X-POSITION: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost

Wed, August 5th, 2009 at 1:46pm PDT | Updated: August 5th, 2009 at 1:46pm

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

"X-Force" #18

When you’re part of a superhero team that has been around since 1963, the odds that all teammates survived to the present are pretty low. In the X-Men’s case, they’ve seen their fair share of casualties. Over the years they’ve lost Changeling, Thunderbird, Banshee, and Jean Grey (more than once), just to name a few. The great news about living in a comic book universe, though, is that characters can – and often do – come back from the dead. And this October, many dead mutants will rise in Marvel's “Necrosha.”

Announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego, “Necrosha” is a story that writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost have been brewing since 2007 in the pages of “New X-Men.” The tale features the immortal psychic vampire Selene, who amasses some undead mutants for a very specific and nefarious plan. The event will crossover with the “New Mutants” and “X-Men: Legacy” titles for some corpse-tastic fun!

Fans have had questions since the announcement, and lucky for them, they’ve been able to send those queries right here to X-POSITION. We’ve received our largest volume of email ever, and writers Kyle and Yost ended up wrestling with a mountain of missives. Naturally, they tackled your questions with grace and aplomb.

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CBR: Andre4000 sent in one of several emails that happened to notice a similar theme between “Necrosha” and another dead superhero event taking place this summer.

With “Blackest Night” going on at DC, you guys are bound to get comparisons between that event and “Necrosha” as both deal with powered individuals rising from the grave. Is that a concern for you guys as you’re writing? Or did you have this planned out so long ago that none of it makes a difference?

CRAIG KYLE: I’m someone who doesn’t care what those guys across the street are doing. I’m not saying that to throw out a “nasty” statement, it’s just that I’m a Marvel boy through-and-through. What does matter to me though is [“Blackest Night” writer] Geoff Johns – he and I have been really dear friends for many years and what this comes down to, really, is unfortunate timing.

EXCLUSIVE: Page from "X-Force" #18

We’ve been planning this storyline since “New X-Men,” and I know Geoff has been planning his story for a long time too. We’d never do anything to take away from his storyline, and even if I tried, when it comes to a guy like Geoff Johns, we’re not going to get in his way and we’re not going to hurt the great work he does. The situation is what it is. If people follow both storylines, they’ll have nothing but great stories to read. Sometimes, great minds think alike and that’s what this really comes down to.

CHRISTOPHER YOST: Well said. The bottom line is, regardless of what we say, someone may go ballistic over the two books having similar storylines. And while that’s fair, I would say that a) our story hasn’t started yet, so they don’t really know what it is. And b) …see a).

What about the X-Men team from “Deadly Genesis?” What are the odds that the teammates of Vulcan and Darwin that died – Sway and Petra – will be making an appearance in “Necrosha?”

YOST: It’s a possibility. I mean, if they’re dead and important to an X-Man, then there’s a chance that Selene will use them against the X-Men.

As “Necrosha” allows fans to entertain the possibility that deceased favorites might return, Josh Canavan wrote in with a few characters that he’d like to see.

With the “Necrosha” event coming up soon, I'm sure we are going to see a ton of the kids that got blown up in the bus in “New X-Men” come back (like your favorite character, Tag). Does this mean that the kids that are still alive are going to be playing a big role in this event (like Surge, Mercury, Rockslide, etc.)? Also, are we going to see a Loa vs. zombie Wallflower fight over Elixir's affections? I would happily buy a mini of that!

YOST: So would I! But to your question – one of the people listed there is definitely going to be seen. Beyond that, we’re not going to restrict ourselves to characters that we’ve killed…as massive as that number is. There’s over forty years of great X-characters available to us. But, yeah, you may well see some of the kids you knew and loved like Tag and DJ – or maybe not. We’re not going to tell you right now, though.

KYLE: Well, maybe not Tag, because even in death, those powers are still silly.

If mutants with “silly” powers won’t be coming back, does Filthy Mutie have cause for concern regarding his beloved Maggot?

