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The X-Men Show Off Their Couture on Hellfire Gala Design Covers

This June, the Hellfire Trading Company invites readers everywhere to the inaugural Hellfire Gala where the first Krakoan team of X-Men will be introduced to the Marvel Universe and mutantkind’s planet-sized plans for the future will be unveiled. Running through 12 issues of your favorite ongoing X-Men titles and one glorious one-shot, Planet-Size X-Men, the Hellfire Gala will be a night filled with drama, action, and shocking developments that will alter the course of mutantkind as we know it.

The Hellfire Gala will welcome all of planet Earth—humans, mutants, super heroes, and more—so to look their best on this monumental night, X-Men artists have turned out outstanding high-fashion looks for Krakoa’s best and brightest. Last month, fans got to see Russell Dauterman’s incredible designs, and now fans can check out the rest by some of the industry’s top artists including Lucas Werneck, Marcus To, Valerio Schiti, Joshua Cassara, and more!

Incorporating real-world high-fashion concepts with character history and even mutant abilities, these dramatic, unexpected looks are unlike anything Marvel Comics has ever put to page and will grace the covers of select Hellfire Gala issues as must-have variant covers. And all this jaw-dropping fashion is only the beginning. Check out all ten character design variant covers now, and don’t miss mutantkind’s biggest night when the Hellfire Gala takes over all your favorite X-titles this June!

  • HELLIONS #12 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by STEPHEN SEGOVIA (APR210763)
  • MARAUDERS #21 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by MATTEO LOLLI (APR210755)
  • X-FORCE #20 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by JOSHUA CASSARA (APR210759)
  • EXCALIBUR #21 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by MARCUS TO (APR210765)
  • X-MEN #21 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by LUCAS WERNECK (APR210771)
  • NEW MUTANTS #19 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by ALEX LINS (APR210780)
  • X-CORP #2 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by ALBERTO FOCHE (APR210778)
  • S.W.O.R.D. #6 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by VALERIO SCHITI (APR210784)
  • WAY OF X #3 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by BOB QUINN (APR210797)
  • X-FACTOR #10 CHARACTER DESIGN VARIANT COVER by DAVID BALDEÓN (APR210801)

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below. While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews to start your day.

The New York Times – Two Creators on Inventing (and Reinventing) Black Superheroes – Worth checking out and reading.

Book Riot – How to Read Manga – For those wanting to learn.

Reviews

CBR – Godzilla: Monsters and Protectors #1
Talking Comics – Way of X #1

Way of X #1

Around the Tubes

Way of X #1

It’s a new week and we have a lot coming at you on the site. We’ve got a packed week of reviews, interviews, unboxings, and more! We’re kicking off the day with news and reviews from around the web you might have missed this weekend.

KRGV – Records: Edinburg assistant principal admits to stealing $400 worth of comic books from McAllen store – Sigh. So, like one new issue?

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Will GEMINI JOURNEY land a fantasy job? – Free Comics!

Reviews

CBR – Murder Hobo: Chaotic Neutral #1
That Hashtag Show – Specter Inspectors #3
Laughing Place – Way of X #1

Review: Way of X #1

Way of X #1

The elevator pitch is that Way of X is about Nightcrawler founding a mutant religion. However, Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia bring so much more to the table in a book that visually looks like an X-book, but is far from it. What they’re really doing is picking up some of the threads from Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men and exploring what life is like on Krakoa and what holds it together.

Utopias seem to be doomed to failure, and Nightcrawler has a nagging feeling about that when the book opens with Professor X telepathically calling to him in shadows surrounded by pictures of his exes. Looking into Charles Xavier the man and not just figurehead or cameo king is one of the myriad delights of Way of X #1, which goes down many amusing and thought-provoking rabbit holes of potential storylines until finally finding a real hook in its final scene.

Before showing long conversations between Nightcrawler and Dr. Nemesis about Dunbar’s number, belief, and psychedelics or data pages that are feel like riffs on Augustine of Hippo’s Confessions (Kurt is Catholic), Spurrier and Quinn set up Way of X with a team of mutants going on a mission.In keeping with the series’ premise, this mission is religious theme with Nightcrawler, DJ, Pixie, Loa, and Blink disrupting a “museum of hate” that the cloak and dagger mutant-extermination organization Orchis is using to convince people that mutants are dangerous and evil. It’s like that room in Kentucky’s Creation “Museum” that pins all evils, wars, and sicknesses of the world on people not believing that the world is 4,000 years old and was created in seven 24 hour days, but with panels from old X-Men comics. This is pretty messed up and is a commentary on how museums (Especially more respectable ones than the one mentioned in the previous sentence.) can codify narratives about countries and people, but Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn also connect it to Krakoan belief systems when Pixie takes a bullet in the head so she can be resurrected again. This really messes with Kurt’s own beliefs and gives Quinn an opportunity to draw one hell of a befuddled Nightcrawler.

