Marvel Announces X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation

One of the X-Men's deadliest villains returns X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation, a one-shot from writer Si Spurrier and artist Bob Quinn the brings their run on Way of X to a close. Way of X #2 teased Onslaught's return, and X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation will pay off that foreshadowing as Onslaught threatens to bring the new mutant society to ruin. At the same time, Krakoa's youth are throwing a party called the Cruci-ball, reveling in cheap death and resurrection. Those are the very things that spurred Nightcrawler's quest for a new mutant religion in Way of X. As these threads coalesce, how will it end, and what will it mean for Karkoa's future?

ComicBook.com asked Spurrier a few of those questions. You can find what the writer had to say below, along with X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation's cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, variant cover by Federico Vicentini, and three pages of Way of X #4 interior art from Bob Quinn and colorist by Java Tartaglia:

X-Men The Onslaught Revelation Cover 002
(Photo: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Marvel Comics)

I have to admit that I wouldn't have guessed that hulking '90s fighting game boss Onslaught would appear in a series about Nightcrawler trying to find mutant religion. Can you explain a bit about how he wound up in the story? Or was he there in your mind from the start?

Si Spurrier: Haha, yeah - it’s definitely an unexpected pull, isn’t it?

It appealed to my mischievous side at first, basically. But as soon as the idea occurred, it started to look like quite a clever way to proceed. For one thing, it’s a really neat curveball for confounding expectations. I was worried that Way of X was going to get dismissed as this weird, niche, high-handed preachy book about philosophy and religion, which is completely not the full picture. (I mean, sure, there’s a lot of thoughtful stuff in there, but we’ve also got superheroes with hangovers, a mutant who makes people puke, and a dude with psychedelic mushrooms growing out of his brain. In issue #4, Nightcrawler wins a fight using nothing but ice cream. It’s very much not a book that insists on taking everything too seriously.) Throw in an armored gigantic 90’s mutant devil-god, and, hopefully, readers are gonna think twice before assuming they know what it’s all about.

Plus, the sheer scale and gravity of that name - Onslaught - sets our stall pretty well, too: this is a book that matters. We’re not just mucking about on the sidelines here.

This is a book about finding ways to stop an entire new civilization from going kaboom. With that in mind, a lot of the stuff Nightcrawler, Legion & co are fighting against is pretty abstract: societal collapse, sadism, cultural stagnation, and such forth. These are all fascinating subjects, but - let’s be honest - they don’t make for the most exciting visual spectacles. So what we needed was a way of giving these things a face - a personified threat - and believe it or not, for reasons as yet unrevealed, Onslaught fits the bill really well.

Obviously, you don't want to spoil where Way of X is going, but can you offer any hints at what Onslaught is up to and what he's after in this story?

Imagine hating someone so much -- imagine hating a whole group so much -- that you try to weaponize the most insanely destructive force on the planet, simply so you can implant it among them. If your plan succeeds? Hey, great, you’ve wiped out the people you hate, high-fives and champagne.

But now the genie ain’t going back in that bottle, and it’s still hungry.

Someone hates mutants that much.

X-Men The Onslaught Revelation Cover 001
(Photo: Federico Vicentini)

Using the word "revelation" in the last book's title in a series about religion seems like it may carry some specific weight with it, and the solicitation text seems to back this up with its talk of seals and trumpets. How deep does that go? Should readers be expecting something apocalyptic? Or maybe brush up on the writings of St. John?

I mean, it’s definitely eschatological, isn’t it? You don’t include Onslaught in your book and not threaten the End Of Times.

But the specifics are broadly set-dressing. As I hinted above, we’ve been careful not to take the book in any direction which speaks too overtly to a particular faith or creed. Nightcrawler is a practicing Catholic, and we have members of other faiths, non-faiths, and creeds in our team. The difficult questions which they’ve been asking about life in Krakoa, and the future of mutantkind, must be answered by something which stands separate from all our characters’ (and readers’) personal doctrines.

So whereas we’ve borrowed the portentous language of the Revelation of St John - with all its apocalyptic overtones - for the buzz, the book itself is far more grounded in the personal drama of our core characters as they confront the enormity of the task before them.

Onslaught is everywhere. Onslaught is everyone. How the hell do you stop him?

Why is X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation its own one-shot as opposed to simply Way of X #6? How did that come to be?

A variety of reasons. Primarily it felt like it needed - demanded! - its own oversized place to unfold. The thrust of Way of X up to this point has been about Nightcrawler asking difficult questions and hunting for a Big Idea to bring everyone together. As we come into The Onslaught Revelation, the tone and the thrust have turned a corner: some of those questions have been answered. What remains is the desperate and oh-so-uncertain struggle to see whether the answers strong enough to save mutantkind from itself.

So it would’ve felt pretty weird doing this in an issue 6 -- it would’ve sat quite distinct from the previous 5. And hey, let’s not pretend there’s not an element of 90’s-fan excitement about this: if you’ve got Onslaught as your baddie, you wanna make some noise about it.

There’s a second set of logistical considerations which speak to the broader plans of the X line, which I obviously can’t get into too deeply here. In vague terms, it amounts to: “what’s the best way to close Chapter 1 of this story... and launch Chapter 2?”

What can you tell us about the Cruci-ball? It seems interesting that the young mutants are throwing their own shindig so soon after the adults had their big Hellfire Gala. Is there a causality or other relationship there?

There’s definitely some connective gristle, though it’s broadly thematic rather than spelled out loud. Some of the kids will definitely be wearing their torn and muddied Hellfire outfits, mind you.

The Cruci-ball is what happens when a bunch of youngsters - whose minds have been gently but firmly steered in a particularly dark direction - decide that dying, and indeed killing, is a perfectly reasonable way to have fun.

Whether you think that’s crazy or not, both notions are based on the idea that resurrection is a standard and predictable part of a mutant’s life.

...and, it turns out, thanks to Onslaught, they’re completely and utterly wrong about that.

It’s gonna be murder on the dancefloor…

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation brings your Way of X story to a close. What does your future with the X-office look like after this?

As I hinted above, I have to be cautious about how I answer this. There are some really big X-centric things coming down the pipe, which significantly muddy the waters of what you might think of as endings and beginnings. We’re having a lot of fun rethinking the ways that shared-universe stories can be told. In practice, what that means is that when Way of X ends, it’s absolutely not the end of the story. In TV terms, WoX is season 1, and The Onslaught Revelation is the big season finale.

Season 2? Well. Season 2 is something else altogether...

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Way of X 4 002
(Photo: Bob Quinn, Java Tartaglia, Marvel Comics)
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(Photo: Bob Quinn, Java Tartaglia, Marvel Comics)
Way of X 4 001
(Photo: Bob Quinn, Java Tartaglia, Marvel Comics)

Are you ready for X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation? Let us know what you think in the comments. X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation goes on sale in September. Here the official solicitation text:

  • X-MEN: THE ONSLAUGHT REVELATION #1
  • SI SPURRIER (W) • BOB QUINN (A) • Cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli
  • Variant Cover by Federico Vicentini
  • YOU HAVE STRAYED FROM THE WAY OF X. THE ONSLAUGHT IS UPON YOU!
    • The X-Men’s greatest foe, mutantkind’s primal evil, slithers in the minds of its most senior leaders...
    • The kids whisper of the CRUCI-BALL: a party to end all parties. A party to end everything.
    • The seals are broken, the trumpets have sounded; only a small band of eccentric mutants can hope to break the fall...
    • Can Nightcrawler light the spark that will drive out the shadows... or will Krakoa slip into the abyss...?