EXCLUSIVE: Page from "X-Force" #18

Without giving too much away, can you tell us anything about Selene raiding the remains of the Neverland mutant camps? Will all of those Maggot fans finally have their day?

YOST: Has anyone specific – aside from Maggot – been confirmed to have died there?

KYLE: Hm…

YOST: The bottom line is Selene has a very specific purpose for who she’s resurrecting at the outset. And as “Necrosha” opens, you’re going to see what that reason is. And then beyond that, she even has a much, much larger plan in mind. Basically, she has reasons for who she’s resurrecting, and if a person fits within those reasons – yeah, you’ll see them.

KYLE: And the first of the new resurrections will be seen in “X-Force” #18.

Speaking of characters returning from the dead, Giselle Haed Kähler was curious about another mutant who has recently resurfaced – Psylocke. As Yost will be writing a miniseries about the heroine, Giselle wanted to know more about her new status.

Psylocke always relies on her psi-knife instead of using other aspects of her psi-powers. Now that she's a telepath again as well as a telekinetic (not to mention her ninja skills), can we expect her to use her abilities in more creative ways?

YOST: In the upcoming “Psylocke” miniseries, she’s going to be using her telepathy, her telekinesis, and two katana swords to get the job done. So you’re definitely going to see a wide range of abilities and use of those abilities coming up.

One mutant from the past that hasn’t reappeared is Feral, but Adam Moschell is holding out hope that this fact will change.

I read in an interview that you have no story use for the character of Feral, but I feel this is a dreadful mistake. She not only has extreme anger issues on her own, but she has a past rivalry with Wolfsbane that is classic. Wolverine also let her get mauled by Sabretooth, so if she somehow returned, she would have major beef with him. She's an original X-Force member and has past ties to both Domino and Warpath. How could you not want to use her?

KYLE: I think all of these points are incredibly valid…and now hearing them all laid out like this? Chris and I will tell the next “X-Force” writer that the character must be included in the book. [Chuckles]

YOST: Yeah, I think that’s fair. The next writer will be able to tap into that rich history that Adam spoke of, and he’ll be so happy!

KYLE: But for now, since we’ve got Rahne – do we really need the Rahne knock-off?

EXCLUSIVE: Page from "X-Force" #18

As you do indeed have Rahne, FemGeek wants to know what you’re going to do with her.

I'm loving the series, but I do have one little bone to pick with you: Wolfsbane has been noticeably absent from the actual team pretty much since it started and has continued to be so. Will Rahne get to play an active role with the team in the near future? And will she be playing a role in the upcoming “Necrosha” event?

KYLE: See? That’s what we get for trying to edge out Rahne to make room for Feral. [laughs]

Basically, Rahne has never been meant for this team. She put herself in there, and ended up eating her father…which caused her to fight for her sanity. She’s been reeling for awhile, and then Hrimhari popped in, so she’s kind of had her own story running alongside X-Force’s, but that is going to change very, very soon. She’s been a part of their journey, just more on her own due to all the emotional stuff she’s been through.

YOST: The X-Force story and the Wolfsbane story are going to converge, and it’s going to happen soon.

And as long as we’re on the topic of animal-like characters, Rick wanted to add one more to the queue…

Where is Hepzibah? She's such a great character and hasn't been since trying to figure out how to use a phone to call James in the early issues of “X-Force?”

KYLE: Where is she? I think she’s still trying to get that phone to work…

YOST: We always imagined that the next time Hepzibah sees Warpath, she’s just going to beat the crap out of him, but Warpath does have a reason for not wanting her around. I mean, what they’re doing – it’s horrible. He’s become something he never thought he would – a killer. And he doesn’t want her to be part of that. Once she got to earth, there was a change in her life. She used to be a very violent, war-like person – and while she still has that to her – Warpath didn’t want to see her get pulled into this.

KYLE: I would say don’t lose hope on seeing her in this series, but when and if they do come back together, the time has to be right for the both of them. And right now is not the time.

If now isn’t the time for Warpath to have a girlfriend, does that lend credence to Faded’s idea that a former flame might be coming back?

