|"X-Men: Quitting Time" on sale in March|
At this time of the year, Santa has a big job. He has to keep track of those who are naughty or nice, those who deserve a Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited subscription in their stocking, and those who get a lump of coal. It’s not an easy task. That said, the editors of Marvel’s X-Men books have a much more difficult job: they need to keep track of all the mutants in the Marvel Universe.
Which mutants are off in Limbo helping Magik reclaim her soul in “X-Infernus?” Who does Wolverine have to fight this week to save his son Daken in the “Original Sin” crossover? Which X-Men are fighting an intergalactic battle in “Kingbreaker?” And who the heck has Deadpool pissed off now?!?
For answers to all this and much more, one just needs to ask an X-Editor. What’s that, you say? You don’t know how to reach an X-Editor? Well, that’s the beauty of X-POSITION – we gather individuals such as these and make them available to you, our readers. We’ve received a record number of questions, and while there was no way the editors could answer them all, they tackled quite a few.
NICK LOWE: Hello, my X-POSITION people! X-Editor Nick Lowe here. I’m joined by fellow X-Editor John Barber, Assistant X-Editor Daniel Ketchum, and the Grand Poo-bah of all things X, Axel Alonso! So strap yourself in – twice!
CBR: Our first email is from JR Oliver, who started things off with a friendly pat on the back for you:
I have a few questions for the X-editors (Nick Lowe is the man, by the way):
LOWE: Well, I’m a man. Hold on…yes, it’s true – man.
|"Young X-Men" #12, page from "Young X-Men' #11|
1) I really appreciate the X-books being more "unified" than they’ve ever been. It's obvious you guys have put lot of work into this, and it's paying off. However, what about the mutant characters that aren't in your books but in the larger Marvel Universe? Characters like Ricochet, Justice, the little girl from the Runaways, and Franklin freakin' Richards. Are they ever going to show up in San Francisco or acknowledge the fact that they're members of a dying race?
LOWE: We’re glad you’re digging the cohesiveness of the X-Universe. We’ll be upping the ante a bit in 2009. Those of you who only read one book, don’t worry, you’ll still understand what’s going on and be able to enjoy the stories individually. But for those of you who read all the books, you’ll start seeing more and more ties between the books.
As for the characters you talk about, we have plans for one of them to come to San Francisco in early 2009. Keep your ear to the ground!
2) Will we ever see the rest of the depowered mutants that were in the New Warriors? Like, what's up with Jono? First I hear his powers are "near Omega levels," then he only has powers from gadgets received from the new Night Thrasher? What's up with that?
LOWE: For this question we go to Daniel Ketchum. Daniel?
DANIEL KETCHUM: Rather than letting your all-time favorite X-Men fall by the wayside following “House of M” – and by “all-time favorite,” I’m of course talking about Beak, Redneck and Stacy X – Axel Alonso and writer Kevin Grevioux were shrewd enough to realize that there was no way that these characters would let a lack of powers keep them out of the super hero game. Hence, the New Warriors!
But with the New Warriors’ story ending with issue #20, we’ve started considering where these characters would naturally go next. While we haven’t reached any final decisions as to which stories will see the light of day (one of which does address Jono and those “near Omega levels” you mentioned), keep your eyes peeled...you never know when Jubilee might don that yellow raincoat and make her triumphant return!
|Pages from "X-Infernus" #2|
3) I’m glad it looks like Deadpool will be showing up in “Cable” or “X-Force.” He deserves some time to shine in the X-universe. How closely are books like “Wolverine,” “Wolverine: Origins,” “Deadpool,” and the newly announced “Wolverine: Weapon X” going to be to the events in the X-corner of the Marvel Universe?
LOWE: For this answer we go straight to the big Kahuna himself! Here’s Axel!
AXEL ALONSO: Deadpool will have a high profile in Marvel Universe as a whole. We don’t want him on the sidelines anymore – he’s much too cool for that, so we’ve got him playing a big role in not one, but two upcoming crossovers. First, look for him in the upcoming “X-Force/Cable: Messiah War,” kicking off in March and cutting across both titles for a couple months. If you think he’s loony right now, wait till you get a load of him in the future. Also, look for him to throw down against the new Thunderbolts in the upcoming Deadpool/Thunderbolts crossover, “Magnum Opus,” also starting in March and cutting across both titles.
