Marvel teases the next phase of X-Men books with a clue-filled poster

With the close of the X of Swords event, in which the fledgling mutant nation of Krakoa waged a very strange tournament against the champions of the ancient hardcore mutant nation of Arakko, Marvel is entering a new phase of X-Men storytelling. First, there was House of X/Powers of X. Then, there was the Dawn of X.

Now, it’s the Reign of X.

Marvel teased the new era in a way that has become traditional: With a big piece of art featuring dozens of characters and even more hints. “Everything on this image was included for a reason,” said Marvel editor in chief C.B. Cebulski in the reveal, “and will have heart-pounding pay-offs in the near future for our favorite Krakoans.”

A Marvel promotional collage of dozens of X-Men heroes and villains, from Storm and Mr. Patch to Nimrod and Cyclops, for Reign of X (2020). Image: Mahmud Asrar/Marvel Comics

Where to start? We’ve got Wolverine incognito as his “Patch” identity, likely pointing at some adventures in the Marvel universe’s foremost hive of scum and villainy, Madripoor. There’s the tease of several classic non-mutant X-Men villains, including Arcade, the Shadow King, and Nimrod, the malevolent computer intelligence that wishes to wipe out all mutant kind for humanity’s protection.

Laura Kinney/Wolverine and her buddy Darwin indicate that we’re finally gonna see what happened to the mutants who went inside that time-warping vault. The SWORD station points to Krakoa’s upcoming forays into extra-terrestrial diplomacy. Nightcrawler with an X-branded book may mean we’ll see some more movement on his thoughts on mutant religion. And hang on … that tall-haired guy hiding in the shadows all the way on the left … is that Legion?

That’s just what one comics editor has picked up on, but I’ll leave the true speculation to the real x-perts.