last week.  On the call was X-Men group editor Nick Lowe, writer Christos Gage and legendary comics creator Neal Adams.

Clearly this 5 issue mini-serie,s which will feature story by Adams and Gage and art by Adams, is a big deal as it marks Neal Adams return to the X-Men after helping to revitalize the title and save it from cancellation over 40 years ago.  Coming off his accomplishment of Batman: Odyssey over at DC Comics, Adams returns to Marvel to help bring to light a tale that has never been told before and, according to Lowe, will exist firmly in continuity, revealing much of the X-Men’s origins and play into Wolverine’s history in an important way.

Adams cited reading the original X-Men run by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and wondered what the story was before X-Men #1, before Professor Xavier had already recruited the first 5 X-Men and gave them costumes and fought Magneto.  “Maybe this was going on when Professor X was a teenager and mutants were being abused by the government..and somebody stepped out to protect these kids. Who would he be and why would he go to Charles Xavier?  That became my premise,” said Adams about the germ of the idea behind The First X-Men.

The First X-Men #1 Variant Cover

Once presented with the idea, Marvel paired Adams with Christos Gage, who naturally jumped at the chance to work with Neal Adams. Together they worked off of Adams’ initial story outline and developed it into the story that Adams is drawing.  Since the story takes place before X-Men #1, we’ll see some new characters which you can see in the first issues cover to the right, such as a young boy named Bomb and a mysterious woman.  Also included on the cover and within the story are Wolverine, Sabretooth and a Nazi Hunter Magneto.  One could see Magneto’s involvement as  bridge from the movie of X-Men: First Class, but Adams assures us that aside from the Nazi Hunter Magneto, that’s where the similarities stop.

As Lowe mentioned, the mini series will exist within continuity during the appropriate, but timeless, tapestry of the Marvel Universe’s history. So since it’s pre X-Men #1, the creators promised we’ll see Hobo Sub-Mariner (as he was revealed in early issues of Fantastic Four) and Fred Duncan, the FBI Agent from X-Men #2.  As for other surprise appearances from Marvel characters, the creative team hinted that we may, but that they’re respecting the place in history and not to expect to see X-Men like Havok in the book.

When asked, Neal Adams said that, sadly, we will not see Wolverine taking a nap as he depicted Batman in Batman: Odyssey. In fact, much of The First X-Men comes from Adams’ wealth of ideas around the X-Men and the world they live in and he and Gage were excited about adding new characters and backstory to the already rich history of the X-Men.

The First X-Men #1 goes on sale in August, 2012.



  1. Is this going to be completely, gloriously, ridiculous?

  2. This is very disappointing news. I’d hoped for a better team.

    • Right? I totally agree. And why can’t Wolverine sit out for one X-book?

    • Uncanny X-men
      New Mutants
      X-men Legacy
      None of these x-books and regular series has wolverine in their cast

    • Jacen Chris JCB (@jcbhatestweeter) says:

      I seriously thought this would be Hickman’s next book. I love Neal Adams and all, but yeeaaaahhhh, this seems a stretch.

    • Boring!!!!

    • @darkclaw09: He may not be in a majority of X-books, but he is in a plurality.

    • Thank you darkclaw09, Wolverines in none of those books and makes sense to be here because he was ALIVE. As for the creative team, I have no doubt the story will be interesting and Neal Adam’s is serving in that dept as well as pencils but prefer his older work (Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Batman,Deadman and X-men..etc) much more than his art today. Still, predating X-Men #1 should be an interesting story and will check this out.

    • For the record, when I spoke of ‘team’, I was referring to the writer/artist collaboration. Characters mean nothing to me without a good creative team.

  3. Why does any team need TWO guys with claws and healing factors?
    Why would Magneto need help from anyone to defeat four armoured dudes?
    I can’t wait for the answers to those questions and more!

  4. I’m just not interested in this …thank god I can’t afford to buy any more new series

  5. I’m in this! Neal’s run on the original book got me into the team initially!

  6. I love cage writing but not a Neal Adams dude. Ill pass I was expecting something better than this. Maybe if I hear some news on,it being good.

  7. Excited about the Fred Duncan FBI agent character being involved. I always liked that part of the original x-men issues. I kinda hope someone would come back to that after Oliver Platt basically played him in the First Class movie.

