X-POSITION: Mike Carey

Tue, July 22nd, 2008 at 5:46pm PDT | Updated: July 23rd, 2008 at 12:17am

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George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

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"Secret Invasion: X-Men" #1 on sale in August
Mem’ries, may be beautiful and yet

What’s too painful to remember

We simply choose to forget.

--From “The Way We Were”

It’s not often an article on a comic book website can begin with a Barbara Streisand song, but for today’s X-POSITION, it’s oddly appropriate. In Marvel's “X-Men: Legacy,” Charles Xavier has experienced extreme damage to his mind -- a bullet to the head will do that to a person. Thanks to some help from Magneto, the Professor’s brain is now physically healed, but many of his memories remain lost.

To regain a sense of who he truly is and understand his relationships with others, Professor X is on a quest. He is seeking to meet with people he has known, so that he may use his considerable telepathic powers to scan their minds and fill in the blanks of his own memories. However, there is a slight hitch to this “mission” due to Mr. Sinister and his own specific plans for Xavier’s mind.

Let’s just say that Sinister truly believes a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Writer Mike Carey joins CBR today to answer your questions about all that has occurred in “Legacy,” and also takes a stab at your queries regarding “Manifest Destiny,” the miniseries covering the X-Men’s move to San Francisco; and “Secret Invasion: X-Men” -- which mutants do you trust?

Story continues below

Jo Wynn kicks things off for us today. It seems there has been lots of talk about Iceman, particularly given his prominence in “Manifest Destiny.” With that in mind, the following question was sent our way:

Back when Rogue was incapacitated with Strain 88, Scott seemed to allow Bobby to take on a more prominent role as his right-hand-man -- gathering “his” team against the Marauders, manning the X-jet alongside him, engaging in serious conversations, and congratulating him on his actions in battle. Will we continue to see more of that kind of seriousness from Iceman, or will the events of the up and coming “Manifest Destiny” story change all of that?

Art from "Secret Invasion: X-Men"

Mike Carey: The “MD” story does put Bobby through the wringer in some very traumatic ways, and it does leave him in a different place, emotionally and in terms of how he views his role as an X-Man. The seriousness isn’t going away, Jo -- Bobby’s a veteran of a lot of conflicts, one of the most experienced X-Men, and he doesn’t feel the need any more to hide his insecurities behind flippant remarks. I mean, he’ll still make the occasional wisecrack, but he’s not a kid any more and he won’t be acting like one.

If he isn’t acting like a kid anymore, Paul N. White-Davis wants to know if Iceman’s powers will be maturing as well.

During (and after) the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline, it was revealed that Iceman's potential powers included the ability to, in essence, teleport via reverse-freezing molecules (or something like that). When Emma took over his body when she first joined the X-Men, she also noted that he only uses a fraction of his potential power.

I personally think Iceman's powers have yet to be fully explored and would welcome you guys to do so. Any chance of this happening soon?

I’m really glad you asked, Paul -- and I agree with you. One of the things we’re exploring in the “Manifest Destiny” story is precisely this question of the limits of Iceman’s power. We have him doing a couple of very interesting -- and quite new -- things, while staying true to the internal logic of what we already know about his powers.

Moving from “Manifest Destiny” to “Legacy,” Red Lotus sent in a few Xavier-related queries.

Art from "Secret Invasion: X-Men"

1) How much of an influence has Sinister had on Xavier’s life?

A very profound and far-reaching one, Red Lotus. In “Sins of the Father,” he actually argues that his imprint on Xavier’s character goes deeper than the influence of either Brian Xavier or Kurt Marko. We don’t have to agree with that, but it’s clear that there was a time when he was the dominant male role model in young Charles Xavier’s life. It might not be too much of a reach to argue that Xavier’s occasional tendency to play God arises partly from that influence.

2) How much longer will Gambit be tagging along as Xavier’s bodyguard?

He only plays that role in the “Sins of the Father” arc. We may see him again later in a different context.

3) When Xavier and Scott have their confrontation, will the new direction that Scott is taking the team in be brought up?

