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Back to school with the X-Men

Original five students will join the current Marvel Comics universe this fall
by Matthew Price Published: August 24, 2012

As the school year begins, students from the most famous school in comics are center stage in several Marvel Comics publications.

The original five students from Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters are joining today's Marvel universe in “All-New X-Men,” a new series starting in November by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen.

The first five recruited by Charles Xavier to the school were Jean Grey, aka Marvel Girl; Scott Summers, aka Cyclops; Bobby Drake, aka Iceman; Hank McCoy, aka Beast; and Warren Worthington, aka Angel.

They'll be rocketed to the present in “All-New X-Men,” part of Marvel's “Marvel NOW!” initiative this fall.

“I'm a big fan of these kinds of stories, ‘Pleasantville' or ‘Peggy Sue got Married,' where a character faces the truth about themselves and what their life can mean versus what it does mean,” Bendis said at “They're very interesting stories and the idea of the original X-Men — seeing what the X-Men turned into — is absolutely fascinating to me.”

Fans who want to get some of the background of these teenagers before they make their new-series splash can check out the original adventures by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the “Marvel Masterworks: X-Men” series. Over the years, other writers and artists have returned to the original team, including Jeff Parker with the all-ages “X-Men: First Class” series; John Byrne with the retro “X-Men: The Hidden Years,” and writer Dennis Hopeless with this year's “X-Men: Season One.”

Hopeless talked about the “Season One” book earlier this year at Planet Comicon in Overland Park, Kan.

“We're going back to the first year of the X-Men,” Hopeless said. “The book is about when Jean Grey first shows up at the Xavier Academy and sort of coming together with the original other four guys and forming a team.”

Hopeless said the story fits in with the original stories told by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby in the 1960s, but brings it forward.

“The story is told within all of the fights of that first year, and we kind of dance around the raindrops of what Stan and Jack did and tell the new story that builds on that,” Hopeless said. “And it also modernizes it, so they're not wearing checkered suits and going to beatnik bars like they were in the 1960s issues.”

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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