‘X-Men: Prime’ relocates the franchise and launches a new, more upbeat direction for the comic book version of the franchise.
When Marvel Entertainment teased that its X-Men franchise was going to become more central to its comic book universe, few suspected that it was intended so literally. As of today, however, the X-Men have a whole new home — one that’s literally as central as it could get to everything else that happens in the superhero storyline.
After more than a year of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning — the current name for the Xavier Mansion — being relocated to an alternate dimension known as “limbo,” the team has relocated to New York’s Central Park, with the school literally moved onto the grounds of the iconic location, marking the first time in the franchise’s 50+ year history that it’s been headquartered in the same city as the Avengers, Fantastic Four and Defenders.
Before their stay in limbo, the mansion’s previous location had been in Westchester County in New York state. The X-Men as a team have also enjoyed brief stays in San Francisco and the Australian outback throughout their existence, but curiously avoided extended stays in the same city as 99 percent of Marvel’s other comic book heroes. (X-Factor, a spinoff team made up of former X-Men members, however, was New York-based for much of its existence.)
The move was just one of the many resets for the comic book franchise in the issue, which launches the Resurrexion branding for both the X-Men and Inhumans titles for the next few months. The X-Men as a team were reorganized around fan-favorite characters, with Kitty Pryde as leader ahead of the launch of X-Men Gold, while the time-traveling “past” versions of the original team went rogue to prepare for their own X-Men Blue series; similarly, characters related to Wolverine are shown being targeted by a mysterious organization as prelude to the upcoming Weapon X series.
The Resurrexion relaunch of the line is intended as a repositioning of X-Men as a comic book franchise. After a number of years that has seen it separated from the rest of the central Marvel Universe or, at best, at odds with it — both Avengers vs. X-Men and Inhumans vs. X-Men have been series in the past decade — the characters and concepts are being folded back into the larger Marvel Universe context, with more of a focus on the superhero angle as opposed to the allegorical, dystopian trials of mutantkind being a persecuted minority.
X-Men: Prime is available in comic book stores and digitally.