Warpath has his fair share of loved ones among the dead. What are the odds he’ll see his former fling Risque or his brother (John Proudstar) during “Necrosha?”

YOST: I’d say the chances are about a thousand percent. I mean, there’s a one-in-one chance he’s going to see at least one of those guys, if not two.

"X-Force" #19

KYLE: And one of those will be Thunderbird.

YOST: Right. We don’t want to be too vague here, but he’s going to meet Thunderbird.

One other matter that Sazzle wants cleared up is the “type” of event “Necrosha” is – can you help him out?

I can't tell you how excited I am about “Necrosha!” Will this be a crossover in the traditional sense, where the plot follows over into each of the three series? Or will it be a crossover in name only, where the teams from each title don't necessarily meet or interact?

YOST: I would say it’s a crossover in name only. “X-Force” is where Selene’s plans are going to start and finish, but as you read “X-Force” you’re going to see certain characters and certain plot points that are going to get picked up in “New Mutants” and “X-Men: Legacy.” So if you read “New Mutants” and not “X-Force” or “Legacy,” you’re still going to get a complete story.

Sure, it will refer to things happening in “X-Force,” but by and large, you’re going to be able to figure out what’s going on. We’ve been working very closely with Zeb Wells and Mike Carey as they go through their issues, and what they’ve got coming up is pretty fantastic. I highly recommend readers check out those books.

KYLE: This is a situation where, if you read all the titles, everybody wins. But if you don’t and just stick with the books you already read, I think you still win. It’s the degree to which you want to know and understand these stories. I mean, these two very talented guys are giving you two different shades of the story that we’re telling in our book, so it’s a pretty great opportunity. But since we’re just coming out of a crossover where you had to read books you don’t normally buy (and vice-versa for the “Cable” fans), we didn’t want to force you right back into a new event, no matter how great Zeb and Mike are.

YOST: The “Necrosha” one-shot, which comes out in October, has a 22-page X-Force lead-in story, an 11-page New Mutants story, and an 11-page “Legacy” story. And honestly, after reading Zeb and Mike’s stories, I don’t know how you don’t check out those books. They’re great!

As you mentioned that you’re “just coming out of a crossover,” Blair R. Campbell wanted to voice some concerns he had about the previous event.

I was a bit disappointed with the “Messiah War” crossover and I was hoping you could tell me what the point of it was? I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I genuinely don't understand why the crossover needed to happen. In “Messiah CompleX,” there was a lot that happened, so I think readers were expecting much more from “Messiah War.” It seems like the whole thing was nothing more than a big circle, and at the end of it both the “Cable” and “X-Force” books are basically in the exact same place as they were before the crossover. Did I miss something?

"X-Force" #20

KYLE: Why, yes, there was actually a seventh issue you didn’t get and you should have bought that – it would have explained everything! [laughs] Look, in fairness, there’s a fair number of people who feel the journey wasn’t as complete as they would have liked it to have been. But the truth is, it’s the second chapter of a three-part story.

The elements that did change are things that I think are still waiting to be paid off – the changes in Apocalypse, the evolution of Stryfe over the course of this, etc. And there are things that were put into play with Hope and our own teammates that will reap rewards down the road. But looking at it as a singular story – because there was much to do – it was a tricky tale to navigate.

Chris and I do everything we can to make the fans feel like they’re getting their money’s worth every month, because there’s a lot of great books to choose from and the last thing we want to do is disappoint anybody. This is why I offered to buy “X-Force” #17 from anyone who didn’t care for it at Comic-Con if you found me. Fortunately, I didn’t buy any books -- but I would have! I had money on me! I think there’s still more to come out of this tale, but it’ll be hard to see the payoff until the story matures over the next year or so.

