Over the past few weeks, Marvel has slowly been lifting the veil off its new Marvel Now! lineup, an initiative coming this fall that will see a number of ongoing comics end and entirely new ones begin. Missing-in-action characters will once again be stepping into the spotlight, while many mainstream heroes will be taken in some fascinating new directions.
Just ahead of Marvel's official Marvel Now! lineup reveal on July 13, images from the Marvel Now! Previews magazine have leaked online, revealing all the new and continuing series fans can expect to be reading. There looks to be something for everybody. That is, unless you're an X-Men fan.
While there are currently a number of ongoing X-Men comics (Extraordinary X-Men, Old Man Logan, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men '92, All-New X-Men), the upcoming Marvel Now! lineup looks to be completely devoid of any X-Men comics, aside from the post-Secret Wars prequel miniseries Death of X. That miniseries will reveal what happened in the events following Secret Wars, and will most notably reveal the exact circumstances behind the death of Cyclops.
However, that's only a four-issue miniseries. If the leaks prove true (which they likely will), it appears that Marvel's ongoing comic lineup will go from having five ongoing X-Men comics to none. Of course, some of the Marvel Now! lineup will feature X-Men characters. Young Cyclops will be featured prominently in Champions, there are numerous X-Men in Uncanny Avengers and Deadpool looks like he will be front and center as well.
None of that, however, changes the fact that, for decades, the X-Men have been a critical part of Marvel's comic book success, which is why there have long been multiple ongoing X-Men series at once. That tradition may now be changing, though the exact reasons for the lack of X-Men-related titles remains unclear.
Much has been written about Marvel's attempts to up-play comic characters it owns the movie rights to, while down-playing the X-Men due to Fox's X-Men film franchise. There's never been much evidence to support the idea, considering how many X-Men comics were being printed. Keeping in mind that Fox also owns the rights to Deadpool and that the character is featured prominently in the Marvel Now! lineup, perhaps there's still no reason to believe it.
That being said, the fact the X-Men seem to be going on hiatus in Marvel Now! will no doubt cause even more fans to wonder whether or not there is any truth to the various "Marvel hates the X-Men" rumors. Is the Death of X storyline far more literal than many fans first assumed? Does it not refer to a single death but the death of the X-Men, or mutantkind, in general? Judging from the Marvel Now! lineup, it certainly appears that way, but fans will have to wait for Death of X to learn more about what's in store for Marvel's mutants in the months ahead.