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X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

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X-Men Monday #250 – ‘From the Ashes’ Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Plus, eXclusive “From the Ashes” era preview art!

Welcome, X-Fans, to the uncanny, 250th edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!

Now, obviously, the Krakoan era’s not over yet. We still have a few key issues — and some very exciting Krakoa-focused installments of X-Men Monday — to go before we call it an era. But with hype building for what comes next, there was no better way to celebrate our latest mutant milestone than with a peek into the future.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

Fortunately, Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort was game to return to X-Men Monday and discuss how the “From the Ashes” era came together, answer X-Fans’ pressing questions, drop some character teases, and more. (Yes, I said “return.” You did read Tom’s first X-Men Monday appearance in our 2024 Valentine’s Day Special, right? It’s one where he dished on Beak’s sex life.)

Anyway, let’s get this party started!

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Tom Brevoort’s Substack

AIPT: Welcome back to X-Men Monday, Tom! First, X-Men is a franchise with over 60 years of history, hundreds of characters, and a passionate fanbase transcending comics. So I’m curious — once you accepted the reins of the X-Men at Marvel… what did you do next? Where do you even start?

Tom Brevoort: Well, it’s not as though I wasn’t familiar with the X-Men. [Laughs] I have read comics for a very long time and worked at Marvel for a very long time. So, I wasn’t starting from zero. People didn’t have to explain to me why the guy was wearing the weird visor with one big eye — I got it.

And even before I was doing X-Men, like within the last couple of weeks right before [President of Marvel Entertainment] Dan Buckley said, “Hey, we want you to do X-Men,” Jordan D. White, the outgoing X-Men editor, was starting to try and figure out what the next X-Men cycle would be. So I had at least one hour-long conversation with him and wrote up a bunch of initial notes. Like, if I was approaching X-Men, I’d approach it kind of like this. So I actually had the beginnings of something. I had an occasion to pull those notes out earlier last week — and usually when I do something like that, the actual end books don’t really match the initial notes very much at all. Things grow and expand, and creators come in and take things in different directions. But looking at those notes again, damned if they don’t kind of look like the X-line we’ve built.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

So really, the first thing I did — and it took a couple of weeks to do this — is I wrote up one of my famous position documents. Usually, those are two pages long or something and just kind of going: OK, we’re going to recast Avengers. New creators are going to have to come onto Avengers because Jason Aaron is wrapping up. So where is Avengers right now? What do I think it needs? What characters should we be looking to push forward? What should the stories we’re telling be about? How should we go about this? What are the things that I think are working and what are the things I don’t think are working? It’s just to have some document that I can hand to people that will put us at least on the same page.

For X-Men, I did all that — except it was much, much larger. It was more like a 15 – 20-page document because you had to start at macro and work your way down to micro. And starting macro was kind of like, OK, the last couple of years, the Krakoan era — here are the things that I think worked well, and here are the things I don’t think worked as well. And here are the things I thought worked for a while, but stopped working somewhere along the way. And or, I’d like to push against this or move in another direction.

And then, it’s sort of sketching it all out. I was having conversations with Jordan because, obviously, the end of the Krakoan era issues hadn’t been written yet. They had a plan and kind of a broad outline, but nothing specific. So he walked me through all of that so I at least kind of had a rough idea of what the lay of the land would be coming out of their last story.

The next section of it is, here’s where I think mutants are in the world. Here’s where I think the status quo is and here are the specific things I want to touch on or get back to. It was like this and now it’s like this. And then from there, I started to boil it down into individual books — like, here are a bunch of books I think we should do. Some version of all three of the announced books with “X-Men” in their title were in that document. And some version of a couple of the others that we’ve announced — X-Force, X-Factor, and so forth — were in that document. Once I had that, I let [Editor-in-Chief] C.B. Cebulski read it and everybody was kind of aligned.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Then I went hunting for people to make these books. And casting wasn’t me alone — I should mention my office team: Annalise Bissa and Martin Biro, who worked with me on Avengers stuff before this. And Annalise goes back to working on the Krakoa books at the beginning of that era. Then the wider team is editor Darren Shan and his assistant Noah Sharma, who came over with me from the Avengers world where they had been doing Invincible Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and a bunch of things. And then Mark Basso and his assistant Drew Baumgartner stayed on in the X-Office where they had been doing Wolverine and X-Force and are now doing Wolverine and X-Force.

