X-POSITION Week 22: Christopher Yost

Thu, October 25th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

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"New X-Men" #45 on sale in December

Mysteries have been a cornerstone of Marvel's X-Universe for many years. Revelations have been big, small, and often huge. Some questions that seemed to linger for a decade or more have included: Who is Nightcrawler's mother? What is Wolverine's origin? Is there a third Summers brother?

All were finally answered within the last several years, but answers often merely led to more questions. Or in the case of the third Summers' brother, the answer led to betrayal and murder as Vulcan, the third brother, killed his father Corsair, also the father of Cyclops and Havok.

This brings us to the "X-Men: Emperor Vulcan" miniseries, the second issue of which arrived in stores last week. Havok is traveling through outer space (along with a handful of X-Men and the Starjammers), seeking vengeance upon his brother, who has also usurped the crown to the Shi'ar empire.

Fans have questions about these events, so here at X-POSITION, we're going to get them answers! And who better to help us with this task than the writer of that miniseries, Christopher Yost? In addition to being the scribe for "Emperor Vulcan," Yost is also a co-writer on "New X-Men" and the "Endangered Species" back-up tale that has been running through all the X-books for the last few months. Yost had a lot to say about all the characters and events under his watch, so let's get right to it.

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First up are some questions about "Emperor Vulcan" from Slamanam, who really could use some clarification. "I really enjoy 'New X-Men,' so I picked up 'Emperor Vulcan' on a whim, even though I'm not a big fan of outer space stories. I kind of like what I've read so far, but I'm confused so I was hoping you could help me out:

1) Are the Shi'ar friendly with earth? Or do they just want to fight everyone?

The Shi'ar don't really want to fight everyone – they'd be just as happy with someone surrendering. The Shi'ar "marry" new cultures, absorbing them into their own. The Shi'ar probably wouldn't have paid much mind to Earth, were it not for Lilandra going there for help.

And that pesky Phoenix.

Page from "New X-Men" #44, on sale in November
2) What exactly is the M'Kraan Crystal? Why does Alex ask Lilandra if it's the home of the Scy'ar Tal when it's not that big?

The M'Kraan Crystal is a nexus of all realities, sort of like that swamp where the Man-Thing hangs out. The M'Kraan Crystal in one universe is the same one as in ours, and it played a big part in Age of Apocalypse.

Alex didn't mean the M'Kraan lived inside of it (although there is a city and a White Hot Room inside there), but rather on the planet where the Crystal resides.

And technically, the M'Kraan race lived on artificial moons around the planet.

3) Besides the death of the Shi'ar, what do the Scy'ar Tal exactly want?

They want the Crystal back. They really, really liked it. And if they have to kill a few billion Shi'ar to get home, they will.

Slamanam, we hoped that helped. Next, let's move to "Endangered Species." It seems Escapist has been doing some thinking, and he might have a solution to this whole "extinction of the mutant race" problem.

" Beast has gone all around the world looking for a cure when surely a solution lies much closer to home. Since Elixir can manipulate the biological structure of any organic matter on the genetic level, doesn't that mean he can simply give people the X-gene back?"

When the Decimation happened, Elixir didn't know the full extent of his powers. And now that he does, it's just as tricky. It took mankind how many years to crack the human genome? More than a few. So Elixir would literally have to rewrite an affected mutant's DNA bit by bit, basically from scratch. Is it possible? Maybe. But he'd be just as likely, if not more, to kill the person.

And quite frankly, he's had his hands full recently.

Page from "New X-Men" #44, on sale in November
That can be said of all the New X-Men. And speaking of, James Figueiredo had a couple of head-scratchers about events that have taken place in their book. Those kids sure are having some rough times.

"My first question is regarding the Purifiers, Stryker's band of fanatics. Although I appreciate that they've managed to impart a real sense of danger to the stories – making us readers really care and worry about the fate of the kids at the school – one thing has been bugging me a bit for a while. Here is a religious/paramilitary cult who went to (what basically is) a high school and killed over forty kids, in all kinds of manners.

"Why hasn't there been (at least that's been shown) any public reaction to it? Regardless of the fact that the kids were mutants/ex-mutants, I'd imagine there would be a huge outcry against Stryker and his lot. With the reemergence of the Purifiers, in light of the 'Messiah CompleX' crossover, do you plan to depict some of these reactions?"

Who's to say the public knows about it? And even if they did – would they care? "Mutant" is still a scary, bad word to many people. And M-Day freaked a lot of people out, as seen in "Generation M." If the deaths weren't covered up, the media probably would have touched on it. They were more likely to touch on "William Stryker was killed by a mutant," but the government covered that up, too.

We hope to show a reaction from normal religious organizations to Stryker's Crusade, who are the worst kind of fanatics. They twist something good and pure to their own hate-filled agenda.

Wolfsbane will also have a reaction to the Purifiers as well in "Messiah Complex."

"My other question is about Anole. I really like the character, and love the fact that he's been given some time in the spotlight in the last few issues, especially because he's a gay teenage character. I think Marvel (well, all of mainstream comicdom, really) has so precious few gay characters right now that it's great one of them has the chance to shine. I loved the interaction between him and his teammates in issue #42, and I foresee a great partnership with Rockslide, they make perfect friends/antagonists!

Page from "New X-Men" #45, on sale in December
"My question is – are we going to see more development of Anole? I know the focus of the book hasn't really been romantic relationships (with the exception of the occasional X-23 pining for Hellion scene, or a couple of moments with Surge and David), but could he get a boyfriend? And can he please not die?"

