The Official X-Men Dog Team Is Marvel’s Best Variant
In a 2000 story about the future of the X-Men, Marvel not only revealed a reality where they’re all dogs, but confirmed what races they would be.
In their long history of protecting a world that hates and fears them, x-men captured the hearts of readers everywhere, but this process would have been even easier had Marvel started by following the canine version of the team known as the Rex-Dogs. In one reality, Professor Rex assembled a team of mutant dogs, training them to use their unique gifts to defend others from evil.
The Rex-Dogs were created by Kevin Maguire to X-Men: Millennial Visions #1. This anthology collection featured single-page illustrations (complete with pages of text) that laid out strange potential futures for the team as it existed in 2000. While many were bizarre, they were surprisingly influential. , seeding a few ideas that would return in future comics, and even depicting the world of Nocturne – the child possessing the body of Scarlet Witch and Nightcrawler, and a major member of the reality-hopping Exiles.
However, a world that has not been seen since is ‘Rex Universe.’ This world – drawn by Maguire and colored by Mike Rockwitz – takes the team’s status quo as superheroes secretly based out of Xavier’s School and turns them into dogs. The team consists of what appears to be a Chihuahua Professor X (confirmed to be a powerful telepath), a bulldog Wolverine, a Bloodhound Gambit, a Shetland Shetland Storm, a fox terrier Jubilee, a rottweiler Bishop and an imposing Saint Bernard Colossus, set by Maguire on a bone ‘X’ background.
The Rex-Dogs are drawn in their beloved ’90s costumes and retain the origin of their founder’s name (a retcon the comics used to replace the original explanation that the X-Men are named for their “extra power.”) Judging by Wolverine’s claws and Colossus’ organic metal skin, the dogs retain their comic powers, though the brief this world explanation notes that they have “tails, a keen sense of smell and no opposable thumbs”, suggesting that Gambit will not launch its branded playing cards.
Far from unusual in the Marvel Multiverse, the Rex-Dogs hail from one of the many worlds that contain animal versions of common heroes. Simian versions of Marvel’s greatest heroes – including the Ape-Avengers, Spider-Monkey and Iron Mandrill – even have their own 2008 Marvel Monkeys serieswhile Peter Porker’s homeworld, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, has boasted cartoon animals based on Marvel heroes since 1983, acting as a tribute to the “fun animal comics” that dominated the market before the 1980s. advent of the superhero.
Unlike some of the other worlds in the collection, little explanation is given for the Rex-Dogs. Maguire notes in X-Men: Millennial Visions that he was reluctant to draw the team as he didn’t feel he had sufficient knowledge of their lore, and was originally asked to draw the team as much older heroes, or even as robotic sentries . Eventually agreeing to draw them as monsters, Maguire couldn’t decide on a theme and eventually came up with the idea of drawing them as different breeds of dogs. There’s always a good chance that any alternate world mentioned in the comics will reappear one day, and hopefully those dogs will. x-men – if only so that fans can have the satisfaction of discovering the pet names of team members other than Professor Rex.
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