Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2014 took place at the Phoenix Convention Center last weekend, January 24-26. I represented BOOM! Studios at our booth, along with writers Paul Jenkins (“Deathmatch,” “Inhumans”) & Eric M. Esquivel (“Bravest Warriors,” “Loki: Ragnarok and Roll”) and artists Wook-Jin Hunter Clark (“Adventure Time: Flip Side,” “Megagogo”) & Missy Pena (“Bravest Warriors”), plus BOOM!’s Marketing Assistant, Stephanie Hocutt. They’re all awesome people! Below are some memories from throughout the weekend.

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Now that the X-Men Power Rankings are completed, I’m sure you’ve noticed a few characters who were omitted from the list. Characters who in current Marvel 616 continuity are either dead, in comic book limbo since the Messiah Complex event began, or have only recently reappeared in comics after the Power Rankings had already begun.

So, here we are with the appendices- a place to briefly discuss these characters who didn’t make the list and where they would have been placed if they had. Lets get started!

Hope_Summers_in_Messiah_War_one-shotHope Summers: I didn’t include Hope because we know practically nothing about her. Sure, in current continuity she has been dubbed the last hope for mutantkind while contrarily in Bishop’s future she’s the reason for mutankind’s demise, but we know nothing for sure. That ambiguity made her difficult to rank accurately despite her showing some promise in the Cable series (where Nathan is charged with keeping her alive while Bishop aims to kill her) and in the recent Messiah War event, but it’s way too soon to tell. If I had to put her somewhere, I suppose she’d rank last because currently she’s just a helpless little kid. Oh, and before you start freaking out about her last name, it’s Summers because Cable is practically her adopted father.

Powers: Like I said, we don’t know much about them, but what we do know is that when she was born Cerebro blew up and when Rogue touched her as a baby she survived without any incident and actually purged Rogue of her absorbed memories and powers, setting her back to her original power setting. She’s also learned how to fight as well as various survival techniques from her time spent with Cable.

First Appearance: X-Men #205, 2008.

jeanJean Grey Summers: Considering I only ranked X-Men who are currently alive, Jean obviously couldn’t make the cut. However, if she were still kicking she’d easily clock in at #1. Sorry Emma, but the truth hurts.

Powers: Jean is an incredibly powerful telepath who also has the ability of telekinesis, possessing all of the abilities that go with those two powers. She’s the Phoenix Force avatar (Phoenix, Dark Phoenix, White Phoenix), making her a cosmic entity that never seems to die. Yeah, you don’t fuck with Jean. I’m not going to get into detail about her powers because if you don’t know them already, you have some serious reading to do!

First Appearance: X-Men #1, 1963.

148085-116060-ch-od_largeCh’od: I have no good reason, but I really dig Ch’od as a character. Still, I had to leave our alien buddy out of the Rankings because while he may currently be running around with Havok, Polaris, and Rachel Summers he isn’t technically a member of the X-Men- he’s a Starjammer. Due to this reason, I omitted him from the Rankings. If he did make the cut, considering how he was withstanding Shi’ar torture to the point of laughing at it in X-Men: Kingbreaker, I would have put him somewhere in-between Deadpool (#25) and Warpath (#32).

Powers: Ch’od can breathe under water, swim really fast, has super strength, stamina, speed, and durability. He’s also an excellent marksman, fighter, and swordsman.

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #104, 1977. Notice how it’s the same year Star Wars was released? Seems like Marvel was trying to capitalize on the craze by doing a sci-fi epic of their own.

200px-RazaLongknife001Raza Longknife: I omitted Raza from the Rankings for the same reason as Ch’od- he’s a Starjammer not an X-Man. Plus, we’re not really sure if he’s even alive right now given how X-Men: Kingbreaker ended, but if he were and I had Ranked him, he’d clock in somewhere between Domino (#47) and Sage (#40).

Powers: Raza is an alien cyborg and as such he has cybernetic strength, speed, endurance, reflexes, and a cybermorphic hand blade which comes in handy with his superior sword skills. He’s also an expert marksman and hand to hand combatant. Raza’s cyborg eye grants him enhanced cyberoptics and computer-guided movements. He’s basically a space pirate/ninja hybrid.

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #107, 1977.

wizarduniverse_2064_1481821826Lilandra Neramani: You should get the gist by now with these space characters- just like Ch’od and Raza, while Lilandra, the Shi’ar Princess, has a definite history with the X-Men she technically isn’t one of them. Plus, Darkhawk recently killed her in War of Kings so she didn’t meet the criteria to get ranked anyway. I’d put her somewhere within #57 (Siryn) and #52 (Hellion).

Powers: Lilandra’s powers are those of superior leadership qualities than anything else. Although she does have superhuman strength and limited telepathic abilities. She’s also an expert pilot and politician and can wield any Shi’ar energy weapon with ease.

First Appearance: X-Men #97, 1976.

Stay tuned for more appendices!

emma1WARNING: if you haven’t read Uncanny X-Men #510, there are minor spoilers ahead!

After reading Uncanny X-Men #510, recalling what happened at the end of X-Men: Kingbreaker, and seeing the preview cover to Uncanny X-Men #511, a thought struck me- what if Emma Frost is being set up to become the new host of the Phoenix Force? Sure, it sounds absolutely nuts, but there are several major factors that make this hypothesis worth considering:

1. At the end of X-Men: Kingbreaker Rachel Summers, a.k.a Phoenix, had her powers fizzle out in a strange manner. It was as if the Phoenix Force had left (or was attempting to leave) her person. Perhaps this has something to do with the Phoenix attempting to find a stronger, more suitable host than Rachel… someone like Emma Frost. It seems like convenient timing to me…

2. Which sets up Uncanny X-Men #510 when Emma has a vision while unconscious. This vision is of what appears to be Jean Grey as the Phoenix (although it could be the Red Queen or someone else) saying, “Visions come to prepared spirits…. Well then, little spirit. Prepare.” What is this vision referring to exactly? Who the hell knows, but my guess would be that it’s foreshadowing- a warning to Emma that she be prepared for an eventual confrontation with the Phoenix Force.

3. The preview cover for Uncanny X-Men #511 made me seriously consider this vision to be a sign of things to come. I know what you’re thinking, “Andy, haven’t you learned by now that you can’t judge a comic book by it’s cover!?” I’d have to agree with you, but just look at it: A blonde woman in all white surrounded by flame. Who else besides Emma could that be? A Stepford Cuckoo? Maybe, but all signs point to Emma Frost in my book.

4. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most recent X-deaths: Colossus: dead from 2001-2004 (died in Uncanny X-Men #390 and returned in Astonishing X-Men #4), Psylocke: dead from 2001-2005 (died in X-Treme X-Men #2 and came back in Uncanny X-Men #455), Professor Xavier: was killed at the end of Messiah Complex and months later returned in the pages of X-Men Legacy, and we’ll even toss Caliban into the mix who also died during Messiah Complex and has returned (as a zombie) in X-Force. So what is the average length of time that X-Men have remained in the ground since the year 2001? 3 years? Maybe less? Well Jean Grey/the Phoenix Force has been dead since the end of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run in 2004. That’s 5 years now the Marvel Universe has been without it’s favorite red head! Considering modern comic books, that’s a damn long time for a character to remain deceased, and ‘5’ is a nice round number with which to bring a ghost back from the dead…

What do you guys and gals think?