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.
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.