Marvel’s Next Big Thing: Age of X

On a call today with writer Mike Carey and Daniel Ketchum, we learned a bit more about the Age of X event debutting in January with Age of X Alpha. The event then continues in the pages of X-Men Legacy and New Mutants in issues 245 and 22 respectively.

Carey refers to the series as a "mystery thriller" set in an alternate reality which never knew an X-Men team. Without such an organization, the world is beset by war. Faceless anti-mutant forces have backed Magneto and his forces into a corner, and the last sanctuary remaining for the mutant race is a single fortress which Ketchum likens to Helms Deep out of The Lord of the Rings. Here, Carey explains, Magneto plays "the pivotal role" as a kind of general. 


Regarding the lineup, Rogue serves as the series' central protagonist, though many mutants-including several not appearing in this promotional image, play major roles throughout the series. Carey has taken this opportunity to assemble mutants from throughout the generations, a true review of the Xavier Academy's best and brightest. We can confirm here that the man behind the Basilisk mask is in fact Cyclops. Ketchum also wanted to dispel the theory that the Phoenix character in the image is not Hope. Whoever it is, we can say that she destroyed the city of Albany. Expect all of the characters to function similarly to their mainstream counterpoints, only hurled through the ringer. That ringer being the reality of a world without an X-Men team. A world where all of the treats combatted by the X-Men in the traditional timeline were never fully combatted.

Carey also explained that the 'X' in 'Age of X' refers to a number of things, but chiefly, a person. They weren't saying much about the identity of this character aside from referring to him as a new entity, and part of the larger puzzle. That said, he also mentioned that the lynchpin for this story is the exclusion of one character from the timeline. Given that the X-Men were never formed in this reality, could that mean the person is Professor X? Was Chuck never born? Did he die too early? Did some event cause him to go down another path? Was X born in his place? Or is X someone else entirely?

We'll know a great deal more in January with the publication of Age of X Alpha. And then even more when the story continues in X-Men Legacy #245, the cover of which–drawn by Leinil Yu–appears below. 



  1. Too 90’s for words

  2. helly yes to alternate realities. when this idea was greenlit, Ron felt a huge rush of excitement that he wasn’t able to pinpoint the cause of

  3. I reckon this sounds pretty cool… I was really annoyed with how boring the last issue of Uncanny X-men was. Also, where the hell is the next Ultimate X book?   

  4. Impression of me reading this: don’t care, don’t care — wait is that JEAN?

    I’m like a smack addict with the stupid X-Men.

  5. Excellent question, Woody.  What the hell happened to Ultimate X?

  6. If the series gets good reviews I’ll pick up the trade. I do love me some alternative reality stuff. Good to see they’re not stretching it out too long as well. A good month long event.

    I’m certainly curious.

  7. True story: I just read somewhere* that John McCain’s secret Service code name was ‘Phoenix.’  People may assure this is a reference to the geography of his home state but could he in fact be a host?

    *I read it on Meghan McCain’s twitter, all right?  Don’t judge me.

  8. alternate realities are fun, especially when they don’t drag on very long.  this is only three issues (I wouldn’t be opposed to a requisite anthology being put out too), so this should be good.

  9. I thought it was because he was ashen or close to ash. 

    @edward – I believe that’s Hellion?  

  10. I’m sorry but I love this shit

  11. @edward- that is Hellion.  it appears he lost his arms in this alternate reality as well.  it looks like he’s found a pretty cool solution

  12. @ohcaroline  I follow her too, don’t be ashamed, she’s super cute and pretty funny

  13. Ketchum mentioned the new look for Hellion may also affect the regular Hellion in the 616. Sort of mysteriously. 

  14. @birdseye – that is awesome!  I hope that carries over to the regular universe

  15. Thought it was a mutant civil rights book. Age of 10?

  16. Alternate realities!? In an X-Men book!?

    NO WAY!!! 

  17. I don’t read any X books outside of X-Factor, but this has me intrigued. Mostly because I like Mike Carey.

  18. Hellion kinda reminds me of Vectorman from the Sega Genesis game back in the day.


    Mike Carey writes the best X-Men stories these days, so of course this is going to be good. Yes, it’s alternate universes. But knowing that Carey is writing the story, we can rest assured that this will be interesting and engrossing.

  19. Yawn. So is this a story arc? I’m sure as hell not buying any beyond Legacy, which I normal buy anyway but has been spinning it’s wheels in monotony for the last few years (actually like most of the other X books lately)

  20. @vinh I like Carey too, on everything except the X-Men.  This looks like it could be the breath of fresh air his book needs. He seems to do better in worlds where he doesn’t have too many restrictions and 616 x-verse is nothing but… Unless you’re Peter David (X-Factor ftw)

  21. The only difference with Storm is that she’s wearing even less clothing then her 616 counterpart.

    Also, worst costume of the year goes to ‘Age of X’ Cyclops. Pretty certain. 

