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She Has No Head! – The Ladies of X

Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel’s X-Men #1 came out to much fanfare and awesome critical acclaim.  I reviewed it last week on CBR and Sue and I interviewed Wood on 3 Chicks last week as well.

But really, that’s not enough. Nope.

In my excitement for and about this title and what a long time coming it is – I think I have truly been waiting 20 years for this book – I thought it’d be a good time to talk about the ladies being featured in the title. The X-Men on Wood’s team are some of my favorite characters in all of comics, so I’m pretty excited to see them all here together, kicking ass and taking names.

X-Men Wada Header

Alt X-Men #1 Cover by Kevin Wada

Storm 1 X-Men 1STORM

We’ll start at the top, since Storm is the defacto leader, in general, and in Wood’s book. Here’s the thing about Storm for me, I WANT to love her. Her powerset is great and she’s just primed to be a fantastic character, but I’ll be honest, how most writers approach her leaves me a bit cold. The stilted goddess angle generally doesn’t do much for me, which is probably why I lean toward the leather mohawked interpretations (and is probably part of what I like about her current direction – a little more attitude and a little less benevolence – plus mohawk!) Probably my favorite thing about Wood’s previous X-Men run (with artist David Lopez) was how quickly I was interested in Storm – even sans mohawk. Wood really gave her gravitas as a leader, and her battling of wits with Cyclops, who she was coming to trust and confide in less and less over the course of the arc was incredible. It was some of the simplest, subtlest, and most layered character work I’ve seen anyone do with her in ages. So if Wood can bring that to this title, I’ll be excited to see Storm rise up my “favorite characters” list, something I’ve been waiting for far too long.

In this first issue, Storm is mostly acting as said defacto leader, which can be an unfulfilling role for a character, something that pigeonholes them, but given what I saw from Wood before with Storm, I’m not concerned.

Jubilee 1JUBILEE

Jubes tends to be one of those love her or hate her characters. I confess that early on in my reading of her (her early days as well – the early to mid-90’s) I found her irritating. I was probably supposed to as she was the “young” character and I was at that tender 15/16/17 age where you want so badly to be awesome (which of course makes you tragically unhip) and as such Jubilee’s enthusiasm/bravado/youth were a bit of a turn off to me. She grew on me over time though and Generation X really solidified her as a character I felt had great potential and generally enjoyed. I haven’t always loved the evolution of Jubilee’s powerset (i.e. with a few glowing exceptions there hasn’t been much evolution at all) and so the loss of her mutant power doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers others. That said, I was firmly on the train that wondered why the hell Jubilee had to be a vampire. Again, something that felt tragically unhip (not to mention a decade too late to be cutting edge in any way). HOWEVER, in the hands of great writers like Kathryn Immonen (Wolverine & Jubilee mini-series with artist Phil Noto) and Marjorie Liu (guest appearance in the X-23 series again with Phil Noto) I came to see how much potential this bizarre evolution actually had. Regardless of how behind the times and eye rollingly annoying Jubilee as a vampire is in concept, it did force the character to evolve. And that is generally good! In Wood’s hands I expect no less, regardless of how vampire-y Jubilee seems or not in his hands.

Based on this first issue, Wood appears very focused on Jubilee’s background as an orphan – drawing great parallels between her own orphan status and her “unofficial adoption” of an infant that’s also been orphaned, as well as Jubilee bringing that orphan home – to the home she built for herself with the X-Men. It’s all really wonderful stuff so far, and I’m excited about it. Especially now that I like her costume so much.

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Rachel Grey X-Men 1RACHEL GREY

I have very little to say about Rachel Grey. This is traditionally not a character I care for. I suppose my lack of affection for the Scott Summers/Jean Grey pairing (snore!) doesn’t help Rachel’s case any. It also doesn’t help  that I have never understood how Rachel was once the Phoenix and seemed to handle it with “no problem” and yet people not being able to “handle” the Phoenix force is literally something a company wide event can be built around. That the force can be split into five piece and given to some ultimate badasses and still drive everyone insane with power and ruin lives/the world, but this one chick was a conduit for it, seemingly with no blowback…I mean, what? And while we’re on this subject, if that was true…then why didn’t the Phoenix force just come knocking for Rachel this last time? I mean, I guesssss the end of AvX justifies the why…sort of. But the whole thing generally makes my head hurt and then I get grouchy, and then I look at Rachel with a suspicious side eye. So all this sounds like I’m not glad this character is on the time. NOT SO, DEAR READER!  The opposite in fact! I look at this as my best opportunity to care for the character. Brian Wood does nothing better than gorgeous layered character work, so I look forward to learning to love Rachel. If anyone can do it, Brian Wood can! My only skepticism I guess is why we need two telepaths on the team (and if I have to pick one I’m picking Pyslocke any day of the week and twice on Sundays)!

In this first issue, there’s not been too much time for Rachel to wow me  (yet!). Like Storm, she’s coming off as leader/teacher but at home base, while Storm’s doing it in the field. But I am patient. I already said I waited 20 years for this book, right???

Psylocke X-Men 1PSYLOCKE

Speaking of Psylocke…PSYLOCKE! I know she’s a character with a super complicated and problematic history (and to be honest, I have this whole massive post I wrote about it that I hope will someday be published but…well, it’s a long story). Anyway, because of that unpublished piece I’m not going to delve deeply into the problems. She’s a problematic character. Full stop. I still like her. Whether that’s simply because I read her first as the version we generally see these days, or just because I’m an insensitive asshole is a thing to be decided at a later date (probably). Regardless, I’m really really really (did I say really yet?) excited to see what Brian Wood can do with her. I haven’t loved the interpretation of her over in the new post-Remender Uncanny X-Force (it started okay, but hasn’t really gone anywhere) but I really liked Wood’s take on her in his X-Men run, so I look forward to seeing more of that.  And she’s got a great new costume now, so that’s not a bad thing either.