Once we had the beginnings of what all the books would be, I started going, “OK, here’s where I think they all go — here’s who gets what,” so people can individually start thinking about who they might want to approach, and we can start to bounce around ideas for writers and artists and so forth. But casting everything starts from X-Men down. So the core three X-Men books get cast first, and then we go to the most immediate next books. And then we go to further-out books and second- and third-wave books.

We’re already working on second- and third-wave titles. We have a lot of stuff. We have a lot of runway on this. So there’s stuff already planned and in motion that you won’t hear about for many months. So then it was just starting to assemble the creative crew, and then the plan would shift as different people came on and did things.

AIPT: That was great. That was a very thorough explanation.

Tom: You’ll find my answers are not short.

AIPT: [Laughs] No, that filled in a lot of gaps, thank you. Now, we’re entering the “From the Ashes” era. How did you land on this significant title from X-Men history, what does it mean to you, and what do you hope it signals for X-Fans?

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Tom: Well, it was a couple of things. Once we had creative teams, much like what Jordan’s Krakoa crew had been doing, our new X-crew was in constant communication. I can wake up in the middle of the night with a half-baked idea for something in the X-world, send an email, text, or post on Discord, and go, “Hey, I got this idea — start thinking about this.” And then somebody will either come back with, “Great, I’ve got the perfect place to do that,” or, “That’s the stupidest idea ever, we shouldn’t do that,” or some version of, “Well, not like what you said, but what if we turned it over and we did it this way instead?”

So, we didn’t really have a title going into this. My document name — which was just the document name, it was never the actual name for this — was called “Solve for X.” So that clearly was not going to be the name of this initiative, because it’s a great name for a position paper, but not a good name for a thing. And we spent a day or two coming up with maybe a dozen really awful names. So at some point, we went out to the X-crew that existed at that point and it was Gail Simone who threw out the phrase “From the Ashes” amongst a bunch of other suggestions.

And that was the one that kind of caught my attention. I went, “Hey, that sounds good.” It hearkens back to X-Men history, in particular. That phrase comes from the splash page of the first all-new X-Men story in Giant-Size X-Men. So it goes right back to the beginning.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Plus, post-Krakoa — whether that story ends wonderfully or horribly — it’s definitely a change state. And that kind of sums up what this era is about. All that stuff happened, and now all of those characters have to take a breath and deal with what all of that meant, and where are all of us going individually and in groups and pairs because something seismic just happened. Living today is different than living yesterday, so we need to find a new direction and a new guiding star for what we do and how we live.

AIPT: You mentioned how you’re collaborating with the new X-crew — in the Krakoan era, X-Fans heard a lot about the initial Head of X concept, the X-Slack, and how collaborative the X-creators were. What can you share about your X-Office and how it’s run?

Tom: We don’t have an X-Slack because my crew is a slightly different generation. There’s a lot of email and the new creators all keep a Discord where they talk all the time. So it’s the same thing, only different. It’s really proven to be a very comfortable and supportive collaboration.

And, it’s been a nice collaboration between the new crew and the old crew. As we went into all this and laid this stuff out, and as they began to build towards their climax, we were sort of building together from both ends. I didn’t want to affect what they were doing at all. I wanted them to be able to finish their story exactly the way they wanted to and not have to worry about us. And we are going to pick up the baton from where they leave it and go from there. Everybody has been very supportive of that to the point where a couple of the outgoing X-writers, particularly Gerry Duggan, have been dropping in little lines and bits of business because he knows what’s coming up. So when it happens, people will be able to go, “Oh look, they knew about that even then.”

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Jordan just sent Uncanny X-Men #700 to print and that’s got a 10-page epilogue that’s pretty much the launching pad for all the stuff we have coming out of it. It really is coordinated to the point where, like the last panel of the last Krakoa story and then the first panel of our story could be happening a minute, hour, day, or week later. But you clearly can see that they go together and there’s no conflict. We pick up exactly where they leave off and we build out and go from there.

In our X-Office, so far, it’s been a very comfortable and collaborative situation. I’m absolutely burying these writers in one another’s scripts. Whenever there’s a script that’s done and approved, I send it to everybody. I can only imagine the horror that they have. You just want to write NYX and you have 47 scripts that maybe you should look at because maybe, you know, Jed MacKay is doing something that you need to know about. But that’s the kind of environment we’re looking to foster and looking to have going forward. I think it’s definitely one of the strengths of the Krakoan era and the way Jordan was able to set all of that up. So we’re trying to at least absorb the best of it.