  8. I think it’s a great idea to have Gage co-writing. That way the story won’t stray too far into Wacky Town. On second thought…

  9. Because everyone wanted another x-men book…

  10. Ugh. Wolverine is literally the worst. This is pretty unappealing to me on the whole. And I love Neal Adams.

  11. I’m sorry I love old Neal Adams work and while it may be disrespect to say about a legend that art is horrible. Also, I don’t like the team so I’m out.

  12. “Coming off his accomplishment of Batman Odyssey…”

    I seriously could not stop laughing at that sentence. Clearly, Ron could not think of a positive spin off of that terrible series.

    This sounds quite terrible to be honest. It’s a story we’ve seen a hundred times before and if Batman Odyssey is any indication then this is going to be appalling. I know Cage is involved but I have a feeling he is going to struggle to rein in on Adams insanity.

  13. I read his resent Batman story mainly because of his Word balloon interview and have to say once it was competed was awesome. So I have to give this a chance. Plus if you listen to his interview there is a method to the madness!

  14. “Coming off his acomplishment of Batman: Odyssey” yeah…..accomplishment….let’s go with that…

  15. Not a fan. They lost me at Batman: Odyssey. But of course before Professor X formed the X-men (his creation, his team by the way) there would be Wolverine. I love Wolvie as much as the next guy, but for the LOVE OF GOD why do they force him into EVERYTHING RELATED TO X-MEN. Past, Present, Future, Alternate Future, Possible Future, Alternate Past, Alternate Present, etc, in EVERY permutation of the X-men there is Wolverine. He’s there more than Scott, Bobby, Jean, Warren, or Hank. I know his powers make that possible but my God, when will this stop.

    If this was Hickman, I’d be on board. This, no. I don’t care.

    • Wolverines not a part of like 5 X titles and he was alive when this takes place so it makes sense and while I agree Hickman could do magic here, Adams is classic, I like his older works better but this story should be interesting regardless of his pencils then to now.

  16. I don’t mind the concept of the book or the new characters being introduced, but Neal Adams?? That is a stretch but hopefully Gage has a lot of input in the story and its well done. I’m also hoping the artwork reflects that era.

  17. So completely not interested. Who knows? It could be good, I just don’t care.

    • Then why waste your time commenting? Just to attempt to bring down those who are excited for the series? I’m not running out to get this like its water in the desert either but predating X-men #1 will probably be interesting.

    • It’s his job to make you feel good? He did’t even say anything insulting. This is a general comic book forum not a X-Men fanpage…

  18. So, basically, X-Men is getting the “Avengers 1959” treatment (complete with Sabretooth, no less?)? Eh, no thanks.

  19. Definitely looking forward to the discussion on the podcast about this title.

  20. The comic book equivalent of the x-men first class movie? I can MAYBE believe that a pre-weapon X Wolvie could have been on a team and not remember after his treatment but Sabertooth, Magneto and Xavier? Suspension of disbelief can only go SO far.

  21. No thanks. I’ll pass on this one. It doesn’t look interesting to me. While the creators are good in their own right, I’m just not feeling excited about this.

  22. Can anyone say Deadly Genesis?!?!

  23. I’m holding out for the PRE-pre-X-Men book where it’s revealed that Professor Xavier’s father, along with Wolverine and a time traveling Deadpool, formed a team of mutant adventures.

  24. Wow! And I don’t mean that in a good way. So, Marvel cancelled X-Men the Hidden Years (which, granted, wasn’t that great), but they’re willing to shit all over continuity in another attempt to make Wolverine seem more important than he should be.

    Maybe this will rise above the concept, but I don’t see how.

  25. I haven’t been a mutant completist in years.

    And I thought Adams recent Batman piece looked dated.

    So while I agree that this seems like the 1959-ing of X-continuity, I’m not too concerned, because there are also forty thousand other Wolverine stories I have yet to read.

    And who knows? It could turn out really cool.

  26. I’ll pass on this one. None of the already established characters on this team are a draw to me and hearing how ridiculous Odyssey was, I’m putting my trust into Adams to create interesting new characters.

    I would actually like less Wolverine, Magneto and (even though he’s not in this) Cyclops.

  27. Neal Adams is a (deserved) legend among comic artists, but there’s no way in hell I’m going near anything he’s written – Batman Odyssey was AWFUL.

  28. I think this looks cool. I’ll check it out.

  29. Who wouldn’t want a book drawn by Neal Adams? I am no X-Men fan but I’ll be getting this…