By Jarrod Jones. If you were holding out hope that Aaron Kuder would return to Marvel’s Distinguished Competition someday in the near future, keep on wishin’, bub.

Marvel Entertainment has locked in Aaron Kuder for the foreseeable future.

Kuder, whose magnificent work alongside Greg Pak electrified Action Comics into one of DC’s most engaging and exciting books during the New 52, has signed an exclusive contract with Marvel that will extend beyond his first major assignment: the 4-issue Death of X miniseries, featuring covers and interiors from Kuder and the combined might of Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire, two writers I also enjoyed very much over in the land where Swamp Thing does dwell, but it’s fine, everything’s fine.

Image: Marvel Comics.

Image: Marvel Comics.

I’m completely stoked to be working at the House of Ideas again,” Kuder said with the characteristic optimism that would benefit a certain grumpy group of superheroes, but what the hell do I know. “I grew up as a Marvel kid — no really, my 7th birthday wish: grow up to be Spider-Man. But don’t tell anyone. Otherwise it won’t come true.” No, it’s fine, really — he’s happy, so we’re all happy. 

Death of X will tell the story of “rising tensions between two of Marvel’s most iconic groups,” the X-Men and the Inhumans, which will lead into Marvel’s Inhumans vs. X-Men event later this year.

Working on ‘Death of X’ is a monster!” Kuder exclaimed, which wistfully brought me back to that time when the artist drew Superman getting chomped on by an insane-looking monster and I knew what fun was again. “This is easily the largest cast of characters I’ve had to work with to date. All the Inhumans, all the X-Men… it’s a crazy amount to draw. All that grunt work is made better by the fact that Charles and Jeff are scribing it. Both these guys are amazing storytellers. It’s really an honor to be working with them.”

I couldn’t be more ecstatic about Aaron coming to Marvel,” said Marvel Executive Editor Nick Lowe, who better realize how lucky an editor he really is, lest I remind him in the form of sad cat gifs every day for a month. “I’ve been trying to get him over to Marvel for a few years now, but when this momentous story came up I knew we needed an artist capable of bringing it to life, and Aaron hasn’t disappointed. In fact, he’s turning in the best work of his career!

And now, for no reason whatsoever, I post an excerpt from a poem by E.E. Cummings:

if this should be, i say if this should be—
you of my heart, send me a little word;
that i may go unto him, and take his hands,
saying, Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face, and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands

‘Death of X’ comes to stores this October.