AIPT: Before we get into some X-Fan questions, I’ve been wondering about something. I’ve been an X-Fan for most of my life, and five of those years have been spent writing X-Men Monday and sorting through countless fan questions. In that time, I’ve received a crash course in the many things that matter to this fandom — from the minuscule to the significant. So, since you’ve been working on the X-line, is there anything you’ve learned via X-Fan interactions that’s surprised you?

Tom: Well, I don’t think it’s so much X-fandom as it is little pockets of X-fandom. From what I’ve seen in the past, but even more so over the last eight or nine months on my various social media feeds, people will show up to bang the drum loudly for whatever thing it is that they care about. Sometimes, it’s in an aggressive, almost negative fashion. Like, “You’re not doing the thing that I want, and you’re not going to do it, and I know you’re not going to do it, so I’m pre-mad at you before you’ve even done any comics!”

Then, there are the people just advocating for the thing they really want. I discovered very quickly that the texture of Storm’s hair is very important to a segment of X-Men fandom. That actually was good information to have because that went into some of our decision-making as we figured out what that character was going to look like in the post-Krakoa era.

I saw there were a lot of people who were really invested in Betsy Braddock being Captain Britain, and there were a lot of people who were really invested in Betsy Braddock not being Captain Britain. So that’s a divide where it’s going to be difficult to make everybody happy.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

There was certainly a small but very vocal assemblage of Jean Grey fans who were just like, “Jean Grey needs to be doing something in here.” And they’ve been the happiest human beings on the planet since we announced the Phoenix book because the messages I get from them now are like, “I’ve been waiting for this book since I started reading X-Men” or “since I first saw the show back in the ’90s” and “Thank you so much.” And it’s like, well, be careful what you wish for. Hopefully, the book is as good as you hope it is — and I hope it is. We’re going to do everything we can to make it that good. But again, nobody’s seen anything yet. Nobody really has any idea what any of this stuff is going to be like. 

The one thing I did do — very mercenary, well, practically mercenary, I want to hope — is when I was putting together my document and my plan, I asked our sales and marketing team, headed by David Gabriel and Dan Petraglia, to reach out and pose a question to like a smattering of our big retailers. And the question was very simple: Tell me what characters your customers react to in X-Men books. Who do they like? Who do they want to see? So I got feedback from retailers all across the nation and the world. And some of it was outlier stuff, but it was remarkably consistent. So as we collated and put that all together, we just treated it like votes. There was a big spread of nine or 10 characters at the top, and then a long list of two and three vote-getters. That’s not to say those characters aren’t popular and don’t have fans, but if you’re talking about the consumer fanbase, it’s pretty clear the specific characters that at least the people selling the books on the frontline think are the ones that are going to most appeal to their customers.

So that wasn’t used as an absolute map or anything, but it was definitely used as a guidepost to go, “OK, if they really like this character, maybe we should be thinking about doing a project with that character.” Or “Maybe we should see about putting that character into place on the canvas in a title where they’re prominent.” Because again, speaking mercenary style, I want to sell a lot of X-Men comics. 

AIPT: [Laughs] That’s understandable. Since you invoked Jean’s name, X-Fan @Jean_RED_Grey said showcasing Jean Grey as Phoenix in an ongoing solo series is not only a first — surprisingly so — but also reverent of the character in a way that seems intuitive, progressive, and necessary. What prompted you to take such a bold step in Jean’s development?

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Tom: Going back to even when I was just a reader of the X-Men in the ’70s and ’80s primarily, Jean Grey/Phoenix was a big character there. I always thought, just as somebody in the halls of Marvel, that we should do a Phoenix book, and it should be a cosmic book, and I don’t understand why nobody’s ever done this before. Because that seems like such an easy layup. This is a character who’s popular and we typically see her — even in that role — on Earth, hanging out with, you know, six other guys in a mansion or on an island or a building in Manhattan doing typical X-Men stuff, when really, that character — at that scale — should be dealing with bigger or vast things.

