X-POSITION: Matt Fraction

Tue, February 24th, 2009 at 1:24pm PST | Updated: February 24th, 2009 at 2:37pm

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer
162

"Uncanny X-Men" #507 (pictured: Michael Golden variant) on sale March 18

Gilbert Wells once said, “The man who has no secrets from his wife either has no secrets or no wife.”

This may go a long way towards explaining why the X-Men Scott Summers and Emma Frost haven’t married yet. The man called Cyclops is keeping secrets a-plenty, especially when it comes to his own little wetworks team – X-Force. Of course, as demonstrated by the White Queen’s involvement with Norman Osborn’s Cabal and her old relationship with Namor (as revealed in “Uncanny X-Men Annual” #2), she’s hiding several cards from Scott as well.

Obviously, this is not the foundation for a healthy relationship.

As the de facto momma and poppa of the X-Men, Scott and Emma have important roles to play with respect to the team and all of Marvel's mutantkind. Therefore, this special couple is of great interest to the writer of “Uncanny X-Men,” Matt Fraction, who joins us today to answer your questions about Scott and Emma and all that is going on in the X-Universe. Let’s get this party moving!

Story continues below

CBR: Damion Dillard starts us off with the topic du jour…

I was wondering if the relationship with Emma and Scott will change in the near future, because of her newly-revealed relationship with Namor? And what about her ties to Norman Osborn?

Matt Fraction: The relationship between Scott and Emma is very much the axis around which the X-world is turning for me at the moment: the secrets they keep from another, and why, and for how long they'll be able to manage. I like writing Scott in love, but I love writing Scott in trouble. And Emma is just fabulous no matter what the situation. He's made his Faustian pacts, and now, with Osborn, so has Emma. How many secrets and lies can these two take? I'm not wholly sure, but it'll be a blast finding out.

So the answer is…kinda?

And with regards to Emma's relationship with Namor…hoo, boy. Could you imagine having to contend with him as one of your girlfriend's Evil Exes?

Artwork from "Uncanny X-Men" #507

Lacrymo is up next, and he was wondering about another special relationship Matt Fraction has a vested interest in.

Hi, Matt! Just a quick question, but first, I want you to know that you rock on the Marvel mutants. So I’m wondering if Ed Brubaker is still your co-writer on “Uncanny,” or are you its sole writer for the foreseeable future?

Hey, thanks. Ed remains my heterosexual lifemate, but is no longer involved in the writing of the X-books. Some of the goals and landmarks we carved out together remain on the roadmap, however, so even while he may not be the one producing scripts, your “Uncanny X-Men” will have that Bit-O-Bru for a while to come yet.

Fab-Bru-lous! Sugarbomb sent in a couple of questions. Let’s see what you think of these apples…

With “Young X-Men” ending, will some of its characters like Anole and Cipher be appearing as part of Uncanny X-Men's rotating cast?

Haven't you heard? They're all dying.

I'm just kidding. Sort of.

Without going into where “Young X-Men” is wrapping up, we have plans for the kids, yes. They're too great a cast of characters to let fade into the ether. They'll be around the X-verse – I promise.

Will Beast's science team bring about any new developments or answers in regards to M-Day?

That, m'friend, is the X-Club's reason for existing. In fact, we see them making their first stab at the M-Day Mystery in “Uncanny X-Men” #512, a biggie-sized standalone issue drawn by the inimitable Yannick Paquette. Astute readers will be able to guess what the issue is about based on the X-club's conversations with one another in the lead-up to the issue…or you can just read Previews in, like, a month.

Artwork from "Uncanny X-Men" #507

Chris wrote in with the first Psylocke question of the week:

So I hear Psylocke is returning to the X-Books in big style during the Sisterhood arc, right? Will she just come out of nowhere and say "Hi, I'm back" or is there more? What are your plans for her from now on?

Who?

Ah, that joke never gets old. To me.

Psylocke is indeed making her way back to our corner of the X-verse. How she gets here, why, who does it, and what it all means is really at the heart of the ‘Sisterhood’ arc – it explains everything about who the Sisterhood are, what brought them together, and what they've been up to since...what, “Uncanny” #499 or whatever it was when we first saw the Red Queen putting her girls in place.

We anticipate lots of Psylocke email around that time. Next, it seems that there are a bunch of things that make Aspbros go “Hm.” How about some explanations that make him say, “Ah…”

When writing “Uncanny,” how do you balance the story you are trying to tell with what is going on with Dark Reign, Messiah War, and War of Kings? Do you disregard those other events until they’re through? It seems the X-characters are spread very thin…

Let's go backwards, Aspbros, and I'll kind of explain my process along the way. With War of Kings, it's fairly easy to stay out of the way, simply because it's a story that takes place so far away – physically – from where “Uncanny” occurs. Everybody talks to everybody else, so we're all more or less kept abreast of what's cooking and are always on the lookout for what's coming or how to help.

With Messiah War, I've been following what John Barber, Duane Swierczynski, Craig Kyle, and Chris Yost have been up to and have been doing my best to aid and abet them as needed. It's a terrific story, and a hugely relevant one, but for the time being it's contained in their corners. Again, anything I've been able to do – if nothing else, just to make it clear we're all in communication – I've tried to do.

