Chris Claremont returns to the days before the launch of Excalibur in X-Men Legends

Update: The X-Men’s greatest writing legend Chris Claremont makes his debut in the title launched for creators of his stature – February’s X-Men Legends #12.

Claremont will be joined by artist Scot Eaton and cover artist Alan Davis for story setting in Uncanny X-Men continuity before the launch of 1988’s Excalibur, which not coincidentally was drawn by Davis.

X-Men Legends #12

X-Men Legends #12 cover by Alan Davis (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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According to Marvel, the new story will feature original Excalibur members Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde along with Mystique and Destiny, the married mutants who are currently causing a bit of a stir in 2021’s X-titles.

In the wake of 1988’s “Fall of the Mutants” event, the world believes the X-Men are dead, and Mystique seeks out Forge to avenge Rogue’s death. Destiny recruits an injured Nightcrawler and Kitty (who formed Excalibur around this time believing the X-Men were dead) to help her partner from making a grave mistake. 

“It’s always fun wandering back along existing pathways and especially having the opportunity to fill in a couple of nifty gaps that were initially skipped over along the way—closing off one significant story-arc and lighting the fire that ignites the series that follows,” Claremont says in Marvel’s announcement. “Talk about a treat!”

Original story follows

Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson are returning to the pages of Marvel’s X-Men Legends in January. While their first ‘Legends’ X-reunion centered on their collective time on X-Factor, their upcoming return engagement picks up on Louise “Weezie” Simonson’s time on the New Mutants and once again features X-Men villain (and Simonson creation) Apocalypse.

In January 26’s X-Men Legends #11, Apocalypse is searching for this next Horseman and he decides that the X-Men’s underclassmen the New Mutants are a good place to start looking. 

The story stars the junior mutants at the time – Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Boom Boom, Rictor, and more as Caliban leads War and Pestilence in their search for a fourth for their deadly quartet. 

Marvel bills this as a “never-before-seen link” (the premise of the X-Men Legends title) between the New Mutants and Apocalypse.

X-Men Legends #11

X-Men Legends #11 cover by Walter Simonson (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Simonson wrote 31 issues of the New Mutants between #55 and #97 and three annuals between 1987 and 1991. 

The story would logically take place sometime between 1989’s New Mutants #77 which featured Boom Boom and Rictor joining the team and 1990’s New Mutants #87 in which Dani Moonstar left the team to stay in Asgard. 

The publisher also revealed that the X-Men legend himself Chris Claremont will appropriately debut on the title in February’s X-Men Legends #12 in a story that “sheds new light” on the original U.K.-based X-Men team Excalibur he created, and are promising more details about the story in a subsequent full announcement. 

Apocalypse is, of course, very high up on Newsarama’s list of the best X-Men villains of all time

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