Young X-Men in Turmoil

Marvel’s youngest mutant team wrestles with upheaval and a brand new lineup

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YOUNG X-MEN #7
cover by
Terry Dodson

By Tim Stevens The life of a Young X-Man can never be described as static. This truism will be confirmed yet again on October 15 when the team debuts a brand new lineup in YOUNG X-MEN #7, thanks to writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Ben Oliver. Still reeling from the death of Wolf Cub and the revelation that the villainous Donald Pierce's machinations drove their recruitment, the team find themselves entering the X-Men family for real this time when Cyclops approaches them with a new mission statement. For Guggenheim, issue #7 represents the culmination of plans he had from the start: "I'd always intended for the Cyclops/Pierce reveal to result in some membership changes—most specifically the death of Wolf Cub and the introduction of two former New Mutants as leaders of the team." Guggenheim plays it close to the vest when it comes to the identity of the team member referenced in solicitations as not being a mutant and not knowing it. He evades the question. "I can't answer that question without spoiling the story," he demurs.

YOUNG X-MEN #8
cover by
Michael Ryan

Ben Oliver's work on the title, however, proves to be one thing that Guggenheim has no hesitation in discussing. "I love his Rockslide," the writer gushes. "But all of his character work is great. He reminds me a lot of Jackson Guice, who was one of my favorite artists growing up and remains so today." The two aforementioned New Mutants, Sunspot and Dani Moonstar, round out a team of, as Guggenheim teases, "seven full-time members and an eighth member who...well, that would be telling." The writer would however willingly discuss the five teenage mutants who make up the team's core… Guggenheim describes reptilian New X-Men alumni Anole as, "the reluctant team member. He basically came back to the X-Men because his friend, Rockslide, is in pain. He's not happy to be wearing spandex again." "Rockslide is hurting after the death of Wolf Cub in issue #5," he explains further. "So basically we have this guy who's invulnerable on the outside but breaking on the inside." Living sandstorm Dust "is keeping a secret about herself from the rest of the team."

YOUNG X-MEN #9
cover by
Chris Bachalo

And secrets will abound in members besides Dust, Guggenheim promises. The writer has pegged darkness-fueled Greymalkin, "someone who's more than he initially seems," as one to watch closely. The final member of the team, Ink, bedeviled the Young X-Men at the behest of Donald Pierce in the first arc before jumping to the side of angels. Fans should know that such a trespass will not just go away and, as such, Ink comes across as "a real lowlife, but the book is an exercise in rehabilitating him." To see if the new team lineup can survive their first moments together, check out YOUNG X-MEN #7, on shelves October 15. And for more by Marc Guggenheim, head over to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

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