So this was just an opportunity to ask what books would I want to see. Also, as a general guidepost, I feel like there should be more solo X-Men projects. There have been plenty of them that have been done. Most of them have been limited series. And even the ongoing series have tended to struggle to maintain a long, healthy life. And frankly, all the stuff that we do may have exactly the same problem. But I do feel that particularly once you get past a solid core, you end up with a lot of team concepts that feel to me like somebody doing a draft pick, wandering down to the beach at Krakoa and going, “Hey, I need five guys to go have an adventure, who’s around?” And five disparate characters get involved in a story because they’re the ones that happen to show up that day. And I’m not really looking to cast aspersions on anything anybody’s done in the past.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

This is just the feeling I have. The X-Men characters, particularly the primary core ones are so well known and so well established. Wolverine’s been able to hold a series since 1988 and we don’t even think about it. Cable was able to do it in one form or another for a hundred-plus issues. But I don’t think that should be exclusive to them. I just don’t know if anybody really has gotten out and pushed at that in the way we’re going to try to push at it here.

So we’re going to try a bunch of different things. And you know, like I said, we have two or three different waves already kind of planned. These books will come out here and these will come out there, and some will be limited and some will be ongoing. Or as ongoing as they’ll be depending on if they sell well, in which case they’ll all be limited and somebody else will be talking to you in a future X-Men Monday.

But we’re going to try to expand the range of X-Men characters and the range of X-Men tonality. I also feel there’s a natural tendency for all of the X-Men books of a given period to feel — not the same — but similar. I think that’s really true during the Krakoan era, because Krakoa as a concept was so massive and such a sea change that no matter whose story you happen to be talking about, chances are it either started on Krakoa, ended on Krakoa, or involved Krakoa in some way, even if it was just the Marauders are out there delivering medicine for Krakoa. And on the one hand, that could be a strength because they’re all pulling in the same direction. They’re all telling facets of this larger super story. On the other hand, I kind of envision it as I want the Baskin-Robbins X-Men line. I want an X-Men line where there’s a book that’s got a tone, tenor, flavor, genre, and style for every taste. You may not like them all, but no matter who you are, there’ll be something in the line that will be appealing to you. 

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Well, hopefully, there’s room for romance because I’ve got two vital questions here: X-Fan HED said since the Fall of X started, most of the mutants have been too busy trying to survive to engage with the most important part of the franchise: Kissing. Can we expect any new romances in the X-line? And X-Fan Leo said, with Phoenix in space and Cyclops leading the X-Men on Earth, are Scott and Jean still married in “From the Ashes”?

Tom: Well, I’ll do the second one first. Yes, they’re absolutely still married. That’s absolutely still a part of the storytelling in the books, despite the fact that Jean is over there in space and Scott is in Alaska. How that all works and how that all plays out, you’ll see it immediately as we get into X-Men #1 and Phoenix #1 and so forth.

And frankly, I could just be out of my mind, but I have — as everybody in the office is sick of hearing me talk about — I have what I think of as the unified field theory of the Scott and Jean relationship that sort of explains or clarifies why a bunch of — maybe let’s call them ill-considered storytelling decisions made over the years — happened the way they happened, and how they actually all make sense if you look at it from this perspective. So we’re going to try and build up and peel back the onion and reveal that backstory dramatically over the course of telling a bunch of stories here.

But again, the short answer there is yes, Scott and Jean are still married. I don’t know legally how that works, but it’s as legal as it’s ever been. Either way, it’s a personal commitment that the law almost doesn’t come into.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

In terms of other relationships — for sure. That’s got to be a big part of building out the new X-line. It’ll take us a little while to get things going because you’re starting from a standing start where you have to establish the new books and the new teams and how people are now relating to one another. Ongoing soap opera romantic entanglements have always been primary parts of X-Men’s storytelling engine. This will be no different.

In particular, because she said it a bunch of times, Gail wants her book to be the steamy X-Men book. So I would expect that there’ll probably be some friction going on over there at the very least.

AIPT: While we’re on the topic of friction, X-Fan Emily asked if we should anticipate new tensions between characters, post-Krakoa. For example, are Rogue and Cyclops’ teams working in concert, or do they have different ideas of what the X-Men need to be at the moment?