It also sets up the overarching conflict between the violent ritual of the Crucible being the shared narrative of Krakoa or something more peaceful, which Kurt is still workshopping in the data pages of Way of X #1. As seen in other X-Books and succinctly explained by Exodus, the Crucible is a ritual where mutants who were de-powered by the Scarlet Witch fight to the death so they can be resurrected and re-powered. It’s primal and bloodthirsty, and Bob Quinn switches from his usual grids and tiers to more diagonal and chaotic layouts to show the discomfort that mutants like the aptly named Lost feel as they are forced to be a part of a violent struggle to get their abilities back.

Java Tartaglia also uses flat, stark colors to show how much of the crowd has embraced the Crucible as Krakoa’s proverbial theory of everything. However, he, Quinn, and Spurrier hint at another way when Lost calls Nightcrawler a “kindly one” an allusion to the Greek play Eumenides, which showed the vengeful Furies becoming the protective Kindly Ones.

But, originally “Kindly One” was a euphemism so the people of Athens could avoid the wrath of the Furies and still mention them by name so maybe Nightcrawler is seen as more of a malevolent force a la the mysterious Patchwork Man, who is a kind of a folk Bogeyman spirit in Krakoa rising up through campfire stories along with the more “orthodox” baddie Scarlet Witch. Unexplainable forces dart between the margins of Way of X #1 culminating in Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn’s big final page reveal that makes sense in both of the context of this issue and Spurrier’s larger body of X-Book work. Nightcrawler and Pixie darting around in a big action scene is interspersed with a spooky figure that even causes Professor X to cry out in the night and cut the bullshit for once in his conversations. It’s a figure that can’t be taken out with the blunt force of a strike team, hence, its appearance in the clever, intellectual X-Book whose protagonist is trying to find a belief system for Krakoa that isn’t centered around ritual combat as things come fun circle.

Way of X #1 is a true feast of a X-Book from Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia. It’s funny, sensitive, smart, and covers a range of emotions from hope to doubt and even confusion. (It’s definitely one you’ll have to read a few times to let it sink in.) Its 42 page length also let Spurrier and Quinn give an extended glimpse at the life of the mind, body, and soul of Krakoa, pick the brains and feelings of an idiosyncratic cast of characters, including Magneto, Professor X, Nightcrawler, and stealing the whole damn show, Dr. Nemesis, and also set up the initial plotline of the series.

Story: Si Spurrier Art: Bob Quinn
Colors: Java Tartaglia Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comixologyZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Way of X #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Alien #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was solid bringing the Alien world to Marvel. It was both familiar and new and has us excited as the aliens are loose!

Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #1 (DC Comics) – The two properties have crossed over in video games and now we get the comic version. It’s an interesting start that plays more to fans of the game than comic readers.

Girls of Dimension 13 #1 (AfterShock) – Four young women are invited to live in a building in NYC. That building has a portal to twelve other dimensions. A malevolent being known as Abraxis is on the other side and the women are all that stands in its way.

Guerilla Green (BOOM! Studios) – A graphic novel about a guerilla gardening movement. It’s a unique topic for a graphic novel, so score some points with that alone.

Hana-Chan & the Shape of the World (Yen Press) – Collecting six short manga from 2018 and 2019, the stories are fun, cute, with fantastic art. Great for all ages.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #2 (Oni Press) – Rainbow has finally found her sister, Jonna, after a year of searching. But, being on her own, Jonna is a bit feral. Will she remember her sister?

Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection (VIZ Media) – Collecting ten stories from Junji Ito!

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1 (BOOM! Studios) – With humanity on the verge of discovering immortality, the avatar of Death is fired and relegated to the world below to live out her now-finite days in the body of twenty-something Laila Starr in Mumbai.

The Mighty Valkyries #1 (Marvel) – The Valkyries must redefine their role and we want to see what Marvel does with this group now.

Old Guard: Tales Through Time #1 (Image Comics) – A new anthology set in the world of The Old Guard. The series has a rotating cast of creators delivering their own spin.

Specter Inspectors #3 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s a fun ghosthunting series.

Stray Dogs #3 (Image Comics) – The first two issues have been amazing mixing Don Bluth-like art with a murder mystery.

Ultramega #2 (Image Comics) – The debut delivered over-the-top kaiju action and an unexpected ending. We want to see where the series is going.