In this first issue Wood seems to be going with a “salty” Psylocke, i.e. she’s the least approachable and loveable of the leads thus far, and that’s on track for how I think of her/the interpretation I enjoy. Better yet it’ll be nice to see a take on her that allows her to be salty and “unlovable” without it being a lazy stereotype but rather something layered that can be explored over time. And her powerset? Already in a single issue Wood (and Coipel) are doing something cool, by having her turn her “psychic knife” into something more flexible and interesting – and it’s high time we saw some of that!


Kitty Pryde is a character that I more recently came to have an affection for. I think it was Joss Whedon’s use of her in Astonishing X-Men that first made me want to find out more about her. I loved her in Astonishing, but didn’t know if that was a one time deal. However, since Whedon’s run (and the piece linked to above) I’ve been pretty universally “pro-Kitty” which is good because there’s been a lot of focus on her in the last two years after she was rescued from that giant Breakworld bullet. She’s an intriguing mix in this team, because though she’s taken a leadership like role in Wolverine & The X-Men and All New X-Men as a teacher and she also did in the short-lived Generation Hope, she’s definitely not the leader in this title. But Kitty has a nice calming presence, rational, and warm-hearted, with tons of brains and one of the coolest powersets around. Wood’s been doing fascinating things with the alternate reality/Ultimate version of Kitty in Ultimate Comics X-Men, where she is absolutely both a leader and a rebel, so it will be interesting to see how his take differs here in the “real” world.

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In this first issue we got a “field Kitty,” which I appreciate as her powerset is awesomely flexible and when drawn well is utterly cool.

Rogue X-Men 1ROGUE

Saving the best for last, yo! Rogue is one of my all time favorite superheroes…ALL TIME. And there’s nothing I like more as a comics reader than seeing her handled well on a writing and drawing front – this is both tied together so beautifully I almost can’t stand it! Rogue was, as I’ve discussed before, really my entrance to superheroes (via the X-Men Animated series from the 90’s), and eventually to comic books, so I have a lot to thank her for. Unfortunately, like any character you love that’s popular and handed from creator to creator over the years, there have been A LOT of missteps with Rogue. She got back on track and was evolved very nicely under Mike Carey’s pen in X-Men Legacy however, and after being left in a good place by Carey, she’s been getting picked up by a lot of interesting writers the last year from Remender’s take on Uncanny Avengers to awesome one-off’s like Chris Bachalo’s Black Widow & Rogue A+X short (which if you haven’t read it, get on that – they even kiss – omg!). But I confess to being most excited about her appearance here in Wood’s book. Both because I trust Wood implicitly with the character, and because I really like what I’m seeing already, especially the return to Rogue’s brawler roots. I also truly appreciate a writer that’s not afraid to let her “regional accent/dialect” nonsense fall to the wayside.  There’s nothing wrong with accents in comics in theory, but it gets old really fast, and when not handled well, quickly becomes cartoonish and laughable. Rogue’s “sugah” long ago hit that mark, and while I’m not opposed to small bits of it (like “sugah”) showing up from time to time, I much prefer the voice that Wood is working towards in this first issue – i.e. one that’s free of the cliched accent but that doesn’t ignore her character’s established voice. Both can be done — it takes a good writer, but I have no doubt Wood is that writer.

In this first issue Rogue gets a TON of panel time, operating as the aforementioned brawler and heavy-hitter on the team, derailing a train, saving passengers, in other words, doing what she does best!


Emma Frost, Armor, and Pixie

So, who else would I like to see stop by for a chat? Well, it’s always tricky because different writers have dibs on certain characters, and my first pick is definitely a lady already spoken for, but I would love to see Brian Wood get his hands on Emma Frost…if only for a few issues. I’d like to see what he could do with her, and she’s not great pals with any of the core team, so she would be a nice vinegar to their oil. Good times!

A tragically underused character, and one I know Wood is fond of is Hisako Ichiki aka Armor. I’d love to see her show up – she’s a great character in every way, perhaps especially in her amazing power set – and this team could use a “strong guy” even if Rogue is taking on the roll of brawler (which I love as stated above).

Lastly, a character that I suspect Wood must be interested in bringing into the fold, since she’s already shown up in a few panels of the first issue – Pixie! Wood got a chance to write Pixie in his previous run on X-Men and I think his affection for the character is evident. I like what I’ve seen from Pixie thus far and would never turn down an opportunity to see a great writer like Wood explore her character further.

What about you? What did you think of the new issue? How do you feel about the core team? What other ladies would you like to see show up in future issues?




One other character who needs to stop by is X-23. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the concept of a female Wolverine, but her character development as Jubilee’s new friend needs to be brought back.

I would love to see Husk in this book. She’s one of my favorite X-characters, and I think she’s being ruined in Wolverine & the X-Men. I don’t know what Aaron’s endgame for her is, but I would love to have Wood write her and restore her to her fomer glory.

I liked what they were doing with Frenzy in X-men Legacy before the reboot, and she seems to be kind of orphaned now, so I hope she gets added to this team. I don’t like what they’re doing with Omega Sentinel though. She just got done being possessed. Maybe try something new?

