Jonathan Hickman revealed today via EW he will be exiting the X-Men office with his four-part series Inferno. Technically Hickman is far from over with X-Men–all told Inferno is 160 pages long–but the news comes as a bit of a shock since Hickman has been the official “Head of X” for over two years.
Hickman told EW his plans for the X-Men line included a broad three-act and three-event narrative that would span three years. “I told Marvel upfront that I honestly had no idea how long the first part would last because there were a lot of interesting ideas that I had seeded that other creators would want to play with, and so, we left this rather open-ended. I was also pretty clear with all the writers that came into the office what the initial, three-act plan was so no one would be surprised when it was time for the line to pivot.”
Hickman went on to say during the pandemic he was plotting the second-act event, but everyone wanted to stay within the first act. He added, “I appreciated that House of X resonated with them to the extent that they didn’t want it to end, but the reality was that I knew I would be leaving the line early.”
Just last week, Hickman revealed he was launching his own Substack with X-Men writers Tini Howard and Al Ewing, along with superstar writer Ram V. That news had many fans scratching their heads about what Hickman’s role will be in the X-Men office.
Hickman explained he wasn’t hired to write monthly ongoing titles, but to write “bigger books” that had a wider reach, which has lead to the creation of Inferno. “In an effort to facilitate both things, we’ve all spent the last six months or so reorienting the line, me creating Inferno to assist with that, and then bringing in some new writers to add to the existing team, and then plan for the next several years of X-books. So after Inferno, I’ll be leaving to go work on my ‘Next Big Marvel Thing™’ and starting in January the X-Line will rocket forward starting with a weekly series that leads into the very cool, refocused, line of books. Yes, it’s taken us a little while to get everything assembled correctly, but the end result — everything that’s coming after Inferno — is going to be pretty great.”
The news is a surprise, but it’s good to hear Hickman is leaving the X-Men office with a surefire plan that’ll lead into 2022.
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