Marvel recently announced that it was bringing back Uncanny X-Men, starting it off with a ten-part weekly story called “DISASSEMBLED.” But what brought us to here and what have the X-Men been doing up until now?
The new Uncanny X-Men series certainly boasts a murderers row of writers and artists:
Writers Ed Brisson (EXTERMINATION), Kelly Thompson (MR. AND MRS. X), and Matthew Rosenberg (PHOENIX RESURRECTION, ASTONISHING X-MEN) will join the equally X-perienced artistic team of Mahmud Asrar (X-MEN RED), R.B. Silva (X-MEN BLUE), Yildiray Cinar (WEAPON X), and Pere Perez (ROGUE AND GAMBIT). Leinil Frances Yu will provide artwork for the covers.
But let’s look at the books that came before that, shall we? In 2016, after the crossover Inhumans vs. X-Men, the X-books all relaunched under the banner of the (still silly sounding) ResurrXion line. Those books were:
X-Men Gold was one of the two flagship titles for ResurrXion, with tagline “Back to Basics.” Written by Marc Guggenheim, with a rotating list of artists (one of whom managed to get himself fired and blacklisted immediately due to some controversial references he included), this was the book that was supposed to restore the X-Men to their former glory, even transporting the X-mansion into the middle of Central Park (yes, I know, it still doesn’t make any sense).
As for the actual quality of the book...well, it’s been mixed. There are good things about it and bad things about it. Generally, it’s just...kind of bland. The biggest story arc has been about the Wedding of Kitty Pryde and Piotr Rasputin, who seemed to get together again because...eh, why not? In any case, the wedding didn’t go off as planned, Kitty got cold feet, and a much better couple (Rogue and Gambit!) got married instead, complete with their own spin-off book, Mrs. and Ms. X (written by Kelly Thompson, with art by Oscar Bazaldua).
Currently, X-Men Gold is set to end with issue #36.
X-Men Blue was the other flagship title of ResurrXion, this one about the original five (O5) X-Men who had been taken from their own time back in Brian Michael Bendis’s All-New X-Men and had yet to return. Written by Cullen Bunn, with art by Jorge Molina and Matteo Buffagni, the team was now led by Teen Jean and worked under the expertise of Magneto.
Eventually, the team came to include other team members like Polaris, Danger, Jimmy Hudson (Wolverine’s son from the Ultimate Universe), and Bloodstorm (a vampiric Storm from the Mutant X universe).
The series has dealt with time travel, traveling to space to fight the Poisons along with Venom, and Magneto trying to stop Emma Frost and Miss Sinister from using something called the “Mothervine.” The biggest takeaway from the series, however, is that there is still a hole in history where the O5 need to return — except that they’ve changed too much to go back, so something needs to happen to return them to the way they were.
Currently, X-Men Blue is set to end with issue #36. However, the O5 X-Men are also currently involved in a crossover called Extermination (written by Ed Brisson, with art by Pepe Larraz), which is said to be the “last” story involving them — and (SPOILERS) it involves a young Cable jumping through time to capture and return all of time-displaced X-Men.
Weapon X was the anti-hero book, the one that teamed up Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Warpath, and Domino in order to fight off a newly resurrected (get it?) Weapon X program that was determined to take their DNA and create robot-clone-hybrids of them. It was written by Greg Pak, with art by Greg Land, with Fred Van Lente coming in later to co-write.
The biggest story in this book was the crossover it had with Totally Awesome Hulk, where Weapon X also managed to successfully harvest Amadeus Cho’s DNA and create a Hulk/Wolverine hybrid that they called Weapon H. The person who became Weapon H, however, decided he didn’t like being used and rebelled. Eventually, the team adopted the named “Weapon X” for itself, even as Warpath and Old Man Logan left it.
Currently, Weapon X is still ongoing, although Van Lente has said it will either end soon or his own involvement will end soon.
Old Man Logan
The obligatory Logan book. Originally written by Jeff Lemire, currently written by Ed Brisson and illustrated by Ibraim Roberson, Old Man Logan follows, well, Old Man Logan, the Logan who comes from a dystopian future where supervillains rose up and killed all the superheroes and now rule over the wasteland that was the United States.
Old Man Logan has faced off against a bunch of enemies, including Lady Deathstrike, the Maestro and the Hulk Gang (from his own timeline), his own former lover Mariko now returned as the Scarlet Samurai, Kraven the Hunter, and, most recently, Bullseye.
Currently, the book is set to end with issue #50, but that won’t be the last story with Old Man Logan. Instead, there will be a final twelve-issue mini-series called Dead Man Logan, written by Ed Brisson, with art by Mike Henderson, about Old Man Logan’s last days.
Unlike the other books, Astonishing X-Men acts as a kind of anthology book — every story arc is due to be something different, with a different team line-up and a different artist each issue.
The first twelve issues were written by Charles Soule and they were about a group of random X-Men (Old Man Logan, Psylocke, Rogue, Gambit, Bishop, Fantomex, Mystique, and Archangel) coming together to investigate a large psychic disturbance in London. It turns out that the Shadow King and the mind of Charles Xavier (currently deceased) have been locked in psychic combat for years and it’s now spilling out into the real world.
The biggest thing that happened in this book is, well, the resurrection of Charles Xavier...kind of. You see, his body was still destroyed, but his mind still exists on the Astral Plane. So Fantomex decides to give him his own body and allows Xavier to inhabit it for good. Xavier forgoes going by his own name, however, instead opting to go by simply “X.”
Currently, a new writer/artist team has begun (Matthew Rosenberg and Greg Land), with a new team-up of random X-Men (a newly good Havoc, Beast, Dazzler, Colossus, Warpath, and a not-dead-anymore Banshee).