Mike Loughlin

June 3, 2013 at 10:06 am

Alan David and Chris Claremont turned Rachel from whiny, ineffectual, and seriously troubled to tough, self-confident, and effective in Excalibur. She got the spotlgiht in issues 48-50 and 52 (IIRC, maybe issue 53? The cover depicted the X-Men attacking Prof. X), and those issues made me like the character. From what I’ve read, she’s been a bit undercooked since then. Hopefully, Brian Wood will give her a better role.

I would love to see Cecelia Reyes join the team. She was one of my favorites back in the Kelly/ Seagle days, and I think she’d work well with the rest of the cast.

One issue is way too early for me to be wowed. I don’t have the same affection for Brian Wood as you do, and I’m still not over the rip-off (for me) that was Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha & Omega. I am excited about a book focused on such a great cast of characters, otherwise I wouldn’t have given it a chance based on my experience with Brian Wood. If I do drop this it will be the writing, and not the fact that it stars women.

As a note, I think you need to look into Rachel a bit more. You’re complaints are all about how the editors and writers have been inconsistent about the Phoenix and have nothing to do with her. Days of Future Present is a good place to start, as well as the Claremont/Davis Excalibur. She has one of the most traumatic backgrounds of any character in comics, and yet she’s pretty consistently portrayed as a survivor instead of a victim. I find her to be, when written well, one of the deepest, most realistically multifaceted character in the X-Men universe with the mix of confidence and vulnerability. Unfortunately she’s not always so well written. Blame the writers, not the character.

Greg, I’m agreed on the Frenzy idea. The development she’s had since Age of X definitely deserves to be continued. She’s another character with her own motivitations that set her apart from most of the others.

I’m not happy with what Marvel has been doing to the X-Men since Deadly Genesis. That said, I think that every one of these characters is a winner so the book has me intrigued but my LCS was sold out which just makes me even more curious to check it out. I figure that Marvel probably created this book to be a Brian Wood vehicle but at some point, I’d LOVE to see Chris Claremont be given a shot at this book considering he created/developed all of these characters.

@Shawn: While I was obviously raised on (and came to love these characters) thanks to Chris Claremont, after the experience that was horrendously abysmal “X-Men Forever” I will never trust him again as a writer. :(

@Jeremy: I thought I was clear that my bias against Rachel was a bit odd and not her fault. That said, I loved Excalibur, but she was always my least favorite character in that book…so…?

@David: Yeah, I just tuned back into WATXM after a break and found that Husk’s fate is not looking so good over there.

@Doug: Yeah, I also am not wild about “female Wolverine clones” but Laura under some good writers and artists has turned into an interesting character – especially in her relationship with Jubilee. So, I agree. I definitely want to start a campaign for her to stop going by X-23 though…wouldn’t you change your name straight away if you were called by your “clone/slave” name?

@Greg: Frenzy could be cool here. I hope anyone dealing with her will stay away from the Gambit/Frenzy thing though…I was not a fan of that. :)

I am pretty sure Omega Sentinel will be freed of Arkea at the end of the first arc. After all, Wood did claim it was the SEVENTH member of the team who would make an appearance on the last page of the first issue, meaning Karima will be restored to herself soon enough.

Good point about X-Men Forever. Never discount how important Louise Simonson and Ann Nocenti were during Claremont’s mid to late 80’s run. I’m still interested in checking out the book under Wood but he’s hit and miss with me (I enjoy Conan but was quickly bored with Star Wars). Hopefully my LCS will have it this week.

I used to love Rachel and am excited to see her in a potentially big role again. I had the exact same thoughts about the whole AvX Phoenix storyline. Rachel wielded the Phoenix Force and took it up against both Galactus and the Beyonder, and didn’t either go nuts or wipe out a star system like her mother did. All this despite her rather horrific upbringing as a telepathic hound.

Or maybe because of her upbringing she was able to resist the temptation. Hmm… now that’d be an interesting angle on the story.

As to duplicate powers, I think avoiding overlap on super-teams is a mistake. Having similar powers should give the writer some cool opportunities for teamwork and interplay.

I desperately want Frenzy in on this or some other featured role — she was the character most improved from Age of X (which I enjoyed a lot), and I’ve had a bizarre affection for her since she was a member of that Jean Grey-led fill-in team right before Grant Morrison took over (and along with Northstar, the only one not to meet an awful end/ be written away totally?).

Also, major lolz @Shawn Kane — Chris Claremont will never get the reins of a major Marvel book again. If you feel that’s unfair, read X-Men Forever. I majorly respect the man’s contributions to the comics canon — X-Men really wouldn’t exist today without him, and thus a lot else — but his writing peak is long behind him. X-Men Forever had some bizarre sexual stuff that is the absolute last thing an all-female book needs.

The array of faces that are age and ethnicity appropriate are a sight to behold.

@ Stephen B. other than taking exception to your major lolz at me, I don’t disagree that X-Men Forever was pretty much a trainwreck but I’m not sure that I believe in the term “writing peak”. In comics, a good writer with a good editor can do a good story but will get the “their old stuff is better” argument that alot of classic writers have to face. Your preferences may differ from mine considering I had no enjoyment from the Age of X.

