X-POSITION: Zeb Wells

Wed, May 27th, 2009 at 4:07pm PDT | Updated: May 27th, 2009 at 4:10pm

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

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"New Mutants" #1 on sale now

In 1982, Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod introduced a new group of mutants to Marvel’s X-Men line called, fittingly, the “New Mutants.” They were everything the X-Men were when they began their journey in 1963 – young, inexperienced, and a big mess of teenage emotions. Like most superhero groups, they suffered through the ups and downs of their profession: victories, losses, deaths, new members, and changes in leadership.

Eventually, the members of the New Mutants got older and went in various directions, with a few of them even “graduating” and becoming X-Men.

But the thing is, old ties run deep. The team is back together in a new book with the same old title – “New Mutants.” And from the mail X-POSITION received, fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

The writer of the new “New Mutants” is Zeb Wells, and he joins us today to answer your questions about the mutant fun headed your way. The band is back together, let’s jam!

Story continues below

CBR: Niels van Eekelen starts us off this week with some praise before diving into his inquiries:

Great work on “New Mutants” #1! I loved everything about it, from the new uniforms to the character interaction and the inclusive way it handled the characters' backstories. Of course, expectations are even higher now, so good luck with that! Here are my questions:

"New Mutants" #2 on sale Jun 3

X-Force not only got Rahne, but several villains with strong ties to the classic New Mutants as well. Will that be touched upon in your book, or purely left for Kyle and Yost in theirs? And will we see Rahne in your book?

Zeb Wells: Thanks, Niels! We want to have Rahne peek in on her friends as soon as possible, and anyone who follows the great “X-Force” knows they have a lot to talk about. Our path and X-Force’s may be crossing sooner than you think.

So much happened while Illyana was away that it would take its own monthly to address it all, but will we see her deal with the major events that have occurred like her second life-and-death as a child and her parents' deaths?

Definitely, though I see this incarnation of Illyana as much more connected to Limbo and her responsibilities there, so she might not be as affected by those traumatic events as you (or the rest of the New Mutants) might think.

And speaking of reactions to Illyana’s reappearance, Drew Anderson was wondering about the reaction of a particularly powerful individual.

Any plans for Magneto to appear? As the New Mutants' mentor for nearly half their run, he has a pretty personal connection with the characters and was particularly devastated by Cypher's death and Magik's de-aging. Any chance we'll be seeing his reaction to Illyana's return?

I think Magneto’s time with the New Mutants was some of his best character stuff, and because of the “Inferno” crossover, I never really felt like he got closure with the team. We’re still planning the second half of our first year, and if it turns out Magneto is on the board, I would love to dive into these issues.

Sean Andres knows that emotions can run high, but he was curious about that explosive reaction from Cannonball…

I loved the first issue of “New Mutants,” but I do feel Sam was a bit harsh on the New X-Men. Maybe he needs his little sister to help him understand their point of view? With that in mind, will we get to see Husk interact with her brother at some point, or maybe even join the team? Or will the team be strictly old school New Mutants?

Pages from "New Mutants" #2

I think Sam definitely overreacted, and I think if you asked him, he’d agree. I came into the scene thinking Sam would be almost irrationally protective of Illyana. From his point of view, he hasn’t been there when she needed him many times, and this is someone he considers a sister. So, when he saw someone giving her a little bit of static (probably deserved), all those feelings of guilt and loss came back and he came on a little strong in sticking up for her. The New X-Men had a valid point, but Sam wasn’t in a position to hear it. When he sits down and thinks about it with a cool head, I’m sure he’ll see their POV.

I’m trying to focus on the old school New Mutants for now, but anyone who can shed some light on who these people are (like Husk, for instance) will probably be stopping by at one point or another.

Ivan G. W. wants to continue the Cannonball chatter, but also hopes you can enlighten him on Sunspot’s disposition – is it sunny-side up?

Cannonball is a great tactician and has an expansive power set. Is this book seeking to put Cannonball in the big leagues, or just help him heal from the wounds he suffered as a result of “Messiah CompleX?”

Also, Sunspot’s been corrupted a bit (Gideon, Hellfire Club, Reignfire). Will you address the effects of him being used and violated so many times?

Hey, Ivan – great questions. I think this book starts with the supposition that Cannonball is everything you said he is and wants to turn the New Mutants into a big league team. Because of “Messiah CompleX,” he knows how dangerous the world is, and he wants to face it with his friends.

As far as Sunspot goes, I’ll admit to being more partial to the character as a jovial “ladies man” than a brooding depressive, but at the same time I don’t believe in just glossing over a character’s past. I’ll be walking the tightrope of dealing with his past without turning him into “woe is me”-type character.