Not explicitly. The story is more about their past than their present, although it does move the present relationship forward in a significant way. There’s no scene in which Xavier upbraids Scott for taking the X-Men in directions that he wouldn’t have approved of. In a way, we thought that would be too obvious a beat -- and one that we’ve seen already when the Professor was back at the mansion just before the Shi’Ar Empire arc (in “X-Men” #188).

On the topic of beats fans would like to see, Bosco has a request:

Art from "Secret Invasion: X-Men"

I've been wondering something for awhile now: Sabretooth was decapitated in “Wolverine” #55, after being an X-Men team member on Rogue's team. Do the X-Men know (or care) that he's dead? I know “Messiah CompleX” was going on, but it seems like someone in the X-Universe would at least acknowledge that he's been killed.

I think they all know by now what happened to Sabretooth, and I’m sure they’ve all got their own feelings about that -- especially the X-Men who were forced to fight alongside him and were then betrayed by him in “Condition Critical.” You can assume it’s been discussed extensively, Bosco, but we may not get to see any of those conversations. Creed’s death was eclipsed by some of the things that happened shortly afterwards.

You mean some things like a certain baby mutant in “Messiah CompleX”? Well, for the present, let’s try to focus on Sifr’s questions…which involve the past.

1) To what extent is Professor X involved in what happened to Daken? Will that be covered in “X-Men: Original Sin”?

It will be covered, Sifr. The short answer is that Professor X isn’t directly involved -- yet -- in anything that’s happened between Wolverine and Daken. But in some ways their histories are tied together at one remove, and there are a number of things that will be revealed as the miniseries goes on.

2) Why choose "Manifest Destiny" as the banner for the next major arc of the X-Franchise?

"Secret Invasion: X-Men" #2

I guess because of the connotations of that phrase -- the journey westwards seen as a historical necessity or the result of an inevitable confluence of events. It’s also a massively loaded and ambivalent phrase, so it serves as a warning, maybe, that the X-Men’s relocation won’t be trouble-free.

It sounds as though the X-Men will be busy; however, Amoorephilip wrote in about the focus of “Legacy.”

1) I noticed “Legacy” is almost coming up on its twelfth issue. Any news if “Legacy” has been extended beyond twelve issues? Or is it going back to being a pure “X-Men” group title?

The total run will be fourteen issues because we decided to build in the crossover with “Wolverine: Origins.” After that, “Legacy” will become something different, but we’re going forwards, not backwards. It won’t change back into a regular team book.

2) Will we see “Legacy” deal with Princess Lilandra?

Very briefly. She’s going to appear in a montage at one point. But probably his relationship with Moira is more deeply woven into the story.

3) Will we see Dark Beast again? You write him like Doctor Moreau, which is fun to read…

Thanks! I’d definitely like to return to Dark Beast at some point. He’s a very cool character, especially as part of a double act with the real McCoy.

And speaking of everyone’s favorite blue furry friend, be sure to check out “X-Men Origins: Beast,” written by guest Mike Carey and out in stores this September.

"Secret Invasion: X-Men" #3

Regarding characters we haven’t seen in awhile, uberman420 came up with a somewhat random, yet interesting, find.

I just re-read the original “New Mutants Graphic Novel” and stumbled along something that I thought would make great sense in “X-Men: Legacy”: Professor Xavier knew Danielle Moonstar’s father and grandfather. So, is there any chance this will be explored in “X-Men: Legacy”?

Probably not, uberman. We’ve got our course pretty clearly mapped out now, and that would be a detour from where we’re going. But it’s an interesting point, and it would have fitted in well with some of the generational themes we’ve had going in the book. It’s a story that should be told somewhere.

Son Gohan has his own ideas about stories that need to be told, and sent in this question with a hope and a prayer.

Us Rogue-fans have been waiting for something juicy since she woke up from her coma in “Messiah CompleX.” Will she do anything cool under your writing soon, or is she doomed to roaming the Australian Outback?