Bringing Rachel back into prominance is one of the reasons that I’m interested in this book. Jean Grey/Phoenix was one of my favorite characters as a kid and so when Rachel was (re)introduced during the Claremont/JRjr. era, those of us who missed Jean were excited to get another shot at a Phoenix character (what can I say I was 11). Like Kelly, I’m pretty interested with what Brian Wood will do with her because I don’t think that she’s been written well in a long time.

there’s only one right answer to your last question: Marrow.

Frenzy was quickly becoming my Replacement Rogue (Rogue being my all-time-favorite since her introduction to the X-Men way back when, for many reasons)… but then she got pushed to the backburners for the most part –we rarely even *see* her, much less get any actual action/development from her… so, yes, Frenzy please!

Karima never interested me as a character, other than visually… it could be interesting to see what Wood would do with her as well.

As far as I’m concerned no amount of gushing about this book is too much. It’s a perfect blend for me.

The Characters: Kitty is at worst tied for my all-time favorite hero, and Wood seems primed to add his name to the likes of Whedon, Gillen and Claremont for her best portrayals. I also grew up with the X-Men animated series, so I love Rogue (it’s nice to see her back in Punch-Things mode), Jubilee (not a big fan of the vamping, but as long as she’s still a livewire she’s still Jubes) and Storm (a great alternative to the on-going and by now wearisome Cyclops-Wolverine chode-wagging contest). Psylocke is a character I always wanted to like—neat visual powers—but just never jibed, too much silly, too much confusion, and I’ve preferred Rachel to her mom since she dropped into the 616. I do have a question about Rachel: Did she lose her telepathy? Because I thought she was a big time telepath, but reading the issue Psylocke’s making these threats about shutting Sublime down and talking like Rachel has no concept of telepathy. So did I miss something?

The Writer: This is my first real experience with Brian Wood, and he’s already half a sentence away from joining Gillen, David and DeConnick as my favorite current writers. If anyone has any suggestions for where to start on his older/indie work, yell at me.

The Story: The fact that this isn’t just a bunch of female characters fighting against male chauvinists or running around yelling ‘Go, go Girl Power!’ is so refreshing. Too many times a cast like this falls into that trap, putting all the focus—and the storylines—on how they’re women. Here we just get an amazing story of characters kicking ass. The fact that it’s a crew of women kicking X-Men levels of ass isn’t even hinted toward. And that’s the way it should be. The more the creators tout a female character’s sex, the more it demeans her—makes it seem like it’s special or exceptional that this little lady is fighting on par with the boys, whereas if they just let it play—like Wood does—the characters come off as certified badasses, and no one questions whether the girls can play with the boys because they’re just doing it.

Others I’d like to see: Emma would play so deliciously not well with this crew—especially Kitty; any time those two share panel space is just gold, and Wood’s take would be nothing short of Wow. Dani Moonstar, for no other reason than she’s my favorite X-Man woman not on the team and I’d enjoy seeing Wood’s take on her. Monet would be interesting. She and Jubes share a past, and I could see her snark and ego adding some sparks to the team. Hopefully Pixie keeps appearing—I’d like to see her join as a ‘new blood/next gen’ character. I’m hoping Karima sticks. She was a lot of fun under Carey, up until she got wrecked (and I wouldn’t mind her getting a little payback for that), and I’m eager to see what Wood does with her.


So glad you liked the first issue – I share your enthusiasm (obviously).

For Brian Wood, you honestly cannot go wrong when looking at his other work but some of my favorites are:

DEMO (both Volume 1 and Volume 2 are great, but I actually prefer Vol. 2 and you don’t have to have read Vol 1 in order to understand it).

2010’s DV8: GODS & MONSTERS is one of my favorite books around and again, I don’t think you need a familiarity with the Dv8 characters to get it/enjoy it.

Another favorite of mine is Wood’s work on the CONAN THE BARBARIAN series at Dark Horse – and this from someone that cares not a whit for Conan (unless we’re talking Conan O’Brien).

Wood’s current series THE MASSIVE is also very cool (though I confess to being behind a few months in my reading there.

And if you like more political skewing stuff Wood is BELOVED for his DMZ series.

What else? LOCAL is great, though it’s not for everyone and if you like stuff that skews a little more YA, THE NEW YORK FOUR is fun too.

Enjoy your exploration of Brian Wood – I think I’m jealous you’re getting to go on this journey – I wish I could do it all over again!

I don’t recall the last time I was this excited going into a comic, and yet it still managed to deliver above and beyond.

Wow, that’s an entire queue.

DV8: Gods & Monsters – Am I wrong or do I recall Rebekah Isaacs doing a turn on DV8? Because if she and Wood worked on the title together, I know where I’m starting. Even though it would give me empty dreams of those two teaming up on X-Men.

I’ve heard some good things about it, but how political is DMZ? Are we talking heavy on the left wing vs. right wing stuff? Because getting bonked on the head with political rhetoric while trying to enjoy a story tends to chafe.

Thanks for the suggestions, Ms. Thompson; I’ll definitely look into them. And you should look into getting Wood to pay you a commission.


Yes, DV8 is indeed Brian Wood with Rebekah Isaacs. I wrote about it a few times for SHNH, because I liked it SO much.



You really can’t go wrong starting there. If I had to pick a follow up, I’d go with Demo Volume 2, then I’d slide over to the first Conan The Barbarian trade, then The Massive, then maybe circle back to DMZ (just because it’s much longer and also it sounds like you’re not sure on the political front). I also totally neglected to mention NORTHLANDERS, which is excellent and works in nice bite sized arcs, the first trade is one of my favorites of the run.