LOWE: And if that weren’t enough, John Barber’s got something to say…
JOHN BARBER: “Wolverine: Weapon X” is designed to be new reader-friendly, but it’s also going to be doing a big part of defining what Wolverine is up to in San Francisco, when he’s not specifically doing X-Men things. We’ll probably be seeing some of his friends from the team showing up as the series goes on, but the supporting characters we’ll be bringing into “Weapon X” will be showing up in – and having an impact on – the other X-books.
With regards to “Wolverine: Origins,” we’ve been making a concerted effort to bring more into the X-Universe, which Daniel Way was really excited to do. You’ve seen the beginnings of that with the “Original Sin” story, which I think people really liked. As you stick around, the “Weapon XI” storyline will really prominently feature the X-Men – as in, a knock-down, drag-out fight between Daken and the X-Men. We’ll be seeing a lot more of the X-Men in ‘Origins.’
|Pages from "X-Infernus" #2|
For a long time, it was important to establish a distinct identity for “Origins;” not that “Origins” didn’t tie-in before, but it really had to establish a distinct feel for itself. Now that we’ve got a solid mythology behind the book, we can play more with the other books without breaking down the core story that “Origins” exists to tell.
Marc Tarazevits is next, and he manages to include the first Dark Reign query of the day…
1) I thought a possible Emma Frost miniseries in 2009 was mentioned at one of the cons. Any details?
LOWE: No set plan for an Emma miniseries, but Emma fans are going to have a banner 2009. We start it off with a bang in “Uncanny X-Men Annual: Dark Reign White Queen” which comes out in January. It shows her secret past with Namor and Sebastian Shaw, as well as looking at her secret present with that table full of dangerous dudes and Loki. It’s all brought to you by Matt Fraction, Daniel Acuña and Mitch Breitweiser.
2) When might we learn what becomes of Mike Carey's “X-Men: Legacy” book after the Rogue storyline wraps up?
LOWE: Very soon, Marc. Mike’s planning this stuff right now and it kicks major ass. You should hear what it’s going to be in the next few months.
3) In the original plans for the evil Norman Osborn-Illuminati, I heard that Magneto was supposed to be used, but then it was decided to use Emma instead. So now I’m wondering – when are we going to see Magneto show up and start causing trouble for the X-Men?
LOWE: There was very early talk about Magneto being on Norman’s crew, but we already had big plans for the Big M in place that were too awesome to be scuttled. ‘Uncanny’ is the place to look.
EC had even more questions about the baddies behind Dark Reign. Hey, when it reigns, it pours…
|Pages from "Manifest Destiny"|
1) Okay, the ["Secret Invasion: Dark Reign"] one-shot was awesome. The X-Men are finally being involved in the other side of the Marvel Universe again, and the person doing it is none other then our very own Emma Frost. We've heard from Brian Bendis that we'll see the Illuminaughty popping up across the Marvel Universe, and it's alluded that they'll be teaming up to accomplish “stuff.” Any chance of seeing a team-up in “Uncanny” – preferably Emma/Loki or Emma/Doom? You do have Greg Land as an artist, after all…
LOWE: The first member of the Illuminaughty who shows up in X-Land is Namor in the aforementioned Annual. As for the rest? Wait and see!
2) Will anything from the current X-continuity be used? In their recent encounter, Emma “knocked over” quite a few things in Xavier's head. And the thing that struck me most about that scene was that the location of the mind gem and Xavier's protocols would be locked up somewhere in there – should we be worried?
LOWE: Those things are still in play, but Xavier’s mind is far from perfectly back together. For now, the protocols and Infinity Gem seem safe.
3) What does Frost International specialize in, anyway? The bios from the 1970s say they were in shipping, but a lot of the Hellfire Club tech and Emma's electronics was created by Frost International…
LOWE: The main product of Frost International was actually bacon. Who knew?
