MANILA -- Filipino superstar comic book artist Leinil Francis Yu will be taking on Marvel Comics’ X-Men beginning this October, Marvel officials announced at the recent San Diego Comic-Con.
Yu will team up with superstar writer Jonathan Hickman who has taken it upon himself to lift the long-standing comic book characters back to an elite position -- one they enjoyed from the 1980s to about the late-1990s.
Yu just came off a stint on Captain America with renowned writer Ta-Nehisi Coates with an Uncanny X-Men one-shot in between.
We spoke to the busy and in-demand artist about the upcoming gig on X-Men and he had a lot to say about it.
“Jonathan (Hickman) came up with this completely fresh storyline that blew me away when CB (Cebulski, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief) told me a few months ago,” revealed Yu. “The story is not only fun to illustrate but also challenging given Hickman’s intricate storylines. More importantly for me, it casts some of my favorite X-Men!”
The artist refused to divulge the plot. “All I can say that it takes place in outer space,” teased Yu. “You have to read it but it’s all worth the wait.”
From the looks of the promotional art released during the San Diego Comic-Con, the book revolves around the Summers family that includes Cyclops, Havok, Corsair, Vulcan, Cable, Marvel Girl, Rachel Summers, and the only character not related by family, Wolverine.
Hickman’s work on House of X and Powers of X are laying the groundwork of X-Men stories to come.
Yu is a long-time X-Men fan who cites the sci-fi story arcs and the alternate realities as some of his favorites. “The Age of Apocalypse is memorable for me,” said Yu, who also pointed out the work by then-X-Men artists Joe Madureira, Andy Kubert, and Roger Cruz to name a few as inspiring.
One particular storyline that remains a favorite was the X-Men graphic novel, “God Loves Man Kills” that was written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Brent Anderson and published way back in 1982. That story is, in a nutshell, the crux of the X-Men mythos and served as an inspiration for the film, "X2." That story is oft cited as the best X-Men story ever told if not one of the medium’s best.
House of X was just released internationally, while Powers of X is also arriving before the month of July’s end.
Hickman’s and Yu’s X-Men #1 is scheduled for an October release.