No need for a commission…just keeping him in business and writing as much as possible is benefit enough for me! ;)

[…] on the web, check this CBR post for preview images for the second issue (spoilers though!), Kelly Thompson’s view on the cast over here, a Bitch Media article over here, and a Pop Matters analysis over here. But more important, buy the […]

I’m a big fan of most of the characters being used here and Rachel & Rogue in particular. They haven’t overlapped in the X-Men all that much, however, so I’d like to see that relationship explored a bit since they were on the team at the same time at the mansion under Prof. X back when Storm was running the team.

I’m also hoping that Wood remembers that Rachel & Kitty are close friends and uses that relationship. That’s always been one of the interesting aspects to Kitty Pryde IMHO: she actually makes friends and has relationships that make a certain amount of sense organically.

We shall see. I’m hugely disappointed Coipel won’t be drawing this long term.

@Kelly Thompson

Okay then, I know where I’m starting. And now I’ll stop turning this into a ‘Recommend Me Something to Read’ thread. Thanks for all your help.

I’m not the biggest X-fan by far — I got my overdose of “sugah” back in the ’90’s, for sure. But what I have heard of the character of Dust, I would love to see how she would fit in on this team.

Which means someone is about to tell me she was killed in some event that I could never keep straight.

Showing my age, but since I grew up on Claremont late-run New Mutants & bought as many back issues as I could find, I want Illyana Rasputin back. But then, I think no one wrote her as well as Claremont….

Haven’t actually bought a comic in a long time (I’m more GNs/borrowing friends’) but I’m sorely tempted by this. Rachel & Kitty, superb!

@Sarah: You should consider checking out Uncanny X-Men as Ilyana is one of the stars in that book right now.

I’m curious about the book because I like the idea and I like what I’ve read of Brian Wood’s so far, but I’ll definitely wait till the trade to check it out, because I don’t really like the X-Men. Which is fine, I think, because lord knows there are a lot of X-fans out there.

For me the main draw is just the idea of an all-woman X-Men team, which I like just on principle. Most of the particular characters aren’t specific favorites of mine, but then I’d have to rack my brain to think of any six X-Men that I would call “favorites,” male or female. Even then I’d probably fall back on Cockrum/Byrne era characters, just because that’s the last time I was really into the series (because I was 12). I do like Storm and Kitty a lot, and I like Rogue just fine. Rachel and Jubilee have always bugged me a little, and because I skipped the 1990s I still haven’t read a comic in which Psylocke was actually a character rather than a generic assassin like she’s been in X-Force and everything else I’ve read since her return. I don’t mean that as a dis on Psylocke–it just seems like no one’s bothered to write her at all lately; they just like having her there, and because I missed the era in which there were any real stories about her I still don’t know why. (I was surprised recently to discover that she was introduced to the series some time before I stopped reading during the Australia era, because I don’t remember her at all.)

All that’s just to say that the fact that I’m even curious about this series is pretty impressive, because X-stuff is a tough sell for me. (Fearless Defenders was a much easier sell, because I already love those characters.) So, well done, Marvel.

Personally, after his X-Men vol. 3, I REALLY hope Pixie is the character he’s been hinting will join the team. Besides, the team needs a teleporter, Jubilee usually plays off people her own age pretty well (just look at like 75% of Generation X, or what I like to call “The Good Issues”), she has a nice visual with the blue and gold/giant gauntlets and boots/pink hair/wings and I like the Welsh background. Really, what’s not to love about Pixie?

Magik and Domino would be my favorites to join, but they’re both tied up in another books. I’d really like to see Pixie in this book, but someone on the team as solely a teleporter is really weak imo. They’d have to flesh out her magic powers to make it work.

To: Anonymous,

I’ve never liked the idea of including/excluding characters based on powers. I’m more interested in their personality, their character—how they’ll interact with the rest of the cast. Pixie is young and vibrant—she’s fresh and unjaded, still newish to the X-Universe, and it would be nice to see her take that next step, join this team of established X-Men, and become the next recognizable Lady of X.

Forward the bit about Jubilee to the series’ writer. Maybe some issue in the future the art or story to X-Men might acknowledge the fact Jubilee’s now a vampire. And Anonymous? Domino and Pixie should be included if they’re tied up elsewhere. Jubilee’s the only character here not appearing in one or more other X-Books…

I’m totally down with this series. I love Brian Wood, and the Massive is my top read every month lately. I’m excited for this cast as I always saw Jubilee as my generation’s “eyes” into the X-Men. The writer has clear love for the characters and their history, and the panels where Jubilee explains why she’s bringing the infant back to Westchester was made me tear up.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Pixie on board as she would cover the Mystical/Teleporter angle like she did in the previous arcs Wood wrote. Plus since Jubes is kinda growing up, having a wide-eyed newbie (which I know neither Pixie or Armor is) would be fun.

Another character I wouldn’t mind seeing (because she was so woefully underdeveloped) is Transonic. In Generation Hope she was the most excited to learn about her Mutant heritage and powers and was the one who wasn’t afraid to take Hope to task even if she was ultimately wrong. Giving wood the chance to sculpt this character would be fun.

Psylocke’s arch in Uncanny X-Force was soooooo good! Can’t believe you didn’t like it!

