Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Marvel Not Releasing Any New Titles This Week, Exalibur #10 Delayed

Newsarama: Marvel Comics has confirmed to Direct Market comic book retailers that it will not be releasing any new comic books digitally on April 1. The decision follows Diamond Comic Distributors' announcement last week that it would be suspending distribution of new print titles beginning April 1, including Marvel's titles due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement Tuesday from Marvel Entertainment president Dan Buckley, the publisher announced it has decided to withhold releasing new titles digitally this week while leaving room to alter their decision in future weeks, calling it "a fluid situation with details changing every day."

Diamond has not announced when they'll resume release of print titles, and this decision today leaves Marvel the option to reconsider digital-first release - and/or other print distribution options - down the road.

Comixlogy currently lists Excalibur #10 as available on April 8 2020.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

X of Swords Sets Up the 'Craziest' X-Men Stories Ever

Newsarama: With X of Swords now on the horizon - and even bigger things to come - Newsarama caught up with Jordan D. White for a 'state of Krakoa' address before the big event, delving into the genesis of the story, the magical themes at stake, and how it sets up the next stage of 'Dawn of X'.

Newsarama: You’ve been teasing the X-Men line’s big summer crossover X of Swords for some time now – though the details are just coming out now. How did the idea of X-Men and swords come together?

Jordan D. White: It has its roots in two places. The first is some plot threads Jonathan Hickman has been laying down since House/Powers of X. One of the stories he set up comes back in a big way here.

The other is the work Tini Howard has been doing in Excalibur. This crossover really highlights what we're hoping is the best of what we've set up in the X-line - that we have all sorts of big plans in place with tons of potential for payoff... but that we are able to adapt and collaborate with one another. X of Swords would not exist if Tini were not writing Excalibur... or, really, if not for the entire terrific crew we have on the line.

Pretty early on in our planning of the line, Jonathan hooked onto certain elements of what was coming up and said that it would be what we grew our first crossover from... and that became X of Swords.

Nrama: Seeds of X of Swords have been planted across the "Dawn of X" line, but it seems the core X-Men title and Excalibur are central to this story. What’s the intersection of mutants and magic all about?

White: That's very much what I am talking about - that is 100% Tini coming to the X-books and wanting to use Jonathan's new status quo to explore that. It's very much something that has only been touched on ever-so briefly in X-Men in the past, but Tini knew there was a lot of potential there.

Nrama: The teaser image shown at C2E2 showed the ten swords, including some logical inclusions and some surprising choices. How deep did the team ‘study the blade’ to find the right weapons to wield? Which sword is your favorite?

White: As you've said, swords have been popping up in our new X-line for a while now. Add to that some of the major swords from X-History as well as us brainstorming some new blades to throw into the mix, and I think that image has a lot of cool stuff in it. Picking a favorite is hard... but I am definitely a fan of the sword Cable's recently come into the possession of. It's got a neat look and he's so excited to have it.

Nrama: X of Swords – Ten of Swords, as it’s pronounced – is a title that brings in some specific symbolism, especially related to Tarot cards. Jonathan Hickman’s not the type to choose a title like that willy-nilly. What are the origins of the title and how does it foreshadow what’s in store?

White: Jonathan doesn't do anything willy-nilly, including choose a title. Though, in this case, he was agreeing to a title, as Tini came up with it! As soon as she suggested it, I was like “That is it!”. She's got a lot of expertise on the tarot that she is bringing to bear here.

Nrama: Both for this crossover and in a general sense, running the "Dawn of X" line in such a close-knit way requires a lot of communication. How closely do you and the other editors and creators stay in contact through the process and decide collective story decisions? We’ve heard tell of an X-Slack…

White: Yeah - we have a private collaboration group with just the writers and editors, and we talk on it a lot throughout the day. It helps that everyone is terrific to talk with and very willing to work together.

So, they are constantly reaching out to one another with ideas and questions and seeing if this works with that, etc. And we share scripts with one another and get PDFs of the finished books to them as soon as they are off to print.

We are working really well together, I think, and I could not be happier about it. We are such a friendly group, we even include Chip Zdarsky and he isn't even doing a real X-Book! [laughs]

Nrama: There are a few "Dawn of X" titles that have been announced, but we’re still currently awaiting – a title based on Moira X, X-Corp, and so on. What’s the status of these titles?

White: We told you Jonathan made plans that unfolded over years, right? There are a lot of things that are going to be happening... keep an ear out.

Nrama: I know you don’t want to spoil too much, but what can you tell us about the X-sidekicks of Children of the Atom? How did that concept come together?