Unikorn #1 (Scout Comics/Scoot) – Mae inherits a horse from her mother… that’s really a unicorn? Discover the truth in this journey of healing.

Way of X #1 (Marvel) – There’s been a lingering sinister aspect to Krakoa and the new X-Men status-quo. Nightcrawler steps up to take on the mutants’ inner-darkness.

You Promised Me Darkness #1 (Behemoth Comics) – Gaining special auras from Halley’s Comet, two siblings are on the run from an evil being known as the “Anti-everything” that feeds on these special auras.

Preview: Way of X #1

Way of X #1

(W) Si Spurrier (A) Bob Quinn (CA) Giuseppe Camuncoli
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 21, 2021
SRP: $4.99

THE WAY TO THE FUTURE OF X!

Mutantkind has built a new Eden… but there are serpents in this garden. Some mutants struggle to fit in. Some mutants turn to violence and death. And the children whisper of the Patchwork Man, singing in their hearts…Only one mutant senses the looming shadows.

Snared by questions of death, law and love, only NIGHTCRAWLER can fight for the soul of Krakoa. Only he – and the curious crew he assembles – can help mutants defeat their inner-darkness and find a new way to live. The WAY OF X. SI SPURRIER (X-MEN LEGACY) and BOB QUINN (CAPTAIN AMERICA) push the frontiers of Krakoa in this unmissable entry into the bold new REIGN OF X.

Way of X #1

Reign of X is Coming

The Reign of X is here! The latest era in writer Jonathan Hickman’s revolutionary transformation of the X-Men universe is now underway, bringing with it exciting new titles like last month’s Children of the Atom by Vita Ayala and Bernard Chang, next month’s Way of X by Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn, and May’s X-Corp by Tini Howard and Alberto Foche. And after June’s highly-anticipated franchise-spanning Hellfire Gala, fans can expect even more surprises, including a trio of brand-new series by amazing X-Men creators such as Gerry Duggan, Leah Williams, Pepe Larraz, Valerio Schiti, and the Head of X himself, writer Jonathan Hickman.

The Hellfire Gala Delivers Couture and a New X-Men Team

Humans of planet Earth. While you slept, the world changed.” The now iconic opening line from House of X #1, the start of writer Jonathan Hickman’s radical transformation of the X-Men franchise, foretold the incredible plans that mutantkind was about to unleash on the Marvel Universe. This June, the X-Men set out to change the world yet again at mutantkind’s inaugural Hellfire Gala.

Yesterday, the first of many exciting new character designs X-Men artists have contributed specifically for the Hellfire Gala were revealed and the world saw the meaning of “Mutant Fashion” as envisioned by superstar artist Russell Dauterman. Today, readers can check out the covers of all 12 Hellfire Gala issues, getting their first glimpse at the secrets, the battles, and of course, the fashion that await at this unforgettable evening.

These highly-anticipated stories will be told across 12 issues, offering different perspectives and viewpoints of a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history. Throughout the event, fans can expect critical moments to occur that will shape the X-Men’s future as we know it—including the unveiling of the first Krakoan X-Men team, the final member of which was decided by a mega-popular Marvel.com vote.

The Hellfire Gala is the result of an epic creative collaboration of all the current X-Men writers and artists. Check out the covers and solicit text for all 12 tie-ins now and stay tuned for even more exciting news about the Hellfire Gala including additional designs, variants covers, and more!

On Sale 6/2

HELLIONS #12

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art and Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA

WHO INVITED THE HELLIONS TO THE HELLFIRE GALA?

Who thought it was a good idea to invite the antisocial HELLIONS to the fanciest bash of the year? Oh, no one? They weren’t invited but they showed up anyway? Yeah, that sounds about right.

HELLIONS #12

MARAUDERS #21

Written by GERRY DUGGAN & CHRIS CLAREMONT
Art by MATTEO LOLLI & JOHN BOLTON

WELCOME TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

The Hellfire Trading Company has put together the biggest event of the season – the very first HELLFIRE GALA! Everyone will be there – all your favorite mutants, their closest allies…even their worst enemies – for a night of dinner, drinks, diplomacy and deceit. Fireworks to follow. Plus: From the archives, a classic X-Men tale with our very first look at a Hellfire Gala by Chris Claremont and John Bolton!

MARAUDERS #21

X-FORCE #20

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art and Cover by JOSHUA CASSARA

INVITE-ONLY TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

It’s party time, but somebody’s got to work it. And when invited guests (and a few crashers) prove to be planted antagonistic agents, X-FORCE will need to get their hands dirty and keep this all under wraps…before anyone catches wind!