I really want to see X-23 get featured in this book, she’s a perfect fit for the team, she worked with Psylocke in X-Force, she became fast friends with Jubilee, Storm is sort of a mother figure to her in the first issue of X-23 solo comic and through out most of New X-Men, again worked with Kitty on New X-Men and she grew to respect her not to mention the immediate “sister” status she would get with Kitty as both of them are; in a weird way; daughters of Wolverine, with Rogue and Racheal there isn’t much relation… YET? But Rogue more than anybody would be the hand that X holds to help her come to terms with who she is and face the future, after the whole Mx.Marvel fiasco Rogue knows a thing or two about having your mind in the right place ;)

First of all–NO EMMA in this book. In any capacity. N. O. I’m sick to death of that woman.

Secondly, Rachel is in desperate need of attention. AvX should’ve brought her out front and center. But Bendis and all the other hacks involved blew it. So I’m hoping Brian Wood will give her the care she deserves.

Third, the return of Karima Shapandar/Omega Sentinel is VERY welcome with me and having her around as a regular would be perfect.

@A.W.: I clarified that above because it’s a bit confusing – I’m not talking about the Remender Uncanny X-Force, I’m talking about the current Humphries Uncanny X-Force.

There are a number of characters I would love to see in the book but I’m kind of enjoying the ones we have already. Most of my favorite female characters are in this book and all of them are my favorites because of Chris Claremont… and later by Alan Davis for Rachel and Kitty. Storm is my absolute favorite but no one has ever written her as perfectly as Claremont.

That being said… I’d love to see Megan, Cerise, Lifeguard (with a new name) and/or Hepzibah.

The writing is good but Kitty is far past the childish “OMG” phase. She’s running a school and training the original X-Men for pete’s sake. Loving the take on Rogue. So much prefer Storm and Psylocke here compared to how the Uncanny X-Force writer handles them. I love all the characters in Uncanny X-Force but I’m dropping the book because I can’t stand the writing.

I’d apparently missed every issue that Sublime appeared in somehow and had no clue who he was until I looked up the Wiki. Hopefully they’ll explain him a bit more.

Oh and… add me to the list of extremely disappointed, and a little annoyed, readers that are upset that Coipel isn’t going to be around for very long.

OMG -I forgot SAGE!!!!

I don’t appreciate the insuations you make about liking Psylocke. I love her not because I’m an insensitive asshole or a helpless nostalgic. I love her because she’s relatable. She’s been my role model ever since I was a little girl and started reading X-books. Whereas Jean and Storm were forced into boring mother-hen roles and Rogue was stuck in a big old love drama/angsty with Gambit, Psylocke spoke to me. She was mysterious, aloof, wild, unpredictable yet elegant with a taste for the finer things. I don’t find her problematic at all. And yes, I’ve read every appearance of her ever since her debut in Capt. Britain (1976). All the complications of her backstory makes her even more appealing to me. After all she’s a survivor.

Pixie? A big fat NO! We already have Kitty and Jubilee, her superior predecessors to fulfill the annoying teenage role. Pixie is as generic as it gets.

The only acceptable additions to this book would be Classic X-Women. There’s only three left: Emma Frost, Dazzler and Polaris. Shitty teenage/student characters would just ruin this book.

A lot of people find Psylocke to be a pretty racist character and it’s hard to ignore that there are issues there. I’m glad you like her, I do too. I was referring to myself as POSSIBLY being an asshole, not anyone else. Try not to take things so personally, okay?

Just out of curiosity: If you wanted to show someone why Psylocke is awesome, what story would you recommend they read? I’d be interested in checking it out.

I have the same question about Polaris, just because I don’t think I’ve read anything with her in it since the 1980s, when she and Havok were just very rare guest stars.

(I’d ask the same about Havok, but I don’t think anyone will ever convince me that any member of the Summers family is awesome, except Corsair because he’s a space pirate.)

@Kelly Thanks for your reply! Being half-Japanese myself I find it some of the arguments made about her to be far too extreme. If you post that piece of yours, I’ll be glad to comment again.

BTW, care to share your thoughts on Marvel assigning Terry Dodson, an artist known for his cheesecake art (breasts larger than the head) to pencil this all-female team?

@Kelly – have you read the classic Excalibur series?? If not, it was truly great stuff…and it explains just about everything you’ve mentioned as being problematic about Rachel and the Phoenix Force. Marvel chose to selectively ignore A LOT of the force’s mythology to make the story work in AvX…and that’s whatever…but don’t hold it against poor Rachel! She could’ve walked in at any time and said “hey guys, I got this” but that wouldn’t have served their version of the story, would it? lol

I want to see:

– Polaris
– M
– Gabriel Shepherd
– Sebastian Shaw
– Dazzler
– Pulse
– Threnody
– Bl!ng (more, that is)
– Mr. Franklin

@Buttler: the best Pyslocke stuff I’ve read has been the recent Remender Uncanny X-Force arcs. I mean, as a kid I loved some of the stories she appeared in, but I wouldn’t recommend most of it now as an adult where it holds little appeal for me beyond nostalgia.

Rachel’s TP/TK are inherited mutant powers. Her real — albeit underused — mutant power is time displacement (see Excalibur’s Cross Time Caper and Days of Future Past), and I’d love to see someone utilize those powers.

@Kelly: Oh, I actually have that on hold at the library! Soon I will be enlightened. Thanks!

To: Ger,

I’m sorry, but I’ve seen this OMG complaint over and over, and I just want to say: OMG is not a young phrase, nor is it a new phrase. It’s from World War I. A British admiral used it in a letter to Winston Churchill expressing concern over the German navy, and if it’s good enough for WWI British admirals, it’s good enough for Kitty. In fact, knowing Kitty’s personality, she’d be exactly the sort of person to use it because she knows this.