X-Men Red was the first of the ResurrXion II launches, coming after Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey (written by Matthew Rosenberg with art by Leinil Francis Yu) where the original, adult Jean Grey, uh, returned to life.
X-Men Red, written by Tom Taylor with art by Mahmud Asrar, is basically the continuation of her story and what she wants to do now that she’s alive again — which is, basically, help mutants all over the world. But her original plan (involving the UN) ended up sabotaged by the machinations of Cassandra Nova and so Jean Grey put together a team (Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Honey Badger, Namor, Gentle, Storm, Gambit, and Trinary) in order to stop Nova and her evil plans.
Let me tell you right now: X-Men Red is friggin’ awesome. It is probably the best X-book out right now.
Domino is written by Gail Simone, with art by David Baldeon.
Domino is awesome incarnate.
Go read Domino right now.
Just like the rest of Marvel, the ResurrXion lineup had a number of books that just didn’t survive, no matter how good they were. In alphabetical order:
- All-New Wolverine. Tom Taylor’s masterpiece, this series managed to perfectly encapsulate just who Laura Kinney was and what she wanted to be and also managed to introduce her adorable tween clone Gabby. If you have a chance, I would highly recommend reading it, especially the “Enemy of the State II” and “Immune” arcs. It was cancelled in order to relaunch it as X-23, written by Mariko Tamaki, with art by Juan Cabal. It’s still good, although Laura deserves the Wolverine name, dammit.
- Cable. Originally written by James Robinson, then by Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler. Cable’s adventures through time. Came to an end with the beginning of Extermination.
- Generation X. Written by Christina Strain, with art by Amilcar Pinna, this was about Jubilee teaching the misfit class at Xavier’s school (Bling!, Morph, Hindsight, Nature Girl, Eye Boy, and Quinten Quire). Although it started off slow, it had a really nice story and really good characterization, especially when the original Generation X characters came back. Although it was cancelled after only nine issues, it still managed to de-vampire Jubilee (meaning she’s a regular mutant), which is nice.
- Iceman. Written by Sina Grace, with art by Alessandro Vitti, this was the book about the newly out, adult Iceman. Although some didn’t like it, I thought it was a nice, deep dive into Iceman’s character and provided some great characterization. And, although it was cancelled with issue #11, it apparently did so well in trades that it’s returning as a limited series.
- Jean Grey. Written by Dennis Hopeless, with art by Victor Ibanez, this was about Teen Jean and her attempts to stop the Phoenix from possessing her. It was a pretty damn good book, but it ended after eleven issues because, well, the original adult Jean came back.
More recently, the X-line has started producing more and more limited series to see what readers like. They have been in order that they came out:
- Legion. A five-issue mini-series by Peter Milligan, with art by Wilfredo Torres. It’s about David Haller trying to stop one of his personalities, Lord Trauma.
- Rogue & Gambit. A five-issue mini-series by Kelly Thompson, with art by Pere Perez. Rogue and Gambit are picked to go undercover at a mutant spa resort for couples. It’s exactly as awesome and hilarious as it sounds. It also sold so well that it’s getting a follow up continuing series, Mr. and Mrs. X, about a newly married Rogue and Gambit.
- New Mutants: Dead Souls. A six-issue mini-series by Matthew Rosenberg, with art by Adam Gorham. Magik is leading a new team of New Mutants, consisting of Rictor, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, and Boom-Boom, looking into supernatural phenomena. Why? Well, that’s the mystery.
- Multiple Man. A five-issue mini-series by Matthew Rosenberg, with art by Andy MacDonald. Jamie Madrox died...except one of his dupes is still alive. Except he doesn’t have much time. Except if he gets his hands on a time travel device. Except...perhaps that’s not such a good idea, since it might lead to the end of the world...
So What’s Going On With Wolverine?
The original Wolverine/Logan/James Howlett is back to being alive. How? Why? Well, we don’t know yet. In fact, neither do the characters, which is where Hunt for Wolverine comes in. They find out that Logan’s dead body is missing, so they, uh, hunt for Wolverine in these four-issue mini-series:
- Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost, written by Charles Soule, with art by Matteo Buffagni. Daredevil assembles a squad of detectives, including Misty Knight, Frank McGee, and Cypher, to track down Wolverine’s body.
- Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer, written by Mariko Tamaki, with art by Butch Guice. Daken, Lady Deathstrike, and Sabretooth think Wolverine is back from the grave, so try to track him down in order to return him there.
- Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda, written by Tom Taylor, with art by R. B. Silva. The New Avengers — Iron Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones — reassemble in order to track down Wolverine’s DNA, which leads to a massive conspiracy.
- Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor, written by Jim Zub, with art by Thony Silas. When Logan’s alter-ego Patch is sighted in Madripoor, Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Domino, and Jubilee team-up to track him down.
These books are notable for two things: the return of Psylocke’s original white body (her Asian body was due to being body-swapped with another character named Kwannon) and leading up to The Return of Wolverine.
- Return of Wolverine. Written by Charles Soule, with art by Steve McNiven. Wolverine returns, this time with claws that can become hot, too.
So there we are. Things to know if you want to read the upcoming Uncanny X-Men weekly series:
- The Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach is still located in the middle of Central Park. The headmistress is Kitty Pryde.
- The adult Jean Grey is currently alive and leading her own team of X-Men.
- Charles Xavier is kind of alive, inhabiting the body of Fantomex and calling himself “X.”
- Wolverine is currently alive, although we don’t know why yet.
- Cyclops is still dead.
- Rogue and Gambit are married.
- Psylocke is back to being white.
- Jubilee is no longer a vampire (although she still has a son).
- Go read Domino right now.