Explaining X-Men: From the Ashes (2024) – Making Comics Simple

X-Men #1 (2024) Main Cover Ryan Stegman

Krakoa is over, and the Fall of the House of X is upon us. With it, the golden age of mutantkind has come burning down. The question now is, what comes after?

With the change in editorial guard, with previous editor Jordan D. White giving way for historic Avengers editor Tom Brevoort, a new approach was inevitable. That approach is a combination, it seems, of a back-to-basics rebranding alongside a marked reimagining of the types of x-books that can populate the publishing line.

That combination comes in the form of X-Men: From the Ashes (not to be confused with the Claremont/Smith storyline Uncanny X-Men: From the Ashes from 1990).

What is X-Men: From the Ashes (2024)?

X-Men: From the Ashes is the new storytelling iniative from Marvel Comics, following on from the end of the Krakoan era ushered in by Jonathan Hickman with House of X / Powers of X.

In it, the unity that mutantkind had found over the last 5 years has been shattered. The island nationstate of Krakoa is gone and its leaders are scattered, sundered and worse. All that remains are the heroes of the X-Men and their myriad plans to pick up the pieces left in the wake of the Fall of X.

Publishing wise, X-Men: From the Ashes is being pushed as a return to form for the x-line, echoing the stylistic and compositional elements of X-Men comics from the ’90s and earlier. This comes in the form of team lineups that mirror classic titles (see Uncanny X-Men in particular for this), as well as the re-use of logos and typeface that was used 3-4 decades ago.

There are, however, some new ideas in the mix too. Lead editor Tom Brevoort has mentioned repeatedly in his newsletter that he plans to push more solo series than readers would expect from an X-Men slate. Expanding out from publishing just Wolverine or, on rare occassions, Cable mini-series is a key priority of the new era.

Is X-Men: From the Ashes (2024) a reboot?

Unlike Marvel’s recent revival of the Ultimate Universe branding, which is a true reboot, X-Men: From the Ashes (2024) is not wiping the slate clean and starting over. Yes, the numbering and creative teams on the x-books are being reset, but continuity isn’t.

X-Men #1 (2024) picks up right after the out going series’ issue #35 and the interstitial mini-series, X-Men: Heir of Apocalypse.

In fact, the new status quo is entirely dependent on the Krakoan Age. Scott Summers and his new team of X-Men fight out of a recently reclaimed ORCHIS base. The X-Men’s place in the world is one that’s informed by its post-Krakoa status, and the presence of characters like Juggernaut and Magneto on the team is a direct result of changes made during the previous era.

What is new is the editorial direction. So, while this isn’t a reboot, From the Ashes is a relaunch of the x-line, with new editors, writers and lineups of books.

For those that have been reading in recent years, expect a throughline from one era to the next (as new X-Men creative team Jed Mackay and Ryan Stegman have spoken about), even if the new era moves in a different direction to the last.

What Series are included in X-Men: From the Ashes (2024)?

As part of the new launch, the entire line of X-Men books has been reconfigured. This means multiple ongoing series, both new and old, as well as a variety of limited series to support the launch.

The “first wave” of titles, as lead editor Tom Brevoort refers to it, is anchored by 3 core titles: X-Men, Uncanny X-Men and Exceptional X-Men. Written by Jed Mackay, Gail Simone and Eve L. Ewing respectively, these books each feature a different cast of X-Men based in different cities, all with their own mission statements and tones.

Core Titles: X-Men, Uncanny X-Men and Exceptional X-Men

Mackay and Stegman’s X-Men centres on Cyclops and his team of mutants as they operate out of Alaska, raising the flag of mutant defiance. Their aim: tackle the threats that rise from the shadows of ORCHIS head-on, and protect the mutants that need protecting. It promises radical action in the face of radical threats, and Cyclops’ team of Beast, Magento, Psylocke, Magik, Kid Omega, Juggernaut and Temper (formerly Oya) are certainly up to the task.

Then, over in New Orleans, Rogue leads the second team – this time with a classic lineup. Gambit, Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Jubilee join Anna Marie as the Uncanny X-Men, a bold team of primary-coloured ‘outlaw heroes’. With mutantkind fractured and their longtime patriarch Professor Xavier nowhere to be found, it falls to Rogue and the team to bring mutants back together.

Finally, Eve L. Ewing and Carmen Carnero round out the core titles with Exceptional X-Men. Unlike the other two books, which operate in a more traditional team book framework, this series is somewhere between a dual-lead title and a coming-of-age team book. Following on from Kitty Pryde’s crisis of conscience at the end of the Fall of X, she finds herself in need of a new life and a new direction. However, not long after she tries to escape into a subdued life as a barista does longtime frenemy Emma Frost seek her out. There are new, young mutants appearing all the time, and Emma knows there’s one person best suited to helping teach them.

While this might sound the most atypical of all the X-Men: From the Ashes (2024), that’s also precisely what makes it so interesting. Exceptional X-Men has the potential to be the breakout hit of the line, with the phenomenal character work that Ewing is known for, supported by stunning and emotive character renditions from Carnero.

Team Books: X-Force, X-Factor, Nyx

It’s hard to imagine an x-era since the ’90s without titles like X-Force and X-Factor, and in an effort to re-establish a more familiar base of titles those series have been brought back (or in X-Force’s case, renumbered in the few months its been off the shelves).

From Geoffrey Thorne and Marcus To comes this new run at X-Force, but unlike nearly every other iteration it does not feature Cable or Wolverine. In fact, nearly all classic members are absent from the team. Instead, Throne has installed Forge at the helm, with previous leader Sage retained between eras. Forge has a plan to solve world-ending problems before they happen, and he’s assembled this new team to do it. On it, he’s grabbed newly minted x-couple Betsy Braddock and Rachel Summers, both hot off having significant roles in the Krakoan era. Surge and newcomer Tank also round out the team, with guest star Deadpool adding to their ranks for the initial few issues.