Even ignoring that, maybe Wood just didn’t have the panel space—or just didn’t want to take up the panel space—to type out ‘Oh my god’ when he could knock it out in three letters.

Some of the ladies from X-Factor are gonna be free soon – Syrin, Polaris, M, Wolfsbane – and I’d love for their stories to be continued into this title, but for “totally out of left field character suggestion” I’d have to say Unuscione of the 90’s Acolytes (with the green force-field around her) and/or Amelia Voght (turns into pink smoke). I love me some ex-X-villains, and while Unuscione is just a personal favourite, surely Amelia (who had ties to Prof X yeah?) would be a neat inclusion, and timely, given his death.

DMZ is definitely political, but in a thoughtful way instead of the hackneyed partisan way that some things are. It’s political in the sense that it talks about how communities are built, maintained, and sometimes broken. It’s not South Park bullshit, far from it. READ IT, READ IT.

There were A LOT of good suggestions here, starting with X-23 (who I truly feel would benefit coming “back into the fold” of her family now that she’s been on her own for awhile) and she could use some more confidence building (emotional, not physical) getting 1 on 1 time with almost ANY WOMAN in this line-up (whom most have grown into STRONG, INDEPENDENT woman since thier introductions)!! Also, I’d love to see the reunion with Sage ala X-Treme X-men (which by the way is a GREAT RUN to see WHY Betsy is so AWESOME if you want something besides Remender’s Uncanny X-Force which is probably ALWAYS GOING TO BE CONSIDERED her BEST of all time IMO). Finally, I really like the idea of Hezbellah (??) joining the group who pretty much was abandoned after the X-men traveled to San Fransico which is really a shame when you think about what she lost during The Rise and Fall of the Shiar Empire by Brubaker, and would give her a chance to shine like Warbird has in Wolverine and the X-men and Astonishing (and could be a good fit w/ Jubilee since their power sets are both physical and non-mutant).

I don’t see the issue with Betsy. Jim Lee obviously didn’t have a problem with the change and Claremont had already introduced Jubilee so people who say the character was changed to create false diversity are dead wrong.

where’s wolverine?

I wish Kitty would take up her full name “Katherine” or go the one name path of just “Kitty” like Logan, Prince, and Cafu.

“Kitty pride” is a 30 year pun that has run its course……………..

To: Toilet King,

Ha, ha, ha! “Not South Park bullshit.” You just won me over with that one. Partisan is the exact word that concerns me when it comes to mixing politics and fiction, as it seems politics is difficult for some writers to explore without jumping up on their soapbox and delivering some mallet-headed commentary. So thank you, oh great Lord of the Loo, for the 411. I’ll at least pick up the first trade. But it’s still coming in after DV8.

“Kitty Pryde” isn’t a pun…it’s the name of a friend of John Byrne’s that he named the character after.

@butler, Psylocke is a fav of mine also. Although i’m getting over her mixed race swap mess, (yes I do find it racist to a degree). I’d recommend the Shadow War, where she goes up against Shadowking.
I’d steer clear of Crimson Dawn related mess. The Lady Mandarin issues were Psylocke Centric.
Uncanny X-men annual 10-11, had Psylocke in Strong or extremely prominent roles. I dislike much of Claremont’s stuff now. Because from Uncanny X-men 211 up to about 226, he had a clear idea of her destiny, then he dropped the ball.
He forgot Psylockes personality, her strengths and weaknesses, etc.
This is going to sound silly but. In the issue of Uncanny where The ladies of the outback team go shopping. Betsy asks Dazzler, why she would choose to wear heels so high. Even as a kid I was like WTF? Psylocke is a friggin Supermodel. They wear 30 inch pumps for breakfast! So even little things Uncle montie forgot to do. I don’t trust Betsy in many hands, Wood is one, many of the female writers, and Yost, and Carey. Remender-locke was great until towards the end. I do hope she becomes more character, now that she’s outta that damn thong! Psylocke was always sexy, maybe now fans can actually appreciate the character, rather than her tushie!

Of all the X-Ladies they have started off with a strong core. If more characters were to be added as regulars I would love to see Dazler in this group as she was introduced around the same time as some of these characters but has not really been given a chance to shine untill reciently in the short lived X-Treme. I know she is being used in Uncanny X-Men but I would like to see more. Another character that I think is in need of more focus in M. She has incredible powers and is just enough of a bitch to make for some interesting interpersonal relationships. Also as others have suggested I would like to see X-23 in the mix to build off the great friendship building between her and Jubilee and I would be good to have another younger X-Men to counterbalance to older members (they are not really old but you know what I mean)

“Kitty Pryde” isn’t a pun…it’s the name of a friend of John Byrne’s that he named the character after.

Well, Kitty Pryde IS a pun. It just happens to be a pun that originated with a women that John Byrne knew.

Well, as far as I’m concerned, if we got any other characters on the team, I’d vote; 1. Omega Sentinel (She’s clearly involved in the coming story, which I’m ok with, considering her limited presence as of late), Husk (as someone with visually different powers) & EITHER Pixie or Armor. I see Pixie as being the more likely of the two, but Armor’s more of a favorite for me. But as stated above, M, Dazzler, X-23, Magma, Domino & even Emma Frost or Magik would work and be something different, yet appreciated. This is why the female X-Men are favorites. They’re different. :)

Big NO to Emma. Fed up with her character, she’s gotten annoying and she’s gotten too much screen time in other X-Books. Time to let other underused characters get their time in the limelight. Armor would be a good choice.

