Uncanny X-Men 700 Is an Epic, Star-Studded Farewell to Marvel’s Krakoa Era

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As part of his entry into Krakoa, Ewing was also invited into what will likely, in retrospect, be seen as the greatest strength of this collection of comics: the X-Slack, where Hickman’s team of X-Creators regularly workshopped their Krakoa stories. “When comics history gets around to recounting this, I think there’ll be a lot of stories told of how good that room was,” Ewing says. It was the X-Slack that helped him hammer out his initial S.W.O.R.D. story, taking it from a top-level idea that Ewing describes as “What if [half-alien, half-mutant secret agent] Abigail Brand is exactly who she always was?” and molding it into the character piece that, when all was said and done, ended up being arguably the definitive character piece for Storm, Magneto, and to a lesser extent, Apocalypse. 

The plan is never, of course, to write the Storm story or the Magneto story, but Ewing says he had the sketch of the ideas for them in his head early on. Back when the office was planning Planet-Size X-Men (which covered the terraforming of Mars and the foundational scene setting for X-Men Red), Ewing says, “Gerry [Duggan, writer of Planet-Size] was like, ‘what do we want to put on Mars?’ I was like, ‘Oh, I need one thing…my thinking was that Magneto would retire from Krakoa, because he’d been through so much.’” And so Magneto’s Autumn Palace was planned from almost the minute Mars was conceived as the new mutant planet, which sowed the seeds for his heroic death in battle with Uranos in the Marvel crossover event AXE, and set up his seminal character study in Resurrection of Magneto. Giant redwoods from small seeds.

Through his work on the X-Men books, Ewing was also part of the team that helped popularize a new language for comics storytelling. During the Krakoa era, the X-books embraced “data pages”—prose pages laid out like charts, diary entries, text message chains between characters, wanted posters, gossip columns, and even galaxy-wide alerts, among other examples—as an innovative new way to tell comic book stories. Ewing has used data pages to great effect in his X-books as well as Immortal Hulk and is elated to see the concept spreading across the industry. “I was just flipping through recent Doom Patrol issues [and] they spoofed [data pages] over the issue!” Ewing says. “It’s in the consciousness, and that’s great because I love it when new comics vocabulary appears.

The writer believes many of the ideas introduced in the Krakoa era of X-Men will resonate throughout the medium for years to come. “There isn’t a single facet of Krakoa that I don’t in my heart of hearts believe that 5, 10 years down the line, some writer will be reading over what we did and go, ‘Oh man, I can use that,’” he says. “Nothing is forever in comics, but I do think this [group] was unique.” 

For now, Ewing gets one last hurrah with his X-team in the 700th anniversary issue alongside legendary creators from X-Men’s past, such as Chris Claremont and Walt Simonson. But what’s next for the X-Men after that? Ewing’s confident that the transition to the next era of mutant stories—appropriately titled From the Ashes, as it picks up after the destruction of the mutant nation of Krakoa—will be a smooth one. “It was a great ride, [and] I’m sure the next X-Office will have great stories too. I’m certain of it.” 

Read original source here.

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