Marvel's mutants have been enjoying a new golden age for the past year or so. The twin 2019 miniseries House of X and Powers of X, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva, began this new era by revealing that Professor X and Magneto had joined forces to found a new, independent mutant nation-state on the living island of Krakoa. Old friends have reunited and longtime enemies have laid down their arms in favor of standing together to assert themselves as mutants against a world that hates and fears them. After years of enduring oppression and genocide, now the mutants get to live in paradise.
The only thing this era has been missing is, well, the X-Men. Yes of course there has been a monthly X-Men comic coming out, written by Hickman and illustrated by Leinil Yu, but that has been more of an anthology book where each issue is free to spotlight any characters on Krakoa (issue #6, for example, was all about Mystique, while issue #11 spotlighted Magneto leading the defense of Krakoa against the invading alien plant army seen from Marvel's Empyre crossover). Though Cyclops has gone on a couple of adventures with his superpowered children in the pages of this X-Men comic, there hasn't actually been an active X-Men team to showcase...until now, that is.
At the end of last year's mutant crossover story X of Swords, Cyclops and Jean Grey declared in no uncertain terms they were founding a new team of X-Men to represent the best and brightest that Krakoa has to offer. One slot on this team was determined by a public poll, and yesterday the results revealed that fans had voted Magneto's magnetically-powered daughter Polaris onto the team. Now, Marvel has unveiled the full lineup of the new X-Men...and it's got some fun surprises!
Cyclops and Jean are there, of course; the recently-reunited couple will be co-leading the new team. Polaris is on board now too, thanks to her fans. Also on the team is Sunfire, who has been an X-Men character almost as long as those three veterans. He was on the team seen in 1975's Giant-Sized X-Men #1, but didn't stay a member for long because he valued his identity as a Japanese hero more than his identity as a mutant. Because of that, it should be interesting to see how Sunfire deals with this new status quo where mutants have become a nationality in their own right.
If you've been reading the most recent issues of X-Men, then you'll understand what two more members are doing in this new lineup. Synch (who can copy others' powers) and Wolverine (the female one, Laura Kinney) recently completed a dangerous mission inside the Vault, where a group of technologically advanced post-humans are trying to evolve past mutantkind, and have apparently become a romantic couple. Their presence suggests that storyline might continue into the new book.
It's awesome to see Laura retaining her Wolverine identity; she first took up the mantle after Logan died in 2015, but then reverted back to her original codename X-23 after he returned. Now, thankfully, Marvel seems fine with two different Wolverine's running around (the other's in X-Force these days). It certainly doesn't bother us at EW; we named Laura our Superhero of the Year in 2018.
Last but certainly not least is Rogue, who like Synch has the ability to absorb other mutants' powers. Lately, she's been starring in the Excalibur series by Tini Howard and Marcus To alongside her husband Gambit, so it should be interesting to see how the happy couple handles being placed on different teams now. One thing's for sure: With both Synch and Rogue on board, this X-Men team will have all kinds of superpowers at their disposal.
This team will make their debut at the Hellfire Gala in June's Planet-Sized X-Men #1, written by Gerry Duggan and illustrated Larraz. That creative team will then carry forward into X-Men #1, which hits stores July 7.