Travis Pelkie

June 5, 2013 at 4:06 am

OK, I’m dumb. How is Kitty Pryde a pun?

I guess it’s a pun on the word “pride” also meaning “a group of lions”?

One thing I didn’t get in X-Men #1: Rogue doesn’t have the powers she got from Ms. Marvel anymore, and it’s explicitly stated in this issue she borrowed the powers of Northstar… But (as far as I know) super-strength isn’t among Northstar’s powers, and yet Rogue is able to stop a train with her bare hands. So where did that come from?

Rachel’s outfit leaves much to be desired. Her best outfit was her Excalibur outfit with the spikes. It was a defining look for her, the other outfits have been lame, and lamer. Psylocke looks fine, and I can dig the new look, though I didn’t see anything wrong with having bare legs- though some artists took it to the extreme and made it butt floss- that’s the artist’s fault not necessarily meaning anything is wrong with the outfit.

At his signing in NYC for the book launch, Wood stated that he would be losing a character to Bendis (shocker, since Bendis seems to get whatever he wants from Marvel) after issue 12. I am wondering who it will be.

I would like to see Dust be a part of the team. She’s under used and I feel like her back story could be expounded more, she’s about the same age as Armor and Pixie but has less of “screen time”. Her ability would be great in the hands of Woos’s and Co. Her dichotomy with her morals and powers with help from this group of ladies would be a great story to tell.

Penance! So much Penance. I know I’m biased, but she’s my favorite x-lady, not to mention Jubilee’s bestie from Generation X. With her claws, speed, and unique looks, she’d bring a lot to the team not currently being displayed (though, yeah, it’s only been one issue so far, lol, so we’ll see).

I agree that Brian Wood needs to wrestle Husk away from Jason Aaron and fix what’s wrong with her, too. She’s become a running gag in WatXM, as has Chamber. These characters deserve to be more than just throwaway jokes.

Monet St. Croix (completing the Missing Gen X Lady trifecta…) could guest-star as well. Her diverse power set is pretty well represented among the x-ladies already prominent in the team, but it’d still be nice to make sure she has a home after X-Factor ends.

Big YYYEEESSS to Emma! The interaction between she and Kitty would be fantastic!

I’d like to see young Jean Grey from All-New X-Men hang out with this team for a bit. Dazzler, Emma, and Illyana all need to show up eventually.

I liked the first issue, more than I thought I would. I just don’t like that this entire team is a Logan team. It needs someone from Scott’s side. Anyone else feel that way? Would love Dazzler and Blink to be a part of this book for sure…

To: Kenny,

The problem with that is Scott’s team is in hiding, so as much as I’d love Emma or Illyana to join up, it just wouldn’t make story sense for them to show up helping a more visible X-Men team while still being on the run from six different teams of Avengers. And that’s not even taking into account the feelings of the non-Scott X-Men, who might feel inclined to hand them over for what happened to Chuck.

Sorry for the back-to-backing but I forgot to say: This book doesn’t seem to be dealing with the whole Team Scott/Team Logan divide anyway, making sides a bit of a non-issue.

And thank the Fates for that!

If you want a grand example of Rachel Grey where she excelled, I suggest every part of the arc dealing with Reign of Kings, War of Kings, Emperor Vulcan, etc. Top notch writing and by far the most interesting relationship dynamic I have seen done in any X-men related comic. She ended up with a Shiar who carried a bit of the Phoenix Force inside of his weapon, whose entire purpose was to end anyone who had the Phoenix bound to them. As for visitors or another teammate, Polaris, Scarlet Witch, Dust, Wolfsbane, Domino, Firestar, or Magma. This team doesn’t have an energy projector per se, and Magma’s outsider nature or Firestar’s constant battle with cancer and infertility due to her microwave powers would add another layer for story considerations.


June 5, 2013 at 6:50 pm

bring in Danger.

Whether Rogue is written with a southern accent or not (and one of the things they teach you in writing school is not to write in dialects, unless you’re Zora Neale Hurston), I’ll always hear it. The 90’s cartoon actress had my Grandma’s accent and voice, and that’s how it’ll always be for me. Just like Wolverine will always sound like Cathal J. Dodd.

There a ton of things I liked about this comic. Psylocke wearing clothes. Rachel, because I miss her from early Excalibur. Mohawk-leader Storm (as she should be).

I have one nitpick. [MINOR SPOILER] We live in the internet age, scientific and historical information is at every writer’s fingertips. So why – why?! – do we have a character mentioning when the Earth was formed “a billion years ago”?

It was over 4 billion years ago. That’s not a small difference. “Over 4 billion” is still pretty vague but would have been better. Easy to solve details like that yank me out of a story. Even with the laws of physics and biology broken all the time, this type of detail breaks my sense of belief in the story, because I know it was just the writer being sloppy.

i would like the see Frenzy for not other reason than comics needs more powerful African-American women. That and of all the character who would be X-men int he past 5 years, her development post Scizm has been the most interesting

I’m with Ross. Marrow!

(also: I need this book. There’s apparently not going to be any more Glory and I need awesome superheroine books.)

(commenting again just ‘cos)

Having read all the comments now – Husk, Magma or Wolfsbane would be pretty cool, too. I would also like to see Tabitha or Skids. And I agree with the others who have seen enough Emma lately. She’s a show-stealer for better or worse so I’d like her to sit down for a while.

Also, I mean strong, brawny Marrow, not pin-up purple Marrow. I mean, what was with that?

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