Is Jonathan Hickman taking the X-Men to Prep-School?

We know next to nothing about what the X-Men are facing this summer under the pen of writer Jonathan Hickman. They aren’t giving anything away, and despite having more than a dozen true and variant covers for issues 1-5 for House of X and Powers of X at our disposal- all we can do is guess. The latest image released by Marvel doesn’t help matters, either. The teaser equally displays both friends and foes.

Going from left to right, starting with the top row we have; X (Professor-X in Fantomex’s body), Apocalypse and Magneto. The second row consists of Jean Grey (in her Marvel Girl costume), Storm, Nightcrawler, Sebastian Shaw (former Black King of the Hellfire Club), Emma Frost, Mister Sinister, Mystique, and Exodus. The background, again, is dominated by overgrown vegetation which is so dense, light is struggling to get through.

New House of X teaser raises even more questions for upcoming X-Men Event

Strangely enough, Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler are the only true heroes on the page. Emma Frost is legendary for her dubious grasp of ethics, Magneto switches sides depending on his mood, and if you’ve got a lick of sense, you’d keep the body-snatching Professor-X at arms-length. Upon closer inspection of the picture, you’ll notice very odd smirks on the faces of the three X-Men. Being surrounded by so many classic villains, the expressions seem out of place, if not downright creepy. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but can you blame me? They all have an “I told you not to trust me” smirk plastered across their faces.

New House of X teaser raises even more questions for upcoming X-Men Event

The way the photo is set up is reminiscent of the way you’d construct a class photo. It harkens back to classic photos where students are arranged on several levels with an educator or administer placed in the center.

On this teaser, you’ll notice an empty chair. In a situation like this, I’d expect Professor-X to be filling that spot with his X-Men around him. It’s been done several times over the years, which is why I find this configuration interesting. Not to mention that at least a representation of Professor-X is present but not the center focus. This suggests to me that “X” may not be the true Xavier at all. It wouldn’t be the first time something other than the real McCoy claimed to be the good Professor.

To the left of the image is the phrase “Face the Future” displayed prominently in red using an ominous, slasher-film font face. Seems pretty sketchy to me. Could this spell trouble for the X-Men?

What do you think the teaser says about this Summer’s event?