Ever since the Dawn of X relaunch began two years ago this month, Marvel's X-Men books have been in a state of near constant evolution. The dual releases of House of X and Powers of X brought with them a new status quo, the initial era of Krakoan nation-building gave us plenty of new concepts and characters to wrestle with, and then Marvel's X-team went and challenged everything we thought we knew about their mutant society with events like X of Swords.
Now, in the era dubbed Reign of X, everything feels poised to change again. With goals that extend beyond the bounds of Earth, the Hellfire Gala in their rearview, and a trial ahead for one of their own, Marvel's X-creators have their work cut out for them as we head into the fall and the publication of stories like The Trial of Magneto and Inferno.
On Friday, during a Comic-Con@Home panel, several of those creators sat down Marvel's own Ryan Penagos to talk about what's in store for readers in this next phase of the Krakoan X-Men era. Joining Penagos for the panel were editor Jordan D. White, Children of the Atom and New Mutants writer Vita Ayala, Marauders and newly installed X-Men writer Gerry Duggan, Wolverine and X-Force writer Benjamin Percy, and X-Men: Trial of Magneto writer Leah Williams.
White kicked off the panel by reflecting on the massive, cross-title event that was The Hellfire Gala, a party that saw a number of key changes for the X-Men, from England leaving its alliance with Krakoa to the X-Men terraforming and claiming Mars for the mutant nation of Arakko to, of course, the death of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. It's that death, and the mystery surrounding it, that builds to The Trial of Magneto, an event kicking off this August, written by Williams and drawn by Lucas Wernick. As Williams teased, the series will be a whodunit, but it will also reflect on Wanda's unique place in mutant history, as well as Magneto's ties to the woman who was believed to be his daughter for years.
"It's a murder investigation, and obviously Wanda has made a lot of enemies in Krakoa, whether or not she intended to. It's just kind of a byproduct of her traumatic past," Williams said. "So, this is a really deep look into the proceedings of Krakoa's first really high-profile murder investigation, this brings a lot of outside attention and threatens a lot of Krakoan secrets, a lot of Krakoan peace. It's also a deep look into the House of M dynamic. It's called Trial of Magneto, and 'trial' has more than one meaning."Check out the full X-Men panel right here.
Another key follow-up to the Hellfire Gala is the launch of a brand-new X-Men team and a brand-new X-Men #1, written by Gerry Duggan and drawn by Pepe Larraz. In teasing out what's next for that team, who saved New York City from a threat in their very first issue, Duggan emphasized the importance of getting back to the X-Men as superheroic beings, even as the fallout of Krakoa's expansion echoes through the universe.
"The fun thing about this era is that it really is all interconnected. [Planet-Size X-Men] knocked over some dominoes, the CIA would call it blowback, but there will be some blowback on Earth. The fun thing that we're doing in X-Men is this team is really a gift from Krakoa to not just humanity, but all of Earth, to protect Earth. This is a superhero team book," Duggan said. "We're gonna be trying to stop some forces of evil that would love to see Earth off the board. If you're a space alien, you're probably sick of Earthlings now. There's a lot of threats that we broadcast into the universe from Earth, and the X-Men are there to save us from them. So, we're going to have a lot of cosmic threats, we'll have some homegrown threats ... some non-traditional X-Men villains, and then some old favorites of Stan and Jack that will have new reasons to be angry at mutantdom."
Then, of course, there's Inferno, the next X-Men title from writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Valerio Schiti, which will pick up story threads set up all the way back in House of X and Powers of X, as Mystique takes Krakoa to task for its unwillingness to revive her partner, Destiny. Here's what White had to say about the blockbuster series, arriving in September.
"It's a big turning point for a lot of pieces in what we are working on right now," White explained. "So you're definitely going to want to check it out, and just go in knowing: It's going to be hard to pick who to root for."
For more from the X-Men panel, including Wolverine's next mission, the threat of the Shadow King in New Mutants, and whom everyone voted for in the poll to determine the final X-Men team member in the spring, check out the full panel video above.
Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of Comic-Con@Home 2021.