Anole has some spotlight in "New X-Men" #44, but there's no time for love, Dr. Jones – Anole's busy trying to stay alive . Maybe when things calm down a bit…oh, wait. It's New X-Men. Sorry, it might be awhile.

But do please check out #43 for a development in Anole's status within the Institute.

A few other characters in "New X-Men" got SGuthrie a-thinking, and he wanted to know about their status:

1) Will Kevin "Wither" Ford have a role to play in the upcoming "Messiah CompleX," or at least reappear within the next year?

No for 'Messiah,' but trust me...we haven't forgotten. Every time we talk about Wither and Selene, that story only gets bigger.

2) Random question – is Surge's little brother a mutant or latent mutant, too? Will we ever see or hear from him again?

Given Surge is a mutant, there's always a chance. But since M-Day...no more mutants. So even if he had the X-Gene, it's not manifesting now. Will we ever see or hear from him again? Say it with me – maybe….

3) Is X-23 really appearing with the new X-Force? Or is the X-Force member actually the other taloned young lady we've seen on some preview cover (I can't recall which one) who was fighting X-23?

That's X-23 all right. She's also on that cover with Lady Deathstrike for "New X-Men" #45. We're seeing Humberto Ramos' pages from that issue right now as they come in, and they are breathtaking. But there may be a shortage of red ink after the issue's done. Things get bloody…

All right! I mean, um…ew. Marcus Martin had a couple of questions about X-23 as well. "Since X-23 is slated to be on the new X-Force team, what will happen to the New X-Men crew now that they lost their Wolverine?"

Who's to say they lost her? Or that they're going to surv…whoops. Never mind, nothing to see here.

"New X-Men" #46, on sale in 2008
"Also how do you and Craig Kyle feel about placing X-23 on the 'X-Force' title, even though you guys might not be writing the series?"

As long as she's not wearing the 'Fang' costume, I think we're okay.

I think most fans would agree with that. Hi-Fi had one last question about X-23, and I think this is something many people want to know. "Is there going to be a third 'X-23' mini? I was under the impression that it was supposed to be a trilogy, but maybe I'm wrong?"

I'm speaking for Craig a little bit here, but I think he thought of "New X-Men" as the third part of the trilogy. She found a place where she wasn't alone, she found friends, her world opened up to more than just murder and violence.

That being said, Craig does have a concept for an "X-23" ongoing that's pretty damn great. It's nothing compared to my idea for a Wendell Vaughn/Quasar series, which will be totally awe…wait. What?!? Dead? Really? Crap.

Sorry about that. I hope you got a piece of his memorial cake.

A lot of preview art for "Messiah CompleX" has been teased on various websites (CBR as well, of course). Doing this naturally only leads to questions, so here's a few from Faded:

1) Based on released preview art and solicited covers, is it safe to assume Armor is joining the New X-Men team during the crossover?

Armor will be with the kids throughout "Messiah CompleX."

2) Gentle has also been seen on two upcoming covers as well. Other than Nezhno, are there any other background students who will be making waves and stepping up to the plate during 'Messiah CompleX?'

The better question is who is crushed by the waves and nailed with a 90mph fastball while attempting to step up to the plate.

While the New X-Men have done some pretty amazing things lately, what's happening in "Messiah CompleX" may well be too much. Did you hear what Blindfold said in "X-Men" #204? That sounds bad.

3) Due to the media attention Sofia's new team has been given and the kids' tendency to watch television during their downtime, can we expect the New X-Men interacting with the New Warriors in the near future?

It seems like a natural, given the X-content of that team.

Ivan G. Williamson closes things up for this week, asking one of those queries that makes you go "Hmm…"

"The X-mansion is supposed to have one of the best security systems in the cosmos, so why are the X-kids constantly getting offed right on its doorstep?"

Because the Purifiers had Nimrod technology from the future! You can't beat the future, man. Unless you're from a future further ahead than that future. Then you're gold.

Wow.

And so ends another exciting X-POSITION. Next week kicks off a small change in our weekly adventures. In order to stay on top of all the "Messiah CompleX" events that are about to occur, this column is moving to Tuesdays.

To celebrate this auspicious occasion, we are pulling out the big guns and having a "Messiah CompleX" X-POSITION extravaganza! X-Men Group Editor Axel Alonso will be joining us, as will the writer of the upcoming one-shot Ed Brubaker ("Uncanny X-Men," "Captain America").

Unfortunately, as we are a bit squeezed for time, we can't take questions this week. However, we will be taking them in the following one. And after reading "Messiah CompleX," we bet you'll have a bunch! See you in five short days!

Archives
X-POSITION Week 21: Peter David
X-POSITION: Week Twenty
X-POSITION: Week Nineteen
X-POSITION: Week Eighteen
X-POSITION: Week Seventeen
X-POSITION: Week Sixteen
X-POSITION: "X-Force" & "Cable" Special Edition
X-POSITION: Week Fifteen
X-POSITION: Week Fourteen
X-POSITION: Week Thirteen
X-POSITION: Week Twelve
X-POSITION: Week Eleven
X-POSITION: Week Ten
X-POSITION: Week Nine
X-POSITION: Week Eight
X-POSITION: Week Seven
X-POSITION: Week Six
X-POSITION: Week Five
X-POSITION: Week Four
X-POSITION: Week Three
X-POSITION: Week Two
X-POSITION: The Beginning ...

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