Havok, the brother of Cyclops, is finally back to being a hero again – and the new leader of Marvel’s X-Men. Havok will form a new team in the pages of Astonishing X-Men, one of Marvel’s four main X-Men titles aimed to streamline the universe already occupied by X-Men: Blue, X-Men: Gold, and X-Men: Red.
Alex Summers, a longtime member of the X-Men, was turned into a villain by a magic spell gone wrong in the crossover event AXIS. Havok was one of many heroes to get inverted by the spell, but was one of the only characters to remain in his altered state. However, recent events in X-Men: Blue have restored Havok to his heroic roots.
Havok is set to become the new team leader in Astonishing X-Men, which is receiving a new creative team with issue #13. New Mutants: Dead Souls, Multiple Man, and Phoenix Resurrection writer Matthew Rosenberg will take over the series from Charles Soule.
In an interview with CBR, Matthew Rosenberg talked about the new X-Men lineup and Havok’s role as leader. The new roster will consist of Havok, Beast, Warpath, Colossus, Dazzler, and one unrevealed character. Havok and Beast will serve as co-leaders. Rosenberg compared the relationship between Havok and Beast to the famous Star Trek duo of Kirk and Spock, with Havok as Kirk and Beast as the logical Mr. Spock.
According to Rosenberg, Beast’s experience with the X-Men, the Avengers, the Defenders, and the Inhumans will have a lot to do with how he interacts with Havok:
Beast has a lot of regrets. We see hints of that in the choices he’s made and things he’s done. Of all the original X-Men, he may be the one who has the most doubts about how things turned out for them. And that’s saying a lot. So his role, as a sort of conscience for Havok, comes from a really cautionary place. If Havok thinks his road to redemption is through the X-Men, Beast sees how it can also be a path to regret.
Due to AXIS, Havok has been operating as a supervillain for the past few years. Polaris’ memories of the real Havok were used to telepathically break the spell, reverting Havok to his true self. However, the consequences of Havok’s actions as a villain will haunt him in Astonishing X-Men. Rosenberg says Havok will have to earn his teammates’ trust back.
Though leading the X-Men may be new to Havok, the character does have plenty of experience when it comes to leadership. Havok was in charge of the second iteration of the government-sponsored X-Factor team during the 1990s.
It’s not clear what will happen to the current team in Astonishing X-Men. In issue #12, the final issue of Soule’s run on the series, Psylocke and X—the resurrected Charles Xavier—defeated the Shadow King. X erased the memories of everyone on the team but Psylocke. Where they all go from here is yet to be established. It’s possible that any loose ends with Psylocke, X, newlyweds Gambit and Rogue, Old Man Logan, Mystique, and Angel will be tied up in issue #13 or in some of the other X-Men titles.
Astonishing X-Men #13 goes on sale July 4, 2018.