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Meet Marvel Comics' defacto new head writer: Jed MacKay (Avengers, X-Men, and its summer event Blood Hunt)

Jed MacKay is now heading up both the X-Men and Avengers franchises simultaneously

X-Men From the Ashes
Image credit: Ryan Stegman/Marvel

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Officially, there’s no such thing as a Head Writer at Marvel Comics. Officially. But there’s no denying that, in the wake of the announcement of the initial creative teams for the upcoming X-Men line relaunch X-Men From the Ashes, it certainly seems as if there is an unofficial head writer, and it’s Jed MacKay.

McKay, a former junior high school teacher, will be taking on the writing chores of X-Men, one of three new X-Men comics launching this summer (the other two are Uncanny X-Men and Extraordinary X-Men; MacKay’s book is adjective-less), which makes him the first writer to handle both primary X-Men and Avengers comic book titles on a long-term basis since Roy Thomas, back in the mid-'60s. Additionally, he’s the writer of the upcoming Marvel summer 2024 event Blood Hunt, and he’s also writing Doctor Strange and Moon Knight on a monthly basis. Certainly seems like he’s one of the bigger movers and shakers in the Marvel comic book universe, doesn’t it…?

It’s far from unusual for a writer to be handling multiple Marvel comic books — in fact, it’s arguably more rare for a writer to only take on one title at a time, especially if that writer has any level of success at the company. What’s far less common, however, is for a writer to straddle the primary books across a number of Marvel “families” — Kieron Gillen handled Immortal X-Men and Eternals simultaneously, but Eternals was a standalone series instead of the lead book of a line; Gerry Duggan wrote both X-Men and Invincible Iron Man at the same time, which led to Iron Man essentially becoming part of the X-line for close to a year, instead of remaining one of the Avengers titles.

MacKay juggling both X-Men and Avengers (not to mention an event title) is, according to Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort “not a coincidence,” which might tease another Avengers/X-Men crossover event in the near future — the third in just over a decade, after Avengers vs. X-Men, and Avengers/X-Men/Eternals: Judgment Day. If nothing else, it’s a sign that MacKay — who also wrote the annual Timeless specials in 2021 and 2022, setting the tone for Marvel’s comic book universe for the next year — has become one of the most trusted creators at Marvel right now, and one responsible enough to guide two of the company’s biggest franchises into the future.

Some would say that sounds like… a head writer.


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Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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