Since the beginning, one of the main themes explored by the writers of the X-Men comics has been the acceptance of the team - and all mutants - by mankind. It was Professor Xavier’s dream that one day homo superiors and homo sapiens would walk side by side as equals. However, due to recent events in the X-books, the distance between those two “sides” has grown immensely.
The X-Men have gone and formed their own nation – Utopia! What does this mean for Professor X’s dream? And what does it mean in terms of how the X-Men will interact with the Marvel Universe as a whole? Writer Matt Fraction joins X-Position today to answer all of your questions about this change in the status quo. Does everyone have their passports ready? Then, let’s head to Utopia…
Prodigial starts things off today with praises galore. Ain’t that sweet?
Fraction, I just want to say you are a champion for having Dani back on a winged horse and kicking Ares' arse. As a Valkyrie, she really stole that finale. Thank you so much for doing one of my favorite characters some justice! Can you spare any details of Dani's deal with Hela? Or is it safe to assume that Zeb Wells will be picking this up in “New Mutants”?
Well it's more than it seems, and nobody strikes a deal with a devil and walks away clean. The minty-fresh Zebediah K. Wells will be telling Dani's story in “New Mutants,” no doubt – but remember, she struck this deal at Scott's behest…
And out of curiosity, I understood why you chose certain characters (along with Hellion) to go rogue earlier on, but I don’t see why you had Sunspot as a part of this particular group? Do you see Sunspot as a messed-up, violent gung-ho character like the ones you associated him with in that instance?
I saw Sunspot, what with his history and his recent associations with the nascent Hellfire Club, as being fed up and angry with the way mutants were being treated. He'd always been shown as having a short fuse and I wanted someone in Hellion's gang that we'd all be screaming, “You should know better!” – because, c'mon, he totally should – and yet we'd all know would absolutely, in spite of knowing better, still make the mistake. Not messed-up, violent, and gung-ho, but rather, ready to take his insurrection to a physical level because his frustration was so high it had nowhere else to go.
Next, Sameer wants to play detective. Do you have any details that would aid him in his investigation?
Back in “New Excalibur,” there was a ‘thing’ with Dazzler coming back to life after a few unfortunate incidents of death. As far as I know, this was never explained. With Dazzler showing up pretty often in “Uncanny X-Men” now, do you have any plans to explore that further?
I think Dazzler was brought back to life by Jim McCann and the legion of astonishingly devoted and completely, wonderfully, insane Dazzler fans out there. And if you know how to explore that further, you're a better man than I, Gunga Din.
It sounds like you need some extra brain power. Brian has an idea where to go for that…
We all know Beast is a genius, but it seems that's his only label or purpose for being on the X-Men. Excluding Prof. X, Magneto, and Forge, when will another genius mutant mind take some of the spotlight?
I respectfully reject that premise. Beast, through “Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia” and coming into “Nation X,” has been the moral compass for the team – the man unafraid to speak truth to power; to raise his voice and say, “This is wrong;” to take to the streets and peacefully, passively resist hate-mongering psychos like Trask. I think he's been massively important.
Anyway, all that said, Hank has big stuff coming up in “Nation X.” And we have a whole team of mutant geniuseseuesusss now in the X-Club ready to take the spotlight at a moment's notice...
Could one of those geniusesuesue…uh, “smart guys” help Caleb Warren with his questions below?
1) Are the X-Men that were hooked up to the Omega Machine now powerless? Dark Beast's explanation regarding the device wasn't too clear…
No, just run down and hurt. Think of them as having to experience a physical and power-based recovery period, like you'd have after a nasty and prolonged flu.
2) Will any of the effects of the upcoming X-event “Necrosha” be felt in your book? If so, can you give us a hint how?
I could, but then Craig Kyle and Chris Yost would kill me, and I'd be a character in “Necrosha” that would have to be stopped.
Boy, we really should put a moratorium on the "but I'd have to kill you" gag, huh?
It'll be impossible to ignore the events of “Necrosha.” Trust me.
Mark trusts you, but he needs a commitment – from Cyclops.
Now that Scott and Emma have worked out their big secrets and it hasn't caused everything to fall apart – and now that Scott's even more manly and leader-y – when is he going to ask Emma to marry him? He's not much of a manly leader if he wusses out of that one…
Yeah, I don't know that Emma would particularly want Scott to, as the bard wrote, “put a ring on it.” Oh, whoa oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh…
Besides, she's made of diamond! Show me the ring that can top that.
