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

X-Men Legends #12
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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 cover by Alan Davis (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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 cover by Walter Simonson (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.