Tom: That’s very much on point with the way I’m laying this out. One of the things on my list of what worked and what didn’t work is a bigger point about the Marvel Universe as a whole. I don’t like it as much when all of our heroes are united and in lockstep on every issue. It eliminates drama. We wrestled with this an awful lot when I was overseeing Spider-Man with Steve Wacker, who was actually editing the book. At the time, Spider-Man was a part of the New Avengers. He would jump around and be the jokey guy. Brian Michael Bendis would write it really well. And then you’d read Amazing Spider-Man, and he’d have some financial problem. And it’d be like, you’re spending 20 pages a month standing next to Tony Stark. Surely he could slip you at 20 if you asked him and he wouldn’t even notice it. I like it better when there’s a little bit of distance and or the possibility for a little bit of friction.

So coming out of the Krakoan era, you’re going to have a situation where an awful lot of mutants are going to have to reintegrate back into the world because the island they were all living on isn’t there anymore. So whether they want to or not, they’re going to have to go home. And a bunch of the things that they did to get there are going to prove to be problematic. I don’t know if anybody ever specifically stated it, but by moving out and going to Krakoa, they’re effectively renouncing their citizenship in whatever country they happen to come from.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

But even if that’s not the case, certainly there have been enough scenes and enough places where the haughty or arrogant X-characters, shall we say, have come forward and said, “We are the inheritors of the Earth. Now you have new gods.” And so suddenly, having to go out and reintegrate into that world, mutants are kind of being hoisted by their own petard a little bit.

“How’s that island thing working out for you?”

Consequently, most of the characters that we might traditionally think of as the obvious leaders of mutantkind are not in a position to do that job in that way. What this means is we’re going to have at least three teams that are called the X-Men. They’re all completely separate. And they do a little talking to one another — it’s not like they don’t know one another from having spent years together either in Westchester or on an island. But they’re definitely not pulling in the same direction all the time. And that’s more interesting to me.

Part of the reason that Rogue steps up to put together what becomes the Uncanny X-Men team is she’s faced with a situation and she can’t find anybody else who will step up. And so, at a certain point, it’s just that somebody has to do this. Somebody has to be the X-Men and keep this thing that we’ve devoted so much of our time, energy, and emotion to going. It has to be me because nobody else will do it. And damned if I’m going to sit here and not do something about the thing that’s happening.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

So we’re going to see a bunch of different characters come more to the fore in leadership positions. And they’re all going to have slightly different points of view on what is the place of mutants in the world now. What should mutants — and the X-Men — be doing? What are they trying to achieve? With this attempt at nation-building and then its disillusion, what’s the next logical step? 20 different people are going to have 20 different ideas.

The silly version of Krakoa to me was always, you know, Nightcrawler gets up in the morning, he yawns, he goes to put the trash out and maybe get the mail, and in the house next to him, Apocalypse has come out.

Hi, Apocalypse, how you doing? Nice morning, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s good.”

Everybody was so in lockstep, and granted, there was plenty of interpersonal drama among the Quiet Council. But in general, when the people at the top said, “We’re going to do this,” everybody pivoted and went, “We’re going that way.” I don’t find that as compelling as characters that can have a point of view and a completely legitimate reason for what they’re doing. But that puts them at odds with some other character who also seems to have a legitimate reason for what they’re doing, but who feel differently than they do. And consequently, sparks fly.

At the start of this, there are no two X-Men teams that are actively at war with one another. But it’s not unthinkable that we might get there, depending on how interactions go, how stories play out, and where in particular the creators want to drive things.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: X-Fan Nate S. wanted to know when we’ll find out more about the remaining new series: StormWolverine, and X-Factor.

Tom: As we get closer to them, more information will come. Our launch is spread over four months, so we’re kind of pacing our information releases around when those various titles are going to be solicited. It doesn’t help us a whole lot to tell you about the October titles when you’re ordering the July or August titles. So the answer is everything is coming in due time.

I can also mention an exclusive reveal: There are a couple of titles we haven’t even said yet. So while we showed nine in that graphic, within that October window, there are three or four more. My hope is to drop information on those, at least at the start, without saying anything, and have people go, “Ah, you’re doing that book? Holy crap, I didn’t even think about that!” Or, “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard, I can understand why you didn’t put that logo on the page.”

AIPT: And then there’s the other big mystery — X-Fan Owen asked if you could tell us anything about the story Greg Capullo is currently drawing, such as whether it’s part of the X-line or something else.

