By Ryan Penagos
In 2005, "House of M" and the ensuing Decimation vastly changed the status quo for all the X-books, but the title uprooted the most has been NEW X-MEN. Led by the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost and a handful of artists perfectly suited to handle a series focused on younger characters, the book has been gaining momentum and is firmly established as an integral part of the X-Men universe.
And while some books suffer from changes in the creative team, the various artists who've graced the pages of NEW X-MEN—Paco Medina, Duncan Rouleau and Mark Brooks—have each brought something special to the title. And now, well into its second year, NEW X-MEN gets another fresh coat of paint thanks to Skottie Young who joins the book as the ongoing artist with issue #37.
Young, whose eclectic, graffiti-influenced style has been honed on NEW WARRIORS, HUMAN TORCH and Venom, is a perfect fit for a book focused on the next generation of X-Men. "Skottie, of all the artists we have here at Marvel, pretty much has one of the better grips on younger characters," says X-editor Nick Lowe. "Anyone who looks at his character designs for New X-Men will see that these are kids and that really helps play out the situations they get into and how dangerous they are.
"Since Craig Kyle and Chris Yost came on NEW X-MEN, one of my favorite things is that no one is safe in that book at all," adds Lowe. "People died left and right, and the kids are in terrible situations and Skottie's art is really going to help us drive home they are just kids in trouble. They behave like kids, they dress like kids and they look like kids. That's what Skottie really brings to the table."
Additionally, Young brings with him a specific style and sense of design that he'll be implementing throughout the book. "He's designing new outfits [and] definitely bringing [his style] to the table," notes Lowe. "He's modifying every character at least slightly just to fit into his style and into the vision he has for them. He does that no matter what he does, he keeps his eye on culture and stuff like that. If you ever see him, he's a snappy dresser, as well. Skottie's always got headphones on, he's very hip."
Will what Young has in mind for the book mesh with the frenetic action, twisting plots and general badassness that Kyle and Yost have become known for? You bet. "It's a really cool vision," adds Lowe. "It's really going to light up this first arc he's come out with, the 'Search for Magic' arc. It's going to kick ass, with lots of stuff in it."
What can we expect in the first arc? "Lots of crazy stuff in Limbo, Belasco's there and Darkchylde; maybe Illyana as Dark Child," teases Lowe. "I don't know," he says, grinning from ear to ear.
With one arc in production, Young seems firmly entrenched in NEW X-MEN. "He's ongoing as far as we're concerned," says Lowe. "We love what he's doing and we want him to stay for a long time." Look for Young's first issue to hit stands in June.
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