X-FORCE #20

On Sale 6/9

EXCALIBUR #21

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by MARCUS TO
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

RICTOR HATES PARTIES.

Even the nice ones. And with Captain Britain’s return to a changed world, this one is looking to be not so nice. Excalibur’s Earth-shattering HELLFIRE GALA issue will change Krakoan diplomacy forever.

EXCALIBUR #21

X-MEN #21

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN, NICK DRAGOTTA, SARA PICHELLI & LUCAS WERNECK
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU

THE HEROES OF KRAKOA DEBUT!

It’s a changing if the guard as the first X-Men team of Krakoa debuts! One era ends as a new one begins, and the handoff happens here.

X-MEN #21

On Sale 6/16

NEW MUTANTS #19

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by ALEX LINS
Cover by MARTIN SIMMONDS

AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO…

The HELLFIRE GALA is here, and the NEW MUTANTS have the chance to take a break from training the youth of Krakoa – an opportunity to get dressed up and get down. But not everyone is on their best behavior…and someone has vanished without a trace.

NEW MUTANTS #19

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art and Cover by PEPE LARRAZ
Variant Cover by PEPE LARRAZ

THEY CAME TO SLAY!

The HELLFIRE GALA rages on, but bigger things are afoot a world away. Make no mistake – this is an X-Men book drawn by superstar artist Pepe Larraz. It is absolutely the most important issue of the month.

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

X-CORP #2

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by ALBERTO FOCHE
Cover by DAVID AJA

A SHARK IN THE WATER!

After X-CORP’s shocking debut, they’ve got fences to mend, hands to shake and most importantly – a board to staff. With Dr. Jamie Madrox’s top-class dupes staffing the HELLFIRE GALA, CXOs Monet and Angel must stalk the dance floor and hope they don’t get preyed on themselves.

X-CORP #2

On Sale 6/23

S.W.O.R.D. #6

Written by AL EWING
Art and Cover by VALERIO SCHITI

THIS IS WHAT COMES NEXT.

On Earth, the HELLFIRE GALA is in full swing. But on S.W.O.R.D. Station One, a very different guest list comes together…as Abigail Brand finally unveils her plans for Mysterium – and the future of human and mutantkind.

S.W.O.R.D. #6

WAY OF X #3

Written by SI SPURRIER
Art by BOB QUINN
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

MAKE MORE MUTANTS.

It’s the Hellfire Gala hangover. Nightcrawler tries to root out the evil working to destroy Krakoa by investigating all its laws, starting with… **SEXY SAXOPHONE SOLO**

WAY OF X #3

WOLVERINE #13

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by SCOT EATON
Cover by ADAM KUBERT

HELLFIRE COMPROMISED!

Can WOLVERINE and X-FORCE keep the peace or is the gala doomed?

WOLVERINE #13

On Sale 6/30

X-FACTOR #10

Written by LEAH WILLIAMS
Art by DAVID BALDEÓN
Cover by IVAN SHAVRIN

THE LAST DANCE!

At the Hellfire Gala, SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED! VENGEANCE WILL BE HAD. And someone’s number is up. You’ll never guess whose.

X-FACTOR #10

Nightcrawler Leads the Way in Way of X this April

Since 2019’s House of X and Powers of X, writer Jonathan Hickman and a host of amazing creators have revolutionized the X-Men franchise. Now begins the Reign of X, the latest chapter in Hickman’s grand vision for mutantkind, and acclaimed writer Si Spurrier brings fans a groundbreaking new series: Way of X. Known for his high-concept storytelling on titles like X-Men Legacy and X-Force, Spurrier returns to the X-Men with a series that will explore some of the most pressing questions that have been raised in this thought-provoking new era. Led by Nightcrawler, a brand-new team of mutants will assemble to confront the dark mysteries of the X-Men’s new way of life.

Mutantkind has built a new Eden… but there are serpents in this garden. Some mutants struggle to fit in. Some mutants turn to violence and death. And the children whisper of the Patchwork Man, singing in their hearts…Only one mutant senses the looming shadows. Snared by questions of death, law and love, only Nightcrawler can fight for the soul of Krakoa. Only he – and the curious crew he assembles (including fan-favorites Dr. Nemesis, Pixie, and Blink) – can help mutants defeat their inner-darkness and find a new way to live. This is the WAY OF X.

Joining Spurrier to bring these unique mysteries to life will be rising star artist Bob Quinn and the first issue features a cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli.

Be there for this unmissable entry of Reign of X when Way of X hits stands this April.

Way of X #1
Almost American
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