Maybe a nice cubic zirconia? And speaking of “ice,” ProfeZZor X has a query for you…
Iceman's been portrayed as more of a "yes-man" to Cyclops lately, but in recent pre-“Legacy” stories, he's interjected and even disagreed with some of Scott's choices. With Scott and Emma's secrets coming to light, will this adversely affect Bobby's trust in Scott? And will it play a pivotal role in whether or not he sides with Beast, or remains on the team?
Iceman slides, pardon the pun, a bit more into the center of things in the upcoming year. I don't think that agreeing with someone you've disagreed with previously makes you a “yes-man,” it just means you're agreeing with them right now…and why Bobby agrees with Scott and how he feels about Utopia and everything else will be revealed soon.
And yes, his relationship with Beast is about to become very important.
Tom has noticed an interesting (and somewhat scary) similarity between two characters and wants to know your thoughts on the subject.
I've noticed Magneto has been mentioned in some of the new “Uncanny X-Men” solicitations. Now, with “Nation X” on the old Asteroid M and Scott's motives to protect the X-Men, I'm finding a lot of similarities between Cyclops and Magneto. Cyclops has sentenced his enemies to their death with X-Force and he's put a lot of Xavier's teachings behind him in order to “survive.” Some of this sure sounds like Magneto (but without as many unintentional human casualties). What are your thoughts on this subject?
This stuff is cued up and analyzed in depth in “Nation X.” I think Magneto sees a lot of himself in Scott. Scott, not so much...
I hate dodging the answer, but who Scott is – Is he the new Prof. X? The new Magneto? Or something wholly unseen before? – is a big part of where we're going very, very soon.
While we’re on the topic of Magneto and the new nation, Derek has a few questions and concerns:
1) Isn't the Utopia thing against the whole concept of the X-Men? The X-Men's goal has always about acceptance and integration. Isn't moving all the mutants to an island the complete opposite of that? It seems like Cyclops just said, “Well, we tried. See ya!”
But their government was going to start legislating breeding laws and then forbade them to be out of doors after nightfall. They haven't left the country, or really even the city of San Francisco in a way. By taking his people to the island, they'll not be putting their heads in the sand and going along with institutionalized segregation, discrimination and, as we saw in “Utopia,” torture, in hopes of it all paying off with integration down the road.
It's a defensive move made by a desperate protectionist in the middle of a heated, chaotic time. And the greater meaning of Utopia, along with its literal definition, is all being explored in “Nation X.”
2) Who exactly is living on Utopia? Is there any chance of some kind of roster list?
Any mutant, former or present, and their family that seeks protection. We've got an internal list, but I don't know if it'll be codified and released – we'd risk boxing ourselves in one way or another if we did.
I can tell you this: Cyclops? Check. Emma? Check. There's two.
3) Are Cloak and Dagger sticking around?
4) Any chance of a romance for Northstar?
As we've already seen, he's got a pretty good and steady thing going. I'd rather not torpedo that, honestly, and just let the guy be happy.
Mary Chanel 585 wants people to be happy too, so she’s curious about ex-X-Men.
With “Nation X” coming, what will happen to all the de-powered mutants? Do they have a role to play in this upcoming arc, and will they ever get re-powered again?
Everyone that wants a place to lay their heads is welcome on the island. Some will come; others, not so much. And the return of Magneto affects every mutant – active or passive – no matter what. Their presence will be felt in “Nation X,” no doubt.
Eric wraps things up for us today, and he’s leaving his heart in San Francisco…
I am sad to see the X-Men leaving San Francisco. It was great to see them interacting in a community where they were accepted – something that hasn't really been seen in X-Men comics while I've been a reader. Did editorial (or external “Dark Reign” events) require you to kick the mutants out, or did you feel you were done telling San Francisco-based stories?
Oh, man, I'm not done with San Francisco. The island is just offshore. Think of it like a floating headquarters, almost. And the Bay Area will remain our geographic backdrop – the people and the place and its character a co-star. We're not leaving yet.
And no, there wasn't any editorial interference with regards to kicking them out of the city proper – editorial really doesn't work like that in my experience. Everybody has been on board with this crazy plan pretty much from the get-go, which, as it’s kinda crazy, has been awesome.
That concludes this week’s frolicking fun (be careful saying that five times fast), but we’ll be back in seven days to talk about big guns and cute kiddies with “Cable” writer Duane Swierczynski. Read up, write up, and send me those questions just as soon as you can. And if you throw an “X-Position” in the subject line, I might even put a gold star next to your name on the CBR forums. Hurry and send those emails now!