This morning, Bleeding Cool reported the news that Neal Adams was to draw and co-write a First X-Men book with Christos Gage, following sources and stories over two years old. We presumed it was his much-promised and signed-off Wolverine series.
Well, it looks like we were half right. (UPDATE: Oh look, Wolverine is in it.) Marvel have just announced it. The announcement is still going on.
First X-Men, a new limited series written and drawn by Neal Adams, scripted by Christos Gage.
Neal Adams is quoted as saying;
"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. 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. 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. 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. How deeply is Wolverine entrenched in the X-Men? Why was this first team…maybe a failure? Lots of questions to answer. The natural instinct is that this is like the 'X-Men: First Class' movie, but it's not. We didn't mind stealing the Nazi Hunter version of Magneto though. 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… There will be early versions of the Sentinels. I did the giant ones, now I'm getting to do different one. Havok can't be in the series, because it's in the past, but we do have characters doing new things I think you'll like. The thing about Havok is he had this black costume that absorbed energy and then it emerged from the middle. It was a purposeful costume. It did what it was supposed to do for his power. These are the types of designs I like to do. I think one of X-Men's greatest contributions is showing that there are ways and methodologies to doing group books. It's hard. It's also hard to do a great group movie, but I think we just got one… Wolverine was a mercenary, and mercenaries make a lot of money. Wouldn't it be interesting to find that Wolverine's mercenary work funded… 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."
And now from Christos Gage;
"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. They recruit this guy Erik Lensherr who is out there killing Nazis. Wolverine is a soldier here. He doesn't put together a school, he puts together a unit, but they are young kids… They do encounter 'hobo' Sub-Mariner at one point… 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."