Tom: It is an X-title.

AIPT: [Laughs] Full stop.

Tom: Again, there’ll be an announcement at the appropriate moment when it is ready to be announced. It certainly won’t be a small thing because, obviously, Greg is a massive talent. He hasn’t done stuff for Marvel in a good long while. Old people like me were around when he was doing X-Force and things like that back in the day. But for a younger generation, which is virtually anybody, it should be pretty exciting to see him drawing Marvel characters again.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Greg Capullo

AIPT: So, when sorting through X-Fans’ questions, I picked up on some concerns over their favorite characters not appearing in any promotional images. I’m going to list some characters and you tell me… whatever you can tell me!

Let’s start with Bishop.

Tom: It may take a little while. You’ll definitely see Bishop. We’re talking about Bishop.

AIPT: OK, how about Iceman?

Tom: Iceman, yes.

AIPT: Perfect. And Monet?

Tom: Yes, Gail’s actually been talking publicly about her interest in Monet. So no sense in hiding that.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Cable?

Tom: Like Bishop, not necessarily right away. I’m going to sidebar here for a second. X-Men, traditionally, can be a tough series to get into for people because of its backstory and cosmology are so complicated. It has so many things and so many characters that the uninitiated look at it and go, “Where do I even start?” I think there’s some real validity to that. So one of the ground rules I put down at the start of this for everybody was I don’t want any doppelganger characters and I don’t want any characters from another timeline.

The X-Men at our start are here and now — it’s about right now.

All those other characters — put them on a shelf. It’s not like they don’t have value. And it’s not like we won’t get to them, but out of the gate, I want any human being on Earth to pick up any one of our X-Men No. 1 titles and be able to get into them, read them, understand them, and understand them on an emotional level and connect with them in a way that is just tough to do with, “I’m a cop from the future who came back chasing a thing, but now I’ve been here since then,” or “I’m the son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor who was sent to the future because I had a techno-organic virus and there I became a messiah figure and a soldier and I came back to the present to…” oh my God, that is so difficult. But it’s not really that difficult. Those characters can be boiled down as well. And that’s part of the thinking on them — just not the first move.

AIPT: Let’s do two more. Synch, one of the breakout characters of the Krakoan era.

Tom: I can’t say anything about Synch.

AIPT: OK, and finally, this is a character I get questions about pretty much every week. Hellion.

Tom: Um… heads just whipped around in the office as you said that. It got a reaction.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: [Laughs] Jordan would be very honest about there never being Hellion plans.

Tom: Well, again, this is a whole new “From the Ashes” era. We’re no longer bound by the taste and opinions of Jordan White. You’re in the hands of a far more crass and terrible figure than he ever was. So maybe it’s time to have hope, but maybe be careful what you wish for. We’ll see.

AIPT: X-Fan Dia was wondering what you can tease about the new threats our mutant heroes will be facing across these series.

Tom: It’s a little hard because nothing’s come out yet. Each book will be its own thing. And each book will have threats and situations that are keyed to the level the book is on. The kind of stuff that Jean is dealing with in Phoenix will be markedly different than the kind of stuff that Wolverine is dealing with in Wolverine. But to use the cliche, old threats and menaces, new threats and menaces.

We’re doing a bunch of stuff that’s new — and I put a lot of emphasis on the new in terms of new cast members, new actual X-Men and hero characters, and new villains. And part of that is I’m coming from an era where all the best X-Men villains live next door to Nightcrawler on Krakoa. So what that also means is character relationships coming out of this can be different.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

I definitely want you to encounter some characters who before this point, their trading card would’ve said superhero, and now post-Krakoa, their trading card might say supervillain because, in the loss of Krakoa and the loss of that society and the need to go back and reintegrate it to things, their attitude may be, “Screw that. We’re not giving up on that dream. That thing was pretty sweet, and we’re going to keep it going. You know what? We are still your new gods, and we don’t necessarily have to obey your human rules and whatnot as long as we’re walking that walk.” And that may put them in opposition to other people.

Regarding threats, literally just last week, Jed reached out to me because Ryan Stegman wanted to draw a lesser-used older X-Men villain. So Jed was like, “I’m going to use him in this issue. You have any problem with that?” I said, “Nope. That’s fine. That’s cool. They’ll turn a few heads that we’re bringing that character back, and people will go, ‘Why are you bringing that character back and not whoever my favorite is?'” But that’s the way these things work.

