(CBR) When writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Stuart Immonen kicked off their new Marvel Comics series, “All-New X-Men,” which brought the teenage versions of the titular team's original five members to the present day, two questions defined the title: What would the founding five make of the state of Charles Xavier's dream in the wake of his death in “Avengers Vs. X-Men?” And when would they return to their natural time in Marvel history? Early issues of the series showed that the founding five were both terrified of and excited by the future, and the recent “Battle of the Atom” crossover answered the second question by showing that the founding five are trapped in the present.
Soon after “Battle of the Atom” wrapped, “All-New X-Men” crossed over with “Guardians of the Galaxy” for the recently concluded “The Trial of Jean Grey,” which left numerous questions in its wake. How do the original X-Men make the most of being stranded in what is their future? Has being ripped from their own time changed the founding five for the better or for worse? For the answers to these questions and more CBR News spoke with Executive Editor Mike Marts, who recently returned to editing the X-Men line of books after a stint at DC Comics, and he explained Marvel's plans for the aftermath of the crossover including this week's special milestone Issue #25 as well as the next arc that pits the titular team against the newest incarnation of the villainous Brotherhood.
CBR News: Mike, you were still with DC when “All-New X-Men” was announced by Marvel. What was your initial reaction upon hearing about the book? What story potential did you see in it?
Mike Marts: Marvel took a team of characters from the past into the future and not to just leave them for one story arc. They created a book around them. I thought it was extremely aggressive and risky, but it totally paid off. Fans love that they get to see the classic X-Men characters from the 1960s in adventures told with a modern method of storytelling. People totally buy into it, and they also love the interaction between the past versions of the characters and the current versions.
The main cast of characters is a big part of “All-New X-Man's” identity, and right now they're affiliated with Cyclops' “Uncanny X-Men,” a team that also has several teenage members. What other elements separate “All-New X-Men” from “Uncanny” and the other X-titles?
I think both “Uncanny” and “All-New” really have distinct identities and have no problem standing on their own especially when comparing them to other Marvel Universe or X-Men titles. The fact that Brian Bendis has been able to use one book as a way of reexamining classic characters in a new modern way and the other as a forum to discover new mutants and try to work for Xavier's dream is pretty astonishing. No pun intended. [Laughs] It really says a lot about Brian and the others working with him that they can create two books like that which really stand out and stand on their own.
Had you worked with Brian before during your first stint at Marvel?
No, actually. We got to know each other quite a bit through creative retreats and story summits, but we actually used to joke about the fact that we hadn't worked together on any issues or any series. So this has been great because coming back to Marvel not only do I get to work with Brian on one book, but I get to work with him on three books. So that's been extremely rewarding and the collaboration between him and I has been outstanding.