In gorgeous new art, Russel Dauterman completes his trading card art of the X-Men‘s current roster, with Juggernaut, Ms. Marvel, and Rasputin IV getting stunning character portraits. At the 2023 Hellfire Gala, the X-Men were subjected to a Mutant Massacre, with most of the newly elected team killed by Nimrod. Marvel’s remaining mutants are now fighting for their survival, with a ragtag team of mutants forced underground as the last remaining X-Men.

Those mutants have been celebrated in a line of new variant covers, with each issue of X-Men including new trading card-style art of a notable hero or villain. On Instagram, Russel Dauterman has announced Ms. Marvel will appear on X-Men #26, Rasputin IV on X-Men #27, and Juggernaut on X-Men #28 – each with coloring by Matt Wilson. These new members of the X-Men – joining Synch, Talon and Shadowkat as the core of the underground resistance – are the last hope of mutantkind, and they couldn’t look more iconic in Dauterman’s art.

The Underground X-Men Finally Unite

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Of the group, only Talon, Synch and Juggernaut were actually elected by the mutants of Krakoa, alongside Frenzy, Prodigy, Cannonball and Dazzler. Sadly, that team existed for a matter of seconds before Nimrod attacked, and the survivors have had to assemble a new team on the fly, declaring that every mutant alive is now a member of the X-Men. Rasputin IV is a time-traveling refugee of the Sins of Sinister timeline, while Ms. Marvel only just learned she’s a mutant/Inhuman hybrid. Meanwhile, Shadowkat has undergone a dark reinvention, embracing lethal methods after losing her friends and allies to Nimrod. Dauterman’s prior covers depict the rest of the team, including Firestar, who is currently undercover with Orchis.

Marvel’s Current X-Men Team Will Decide Mutantkind’s Future

While this emergency team have only existed for a few issues, there are already some fun dynamics emerging. As someone from the far future, Rasputin knows of Ms. Marvel as an almost mythic hero, and for once Kamala Khan is the target of superhero-worship. Meanwhile, the team are trying to offer some comfort to the traumatized Shadowkat, who started out planning to assassinate Firestar before learning the truth. After spending centuries locked in the Vault, Synch and Talon are in the unusual position of being the X-Men’s most experienced leaders ever, even though most of their allies knew them as teenagers until just a few months ago.

As Orchis attempts to scour the world of mutants, this is the X-Men team who will decide if the species has a future – each an outsider in their own way, but finding ways to work together for the common cause of survival. It’s a dark but exhilarating time to be an X-Men fan, embodied by this roster that no-one expected, and Russel Dauterman’s art perfectly captures the era-defining heroes in the middle of their most important fight.

X-Men #26 is available now, with issue 27 coming October 4 and issue 28 on November 1.

 The new team assemble.  Read More