Last September, superstar artist Rob Liefeld claimed to be working on a “huge X-Men crossover” for 2019, an event made possible due to Marvel increasing X-Men budgets now that their movie rights are set to return to Marvel through parent company Disney’s acquisition of Fox.
Here’s the deal. Since the X-Men movies came out and Disney didn’t have them, I don’t know if you’ve ever paid attention, but Marvel kind of turned the volume down on the X-Men for almost 20 years. Now that they have them more, what was told to me was, ‘Oh yeah. Our budgets on the X-Men books are back up to what they used to be because now we own them all.’
I have a new project, 2019, it’s a huge X-Men crossover…It’s awesome…Marvel called me up last Thanksgiving and said, ‘We want you to do a big story.’ I said well, let’s see if they’ll go for this, and I tried to do something no one has done before. So I gave them this pretty aggressive proposal for an event and I can’t say what it is, I can’t say what it involves, got a lot of new stuff.
Today, Marvel seemingly revealed what that was all about: Major X, a brand new character from the mind of Liefeld. From Marvel’s PR:
The creator of Deadpool, Cable, Domino, and some of the most storied X-Men comics in recent memory returns to the House of Ideas with a character that he’s had in mind for over 25 years. And now it’s ready to be unleashed.
Writing and illustrating issue #1, Liefeld introduces this mysterious new player into the Marvel Universe. And the X-Men are his first targets.
Brent Peebles will illustrate Major X #2, and after that, Marvel says Whilce Portacio will “join the creative team.”
Here’s what Liefeld himself had to say about it:
This has been a very long time coming. I did two-and-a-half years on NEW MUTANTS and X-FORCE, and we had a great time, but like anybody you have stories that you didn’t get to tell… This is a pretty big one. MAJOR X is a pretty giant undertaking.
My whole thing was always to throw a pretty big wrench in the works—’the works’ being the X-Men Universe. Major X arrives from a different plane of existence—which is called the X-Istence, a safe-haven for mutants—and suddenly it’s threatened and terrorized. And his home is taken from him.
He makes the jump, in a last-ditch effort to try and save his home, and arrives in our Marvel X-Men continuity. But the first jump didn’t quite land him where he needed to go, so it was pretty exciting to put him in 1991, somewhere between NEW MUTANTS #98 and X-FORCE #1. I’m literally writing the Cable and the Deadpool and the Shatterstar of my youth.
Well, that explains why Marvel was teasing an alive adult Cable in the near future. It’s alive adult Cable from the glory days of 1991.
And though it’s unclear whether this will necessarily qualify as a “huge crossover,” or whether it will be contained to its own series (especially as it’s launching while most of the X-Men are in the alternate Age of X-Man reality, itself a huge crossover), but he did reiterate, perhaps in a more diplomatic fashion, his comments about the return to prominence for the franchise:
I think everyone’s seen in the last few months that the spotlight has returned to the X-Men family of books. I can tell as a fan of Marvel Comics that the X-Men have a renewed vigor. It feels like a renaissance of ideas and energy in the X-Men office. And I’m putting it all out there with this one.
And what could be more prominent than a comic written and drawn (for the first issue, at least) by Rob Liefeld?
What do you think? Is this the extent of the X-over, or will it get huger later? And does it live up to the hype?