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Comics 411: Thoughts This Year’s X-Men Hellfire Gala Special

March 16, 2022 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
X-Men Hellfire Gala Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last time we discussed Image Comics Turning 30! Here’s what some of you had to say:

Ryan: “Why yes, yes I did enjoy WILDC.A.T.S. a good bit. I even enjoyed their SNES game that they had released based on their likeness. Same thing with Spawn, although I thought the film could have been better.

No doubting the books were better though. Spawn comics were definitely my jam, same with the WILDC.A.T.S., and also original Astro City. I didn’t follow it once it left Image.

I may be in the minority here, but Youngblood? Didn’t really get into it.”

Ken Wood: “Spawn number 1 was the first comic I ever bought. I loved all the original Image books. Gen 13 is still one of my favorites. They had a ton of great books back in the day, Darkness, Witchblade, Savage Drgaon, Pitt, Maxx, the list goes on and on.”

tw75: “Warren Ellis’ Planetary is a fantastic book and his version of Stormwatch is vastly under-appreciated. His and then Mark Millard work on the title gave us the Authority, which then gave us the Ultimates for Marvel, which is a template that was a huge influence on the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

D2Kvirus: “Image has been my jam for the longest time, so for me it’ll be one of the Brubaker/Phillips titles (Fatale, The Fade Out, Kill or Be Killed), Liberty Meadows, The Wicked & The Divine, Hack/Slash, Velvet, Saga, Phonogram, Revival, Sea of Red, The Sword, or the scourge of my pull list Hawaiian Dick”

Al Lobama “As if I haven’t already said enough, a good follow up article to this would be doing a retrospective on either the imprints that grew out of Image (Wildstorm, Top Cow, Cliffhanger, Gorilla, etc.) or the other creator-owned comic companies that came out in the wake of Image (Legend, Bravura, CrossGen, Event, etc.)
Oh, and FYI, Kurt Busiek made a deal recently to bring his creator-owned properties back to Image, including Astro City. They’ve already published a new Arrowsmith mini-series, and we should be seeing an Astro City one-shot in the next few months.”

Great stuff and thank you to everyone who commented last week! Too many great comments to list so go and check it out! This week we discuss…

Thoughts on the Upcoming X-Men Hellfire Gala!
The latest X-Men run has people divided over loving or hating it. Not only that, last year’s Hellfire Gala split reaction as well. One thing we can all agree on is that is has people talking and that doesn’t look to stop anytime soon. 

The creative team of Gerry Duggan, Russell Dauterman, Matteo Lolli, C.F. Villa, and Kris Anka will try to top last year’s event, which saw the mutants terraforming Mars and making it their homeworld. 

What does this year have on tap? 

Not too many details have been released but the guest list will include every superhero on the planet. Of course we’ll have some uninvited guest and some drama is always a sure thing but looks like Krakoa might factor in and lead into 2022’s Judgment Day event by Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schiti, a three-way showdown between the Avengers, Eternals, and the X-Men.

Oh, and the special will also reveal the new core X-Men team lineup including the winner of the fan vote.

“Last summer your host Emma Frost invited you to celebrate Krakoa with some fireworks. This year, it’s about celebrating mutantdom’s friendship with humanity,” Duggan said in Marvel’s announcement. “Once again, we have a murderer’s row of talent crafting a one-shot with revelations that will chart the biggest stories in the Marvel Universe. All that, and meet a new team of X-Men.”

I’ll be honest, I’m digging the new status quo of the X-Men. It feels different and the stories have been tighter, more focused. I got a kick out of last year’s Gala and admit to looking forward to how they’ll top that this year. Yes, it’s an event but one that they are building up to and launching new stories from. I like that.

What do you think of the current state of the X-Men and the upcoming Hellfire Gala? 

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!