Over the past few months, the members of Marvel Comics' X-Force have traveled the globe to help prevent the mutant species from becoming extinct. They've even taken a jaunt through time to aid a possible mutant Messiah. After all of this, however, readers of the team's adventures have come to see that some events are inevitable; unfortunately, this includes the departure of the (relaunched) title's creators, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost.
As announced here on CBR, the writers will leave "X-Force" at the end of the recently disclosed "Second Coming" storyline. Before anyone panics, though, fans will still be able to enjoy the duo's work on the title for a number of months to come – and those months look to be busy! After concluding the current "Not Forgotten" arc, "Necrosha" and its tie-ins will occupy readers' time for quite awhile. This will be followed by the aforementioned "Second Coming," which will help conclude events kicked off way back in the "Messiah CompleX" event.
Between all these events and the writers' announced departure, readers naturally have questions – lots and lots of questions. Well, in what appears to be our largest X-POSITION yet, Kyle and Yost will attempt to appease and please you all. Let's cross our fingers and see how they fare…
Much of the email we received obviously had to do with the news that you're leaving "X-Force," so let's see if we can do something to "calm the masses." I've cobbled together portions of emails from several readers: Mirage, Evan O'Day, Sami Dawed, OrionRyking, and BloodWitch. Here's what they (and others) want to know:
A lot of the online fan community was disheartened to hear that you guys were leaving "X-Force" after the "Second Coming" event. Why are you going?
KYLE: Chris and I are old school X-fans. "Uncanny" will someday be the goal we achieve, but until then, we're going to keep telling stories as if we've got that title. When we started "X-Force," we had a very specific, massive journey in mind which involved Bastion and his Humanati. Other stories have built along the way – even back to "New X-Men" – that we want to make sure we finish, like "Necrosha."
This journey on "X-Force" had a lifecycle, and it worked out to be about thirty issues, not including (the miniseries) "X-Force: Sex & Violence," which is a side story coming out next year. So we just had a plan in mind from the beginning – we wanted to go out with a bang, put our characters in a situation that was far beyond what they could fight on their own, and deliver a story that we didn't think we could do better. So hopefully we'll end on a high note and leave a good challenge for the next team who comes along to keep the stories going.
YOST: Yeah, the great thing about "X-Force" is that it's so immediate and intense, and there's this pressing extinction coming that, if they don't do something about it, they're all going to die. And this is something you could really expand on for ten years. I mean, there's millions of ways to reinvent a book, but for this particular mission statement, it's not something you want to drag out forever.
Excuse me for jumping in, but does this mean their "mission statement" will be achieved by the end of your run?
KYLE: I will say that the events they have been chasing since the beginning will come to a head. And there will be some resolution, but the team is going to go through many changes before that day even comes. I just think that what everyone has been kind of waiting to see happen will happen – for better or for worse – by the time we get to the last issue of our run.
YOST: Okay, I'm just telling you right now – we're killing Wolverine. It's what we've wanted to do since Day One, so as of issue #28, he's gone.
KYLE: [Chuckling] We should call Jason Aaron (writer of "Wolverine: Weapon X") and let him know.
YOST: That's right! We may be pissing off some of the other writers, but we don't mind stepping on other people's toes.
You better contact Hugh Jackman's agent too. Now, back to the reader questions…
Does this mean the book will end or will it go in a new direction?
YOST: As far as I know, the book is going to continue. What that book will be…well, it could have Power Pack involved…it could have Cable…it could even have Jean Grey – we don't know.
YOST: Okay, it's not Jean Grey. Nobody likes her.
Is there any chance you'll be sticking around the X-Universe and write something else? And if so, will you be taking any of the "X-Force" characters with you?
YOST: Wow. These are some excellent questions. Here's the thing: we love to be honest with the fans. We don't like to beat around the bush and make up stuff…unless it's funny. But we're still eight or nine months out, so it's really hard to talk about future plans or endings or anything like that.
KYLE: Yeah, it's a tough thing to say. I mean, we're obviously happy, and we want the book to continue. We never wanted to put almost three years of our lives into "X-Force" just to see it end when we go away. It's been about building a cool title that people didn't have a lot of faith in when we first started, but, just like "New X-Men," people grew to love these characters.
And the X-Office has been very good to us. We've had amazing editors, and Axel has always looked after us. So there's many reasons to want to stick around in the X-World, as well as being fans since we were kids. "Who knows?" is the short answer, but we have many reasons to stick around is the second part of that. And let's not forget about all the fans who have been amazing to us since we started.
