The X-Men are planning a party in June – the Hellfire Gala – a sort of mutant prom in which the citizens of Krakoa will come together for the announcement of a new X-Men team, and the new era of mutantkind.
Now, Marvel Comics has announced that in addition to running through all current 'Reign of X' era ongoing titles - X-Men, Excalibur, X-Force, Cable, Marauders, Wolverine, Children of the Atom, X-Corp, Way of X, New Mutants, and Hellions – the Hellfire Gala will also encompass a one-shot from writer Gerry Duggan and artist Pepe Larraz, titled Planet-Size X-Men.
This effectively makes the Hellfire Gala something of a mini summer event for the X-Men, a one-month crossover-style story that Marvel promises will have big ramifications for the X-Men moving forward.
"This June, the Hellfire Trading Company invites readers everywhere to the inaugural Hellfire Gala to announce the first team of Krakoan X-Men to the world and reveal the startling plans that mutantkind has in store for the Marvel Universe," reads Marvel's announcement of Planet-Size X-Men.
"This highly anticipated comics event will unfold in issues of your favorite ongoing X-Men series as well as Planet-Size X-Men, a special double-sized one-shot from two of mutantkind's most masterful creators: writer Gerry Duggan (Marauders, Savage Avengers) and artist Pepe Larraz (House of X)," it continues. "The Hellfire Gala rages on in one of the most pivotal chapters yet in Jonathan Hickman's X-Men era. But even bigger things are afoot a world away…
"12 titles, 12 stories, all focused on a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history," concludes Marvel's description of the Hellfire Gala. "Stay tuned for more Hellfire Gala cover reveals, costume designs, variant covers, and more as the buildup to this major turning point in the saga of the X-Men begins!"
Those 12 titles would presumably be the eleven ongoing series listed above along with the Planet-Size one-shot, with flashback title X-Men Legends potentially staying on its own track away from current storylines.
"Make no mistake - this is an X-Men book drawn by superstar artist Pepe Larraz. It is absolutely the most important issue of the month," X-Men group editor Jordan D. White states in the announcement "Pepe is absolutely the star of the X-line and he is doing the most amazing work of his career. You cannot miss this."
Pepe Larraz came to the X-Men franchise with current 'head of X'/X-Men writer Jonathan Hickman's House of X/Powers of X limited series which launched the present mutant status quo. He's drawn many of the X-Men's landmark issues in the time since, including several one-shots as part of the previous X-Men crossover 'X of Swords.'
Writer Gerry Duggan is also a longtime X-Men contributor as the ongoing writer of Marauders, and the writer of Cable, which reaches its final issue during June's Hellfire Gala month.
As for what the apparently new 'Planet-Size' one-shot adjective could mean (with Marvel having previously used other variations of the 'Giant-Size' for one-shot titles), it may imply that the future of mutantkind lies in making Krakoa its own planet, a mutant homeworld of sorts.
Magneto previously attempted similar feats with his Asteroid M and Avalon headquarters, which made use of celestial bodies as mutant settlements.
He's pictured on Larraz's cover of Planet-Size X-Men alongside Storm, Jean Grey, and Iceman – could there be a Planet X in Marvel's future, based on Magneto's previous vision of a home for mutants in space combined with the sovereign mutant nation of Krakoa?
The back matter of the previously mentioned House of X/Powers of X series mentioned a 'Planet X' as part of the lore around the sentient Nimrod Sentinel that appears in the story. Nimrod is on the cover of May's X-Men #20, meaning that the long-gestating plotline could return.
Maybe we'll find out when Planet-Size X-Men arrives on June 16. Watch for Marvel's full June 2021 solicitations later this month on Newsarama.
You don't need Cerebro to keep up with all the mutant titles coming - check out Newsarama's list of all the new X-Men comics, graphic novels, and collections in 2021 and beyond.