Wiznomer wrote in with a couple of questions that several readers wanted to know. Can you help them out?

Will we learn why Dani doesn’t have her Valkyrie powers with the return of Asgard?

Smart question. I’m not sure I’m allowed to answer it, but smart question.

Pages from "New Mutants" #2

Will we see any more New X-Men in “New Mutants?”

I love those characters and will have them bump into each other whenever I can, but I want to make sure this stays a “New Mutants” book (which, perhaps confusingly, isn’t about “new mutants” anymore, but a team of X-Men consisting of characters made famous in “New Mutants” Vol. 1).

Caleb Warren appreciates fine art – like the cover of “New Mutants” #1. He did notice a few details though that he was hoping you could clarify…

On the back of the 50/50 cover for “New Mutants” #1, a blonde man who looks pretty angry can be seen. Many fans took this to be Doug Ramsey returned from the dead, but I noticed something – if you look closely at the man's eyes, they look similar to the eyes of Empath in the issue itself. Intentional, or am I reading too much into things?

Not intentional, but it just might mean something. Weird, huh?

Also on the cover, it seemed more like a team portrait than a battle scene. This leads me to believe that Legion will join the team after this is all over. Is this the case?

Come on now, Caleb. That would be crazy. The Adam Kubert cover was more of a “Here’s what’s coming in the first year of this awesome new book!” more than a “Here’s what’s happening in the first issue!” kind of thing. The only hint I’m going to give is that one side of the cover has characters that are very clearly good guys. What would that say about the other side? And what would that say about Illyana straddling both sides?

Jeff Burger also wanted to know about characters that might appear in future issues, particularly a possible father-and-son combo.

Your first issue of “New Mutants” was awesome! With the cast of characters being Sunspot, Cannonball, Karma, Moonstar, and Magik, will Warlock be making an appearance? And if so, will his "son" from “Nova” and “Annihilation: Conquest” – Tyro – show up?

Pages from "New Mutants" #2

Man, how great was the Warlock stuff in “Nova” and “Annihilation?” If you think I’m going to keep my greasy paws off the character after that reintroduction, you have another thing coming. So the answers to your Warlock questions would be “Yes” and “Maybe.”

Oh, and what was your first question? Something about the first issue being “awesome?” I don’t quite understand you...I might need to hear that one again! ZING! Thanks, Jeff.

Brian is also willing to call the first issue “awesome” if you can promise positive responses for his requests…

Will any of the not-so-original New Mutants show up later (like Boom Boom or Bird Boy)?

They might be stopping by for the odd cameo here or there, but no plans for them to become a major part of the book.

And a request – please bring back Mr. Sinister's goons the Nasty Boys…

I’ll look into it.

Robbie Herring would also like to see some troublemakers appear, as well as an old flame.

Will we see any of the surviving Hellions in the book, like Empath or Tarot? Also, will Firestar be making an appearance?

Why limit ourselves to the surviving Hellions, Robbie? This is comic books, my brother!

Firestar is retired, however, so not a chance.

One out of two ain’t bad! We wrap things up today with Prodigial, who practically sent in a small booklet of questions to X-POSITION. As our time is limited though, let’s go with a query that provides a glimpse of the coming year:

First, I'd like to wish you and Neves all the best to finding the correct balance and making this a kickarse run! I am already hooked! Do you think it's going to be a difficult task to live up to this book’s name, following previous attempts? And with all the new characters and new plot elements to play with, what excites you most?

Thanks, Prodigial! Believe me, we feel the pressure of trying to live up to the original series every day, and it’s not something we take lightly. But even if living up to the memory of the original series proves to be an impossible task, we’re trying our best to take these characters to the next level.

Just seeing how these characters are going to relate to each other is what excites me the most – seeing how they function now that they’re in charge of their own team. But I’ve got big plans for Illyana that function as a thread for the first couple years of stories (if the comic gods give me that long, of course). Those have me pumped up!

Thanks to Zeb Wells for participating in this week’s X-POSITION. Next week, we’ll speak with a writer whose series is ending: writer Paul Cornell joins us to talk about “Captain Britain and MI-13” and its conclusion in issue #15. This title has brought us mysteries and mayhem galore, along with blood-sucking fun courtesy of Blade and Dracula. So if you have a question, now is the time to ask it! And, if we have time, Cornell may answer an email or two about “Dark Reign: Young Avengers” as well – hey, that book has mutants too!

Email me those queries just as soon as you can. Put “X-Position” in the subject line, and I’ll do an Irish jig with glee. Those X-POSITION readers are always after me lucky charms!

TAGS:  zeb wells, new mutants, x-position, marvel comics, x-men

 
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