Let’s move on to Giselle who’s been wondering about a certain purple-haired ninja:
Marvel has announced that Psylocke is returning to the main Marvel Universe at the Diamond Retailer Summit months ago and Joe Quesada confirmed it in his MyCup Of Joe column, but so far, we haven't heard anything about her return. In which book will she star? Any hints for future storylines for Betsy? We're dying without any news!
|Pages from "Manifest Destiny"|
LOWE: Come on, Giselle, you think we’re just going to cough up that announcement in an interview? Trust us, you’ll know when she’s coming. And it’s going to be hella big. Oh, wait, John wants to add something.
BARBER: Axel is a big Psylocke fan. He’s been wanting to get her into the book for a long time, and this storyline has been planned out for a while. It’s going to be great when it happens…
Caleb Warren sent in his usual list of thought-provoking questions. Okay Caleb, go ahead and provoke!
1) Was that Lady Deathstrike on Spiral's table in issue #504 of “Uncanny X-Men?”
LOWE: Eagle-eyes Caleb is correct! That’s her and she’ll be showing up a lot more, starting in #508.
2) Is Madelyn really Madelyn? And if so, does her resurrection have anything to do with what happened/will happen in “X-Infernus?”
LOWE: Yes, Madelyn is really Madelyn. But she won’t be in “X-Infernus.” She’ll be in “Uncanny X-Men.”
3) Since we've already seen that Madelyn/Red Queen can be in two places at once, any chance she's been appearing in another Marvel book perhaps? For instance, oh, I don't know... “Avengers: The Initiative?”
LOWE: No, she’s not in “Avengers: The Initiative.” Sorry, Caleb.
4) Assuming that Dr. Strange doesn't get over his current issues and that Magik is alive after “X-Infernus,” does Illyana have a shot at becoming the new Sorcerer Supreme?
LOWE: Let me check my magic 8-Ball: “We’re all in this together.” I don’t know what that means to your question, but the bigger meaning is that I shouldn’t have bought a “High School Musical” Magic 8-Ball.
|"Uncanny X-Men Annual: Dark Reign White Queen" on sale in January|
5) Is Marvel seriously reuniting the New Mutants "from the ashes of X-‘Infernus’” (per the image in last week’s X-POSITION)? If so, please don't make it permanent. They should be allowed to grow up, and keeping them together doesn't let that happen…
LOWE: Keep on reading, Caleb. There are big things coming.
6) In “Astonishing X-Men,” we've seen two kinds of mutants who are supposedly from alternate realities. Is this a roundabout way of introducing new mutants into the X-universe?
LOWE: Well, you see…
ALONSO: No comment.
7) When can we expect more Layla Miller? She knows stuff. And will we get a chance to see more of that future timeline she is currently stuck in?
BARBER: I’ll take this one, Nick. No comment. Er, actually, let me dodge the question entirely for a second and say: do not miss “X-Factor” #39. It might be the best issue of the series. It’s up there with the best stuff Peter David has ever written, I hope he doesn’t mind me saying.
If you’ve ever read “X-Factor” – hell, if you’ve ever enjoyed a Peter David comic – pick this issue up. It’s a story Peter’s been building to since about issue #1, from what I understand. It’s great. Does it involve Layla? All I’m going to say is that you won’t be disappointed…
And now in the spirit of the holiday, Blair R. Campbell sings about an “old acquaintance” who shouldn’t “be forgot”:
Lately we've been seeing some of the X-Men and related characters reacting to the "death" of Kitty Pryde. Unfortunately, these scenes seem totally false to me for one key reason: the X-Men did (and are doing) absolutely nothing to try to save Kitty!
I understand that any attempt to save Kitty now would most be futile, and I realize that this was partially dealt with in “Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men,” but I think it's extremely out of character for the X-Men to not even try. If you guys were going to kill Kitty, I could accept that; but to say that she's alive and the X-Men are just going to abandon her seems completely antithetical to the core of who the X-Men are. What are your thoughts on the matter?
|Pages from "Uncanny X-Men Annual: Dark Reign White Queen"|
LOWE: Good question, Blair. I think the main flaw in your argument is that you think what you’re seeing in the books is all that the X-Men do. Here’s the way to look at it: okay, so Wolverine is in a lot of books, right? That’s almost all of his time. Now extrapolate outwards from there.