Rogue is absolutely at the center of the arc that starts with #219. She also appears in #215, and the scenes there ought to be some indication of where we’re going in that arc. I think it will be cool; it’s the pay-off I’ve been building towards since I started writing Rogue.

Sounds great, but Derek Brunell is hoping for a pay-off on another subject matter.

1) If Amanda Mueller's role becomes more recurring, will her connection to the Summers brothers be addressed?

"X-Men: Manifest Destiny" #1 on sale in September

I’ll give that a cautious “yes”, Derek. In #215, Xavier reminds Scott that the Summers bloodline was the one that Sinister watched most obsessively, and tampered with most directly. The link is made, and clearly there’s a story still to be told there. I think there’s a good chance those long-gone events will be returned to at some point.

2) It’s been all but confirmed that there are no Skrulls in the X-Men. Will it be explained why there isn't, at least from a Skrull point of view?

No, I don’t think we’ll ever get a categorical answer to that. One possible answer is just that the Skrulls had limited resources and had to make decisions about where to place their sleeper agents for maximum impact. Maybe they decided that since mutantkind are already an isolated sub-set of humanity -- and a very small sub-set at that -- destabilizing them wouldn’t have as much impact as destabilizing the wider superhero community.

3) Looking at recent solicitations, Mutant Zero's identity is about to become known. Will this have an effect on the X-titles?

Probably. But not straight away.

Let’s finish things up today with a query from Pach (who may be a Skrull). He wants results that matter. Can you help him out?

“Secret Invasion: X-Men” is a tie-in to a major event; however, similar tie-ins to previous events like “Civil War: X-Men” or “World War Hulk: X-Men” tend to not affect the event at all. Will this one have more consequence overall? And which X-Men will appear in this mini?

Art from "X-Men: Manifest Destiny" #1

Hmm. I know what you mean, Pach. I’m going to have to give you a yes-and-no type answer, but I’ll try to put that in a context. I think are two kinds of tie-ins, which work in mutually exclusive ways.

You have tie-ins that are sort of “slaved,” from a narrative point of view, to the main story arc and therefore don’t offer any kind of resolution of their own. And then you have the other type (much more common, as you say) that go off on a tangent, explore it, find a resolution in it, but leave the main arc either untouched or at least traveling in the same direction it was already heading.

“Secret Invasion” is a self-contained story that builds to its own climax and codas. It deals with the Skrull invasion of Earth, and the response of Earth’s superhumans to that threat. “Secret Invasion: X-Men” is about the Skrull invasion of San Francisco. Obviously this is one small part of the global struggle that we see playing out in “Secret Invasion” -- and you have to imagine that similar dramas are being played out in other cities across the world.

The best analogy I can come up with is if you had a story about the Normandy Landings in WW2, and then you had another story that was just about the part played by the French Maquis in slowing down the German tank regiments so they couldn’t join the fight. The Maquis might not even get a mention in your global story, but their part is vital all the same.

The other part of your question is which X-Men are involved. We’ve tried to bring all the current line-ups in with the exception of X-Factor, and we’ve also got some cameo appearances from characters who aren’t currently on X-teams -- Husk, Northstar and Aurora, to name but three.

Mon Dieu! Thanks for giving us something to look forward to, Mike!

Thus ends another X-POSITION. For those who haven’t heard (both of you), Comic-Con International is occurring this weekend in San Diego. That means most people in the comics industry will be fairly busy the next few days, including Marvel Comics’ X-staff. Therefore, no X-POSITION will be published next week.

But fret not, fans of the X -- there will still be plenty of news heading your way. Stay with CBR News throughout the weekend for the latest up-to-the-minute information and announcements concerning your favorite mutants.

As for the guest of our next X-POSITION in two weeks time, be on the lookout over at CBR’s X-Books Forum,where we will be sure to put out a call for questions which you can then email to us to pass on to our guests. And for those going to San Diego -- have fun!

Now discuss this story in CBR's X-Men forum.

TAGS:  x-position, mike carey, x-men, secret invasion, marvel comics

 
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