[Contains SPOILERS for X-Men: Prime #1 and All-New X-Men #19.]
The previous year has been a long, bumpy road for the X-Men. After the Inhuman king Black Bolt detonated a Terrigen bomb to ward off his enemies, mutants around the world began to suffer from a mysterious and sometimes deadly illness dubbed the M-Pox. During a visit to the X-Men base on Muir Island, leaders Cyclops and Emma Frost connected the dots between the Terrigen clouds circling the globe and the devastating disease. During the Death of X series, Scott and Emma begin their own crusade against the Terrigen, managing to take out one of the clouds before Black Bolt (sort of) killed Scott.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the X-Men formed an uneasy truce with the Inhumans. Following eight months of tireless research and tenuous peace, Beast was unable to find a scientific solution. He did, however, determine that the X-Men only had a short time before Terrigen levels on Earth became toxic, making it uninhabitable to mutants. As a result, the white flag fell and battle raged on in the pages of Inhumans vs X-Men.
As it turns out, the vicious conflict was just the beginning of the X-Men’s rebirth in “ResurrXion.”
After the War
With their very survival on the line, the X-Men chose to strike first against the Inhumans. After recovering, the Royal Family staged a counterattack, only to discover the true reason for the the mutant’s aggression, thanks to a compassionate efforts of a joint team, made up of members from both sides. Medusa, when faced with mutant-kind’s imminent demise, chose to destroy the final Terrigen cloud, potentially dooming her people to their own slow extinction.
Unfortunately, after the death of Cyclops, Emma Frost only had vengeance on her mind and wasn’t satisfied with a peaceful solution. She continued her attack, using a team of Sentinels reprogrammed to destroy Inhumans – an ironic act due to the X-Men routinely fighting for survival against the killer robots. Both teams converged on the White Queen before she and her droids could do any more damage. After significant loss of life, the unified forces managed to destroy her sentinels, but Frost managed to escape.
With a new lease on life, though, the X-Men are picking up the pieces of their lives, trying to mend their relationship with the Inhumans, and getting back to the business of being superheroes once again.
What Becomes of the Original Five?
Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1963, the original X-Men squad consisted of five team members: Scott Summers (Cyclops), Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), Warren Worthington III (Angel), Henry “Hank” McCoy (Beast), and Robert “Bobby” Drake (Iceman). Over the years, the “original five” saved the world countless times, before somewhat scattering to the wind (many long stories). After Cyclops went off his rocker, around the “Battle of the Atom” crossover, Beast recruits the first team from the past, hoping they’ll knock some sense into older Scott.
The classic squad found themselves trapped in the present, and have worked their way into the overall Marvel Universe universe, with Angel becoming involved with Laura Kinney’s Wolverine, Iceman dating Inhuman Romeo, and Cyclops joining the youthful Champions squad. In All-New X-Men #19, Hank reassembles the temporally-displaced crew and uses his newly minted magical skills to teleport them back to their “true” timeline. Some members of the team, like guilty-by-association “war criminal” Cyclops, are excited to return home. Others, such as Iceman and Angel, who now have lives and relationships in the modern era, want no part in their former lives.
It turns out their old timeline has reset itself. The confrontation with Unus the Untouchable (initially in X-Men #8 from 1964) plays out, but a fully-formed retro-dressed mutant squad shows up to tackle the bank robber supervillain. Confused as to where they truly belong, the original five decide to strike out on their own, leaving a message with Kitty Pryde through a looped danger room program. Their continuing adventures start up in the 90s-nostalgic X-Men Blue, which arrives in April and features writer Cullen Bunn (Monsters Unleashed) and artist Jorge Molina (Star Wars).
Apparently, the classic team forms a tenuous alliance with morally gray mutant Magneto, perhaps in search of the elusive Emma Frost. One way or another, the White Queen will definitely make her presence felt in Blue. Other classic baddies like the Juggernaut, Mr. Sinister, and the reformed Marauders are rumored to make an appearance. If that weren’t enough, the fourth issue teases the return of a certain clawed mutant. Certainly couldn’t be Wolverine, could it? In addition, Jean and Bobby will get solo ongoing comics in Jean Grey (written by Dennis Hopeless and draw by Victor Ibanez) and Iceman (words by Sina Grace and art by Alessandro Vitti).
Kitty Pryde Returns to Earth?
The Pryde of the X-Men spent several years running around the cosmos with the Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as getting engaged to on-again, off-again team leader Peter Quill. After the team returned to Earth during Civil War II, they wound up splitting up in the aftermath, with Kitty deciding to take a break from Star-Lord and superheroics. Heading to Chicago, she tries to return a normal life – or as normal a life as an X-Man can enjoy. Her dreams of normalcy, however, come to a startling end as Storm (Ororo Munroe) floats through her window.
The two sit down for a quick bite and discuss recent events, as well as the future of the X-Men. Ororo solicits Kitty’s help, since the longtime team member is having doubts about her own future with the mutant band – mostly because she feels at fault for declaring war against the Inhumans, rather than seeking a peaceful solution. As a result, she asks Ms. Pryde to take over her role as leader. Kitty agrees to at least revisit the school, currently situated in Limbo (as a way to escape the dangers of the M-Pox), before making her decision.
