A brand new, old school adventure with Marvel’s mutants drawn and co-written by a living legend. The First X-Men #1 is out this week kicking off a 5 part limited series written and drawn by Neal Adams with Christos Gage scripting.
“You guys probably know I was at one time associated with X-Men…then they canceled the book. I had great fondness for the original X-Men, had the time of my life, then they canceled it,” said Adams referring to this era (1969-70.)
“At the beginning, Stan and Jack were experimenting. You had Professor X, bald and in a wheelchair. These strange kids already in costume. It seems to me like this was not the beginning of the story, but the middle,” Adams tells Marvel.com.
“Of all the mutants on Earth, Professor X could easily pass as a human. Why would he want to get involved in this? Maybe all this was going on before Professor X was Professor X…when Professor X was a teenager. Maybe mutant kids were getting abused by the military, by the government. Somebody would have been looking out for them, but maybe that person came to Charles Xavier, realizing he couldn’t protect these kids. That was my pitch,” Adams revealed.
“Marvel was very generous to provide Christos Gage to me, who is an expert in all this stuff. He’s taking my pitch and turning it into scripts that are in my opinion groundbreaking. It’s the X-Men before there were X-Men,” Adams said about his partner.
From the preview it appears Logan is the leader of this team before the team.
“How deeply is Wolverine entrenched in the X-Men? Why was this first team…maybe a failure? Lots of questions to answer.
It takes place before the original X-Men and at a time when the government was snatching mutants up and doing scary things to them. Logan notices this and thinks somebody needs to look out for them. He recruits Sabretooth, who asks ‘Why?’ and so he pays him. Professor Xavier is a young man studying at Oxford, who’s engaged and wants nothing to do with this,” Adams reveals about the lineup.
“In those early X-Men stories, everybody hates and fears them, but we never really know why. It’s so core to the concept, but it was there before the series started. Here we found out why mutants are so hated and feared in a way that is different from any other super heroes,” adds X-Men Editor Nick Lowe.
Wolverine targets the future master of magnetism for his team. Gage says “They recruit this guy Erik Lensherr who is out there killing Nazis…”
“The natural instinct is that this is like the ‘X-Men: First Class’ movie, but it’s not,” Adams states but adds, “We didn’t mind stealing the Nazi Hunter version of Magneto though.”
Gage calls Wolverine a soldier putting together a unit not a school in this series and Adams reveals more of Logan’s team.
“There’s a character who calls himself Bombastic Aghast, but they call him Bomb. Wolverine saves him from a cave-in then gives him a leather jacket that fits like a tent. He looks ridiculous, but he thinks it’s his costume. Later, Wolverine buys him a jacket that fits, but he throws it back in his face. That jacket means so much to him and represents his relationship with Wolverine. That’s the origin of his costume,” Adams confirms.
Fans may assume this retro tale is from an alternate timeline but the X-Office says this is not
“This is firmly set in continuity. This is not a What If. This is canon. This is key to Wolverine’s history and his relationships with other characters. This will answer questions that have been out there for decades,” says Lowe
“They do encounter ‘hobo’ Sub-Mariner at one point.” Christos Gage reveals. “He throws a car at Wolverine!” adds Adams
“We wanted this to be something you could hand to somebody who just saw the X-Men movies and they’d enjoy it as a good X-Men story. At the same time, for giant nerds like me, FBI agent Fred Duncan from the early stories is in there, and when Professor X talks about his brother you know it’s Juggernaut,” says Gage.
“There will be early versions of the Sentinels. I did the giant ones, now I’m getting to do different one,” revealed Adams
“Wolverine was a mercenary, and mercenaries make a lot of money. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find that Wolverine’s mercenary work funded…” Adams teased.
“The concept that Charles Xavier could pass for a human I don’t think has ever really been explored. At some point in his life, he made the difficult decision to step forward as leader of the X-Men and as a mutant. He could have wiped all of this out of the world’s collective mind. Why didn’t he? Stuff to think about,” Adams says of the mutant leader.
The First X-Men arrives this Wednesday 8/1/12. For the entire transcript here’s the Marvel.com link.