A powerhouse panel of Marvel Comics writing all-stars teased what’s in store for the future of the X-Men at San Diego Comic-Con. The big takeaway? The upcoming X-Men titles The Trial of Magneto and Inferno will bring the X-Men Universe to its knees in more ways than one.
There have been many developments since the mutant nation of Krakoa held the cultural event of the decade. When the Hellfire Gala ended with issue #10 of Leah Williams’ X-Factor run. The most notable? The death of Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch). But Maximoff attended the Hellfire Gala at the request of the Master of Magnetism himself. Could he truly to blame for her murder?
Here’s what writer Leah Williams had to say about her next series, The Trial of Magneto: “This is a deep look at Krakoa’s high-profile murder investigation and will threaten a lot of Krakoan secrets.” She added, “Trial has more than one meaning after all. These will be Magneto’s trials and tribulations.”
Another significant development since the age of Krakoa is the terraforming of Mars into the planet of Arakko, in writer Gerry Duggan’s Planet Size X-Men #1. Arakko is now the home of the Arraki and the capital of the solar system. Big things are poppin’ over in the growing dominion of Mutandom. And Duggan is continuing the shaky relationship between the X-Men and humanity with a new, democratically elected X-Men team.
“Planet Size knocked over some dominoes, and there will be some blowback on Earth,” Duggan said. “The new X-Men team will protect Earth, and we’re going to try and stop some forces of evil that would like to see Earth knocked off the board. There will be some new cosmic as well as homegrown threats.”
Duggan also talked about his series Marauders, saying that Krakoa’s White Queen, Emma Frost, will face significant challenges in the future, as her past comes back to haunt her. Nothing ominous there!
Many an X-Men fan’s eye is on a new series from Krakoa architect Jonathan Hickman, Inferno. The series, comprised of four 40-page issues, promises to involve the biggest power players in the X-Men’s world, Moira MacTaggert, Nimrod, and Mystique. “Mystique’s real mad,” said White, giving nothing away that fans didn’t already know. He added, “This series will be touching on a lot of things set up going all the way back to House of X. It’s a big turning point. Go in knowing that it’s going to be hard to know who to root for.”
It looks like Mystique plans to make good on her promise from X-Men #20 to cut a swath of firey destruction through Krakoa unless the islands shadow government agrees to resurrect her wife, Destiny. Bringing back her beloved may not be as easy as it sounds for an island that can hatch new mutants. Thanks to the secret ban on resurrecting mutants with precognitive abilities, a rule put in place by Moira, Mystique has a big-shape-shifting bone to pick with the elite of Krakoa. The crucial question remains, can she follow through on her threats? And will she betray mutantkind to do so?
Recently, we saw writer Benjamin Percy’s run on Wolverine feature the return of the ever vibrant, and equally callous not-a-mutant Deadpool. Who else could crash an invite-only party with such style? Percy is eager to see the Hellfire Gala’s return next year, so he can make more trouble. He also discussed a new Wolverine storyline called “The Unusual Suspects,” which will feature Solem, Wolverine’s X of Swords rival endowed with adamantium skin, as the main villain. In X-Force, Percy says we’ll finally learn the identity of the Chronicler in a Russia-set tie-in storyline with Hickman’s Inferno.
Over on the cool kid’s side of the lunch table, Vita Ayala talked about their current Marvel titles, Children of the Atom and New Mutants. Ayala says the telepath-enabled Shadow King will continue to mess with the kids of the New Mutants. “He represents a kind of boogieman an adult might not believe,” adding, “we have to teach these kids to be afraid of the woods a little bit.”
For CotA, the stakes will be primarily emotional as the kids continue to deal with the fallout from their biggest secret being revealed: They aren’t actually mutants. In the United States, the newly enacted Kamala’s law forbids teenagers from operating as superheroes if not supervised by a mentor. Ayala says the repercussions of their exposed secret “will be very, very personal for them.”
Inferno promises to be just as groundbreaking for the X-Men Universe as Hickman’s House of X/Powers of X and features the art of Valerio Schiti, R.B. Silva, and Stefano Caselli. Inferno will play out over 160 pages in four issues beginning in September and ending in December.
No matter how you shake it, it’s an exciting time to be an X-Men fan — if it doesn’t all go up in flames.