She walks the grounds of her old stomping grounds, soaking in familiar and new X-Men and trainees under its charge. She also stumbles across her former lover Piotr Rasputin (or Colossus), as well as his sister Illyana (or Magik). Discovering that the Jean Grey and her “original five” have decided to head out on their own, and with Storm uncertain about her future, she decides to become the headmistress of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. In a final act of rebirth, as well as an act of good faith between mutants and humanity, she has Magik transport the entire X-Mansion out of Limbo and into the heart of New York’s Central Park. She also does her best to convince Storm to stick around (apparently, she succeeds).
Kicking off in April, Kitty will be joined by Storm, Old Man Logan, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Rachel Grey (as Prestige) in X-Men: Gold. Now based out of Central Park, Gold will focus mostly on the more diplomatic and lighter-hearted adventure than X-books from recent years, with newer classmates and S.H.I.E.L.D. playing a role in the book. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (who still need some name-based PR tweaks), as well as a new breed of Sentinels are about to bring them no end of trouble. Fortunately, Gambit is slated to drop by in issue #4 to lend a pyrokinetic card or two.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Band Together
Preventing the end of mutant-kind made all sorts of strange bedfellows. Oft-adversaries like Emma Frost, Magneto, Monet, and Sabretooth all collaborated with more “mainstream” X-Men to stop the Terrigen mists. In the aftermath of the conflict, some mutants lost their lives, others have changed their ways (for the better or the worse), and some are still their same old incorrigible selves.
After Inhumans vs. X-Men, Old Man Logan found himself catapulting through time once again, trying to set things right (the point at which his eponymous comic picks up after “ResurrXion”), while Sabretooth ended his run fearing a return to his old ways. Meanwhile, Yuriko Oyama (Lady Deathstrike) is forcibly “recruited” by the Weapon X program, while sneaking onto the island of Madripoor. Someone seems hell-bent on getting back in the business of designing brutal, mutant-killing androids. The true mystery, of course, will be figuring out who’s behind the revamped murder-bot business and, of course, stopping them.
Written by Greg Pak and featuring pencils by Greg Land, Weapon X will bring together Old Man Logan, Lady Deathstrike, Warpath, Sabretooth, and Domino to solve problems in a very undiplomatic way. They’ll also team up with Amadeus Cho’s Totally Awesome Hulk, at one point, when he’s targeted by the program, who wants to put together what appears to be a Hulk/Wolverine hybrid, something which means serious business for the Marvel Universe. Hopefully, the conjoined forces can take down this deadly new mutation when Weapon X arrives in mid-April.
What about the Next Generation?
Not everyone gets a high-profile gig at the Institute, though. Some mutants seem to be misfits even among the oft-outcast mutants. For instance, Jubilation Lee (or Jubilee), went from mutant to depowered human to vampire and is now raising her adopted son, Shogo. Now staying at the X-Manson with her little boy now, Jubilee’s parental instincts will serve, as she finds herself leading a new team of X-oddballs, including a newly created team member named Hindsight, Quentin Quire, Eye-Boy, Benjamin Deeds, Nature Girl, and Bling!
Written by Christina Strain and drawn by Amilcar Pinna, Generation X will keep Jubilee’s hands full, trying to whip her rowdy band of nonconformists into the “ambassadors” of the relocated X-Mansion. They’ll also be dealing with the revamped anti-mutant outfit, the Purifiers, as well as a nasty New York City-based kidnapper. Fortunately, they’ll get a little help form classic Gen Xers Husk and Chamber, as well as Magik and fellow New Mutant Dani Moonstar, who will also make apperances.
Marvel’s other big team book, Astonishing X-Men, drops into the fray a couple months later in July. The X-Men’s other wildcards like Rogue, Gambit, Bishop, Fantomex, Archangel, Mystique, and Old Man Logan will face off against a major foe threatening the mutant-kind across history – which sounds like a total Apocalypse move – although Stryfe certainly knows his way around a time machine. Inhumans vs. X-Men scribe Charles Soule takes on story duties, with several different artists, including Jim Cheung, Greg Land, and Phil Noto, among others, providing interiors.
What about mutantdom’s other rogue elements? Everyone’s favorite temporally fluid son-of-a-Cyclops, Cable is also about to star in his own saga. Apparently, he’ll be taking care of the history, playing time cop in a Doctor Who-like fashion. Similarly, Logan’s clone and all-around wizard with adamantium claws, Laura Kinney, will get a new black and grey uniform (reminiscent of her X-Force look) and continue her adventures alongside pint-sized dynamo sister, Gabby, as All-New Wolverine.
The X-Men’s “ResurrXion” truly brings Marvel’s mutants front and center. From campier, team-style adventure of Blue and Gold to the gritty, morally ambiguous whodunit of Weapon X to the offbeat ‘90s-inspired dramedy of Generation-X to the action-packed Astonishing X-Men, mutant fans everywhere will find something that suits their tastes.
X-Men Prime #1 and All-New X-Men #19 are currently available. The ResurrXion begins with X-Men: Gold on April 5, 2017, with all other titles starting shortly thereafter.