Prof. Xavier’s Lonely Hearts Club Mutants

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A Marvel press release on Friday provided an advance preview of Marvel’s X-Men #7 from the new series by Victor Gischler. I’m not sure why the preview was released now since #6 hasn’t shipped yet, but I have a pretty good guess as Spider-Man joins the X-Men for this story arc. Many fans have been critical of the current X-Men vs. Vampires story currently featured in the title (and let’s face it they’ve been critical of Amazing Spider-Man lately as well), but this might be a way to showcase the change in focus that’s to come.

Spider-Man’s appearance in the book is a follow-up to what we saw in the teasers released before the series launched in July and the gatefold variant to issue #1. Of the surprise “X-Men” we’ve seen in these images, Blade, Vampire Jubilee and Spider-Man will all have been featured in the title as of January leaving She-Hulk, Elektra and Nate Grey yet to be seen inside the book.

What’s more exciting to me than the Spider-Man appearance is the fact the Chris Bachalo will be the book’s penciler. This is great news, and what really struck me about the preview was the cover art Bachalo provided for the issue. It’s an awesome image of the X-Men along with various characters from the story arc (including Spidey and some of the Lizard creatures seen in the recent Shed story in Amazing Spider-Man) in an homage to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album cover. I liked the frenetic image Marvel released last week for Bachalo’s cover to Age of X: Alpha, but this is awesome!

The only downside is that it appears Bachalo’s art is being used for a variant cover to issue #7 while Terry and Rachel Dodson are providing the regular cover. No offense to the Dodsons, but this just should not be. Bachalo returning to the X-Men is a big deal as he’s worked on a number of successful X-titles over the last 15 years, plus I’m a big fan so I’m incredibly biased. Regardless, this is something I plan to seek out for my collection.

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