White: That crew was cooked up by Vita Ayala and editor Chris Robinson, and I cannot tell you much or they will be very mad at me. Actually, what I can tell you is what a great book its gonna be. I am so thrilled that we got Bernard Chang to come on and draw the book - his art is amazing. Really brings these characters to life. And the scripts that are coming in for this series are terrific. I think people are going to be really into this book and surprised by how compelling these new kids are.

Nrama: The X-Men line has also expanded into the Giant-Size one-shots that sort of feel like a successor to the 90s X-Men Unlimited anthology. Jean Grey/Emma Frost just hit with some gorgeous Russell Dauterman art. Nightcrawler, Fantomex, and Magneto have their stories on the horizon. What creators and characters do you have lined up next?

White: Well, we've announced that Russell is coming back to do a Giant-Size Storm to wrap up this arc of five one-shots. We've got lots of ideas for what comes next - in fact we've begun cooking a new series of specials that starts after XOS is over that everyone involved is really excited about... but it's too early to tell you much about those. Soon!

Nrama: How is X of Swords going to affect the line as it runs? Will there be a core title with tie-ins?

White: X of Swords is what we have always thought of as a classic X-Crossover. It's a 15 part story that crosses the entire line. It's a big story that affects all of the X-World, so it's only right it jump into every book.

Nrama: Big picture, now that ‘Dawn of X’ is established and X of Swords is tying everything together, what’s the goal for this next phase of the X-Men line?

White: Funny you ask - we just had an X-Summit to put the finer points on the answer to that very question. We've got stories coming out of X of Swords in every series that are going to knock your socks off. There are going to be payoffs to huge lingering questions, new directions and dangers for your favorite characters, and its going to be barreling towards an idea that Jonathan has for the X-Men that might be one of the craziest things he's made us try yet.

If all goes according to plan... it's going to be a crazy October.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

X-Men & Excalibur Lead The Path Towards 'X of Swords'

Amazon has posted the product description for the 'X of Swords' hardcover. The collection includes the following:

Four one-shots:
• X of Swords: Creation (2020) #1
• X of Swords: Stasis (2020) #1
• X of Swords: Destruction (2020) #1
• X of Swords: TBD (2020) #1

Three issues of both X-Men & Excalibur:
• X-Men (2019) #12-14
• Excalibur (2019) #12-14

And an issue each of every book except Children of The Atom:
• Marauders (2019) #13
• X-Force (2019) #13
• New Mutants (2019) #13
• Wolverine (2020) #6
• Cable (2020) #5
• Hellions (2020) #5
• X-Factor (2020) #4

X-Solicits for June 2020

Excalibur #12
Tini Howard (W) • Marcus To (A)
Cover by: Mahmud Asrar
Secrets of The Book!
• With Rictor in his clutches, Apocalypse must survive long enough to begin the ritual he has waited on for eons.

X-Men #12
Jonathan Hickman (W) • Leinil Francis Yu (A/C)
Living Vampire Variant Cover by: Mike Mayhew
The Summoning Begins.
• A lead-in to the biggest X-story of the summer.

Marauders #12
Gerry Duggan (W) • Matteo Lolli (A)
Cover by: Russell Dauterman
Red Reckoning!
• The Black King removed the Red Queen from the board…what move will the White Queen make?

New Mutants #12
Ed Brisson (W) • Marco Failla (A)
Cover by: Mike Del Mundo
• The human world never seems to tire of lashing out at Krakoa.
• The New Mutants have their ways of striking back.

X-Force #12
Benjamin Percy (W) • Oscar Bazaldua (A)
Cover by: Dustin weaver
The Cerebro Sword!
After taking on the Flower Cartel, Logan has brought back valuable intel to the mutant CIA. The non-treaty nation of Russia is working to undermine Krakoa — and may be aligned with Xeno. Beast wants Colossus on their side as the first drumbeats of war begin to sound.

Hellions #4
Zeb Wells (W) • Stephen Segovia (A/C)
Havok Stands Alone!
• Krakoa’s resident rabble are up against the grand dame of the damned — the Goblin Queen, Madelyne Pryor!
• Talk about a return that could raise some havoc!

X-Factor #3
Leah Williams (W) • David Baldeón (A)
Cover by: Ivan Shavrin
Living Vampire Variant Cover by: TBA
Drowning in The Stream!
• Every streamer in the Mojoverse is desperate to get a little of the X-magic on their channel, but all X-Factor wants to do is figure out who murdered a Krakoan citizen.

Children of The Atom #3
Vita Ayala (W) • Bernard Chang (A/C)
Variant Cover by: R.B. Silva
Origin Revealed!
• Who are the X-Men’s sidekicks behind the masks?
• Meanwhile, a brand new alternative medicine is changing lives at school, but who’s recruiting the victims – I mean patients? 

