Marvel's January solicitations are out, and X-Men fans will immediately notice one glaring omission: there's no issue of Excalibur out in January. December's Excalibur #26 is the last issue solicited for the series, and it's unclear if the book is set to return at this time.
(W) Tini Howard (A) Marcus To (CA) Mahmud Asrar
Merlyn and King Arthur have taken the Starlight Citadel. Saturnyne still lives-but not for long. Betsy Braddock must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie. It's all been building to this – the fantasy ends here and reality rushes in. There is no haven for the witchbreed. Can they hold on to their champion, here at the twilight of an age?
In Shops: Dec 08, 2021
As you can see, the solicit for Excalibur #26 has a certain finality to it, something we picked up on last month when we questioned the future status of several X-books, most notably Marauders. Another book we speculated could be ending, going on hiatus, or getting a reboot was S.W.O.R.D., and there is also no S.W.O.R.D. in Marvel's January solicitation. Here's the last issue solicited for December:
AL EWING (W) • JACOPO CAMAGNI (A)
Cover by STEFANO CASELLI
Variant Cover by Paul Renaud
THE FINAL FRONTIER? Sword Station One is crashing to Earth. The Lethal Legion is poised to destroy the diplomatic zone. Abigail Brand is ready to make her move. But how far ahead did she plan? How many losses will she accept? And how many bodies will she leave in her wake?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
In the case of Marauders, we know it's coming back in some form with a new creative, as Marvel announced earlier this month and confirmed in the January solicits.
MARAUDERS ANNUAL #1
STEVE ORLANDO (W) • CREEES LEE (A) • Cover by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN
Variant cover by Ema Lupacchino
DESIGN VARIANT COVER BY DAVID BALDEON
A NEW CREW SETS SAIL!
With Kate Pryde at the helm, the Marauders are ready to renew their mission of mutant rescue! She's got the mission — all she needs now is a new boat and a fresh crew to match. Pryde and Bishop must unite a crew of mutants, new and old, to spring Daken from imprisonment at the hands of a leader who's as cruel as he is charismatic: the primal provocateur known as Brimstone Love! It's the Marauders versus the Theater of Pain, a torture troupe that's set up shop in Xavier's School's old backyard! Come aboard for the first adventure as Steve Orlando takes the helm with our sea-faring mutants!
40 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$4.99
In the press release announcing Maruaders Annual, Marvel also noted that "following Jonathan Hickman's limited comic series INFERNO, many of your favorite ongoing X-titles will be undergoing thrilling changes." Subjecting readers to "thrilling changes" in the form of #1 issue relaunches is, as we all know, one of Joe Quesada's 22 Cheap Sales Boosting Gimmicks That Always Work, so it wouldn't be surprising at all to see that happen to many books in the X-Men line.
Indeed, in January, X-Force and Wolverine are replaced by X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine. Marauders, as noted, is getting a new creative team (and maybe a new #1 issue in February). Hellions has already been canceled. New Mutants has a 25th issue out in January, so Marvel certainly couldn't relaunch it before that. The main X-Men book was only relaunched a few months ago, so they can't really relaunch it again until at least next Summer due to the relaunch button cooldown (and gods help us if Marvel ever figures out how to make every issue a number one). As for additional future X-plans, we'll find out more over the coming month ahead of the February solicits release.