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New York Comic Con 2010

NYCC 2010: X-Men: Serve & Protect

Victor Gischler brings Marvel's mutants back to Manhattan and into Spider-Man's web

By Jim Beard

Following on the heels of the current Curse of the Mutants storyline, X-MEN writer Victor Gischler unveils the next chapter of the title's ongoing X-saga this January in issue #7. "In Serve & Protect," Cyclops and team must lick their wounds from battling bloodsuckers and renew their relationship with the world as super heroes.

"I think the world needs them, but also the X-Men need to think of themselves as heroes because they've been on the defensive so long," explains Gischler. "Their collective psyche needs to heal. There is a whole, big world out there, and the X-Men have made a conscious decision to engage it in the most positive way possible."

The mutants normally scour the globe to root out and combat their

opponents, but "Serve & Protect" introduces a threat in an urban environment a bit closer to home; namely, New York City.

"As part of their initiative to be heroes, Cyclops has devised a way to monitor situations all over the nation," shares Gischler. "When the computer flags a situation that fits into a certain set of parameters, Cyclops dispatches a team to check it out-and they don't quite know what to expect when they get there."

Manhattan boasts many of the Marvel Universe's greatest heroes, but it's one web-slinging wonder in particular that the X-Men encounter in this new story arc and join with in confronting its villain. The mutant team already knows Spider-Man, their mutual acquaintance dating all the way back to 1972's MARVEL TEAM-UP #4, yet Gischler claims little time will be lost going over past grievances or nagging differences.

"[Wolverine] is always going to find [Peter] Parker irritating," he notes. "And when we first see Spidey there is a question mark about where everyone stands. But considering what they face, they'd better not waste too much time fighting each other."

The X-Men and Spider-Man reportedly face off here against one of the Wallcrawler's deadliest rogues, an adversary whose identity remains confidential for now.

"Serve & Protect" also features artist Chris Bachalo, a talent Gischler's looking forward to working with.

"His work on the X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS - STORM & GAMBIT one-shot was really top-notch," he says of the veteran creator's most recent effort. "I think we're gonna see some kick-butt stuff."

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