As speculated, the Marvel NOW! relaunch of X-Men will feature an all-female lineup under the purview of writer Brian Wood and artist Olivier Coipel, as announced Monday morning on USAToday.com.
The teaser released a week earlier simply said "XX" and had a double helix, implying the XX chromosome lineup of female (versus XY for male), leading to speculation of which of Marvel's mutants would lead the way into a new age with an all-woman lineup. While the other half of speculation, that the title would shift to "X-Women" was wrong, the lineup for this cast is largely as guessed.
Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Summers, Psylocke, and slight surprise Jubilee adorn the first cover image for the NOW! X-Men launching April 2013. In fact, Jubilee is the "main star" of the book, according to USAToday's interview with Wood.
"I feel like as far as the X-Men go, the women are the X-Men," Wood explains to USAToday. "Cyclops and Wolverine are big names, but taken as a whole, the women kind of rule the franchise."
And Wood is going to be putting these X-Women into a lot of trouble very quickly. Sublime, from Grant Morrison's now-classic run on the series is back, and as a reluctant ally. There are aliens, Sentinels, and ancient sibling rivalries that creep into the present day, as well as love, relationships and sex - everything classic X-stories are made of.
While Jubilee is the star, Wood says it won't be a "'Jubilee and friends book.' They're all A-list characters — I've got to make them all shine."
Wood also says he's pulling inspiration from two major runs with the mutants of Marvel, he hopes to pull a sense of personal feel from Chris Claremont's classic decades-spanning run, saying he loved " how they related to each other and the stuff they went through personally" in the run. He'll also look to Morrison's New X-Men for more than just the villainous Sublime, saying "It had everything: It had that classic cast doing the classic stuff — very recognizable and big action."
While Wood doesn't claim to be the biggest X-fan in the world, he does say it's the only corner of the Marvel Universe he really wants to work in.
"That's all I'm interested in writing at Marvel," Wood told USAToday. "Every so often I get asked, 'Is there anything else you want to do?' And I'm like, 'I don't know.' The X-Men are right up my alley — what I'm most comfortable with."