Empyre: X-Men #3 & #4 (of 4)
Issue #3 – Ed Brisson, Vita Ayala & Zeb Wells (W)
Issue #4 – Jonathan Hickman & TBA (W)
Issue #3 – TBA (A)
Issue #4 – Jorge Molina (A)
Issue #3 – Cover by: Eduard Petrovich
Issue #4 – Cover by: TBA
Issue #3 – Variant Cover by: TBA
Issue #4 – Variant Cover by: TBA
• Aliens! Plant-Men! Mutants! Zombies! Old Women! Demons! Explosions!
• These issues have more than you ever dreamed to ask for. And then some.

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1
Jonathan Hickman (W) • Russell Dauterman (A/C)
Variant Cover by: Jen Bartel
Hickman & Dauterman Take Flight Again!
• In Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey & Emma Frost, Hickman and Dauterman took Jean and Emma into Storm’s mind to learn what had happened to her.
• Now they take the X-Men’s resident goddess to the far end of the world to save herself!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

X-Force #9 Art

Excalibur #9 Art

Excalibur #9 Spoilers

Spoilers: Using the warwolf skulls, Apocalypse performs a ritual to light a beacon and guide Excalibur to Starlight Citadel. The Starlight Citadel, which serves as the fortress of Omniversal Majestrix Opal Luna Saturnyne has remained cloaked from view since the fall of Captain Britain Corps and Morgan Le Fay’s first attack. Later that night, Excalibur regroups at the Lighthouse. Betsy sees Brian sneaking around the Lighthouse and calls out to him, but Brian flees without answering her. Back at Otherworld, Apocalypse manages to glimpse the Citadel despite Saturnyne’s cloaking spell. Meanwhile in London, Coven Akkaba sacrifices one of their own for failing Morgan Le Fay. Meggan spies on the Coven on Pete Wisdom’s behalf and relays all information she could gather. Excalibur travels to Otherworld and head to Starlight Citadel. Betsy explains to Rogue that the Captain Britain Corps was destroyed and wonders why Saturnyne would hide from her as she’s also a Captain Britain. Saturnyne orders her priestesses to hunt down Excalibur in order to prevent Apocalypse’s corruption from expanding any further. Saturnyne’s priestesses shoot arrows at Excalibur, which end up hurting Shogo in his dragon form. An enraged Jubilee unleashes her fireworks defeating all of them. Saturnyne assures she needs to maintain the balance of the Omniverse by all means necessary and calls out Captain Britain versions of Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee and Rictor.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Excalibur #9 Preview

Excalibur #9
Writer: Tini Howard
Art by: Marcus To
Cover by: Mahmud Asrar

The Story:
Destination: Starlight Citadel.

In Stores: March 18, 2020

Monday, March 9, 2020

Giant-Size X-Men Monday #50 – Anniversary Interview With Jordan D. White

AIPT: OK, let’s talk about swords. They’ve been everywhere since the Hickman era began. Was “X of Swords” part of Jonathan’s original pitch? How far back does the planning for this go?

Jordan D. White: No. No, absolutely not. Part of the way that that is proven out to be true is that the story you’re going to see in “X of Swords” grows out of two places most of all. One is some of the stuff Hickman has been seeding since House of X, but the other part of it is stuff Tini’s doing in Excalibur. In a big way, both of those are a big part of it. So it does connect all the way back to things Jonathan was pitching from the beginning, but this specific thing wasn’t “And then we’ll do the ‘X of Swords’ things”–that definitely wouldn’t have existed if all the other books hadn’t come into play the way they are. I mean, again, Jonathan is a big planner, but he really is a good collaborator. He has not dictated to everybody what they are going to do. There have been places where he has had a strong opinion about what they’re going to do or has given suggestions about how to make what they want to do a million times better, but he didn’t go “You do a book about this and you do a book about this.” They all really brought their own ideas to it and once they did, he incorporates those ideas into the larger design. So yeah, the book that is “X of Swords” would not have come to pass if most of all Tini, but really the whole group hadn’t come together and done the books they’re doing.

AIPT: So if X-Fans haven’t been keeping up, should they definitely go back and read Excalibur and X-Men?

Jordan D. White: Well, if they haven’t been keeping up with all the titles, they should really check out the Dawn of X trades that collect all the titles together in one awesome line, so you can have the entire Dawn of X line on your shelf as one thing that’s super awesome. But if you haven’t been reading Excalibur, definitely check it out. It’s going to be important for “X of Swords” for sure.