YOST: It’s tricky, because this story is that “middle part,” and I think history will be the judge…along with every single person on the internet. The bottom line is “Messiah War” was a big moment for Hope. For X-Force, I think you’re going to see some of the fall-out in issues #17-18. They were obviously pulled out of a mission at a very horrible time and it’s definitely going to put a strain on the relationship between X-Force and Cyclops. And now Elixir obviously knows something about Hope, and that’s going to play out in the next couple of months too. So there are little things here and there that are going to be different because of the “Messiah War.”

The argument is Cable took this little girl into the future to save her, and it hasn’t exactly gone to plan. This girl’s life has been a little rough. She’s seen horrible things, she’s been almost killed any number of times – my god, she’s a little girl! Who knows what she’s going to grow up to be? So what are the life experiences that are going to form this “messiah?”

So, looking back, what “Messiah War” did was open the possibility that Cable was wrong. I mean, Wolverine said it to him, “Hey, you’re messing this up. This girl is going to be all jacked up.” And when you’ve got Bishop and Apocalypse and Stryfe, and people dying left and right, and X-Force killing people all around you – how does that change a little girl? In the long term, you’re going to see the effects of this.

KYLE: And one last little thing, because Chris and I think about this a lot, when we plan the hardcovers for how the “X-Force” stories come out, “Messiah War” is going to be its own separate book. So people who have been collecting the book at the hardcover or trade level – Volumes One, Two, and Three will be seamless. You’re going to see the leap to the future and the leap back home, and then if you want to chase down the “Messiah War,” that’s something that you can do. But if you’re just collecting the “X-Force” storylines, you can also do that seamlessly.

"X-Force/Cable: Messiah War" will be collected as its own hardcover, seperate from either series' collections

In whatever ways we can, we try to think of the fans every time we’re “at bat” writing – and we swing for the fences! Sometimes we get a homerun, sometimes we get a foul, and sometimes we get a kick in the nuts – it just depends. We do our best, and that’s the short and honest answer.

Hopefully, “Necrosha” is a homerun for all concerned. So let’s move on to our next question about the big event from fan Marge White.

Will Selene's former slave, Friedrich Von Roehm, be making an appearance during Necrosha?

KYLE: Who?

YOST: He had that weird mustache-beard thing and he turned into that vampire dude.

KYLE: Oh yeah. Well, I think we’ve given her all the lackeys she needs in our current run, right Chris?

YOST: That’s right. Selene has a whole new set of very powerful minions doing her bidding. I don’t think she needs S&M vampire-boy at the moment.

KYLE: You’ll be seeing more characters from Selene’s past in this, but that character is probably one of the few we’re not bringing back in this run.

YOST: Plus, he wasn’t a mutant.

KYLE: True, so who needs him?

Selene might not need Friedrich, but msierra185 was wondering if another male mutant might be making her “must have” list.

Even though Selene is back in action, when are we going to see Wither again? It's been a long time since we’ve last seen him and I'm curious what he’s been doing since he was with Selene.

YOST: You’re going to see Wither in “X-Force” #18.

Will there be a confrontation between Wither and his former friends considering that he wasn't there when his friends were fighting and dying?

KYLE: You bet your ass!

YOST: Absolutely!

Are you guys planning on a one-on-one brawl between Wither and Elixir since they hated each others' guts?

KYLE: Wouldn’t that be awesome?

YOST: Wouldn’t that be a spectacular meeting? What a great idea!

KYLE: That’s an awesome idea! That’s something we should seriously, seriously consider – right, Chris?

YOST: It’s so weird – the coincidences that shape this book: Wither is part of it, Elixir is part of it… weird.

KYLE: I wish we could say something, but it’s too soon. But, boy, that’d be great!

Thus concludes today’s X-POSITION, but more mutant mayhem is on your way next week when writer Peter David (“X-Factor,” “Wolverine: First Class”) joins us. So think up a variety of interesting, well-worded questions, email them to me as quickly as possible, and keep your fingers crossed that your query gets selected. An “X-Position” in the subject line will go a long ways toward making that happen.

Gee, with all that’s occurred in “X-Factor” lately, I wonder what fans will be asking about? See you in seven!

TAGS:  x-force, craig kyle, chris yost, marvel comics, necrosha

 
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