Should fans be looking for your works at companies other than Marvel?
YOST: Um, I don't know how to put this, but "Red Robin" is on sale monthly (from DC). I mean, I've got big love for Marvel – obviously – even though I'm working on a DC book right now. And of course, you're going to see Craig's work outside of the X-Men universe.
KYLE: Well, my day job is being a producer on the "Thor" live-action movie. But as far as me doing work and being published anywhere outside of Marvel…no. Not unless I'd like to lose my day job!
It's okay though, because I'm a Marvel boy and I've said it out loud. And it's not as though I don't have wonderful friends like Geoff Johns at DC, but, you know, unlike guys who can jump back and forth between worlds, I'm very comfortable in the world of Marvel. So I'm sticking around. If I'm doing comics, I'm doing Marvel comics.
YOST: And the third bottom line is, we love the X-Office – as Craig has already said – so it's hard for us to say "no." If they come up to us and say, "Hey, do you want to do X-whatever," it's hard for us to refuse that stuff because we love it.
You mentioned the "X-Force: Sex & Violence" title above. Taimur Dar has seen some art, and he's dying to know more. Hey, "Sex" sells, right?
1) Some great new Gabriele Dell'Otto pages for the "X-Force: Sex & Violence" mini were released not too long ago, so I was wondering if you could give us an update on the status of the project?
YOST: The second issue is about halfway done. I wouldn't be surprised if you see it in the solicitations by this spring, but that's just a guess.
KYLE: It's amazing. We've always been spoiled in this business – I don't think we've ever been given an artist who wasn't great, but Gabrielle is like something we've never dealt with. He's extraordinary. Every time we get a painted page, it's more exciting than the last.
YOST: It's like a gift.
KYLE: And again, that's hard to say when you have brilliant talents like the duo of Mike Choi and Sonia Oback, and Clayton Crain coming up for the "Necrosha" arc. Everywhere we turn we're surrounded by geniuses…which allows us to just drag our feet. But this being a very tight, short story, I think it will be wonderful for people because it's just about showcasing what amazing talent Gabe has, keeping the story nice, tight, and fun, and for us, it's probably our most cinematic comic – it feels like a movie.
It's a three act film, and it's real intimate, real fun, and, obviously very sexy and very violent. I think the fans are going to enjoy it, and the way Gabe has translated that story – it's just thrill after thrill. So no matter how long it takes, I assure you no one wants it on the shelves more than Chris and I. It's going to be worth the wait.
YOST: Not to toot our own horn, but we had a great time writing it, and we like to think people will have a good time reading it. Gabrielle Dell'Otto is known for his beautiful images, but he's drawn some really funny stuff with this one too. I mean, there are some facial expressions in there that are just laugh-out-loud funny. It's going to be a good time.
Has it been announced how many issues this mini is?
KYLE: Well if it hasn't, I'll tell you – it's three.
2) And here's a non-"X-Men" question for Chris: I can't wait until the new "Avengers" animated series airs, especially since I heard Brian Reed wrote an episode. Are there any other comic creators involved in the show that you can reveal?
YOST: I think it's just me and Brian right now.
Is there a premiere date yet?
KYLE: No. I don't think there has been a release date discussed yet.
BloodWitch wrote in next with our first "X-Force" query:
Will we see some resolution to Archangel's mental situation before you leave?
YOST: You're going to see his personality continue to go in a very extreme direction in "Necrosha," where he's in some pretty bloody situations. I really don't see him getting better.
KYLE: I think that's an ongoing struggle for him, and we will continue to touch on that…
YOST: …and make it worse!
KYLE: Yeah. I don't know if we're going to see him coming out of a shrink's office a better man. That's one of the stories that more of an ongoing than a "we can tackle that in ‘X' amount of issues."
YOST: Yeah. We're not here to help you people… [laughs]
How about helping Hunter Lambright? He wants to know all about the upcoming event you've got planned…
1) What are the chances of any of the "living dead" staying in the land of the living once "Necrosha" dies down?
KYLE: I think the bigger concern is how many of the living are going to stay a part of that world and not go to the land of the dead, because we're not screwing around with this crossover. Is the potential there for those that were lost to return and stay? Maybe, but it really is the threat that's posed to those that are still alive and have never been dead.
YOST: Yeah, I think you're going to need two things here: a dead pool, and a live pool.
