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X-Men project by Jonathan Hickman and Declan Shalvey teased by Marvel

X-Men variant cover
X-Men variant cover (Image credit: Declan Shalvey (Marvel Comics))

It turns out that Inferno won't be Jonathan Hickman's only last word before he retires as head X-Men writer. Marvel Comics just tweeted out a tease of a "new comics X-perience" from Hickman and Declan Shalvey to be launched on September 9, which will be exclusive to the company's Marvel Unlimited app.

Along with the announcement of Hickman’s new project,  the publisher is showing off a new logo for the Marvel Unlimited app.

(Image credit: Declan Shalvey (Marvel Comics))

The publisher hasn't revealed much more than that, but this is curiously what the X-Men line could've been had the COVID-19 pandemic affected the comics industry more severely than it has. Back in August, Hickman revealed that in mid-2020 he came up with a pitch for Marvel to convert the entire X-Men line of titles into being digital-only.

"So, I've spent the last couple of years helping head up the X-Men office at Marvel and it's been a pretty fascinating ride. Tried a lot of stuff, learned a lot of stuff," Hickman said in the August 9 edition of his newsletter. "But the biggest thing I wanted to try never came to fruition because Diamond (our largest comic book distributor in the North American comic industry) was able to get back up in the middle of the pandemic and start shipping books again, when, for a few weeks, it looked like they might not be able to."

Marvel (and the entire print superhero comic book industry) halted their comics distribution for almost two months, and only slowly came back to a full schedule. When that return seemed impossible, Hickman said he became pretty concerned.

"So with the mindset of chaos breeds opportunity, I sat down and wrote up a plan to take the entire X-line digital," the writer wrote. "Which went absolutely nowhere because Diamond and the market recovered. Again, that was great because everyone had their jobs restarted and the stores got to stay open and the fans got to have new comics to read, but there were some pretty great ideas baked into the plan I wrote and I was secretly kind of bummed that I wouldn't be able to try them."

Some of those plans became Hickman's current Three Worlds. Three Moons. Digital comics on Substack, but it appears part of it may still be happening at Marvel.

Stay tuned to Newsarama for more on this project.

Keep track of this and all the new X-Men comics, graphic novels, and collections in 2021 and beyond. 

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.