Artwork from "Uncanny X-Men" #507

If I can digress for a second, one of the things that Axel Alonso, Nick Lowe, and John Barber have all really pushed to do is to transform the X-line into a coherent family of books, where each family member has a unique identity and a specific purpose, but stands alone and is satisfying on its own terms. So if you want to read just “X-Force,” then you'll be getting the best “X-Force” book that can be and you'll not feel like you're only getting 1/20th of the story. If you read everything, on the other hand, you'll see just how much interconnection and interoffice communication there is. We really do have a plan and specific goals, and everybody's trying to make everybody else look good.

So, okay, now Dark Reign falls squarely in my wheelhouse. I was there in the early stages of its planning, and we just found ourselves in a really synchronous place with it and with where we were, story-wise. We knew we needed to counterbalance what Scott was up to with something Emma would be up to, and start to play them against one another a little bit. And then Dark Reign fell in our laps.

Once we got involved in the flow of the event, it just got easier, as Brian Bendis and I were able to (hopefully) strengthen one another's stories. And, too – I might be the only guy that feels like this, I don't know – this job is pretty solitary. It's a welcome change to work with somebody; to have someone to talk to aside from the cats.

So I guess that's a long way of saying that – disregarding the events don't serve anyone – respecting the parameters of the events and helping your fellow creators out makes everything better in the end.

How do you view the X-Men as a group when writing them? Are they friends, family, co-workers, or an army? Is there a core group anymore in your mind?

Like a family that's been drafted all at once. Like the Corleone boys sitting around the dinner table at the end of “Godfather II” or something. Families aren't forged by the good times, you know? And things are grim for mutantkind right now. More grim than ever. Scott's leading the fight for the survival of an entire species – that's gonna bring out all kinds of dynamics. I love figuring out how the characters react to one another reacting: Nightcrawler and Emma, Beast and Angel, Scott and...everyone.

"Uncanny X-Men" #507

The core group is irrevocably tied to screen-time and popularity, I think. They resonate because they're great characters, you know? For me, the core of this group right now is Scott. All these stories are unfolding from him right now...

Depending on how you answer the previous question, I’m curious on how you see Scott’s plans for the mutants in San Francisco. He called all the mutants to the city as a safe haven, but isn’t having all the mutants in the same city just making them an easier target? And what is he doing to check in on the other mutants in town? How is he being responsible as their leader to ensure they’re all trained and taken care of?

It's surely more safe than holing up in a big X-shaped mansion that's been blown up more times than an air-mattress at Thanksgiving. It's three cities, expansive geography, surrounded by people that actually welcome them and what they represent. In short, it's just what he needs for his people to feel connected to humanity rather than isolated.

We're going to see as the months progress how mutants integrate into everyday life more and more…and how important "everyday life" is to mutantkind.

Can the X-Men take it easy soon and just play a game of softball? San Francisco has some nice parks…

Ed and I used to fantasize about doing an X-Men/Avengers crossover that was just a giant six-issue snowball fight...

We assume Iceman would hold the advantage there. Caleb Warren concludes today’s series of queries with the following head-scratchers:

Can you describe Maddie's current powers set for us?

Maddie? Maddie Pryor? She's dead, isn't she?

"Uncanny X-Men" #508

Is being fused to a giant bullet what turns Kitty Pryde into Widget?

Wow! I forgot all about that. Nicely done, sir. You win this round of “Stump the Chump.”

And no.

Assuming Hellion survives his appearance in “X-Force,” will he be featured in an “Uncanny” arc any time soon?

Either way I answer that question, I'll be spoiling a reveal, won't I? Keep reading – especially keep reading “X-Force.” That book's gonna blow the doors off the joint in the coming months.

If you were an X-character, who would you be? What about if editor Nick Lowe were an X-character?

Well, right now, my son is kind of obsessed with elephants. He toddles around the house all day trying to make elephant sounds and insists I draw him elephants constantly. We have a dry-erase board covered with them…and a coloring book, and a notebook, and every other thing you can imagine. So, for his benefit, let's say...Mammomax. Henry would get a kick out of that.

And Nick Lowe? He'd have to have the face of a cherub, the heart of a warrior, the mind of a grandmaster of chess, the voice of a young castrato, the indomitable spirit of a troupe of resolute girl scouts, the courage of a long-haul trucker out of crank and on the road for the ninth straight day, the passion of a bored New England housewife that yearns for some randy count or ribald duke to tear at her bodice, the aerodynamic design of a bleeding edge Japanese touring motorcycle, the wit of Oscar Wilde and a car that looks like the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

So, again, I'd have to go with Mammomax.

Next week, X-POSITION gives you some X-clusive time with writer Duane Swierczynski. He’s happy to answer any and all questions about “Cable,” “The Times and Life of Lucas Bishop,” and Messiah War. So send those calculating and clever missives our way with “X-Position” in the subject line, and we’ll pass them along with a wink. Do it soon – the future of mutantkind may depend on it…

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TAGS:  uncanny x-men, matt fraction, x-position, x-men, marvel comics

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