AIPT: And it’s not Hellion?

Tom: No, it’s not Hellion.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: X-Fan ReadyToRead said you’ll publish 18 issues of Uncanny X-Men and X-Men in the first year. Are the other series on the initial roadmap also intended to go for at least a year to build up the new era, or are they more reliant on first-issue sales? And a related question from X-Fan Kajsa — does purchasing issues digitally support a series?

Tom: Well, I’ll do the second part first because I like that. Yeah, purchasing at all in any form supports the series. So if you buy digitally, that money spends just as good for us as the money spent on tangible copies. I don’t know that your retailer likes it as much, but your digital retailer likes it.

How long will things go? The real answer depends on how good these books are and depends on how people react and respond to them. This is no different than doing Avengers books or Spider-Man books. We’re coming into this and we’re hitting it hard. We’re trying to do a line that people can get excited about.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

And like I said, it has enough breadth to it that hopefully, even if you don’t like Title A, you really like Title B. And across that, we can get enough people to keep some things going for a while, but it’s also not impossible that rather than doing 18 issue of X-Men, I’m going to do nine issues of X-Men. And then somebody else is going to do some X-Men if they’re really, really terrible and everybody runs screaming from the books.

But I’m already planning well into the end of 2025. Some of that is also going, we don’t entirely know what books we’ll have at that point. You can make the plan, but the plan doesn’t always survive contact with the enemy unscathed. And so some of this stuff may shift differently. But the intention in every case is to put out a book that people will love and remember and hopefully that’ll be enough to garner us support and interest and take us through the long haul.

You know, I came up in the ’80s and I started at Marvel in the ’90s, and in those days, there were fewer X-Men books, but the ones that were there, you kind of could count on. They were always going to be there. So that’s definitely a setup that I’m much more happy and comfortable with. I didn’t have to worry a whole lot on Avengers that Captain America wasn’t going to be published next month. But that’s all about us building the best, most commercial books we can, and then getting enough people to read them, like them, and dig them to make them self-supporting and self-sustaining.

AIPT: OK, Tom — final question. Six months into the “From the Ashes” era… what three X-Men characters will X-Fans be talking about?

Tom: Wow. That’s a good question. 

I’m pulling up my master chart here. For the sake of argument, rather than starting in May, let’s say from June. So that pretty much puts us around December. Let’s see… who do I have on my little chart and who can I point to?

I think we’ll definitely be talking about Inmate X.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

I think we’ll definitely be talking about Iceman.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

And I think of all people… again, this is probably more of a tease than it’s worth, but what the hell… we’ll talk a little bit about Stevie Hunter.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

And also…

AIPT: [Laughs] Keep it going!

Tom: Thunderbird. We’ll get some Thunderbird.

I’m coming across like the oldest man in the world. I only named X-Men characters that were created before 1980.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Yeah, what about Vanisher, Tom?

Tom: Um, we’ll have seen the Vanisher before that. The Vanisher’s in here, believe it or not,

AIPT: [Laughs]

Tom: Somewhere. It’s not a big appearance, but he makes an appearance and it’s not insignificant. 

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Well, on that note, I think it’s time for us to vanish, Tom. Thank you for taking the time to tease the X-Men stories coming our way in the not-too-distant future!

And X-Fans, of course, we won’t vanish before dropping a few more eXclusive reveals. You already saw the teasers for Wolverine and X-Factor above. Now, here’s your first look at three unlettered pages from Uncanny X-Men #1, written by Gail Simone and illustrated by David Marquez.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

But wait, there’s more! Here’s your first look at Scottie Young’s variant cover for X-Men #1, written by Jed MacKay and illustrated by Ryan Stegman.

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

That’s a wrap on X-Men Monday #250, X-Fans. As always, thank you for all your support. You don’t do 250 of anything unless it’s worth it!

Next week, we return to Krakoa, where Jordan will reveal the sinister secrets of the Krakoan era. Well… at least some of them. You all asked so many questions, it may take more than one edition of X-Men Monday to get through them all! But I’m sitting on plenty of juicy details I just can’t wait to share!

X-Men Monday #250 - 'From the Ashes' Era Preview With Tom Brevoort

Until then, X-Fans, stay exceptional!

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