Yes, spoilers and speculation follow!
One of the more interesting aspects of Jason Aaron’s run was the creation of a future timeline in which the Jean Grey School was firmly established under the watchful eye of an older Wolverine. I don’t know whether or not he realised how interesting a concept he was creating, but the writers seem to be absolutely fascinated with it!
Battle of the Atom gave us a creative spin on this, revealing a future Brotherhood that included one of Iceman’s ice-duplicates, Raze (son of Wolverine and Mystique), a new Xorn (actually future ANXM Jean Grey), a future Beast, and a mysterious kid who claimed to be the grandson of Professor X and was, well, creepy as all-get-out. By the end of that storyline, several of these guys had been killed in battle with a fleet of Sentinels, and the rest had remained in the present-day.
Now, though, the All-New X-Men are heading for their next confrontation with the future Brotherhood. In an entertaining but blink-and-you’ll-miss-it issue, Raze infiltrated the New Xavier School (my bet is he’s actually X-23, and the real X-23 is out in the snow), and the last shot showed the Brotherhood approaching.
Including future Deadpool, Xorn and future Beast, who died in Battle of the Atom.
I never believed for a second that Xorn was dead, but I was very surprised to see Beast!
And here’s where it gets even more interesting, because – coincidentally, of course – the Battle of the Atom mobile game launched its latest event today, with a storyline based on the comics Battle of the Atom plotline, and new collectible cards based on the Brotherhood. And in the game, you can find out which cards are going to be released in different sets.
Take a look at this:
And that’s not all. Yes, in the game at least, the future Brotherhood’s roster is about to be expanded. You’re talking Marrow, Emma Frost, and a new Magneto. Notice that there are no images, which rather makes me suspect just releasing the names was unintentional (and remember that most – if not, I rather think, all – of the game’s art is lifted from comics).
Marvel have done a lot of cross-marketing recently, and I’ll be very surprised indeed if those characters have been added to the game’s future Brotherhood on a whim.
Of course, the timing is even more interesting considering Marrow has just resurfaced in X-Force after years as a nonentity.
Meanwhile, the Future X-Men also feature some interesting new faces – future versions of Anole, Kubark, Forge, Hellion, Surge, Storm, Sabretooth, and Lady Mastermind (yes, as X-Men!), plus Empress Ava’Dara. Again, no images have been released of those characters yet.
Are we about to learn a lot more about the future, and encounter more members of tomorrow’s Brotherhood? And if so, what does it mean that Emma Frost is part of this Brotherhood, working alongside Xorn, and that Sabretooth is an X-Man?!?