On the Saturday night of New York Comic Con. Marvel Comics unveiled their most anticipated event of the weekend, the X-Men: Dawn of X panel, on the Main Stage. The event was packed with fans who had to sign-up for admission first thing when doors opened that morning. As the festivities began all attendees were informed that no seats remained for any late entrants.
The panel was moderated by Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski and featured Tini Howard, Ed Brisson, Ben Percy, and Jordan White, Editor of the X-Men Line. Jonathan Hickman was not in attendance. Cebulski called this a “celebration of all things X.”
Brisson, who has written Ghost Rider for Marvel, will be co-writing New Mutants with Hickman. Howard, who will be writing Excalibur, was feeling under the weather and asked if there were any “Mutant drugs” available.
Cebulski clarified that the two current titles are House of X and Powers of “Ten.” He then pointed out how all twelve issues, between the two series, shipped on-time, and that he was quite proud of his team for that. He also confirmed that the status quo for the foreseeable future would indeed be that no Mutant in the Marvel Universe can die.
He asked the audience what they thought of the backmatter and design pages in each issue. The applause was mixed. Cebulski added that he was happy to see those in there as they helped distinguish the books from other titles.
The panel discussed at least one fan having gotten a tattoo of something in the Krakoan language and confirmed that the nation of Krakoa was also here to stay. One of the panelists described Cyclops, a ‘Captain of Krakoa,’ as now being a type of “Mutant Captain America.” Any Mutant in the Marvel Universe is a potential X-Men based on the needs of the mission.
A trailer for the new line was played.
To celebrate the launch there will be a set of seven trading cards available to fans at comic book stores. Six will feature the covers of the first issues of the titles, with Krakoan messages on the back, and the seventh will be the Krakoan to English decoder card. These will be free.
A prerecorded video of White speaking with Hickman and Marauders’ writer Gerry Duggan was played. Hickman will be working on X-Men with art by Leinil Yu, his previous collaborator on Infinity. This series will feature “many done in one adventures. One discrete adventure a month.” He added that “this is the most tight-knit the X-Men books have been in a really long time.”
Duggan, who will be joined by Matteo Lolli on art, has “wanted to write a pirate story for a long time” and was not able to do so until now. The Hellfire Club will become the Hellfire Trading Corporation and the team will be transporting Mutant medicine off of Krakoa, to the human world, and acting as “an Underground Railroad on the way back.” Hickman described Marauders as “the title in the line playing the deepest in the mythology that we have built.”
Howard talked about how Mutants, after having been hunted for so long, will be looking to build something again in the pages of Excalibur. She evoked classic Excalibur artist Alan Davis in a comparison to her collaborator on the project, artist Marcus To. She added that Apocalypse will feature prominently in the title as will Rictor.
Howard is very fond of cosplayers and considered what would make a good cosplay as she and To designed the look of the title. She added that photos of her own cosplay had been featured in panels such as this before. Her focus is to have more “girls with swords.”
Percy described X-Force as having two parts. The first is an intelligence unit run by the Beast and the second is a wetworks unit to be run by Wolverine. These are “the head and the fist and while they are aligned they are also at odds with each other at times.”
New Mutants will feature Sunspot taking his team into space to retrieve former member Cannonball. The title is about the various successor groups to the X-Men including the New Mutants and Generation X. Brisson mentioned how he was particularly excited to show everyone how classic Gen Xer Mondo would work with the island of Krakoa.
New Mutants would also feature Boom Boom a character more than one panelist mentioned that they were a big fan of (cue the Nextwave theme song).
A question was asked as to whether classic New X-Men character, and Grant Morrison character, Martha Johansson (who is drawn as essentially a brain in a jar) could have a new body now is she chose. The editors agreed that yes she could if that was what the character wanted.
A fan asked if the end of Morrison’s run, where Magneto killed Jean Grey only to himself be killed by Wolverine, was still canon. White said that no, instead the canon has been that that character was not Magneto but “a person called Xorn.”
In response to a question about whether or not fans could expect a return of Peter David on X-Factor, Howard responded that she loved X-Factor Investigations but that David would have to “pry Rictor out of my bony hands.”
A fan asked if the perpetual life/cloning procedure was at all inspired by the Adult Swim cartoon the Venture Bros where the titular characters were revealed to have been brought back again and again (without their knowledge) in a similar way. No definitive answer was provided.
Regarding Moira MacTaggert, it was confirmed that the character would not be in every issue going forward and that her story will be addressed in the sixth issue of her current series.
Percy mentioned that X-23 will “be in X-Force in some capacity” but then announced that he would be working on a new Wolverine title with artist Adam Kubert who famously worked on the title for a run during the 1990s.
Each attendee was given a copy of Powers of X #5 with an exclusive Arthur Adams variant cover. Many fans, realizing that Adams was currently in attendance at the convention’s Artist Alley, were able to go see him and have their copies signed as the panel broke.