  22. I lost faith in Carey’s X-stuff a few years ago. His first run on X-Men (Vol. 2) was great. And I enjoyed the first 10 or so issues of Legacy. After that it’s been all down hill.

    And this may be "Marvel’s Next Big Thing", but they’ve totally lost my confidence as well. Though there are a number of Marvel titles that are genuinely innovative (Hickman’s SHIELD comes to mind), the overall "big" pushes of Marvel seem to be such boring retreads of past ideas. This "Age of X" is just trying to recapture Age of Apocalypse. Cue a hundred snotty "Whatever Happened to the House of (New) Ideas?" blog posts.

    Of course, unoriginality won’t much matter if the actual comics are good. But like I say, Marvel and in this case the Mainstream Mike Carey have totally given me every reason not to trust them anymore. When 4 of the last 5 X-overs, and the last two years of Legacy, have been bad to mediocre, I just can’t give them the benefit of the doubt. I’d rather just reread Age of Apocalpyse and maybe track down the few issues of that I missed.

  23. This looks damn cool to me.  Obviously similar to Age of Apocalypse but that was a cool story.  Something about seeing all the X-Men re-designed and out of current continuity gets me pumped for this.  My only concern is the crossover part.  Hopefully the New Mutants is just a tie-in and the main story happens in Legacy.  I will pick it up if that’s the case.

  24. Age of porn? I’ll read that.

  25. umm does this remind anyone else of Travest Charest era WildC.A.T.s

  26. Love Legacy so i’m in.  Bring it on Carey!

  27. Can the X-books go six months without a crossover?  Is that too much to ask?

  28. How happy is Ron Richards tonight?

  29. Looks like Cyclops was in the Weapon X program instead of Maverick?  Is that Wolverine in the Helmet or Avalanche?

    Maybe someone went back in time and prevented Wolverine from being in Weapon X program, and took out Xavier?

    Funny i read this while my wife and I are watching Back to the Future!

  30. Please don’t infect X-Factor. Please.

  31. If this is really just 3 issues long, then maybe I’ll try this.

  32. UPDATE:  The story starts with "Age of X Alpha" in January and runs through "X-Men Legacy" and "New Mutants" for the next several months…*

    *from an article in

    So, I’m definitely out of this thing. 

  33. Boring, boring, I own that plot and the Bachalo rehash, sorry Carey it’s not going to do it for me. Fool me once and all that nonsense. Also, speaking as an avid manga reader, that Basilisk mask was ripped straight off of the following: Darker than Black, AirGear, Tenjho Tenge, Bleach, Blame!, am I forgetting any other titles? Yeah… Carey used to really wow me with some of his ideas but lately he’s been pretty much a miss. Where’s Zeb Wells? Bring his ass here to do this, he’s been kicking ass on everything he touches. The man is a true fan that doesn’t rehash things like a bad Gainax writer trying to rehash Evangelion. Oh and as far as Leinel Yu goes, he’s ok I suppose. I can appreciate his hardwork but I’m no fan of his style. His art leaves a lot to be desired.

  34. I’m finding it harder and harder to care about X-Books lately – I really liked Fraction’s run when he started, but now it’s doing very little for me.  This whole thing seems largely futile.

  35. I’m hopeful for this. Carey has been a bit hit and miss but alternate realities usually make for good x men stories so I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt.

  36. @Selfstyler I’m with you buddy. I mean 2009 was pretty damn good year. We had Zeb Wells bringing back New Mutants (after that GOD AWFUL Young X-men which made NO FUCKING SENSE at the end which replaced a really good "New X-men" series), a REALLY well drawn X-force with the dynamic writing duo Kyle and Yost (editor and writer of the "Evolution" series), Uncanny which was doing pretty well, Legacy which was blowing me out of the water and a few one-offs and minis that told good stories. Marvel should have introduced that stupid vampire arc after SECOND COMING. To me that’s all filler nonsense and I’m pretty much waiting until another good run ascends from the filth that’s out now.

    They should have just done a new arc where Bishop was right. Something that epic would bring me back, honestly.

  37. TYPO! *shouldn’t have

  38. This looks awesome. Loved the alternate reality stories like House of M and Age of Apocolypse, so the idea of Mike Carey’s take on a "might’ve been" x-men has me sold!

  39. Yes! I love me some X-Men alternate realities stories. That’s right I said it.

  40. Is the winged mutant an alternate version of Pixie I wonder?

  41. Hrm. Well, if it’s running through New Mutants, my choices are to either drop that book while this is going or to start picking up Legacy (which hasn’t done anything for me for a while).

    I dunno. I didn’t read Age of Apocalypse, ’cause honestly, it sounded stupid. This sounds a bit better, but…I dunno.