On Monday Marvel released one of their popular (or at least prolific) one-word teaser images hyping something of the “FUTURE” from Jason Latour and Mahmud Asrar, and now today, we know what that future is: a new semester at Wolverine’s mutant school.
As revealed in an interview at IGN.com, Marvel is relaunching the popular Wolverine & The X-Men series in March with a new creative team of writer Jason Latour and artist Mahmud Asrar. The current volume of the series, helmed by writer Jason Aaron, will conclude with issue #42 in February. According to the interview, Latour & Asrar’s run on the series will act as “summer semester” for the faculty and students after the first regular “school year” during Aaron’s first volume.
“As we’ve seen this first year or so of the Jean Grey School has been a hard road,” Latour tells IGN. “As a result we’ll begin with a lot of the teachers and students sitting on the edge of their seats just waiting for the bell to ring. For a break, for a reprieve. Some of them even want to quit. With summer in session many of them have. Those that are left are the ones who basically have no where to go.”
According to Latour, the new Wolverine & The X-Men series will focus on three students – Quentin Quire, Evan Sabahnur and Idie Okonkwo.
“These kids are Logan’s legacy, but as we’ve seen up to this point he didn’t have such a great track record with that stuff even when he was at his best,” explains Latour. “In them we could be witnessing the growth of the next great team of X-Men, or the creation of the biggest threats the Marvel U will ever see. Everything we’re planning, the adventures, the threats, will reflect that journey.”
Given the fact that summer break for school’s is all-too short, IGN asked Latour if this meant he would only be on the book for a limited time before the next school year begins. While Latour wouldn’t clarify the length of his tenure on the book, he stated he has “lots of idea for the future” and hopes to continue on the book indefinitely.
In the announcement last month that Paul Cornell’s Wolverine series will be relaunching in 2014 and will show Wolverine pulling back from his various commitments in the Marvel U, the question of his role going forward at the Jean Grey School is high of concern for the faculty, staff and most importantly the readers. Latour explains that the school is “built on the back of” Wolverine, but things have changed
“But now Logan is mortal and for the first time he’s being forced to take stock of what he’s built,” the writer explains. “He’s realizing that what he saw as a school could, in the wrong hands, become a factory for the next Cyclops or Dark Phoenix or Apocalypse or Weapon X. That though people like Storm are ready and willing to take the mantle, he’s not sure that he wants to subject them to the price of that duty.”
With the headmaster position in flux, the school is also dealing with the recent departure of many of its teachers in the wake of X-Men: Battle of the Atom, leading Wolverine to recruit an unlikely new teacher in the form of Fantomex.
“Well with the mass exodus of teachers Fantomex is, maybe somewhat surprisingly, Logan’s first choice to step into an open position,” Latour reveals. ”One of Logan’s greatest fears is leaving his school in the hands of men like Cyclops. Fantomex is a man who sees the world in grey, who understands what it means to be raised a weapon. As violent has he’s been, he’s shown again and again that he does know its cost.”
Asrar says that he’ll be keeping the “basic visual design” of the ensemble cast, but there will be “slight variations” do their combat gear. Asrar does reveal that there will be new characters – both students and villains – appearing in the series that he is currently designing.
When asked specifically about threats the school would face in the be new Wolverine & The X-Men series, Latour hints at the appearance of “a villain who has a connection to the Phoenix Force.” Along with several new villains as Asrar mentioned before.