If all the books that he’s in show most of what his days are full of, think about how little of the lives of the rest of the X-Men you actually see. Did you know that Cyclops is also a very accomplished Equestrian? Did you know that Cannonball has gone to every “American Idol” audition? There are a lot of aspects of the X-Men’s lives that don’t make it into the pages of the books. The search for Kitty is one of them. If they’d succeeded in getting her out of the bullet or dealing with that situation, you’d hear about it. And when they do succeed, you’ll see it.
If we’ll see it, you’ll need someone to write it, and that’s where Hi-Fi’s question comes in:
Marjorie Liu has been doing an amazing job in “NYX!” The same can be said about Fred Van Lente, Jason Aaron and Christos Gage. Any chance that some of them will get ongoing X-books or X-minis in the future?
LOWE: This one is Barber-territory…
BARBER: Jason Aaron, I’m sure you’ve heard, is re-teaming with his “Get Mystique” cohort Ron Garney for the all-new ongoing series “Wolverine: Weapon X.” So, yeah, definitely Jason.
Marjorie has a couple things in the works, too. I’m glad you liked “NYX” – I’m constantly blown away by her scripts and where she takes the characters. She really thinks this stuff through. She’s really busy in novel-writing (I can’t believe how much she writes), but she’s also a huge X-Men fan, so I’m trying (pretty successfully) to get her to carve more time out for comics.
"Uncanny X-Men" #507 on sale in March
Speaking of time and comics, Hendrix had a little shipping query…
Why did you change the schedule of the X-comics? Before and during “Messiah Complex,” there were X-comics to read each week: first week “Uncanny,” second week “X-Factor,” third “New X-Men,” fourth “X-Men.” Now it seems like all the books are released together on the same day. Is it possible to rearrange the release of a few titles, so it can be the same as it was before?
BARBER: Let’s draw straws. Sweet. Nick loses again. Make this one good, Lowe.
LOWE: Fine. By the way, John, those were french fries, not straws. This is something we’ve definitely noticed, Hendrix. This happened because of the widely variable business of publishing and the humans who put it out. For the most part, it’s done to give the various creators as much time as possible to get the books done. We’re going to be regulating the schedule better in 2009.
Lastly, Zero_Ice wrote in with a suggestion about those books you X-editors oversee:
With the increase in miniseries and One-Shots released under the X-books banner, has the thought of resurrecting “X-Men Unlimited” come across your minds? And instead of following the old formula for this title, you could use it as an epilogue or spillover for current X-writers who couldn't fit in a plot element into their arc.
This could help get those extra story elements out on a regular basis and also highlight new artists. This would be similar to what the “Manifest Destiny” mini is doing, yet still be different than “Marvel Comics Presents.” What do you say?
LOWE: Hey, Zero_Ice. Sure we think about this. Our love for “X-Men Unlimited” and its ilk is why we put out things like the two-issue anthology style “X-Men: Divided We Stand” and the five-issue “X-Men: Manifest Destiny.” The problem with just having “X-Men Unlimited” as an ongoing is that it doesn’t sell very well historically. So we’re trying to figure out ways to make anthologies more valuable to the readers by tying them into the storylines currently going on in the X-side of the Marvel U.
Anyway, thanks for the questions, faithful X-Positioners. I’m going to get back to my Left Sock Collection. See you next time!
Looking at all the email we received this time, I’m sure our readers are counting the days until you editors return. Thanks fellas!
That’s all for this week, but X-POSITION will be back in seven days with writer Christopher Yost who will answer your questions about “X-Men: Kingbreaker” – the outer space adventure starring Havok, Vulcan, the Starjammers, and a bevy of aliens and mutants. And if he has time, Yost may even answer queries about those other X-titles he writes (“X-Force,” for example).
So be sure to send me those emails quicker than a fat man in a red suit can scurry up a chimney. Throw an “X-Position” in the subject line, and we’ll make sure to gift-wrap and deliver it to our guest at no extra charge. At X-POSITION, we’re all about providing the fans with the exclusives you deserve.