Young X-Men: Generation Next

Writer Marc Guggenheim talks about how the cast of YOUNG X-MEN stack up against their predecessors from the New Mutants, Gene



By Marc Strom With the X-Men no more and mutantkind's future uncertain, how will the youngest generation of mutants survive?

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Whether in the form of the original New Mutants, the first X-Force, Generation X or the New X-Men, the world has almost always had a team of young mutants fighting off evil and protecting their own in between classes. But now, with the X-Men disbanded following "Messiah CompleX," a vacuum exists where the New X-Men most recently stood. Come April 2, however, writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Yanick Paquette plan on filling that void when YOUNG X-MEN #1 hits the stands. With Xavier's school closed down, Cyclops assembles a team of young mutants to train them as the last generation of X-Men. Don't expect any Danger Room sessions this time around, though. With everybody and their mother gunning for mutant heads, the Young X-Men will have to learn as they go or die trying. We spoke with Guggenheim about how the current crop of young mutants compares with the old, and offered up some of our own thoughts as well.

ROCKSLIDE We Say: Santo Vaccarro's career as a New X-Man could have turned him as hard as his rocky exterior. Since M-Day the teen hero has seen some of his closest friends killed before his very eyes, and he even survived being blown up himself. His sense of humor, however, has prevailed, making him one of the team's resident goofballs. A little like Beast as a teenager with a hint of Jubilee. Guggenheim Says: "Rockslide is the team's Sunspot. But because of the control he has over his form, he has the potential to be Warlock as well. He also bears a strong resemblance to the New X-Men's Rockslide. Wonder why that is..."

DUST We Say: First introduced by writer Grant Morrison back in 2002, Dust has slowly come into her own as one of the most strong-willed of the former New X-Men. Like Generation X's Chamber, Dust doesn't make it easy to get to know her and can be quiet but deadly, as the Purifiers, Exodus and other have found out the hard way. Guggenheim Says: "[She is the] Young X-Men's Magma with a touch of Wolfsbane in her personality."

BLINDFOLD We Say: An enigma wrapped in an enigma, throughout ASTONISHING X-MEN and afterwards Blindfold has acted as the school's resident cryptic precognitive. Like Douglas Ramsey, aka the New Mutants' Cypher, her ability to help her team stems not from any awesome moves in super-powered slugfests but from her position on the sidelines, calling the shots as she "sees" them. Guggenheim Says: "Mysterious like Generation X's M."

WOLF CUB We Say: Docile and ferocious at the same time, Wolf Cub resembles an early Penance in her struggle to contain the beast within. After all, Wolf Cub did lay Havok out for next to no reason once upon a time! Sure, he's seen as kind of a dweeb at times, but we sense a change fast approaching… Guggenheim Says: "Well, Wolfsbane is the obvious comparison, but I'm trying to reinvent him in more of an X-23 vein."

INK We Say: The dude can gain the powers of whatever he tattoos on his skin… sounds to us like Gen X's Husk with a shadier past. And a serious threshold for pain—those needles hurt! Guggenheim Says: "The flexibility of his powers makes him similar to Synch or Mondo of Generation X, but by the time the first arc is finished, we'll see that he has a rather strong similarity to Cannonball in at least one respect." GREYMALKIN We Say: …um, yeah, we've got nothing. Marc? Guggenheim Says: "Nice try, buddy. But you ain't gettin' me to spill the beans on Greymalkin that easy..." YOUNG X-MEN premieres April 2, but you can check out the previous adventures of the New X-Men with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

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