Thorne has a great track record with titles like King in Black: Black Panther and Blood Syndicate, and I personally adored his controversial Green Lantern run for the care and attention it gave to John Stewart. Between his great eye for character writing and well plotted narrative, and To’s history of phenomal art on Excalibur (which also starred Betsy Braddock), this could well be a sleeper hit that delivers on high-concept, higher-octane super-operations with some of mutantkinds most underserved players.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Mark Russell and Bob Quinn’s new run on X-Factor. Taking full advantage of its writer’s penchant for satire and humour, X-Factor (2024) sees a team of mutants being set against their own kind by the US government! But is all as it seems, or is Havok’s team of mutant misfits up to more than meets the eye?

‘Part special agents for missions that require an arsenal of superpowers and part celebrity propaganda machine, X-FACTOR will wage war against emerging factions like the Mutant Underground and X-Term. Whether they believe in their actions or are just doing it for a check, the members of X-Factor are no fools when it comes to shady politics. As hidden agendas rear their ugly head, they’ll fight against the dark consequences and disastrous public opinion from the inside!’

Marvel reveals ‘X-Factor’ creative team and more, out in August 2024, AIPTcomics.com

If it wasn’t obvious that the satellite team books were shooting for something different with each entry, then the final book on the list will make it crystal clear.

Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly are joined by Francesco Mortarino for NYX (pronounced en-why-ex). Focusing on themes of community, belonging and identity in the wake of the dissolution of the nation of Krakoa, the resurrected NYX title will feature a rotating cast of characters that each star in point of view issues.

Set in New Jersey, NYX opens with an ecclectic cast of characters. The newly mutant-ified Ms. Marvel headlines, with Laura Kinney’s Wolverine not far behind. The rest of the cast – Sophie Cuckoo, Prodigy, Anole – are sure to be big hits with the online and highly motivated segments of the x-fandom, but to more casual fans might be more surprising choices. However, Lanzing and Kelly are keen to follow in the footsteps of books like ‘Runaways, Young Avengers, and the original NYX – stories that showcased that tense, wonderful place where the mundane world and marvels collided’.

Solo Titles: Wolverine, Storm, Phoenix, Dazzler

Rounding out the X-Men: From the Ashes initial lineup is a slew of titles rarely attempted within the mutant corner of Marvel’s publishing line – solo titles.

The least surprising of the lot, naturally, is the latest crack at Wolverine. Saladin Ahmed (Daredevil, Ms. Marvel) and Martín Cóccolo (Immortal Thor, Deadpool) are taking over from outgoing Benjamin Percy and a cavalcade of the industry’s best action comics artists for something of a change of pace.

Worn down by the violence and tragedy of the Fall of X, Logan has retired to the Canadian wilderness in an attempt to be subsumed into nature. And yet, when Nightcrawler comes knocking and pulls his nigh-immortal friend back into the real world, Logan will find himself set against an ancient foe that will ‘force him to prove himself a hero like never before’.

Then, to rectify the lack of prominence Jean Grey has had as a solo star in the past, a new Phoenix series has also been pulled together. Stephanie Phillips is hot off launching the new Spider-Gwen book, and is shifting gears from street-level crime-fighting to cosmic-level galaxy-saving. Joined by Alessandro Miracolo (White Widow, Star Wars: Yoda), this new outing for Jean is as large in scale as it can be, with her initial adventure taking her to the far reaches of space to help Nova at the edge of a black hole.

Adorned with industry-best covers from Yasmine Putri, Phoenix is primed to be something really unique within the X-Men: From the Ashes lineup. A cosmically-focused, deeply imaginative series with a focus on a clear and unique sense of voice has the potential to be incredibly exciting.

Jean Grey isn’t the only x-woman to receive her long-overdue time in the sun with this era though – Storm from Murewa Ayodele and Lucas Werneck.

Ororo Munroe has had a tremendous turn of events over the last few years: member of the Quiet Council, Marauder, member of Arrako’s Great Ring and, of course, Queen Regent of Sol. Needless to say, fans have been anxiously awaiting news of what would await her next, and whether it would live up to her Krakaon accomplishments. Fear not though, as Ayodele insists that Storm’s adventures will remain distinctly Omega-level (and above) going forward. And, in addition to that, she’s going to be the newest member of the Avenger’s with issue #17!

Finally, we have Dazzler from Jason Loo and Rafael Loureiro. This is the first confirmed limited series from X-Men: From the Ashes, set to be a quick four-issue jam of a book. The official Marvel press release for this series is as follows:

‘No stranger to headlining, Alison Blaire enjoyed a successful solo career outside the X-Men in the 1980s with the fondly remembered and long-running DAZZLER series. Now, she’s back to inspire a whole new generation, spreading a message of love and acceptance one sold-out show at a time.

Her tour is for everyone, but backstage, Allison is joined by a crew of fellow mutants: head of security Domino, personal guard Strong Guy, one-man roadie Multiple Man, drummer Shark Girl, and expert publicist Wind Dancer! Anti-mutant fervor has never felt more personal, but anyone who tries to dim Dazzler’s light will just have to face the music!

Out and proud as a mutant and back on the road! Dazzler, Marvel’s glittering mutant songstress, has been in and out of the limelight over the years—but now the time has finally come for her to take center stage! Dazzler embarks on a new world tour, the culmination and celebration of her entire musical career. But while Dazzler may be ready to focus on her music, her celebrity-mutant status and a violent attack may sideline the entire endeavor before it’s even begun…’

Dazzler Lights Up the World in New Solo Comic Book Series, Marvel.com

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