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Marvel's New Age of Space in trouble in X-Men #17 preview

X-Men #17
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel's teased 'New Age of Space' begins in April's Guardians of the Galaxy #13, but it seems this new age is going to get off on a bad foot from the looks of January 27's X-Men #17.

In this preview of next week's issue, an unseen narrator lays out a dark take on the state of Marvel cosmic with empires on the precipice of failure, financial ruin, and now, the head of the Shi'ar Empire, Xandra, has been kidnapped.

Take a look:

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X-Men #17

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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X-Men #17

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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X-Men #17

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Xandra was installed as the new Shi'ar emperor in 2019's New Mutants #2, with her predecessor Gladiator sliding back to be head of the Imperial Guard as these dark times began to be known. Deathbird has signed on to be a mentor to Xandra, and with emperor's abduction you can see her talking to Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm in the uncolored, unlettered page.

"STORM THE EMPIRE!" reads Marvel's solicitation for X-Men #17. "When the Shi'ar Empire asks the X-Men for help, Cyclops, Storm and Marvel Girl answer the call."

This story is part of the X-Men line's overall return to space in the newly-christened 'Reign of X' era, spearheaded by the new S.W.O.R.D. series. Back in 2019, Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski told Newsarama there were some "very cool" things planned for the "cosmic side" of the X-Men - namechecking the Starjammers and the Shi'ar Imperial Guard - the latter of which you see in this X-Men #17 preview.

X-Men #17 comes from series writer Jonathan Hickman and guest artist Brett Booth. Former series artist Leinil Francis Yu has drawn the primary cover, with a variant by Russell Dauterman. Here they are:

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X-Men #17

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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X-Men #17

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

X-Men #17 goes on sale on January 27.

Keep up-to-speed on all the new X-Men comics, graphic novels, and collections in 2021 and beyond.

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.