Marvel may be teasing a brand-new era for the X-Men.
Marvel Comics releases for the week of March 13th are arriving in comic book stores today, and they each have a mysterious ad within.
The ad includes the following message:
"When two aggressive species share the same environment, evolution demands adaptation or dominance."
Here's a photo of the ad sent by a comic shop owner to ComicBook.com:
At first glance, it is hard to determine what this is even an ad for; there's no brand on it, which means it is likely a house ad for Marvel, because what outside brand would purchase space for such a cryptic advertisement?
What Marvel is teasing also isn't immediately clear, but some fans may pick up some hints and clues. The notes about "aggressive species," "evolution," and the choice between "adaptation or dominance" may be telling.
These are all themes long present in X-Men stories.
Sure, there are other Marvel properties with genetics baked into their mythology, the Inhumans being chief among them. But the Inhumans don't evolve; they're modified. There is some chance that this could be a tease for the return of the Inhumans since they have no presence in Marvel's publishing line, but probably not.
The X-Men seem far more likely to be the subject of the ad, though the timing seems a bit strange at first. Uncanny X-Men relaunched in December, and the X-Men line is currently in the midst of the alternate reality Age of X-Man event. In the main Marvel Universe, Cyclops and Wolverine are working together for the first time in years to rebuild the X-Men from the few mutants who remain.
But what comes next? That seems to be what this ad is pointing at. The final issues of most of the Age of X-Man miniseries will release in June. Marvel will reveal its June solicitations later this month. With the Age of X-Man ending, could the solicitations also include the start of whatever comes next for the X-Men?
The summer months, right around San Diego Comic-Con, could be the perfect time to refresh the X-Men line. With all the X-Men presumably back in the same reality, there will be plenty of mutants to populate a second or even third X-Men ongoing series.
And then there are the long-lingering rumors that Jonathan Hickman is preparing to take the reins of the franchise. Marvel fans know Hickman for his work on Secret Warriors, SHIELD, Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Secret Wars. Rumors of his involvement with X-Men helped make Hickman one of ComicBook.com's top choices to take over Uncanny X-Men when it relaunched. He even seemed to tease the idea about a year ago with a poll on Twitter.
If big changes for the X-Men are on the horizon, this seems to be the first foreshadowing of them.
What do you think this ad is teasing? Let us know in the comments.
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