2) There seems to have been a delay or two in the title recently, with "X-Force" #20 pushed to the end of the month. Was this done to coincide with the "Necrosha" one-shot and the "New Mutants" tie-in? Or was it simply a standard delay?
KYLE: We've had a pretty amazing run of never missing our release dates, but, you know, every once in awhile there's just a slowdown because we've all got a lot on our plates. It's really no one's fault, and we don't want to be pointing any fingers – especially not in our own direction – but going nineteen issues before having that problem is something to be pretty proud of. The guys who oversee us in the X-Office do a good job of managing everybody. If you want the books to come in looking great, sometimes it takes the extra time, and that was just one issue where that was the case.
YOST: The other thing is – the "Not Forgotten" arc? It's been packed. I mean, coming out of "Messiah War," we wrapped up one storyline, we jumped into another one, we had Rahne and the Frost Giants, plus "Necrosha" set-up to include – there's a lot going on in all of these issues. And the X-23 storyline is the focus of issue #20 which is coming up and it's great – it's gorgeous. And the other thing is, now you don't have to wait any time at all to go into "Necrosha."
KYLE: That's the real plus – you go right from a Mike Choi/Sonia Oback issue right into the big beginning of the crossover, which is a Clayton Crain issue, so we're kinda stoked. And the fact that everything is going to drop now on the week of Halloween is pretty sweet, so think of it as a Halloween treat!
YOST: Yeah, "Necrosha" – spooooky…
That will be a treat! And now, Chrisss Topher is "dying" to hear more about Selene's tricks:
In "Necrosha," how will Selene keep Bastion from getting involved and ruining her plans? I mean, she is using a portion of the tech that he developed to reanimate the dead. How will Selene keep Bastion at bay?
YOST: I would say Bastion is very aware of what's going on with Selene and takes note of it immediately…and Selene could give two craps about Bastion. She is basically, at this point, an unstoppable force. By the time anyone notices anything is wrong, it's going to be too late. And she's pretty confident at this point because she's seen the future.
KYLE: That's right. And Bastion is a machine – he has a very set plan he's been plotting since our very first issue, although he most likely will be forced to accelerate that plan. He's not going to jeopardize his endgame by acting before he believes that he can actually succeed in wiping out mutantkind. There's definitely a timing issue here as well.
Caleb Warren is curious about the details of Selene's powers. How about a clue?
Do the people Selene resurrects have an automatic loyalty to her?
YOST: I wouldn't call it automatic.
KYLE: No. More like a "forced will" is a better way to look at it.
YOST: The "New Mutants" story in the one-shot really deals with this in a gorgeous way, and you'll see it in the "X-Force" lead-up issue too. It is not people coming out of the grave saying, "We love Selene."
KYLE: They're also not saying "Braaains." They are here as themselves. They are as confused and terrified about their own situations as anyone who's seen them for the first time back from the dead. I think people will enjoy it because we didn't want to bring back a bunch of mindless undead machines – it's a very different scenario we see in there.
YOST: Yeah, they're not like decomposed weird "things." I mean, they are the characters that you know and love with the personalities that you remember. They're just in this particular situation that's kind of out of their control.
Zachary Simon doesn't want to call these characters "things" either – he wants names! Do you have a few to spare?
In "Necrosha," do you have any plans to bring back people like Banshee, Mariko Yashida, Sabretooth, Omega Red, and/or Peepers? Banshee would cause a major impact in the lives of the X-Men and Syrin over in "X-Factor," Mariko Yashida and Sabretooth would give Wolverine some major drama, and the last two are just plain cool. Thoughts?
KYLE: Dammit. Peepers – why didn't we think about that?
YOST: It's the lynchpin to the whole plan.
KYLE: Why don't we answer a few of those, Chris?
YOST: Well, Banshee is on a solicitation cover that was released this week.
KYLE: Thunderbird has been established as being resurrected, and…who else can we talk about?
YOST: Destiny, Cypher, Caliban, and the Hellions are back.
KYLE: I just think that within the first two issues of "Necrosha," people are going to be seeing a flood of people being brought back, from the most obscure – maybe not Peepers obscure – to the coolest. Do you want to answer the Sabretooth question?
YOST: You go ahead.
KYLE: No, we're not. We touched on him when the clones were used in Sinister's lab several storylines back when Domino joined the team, so we kinda felt like "been there, done that," and we try not to repeat ourselves in an arc.
YOST: And the other thing is, Selene's not dumb. There are mutants out there that are really powerful, and bringing them back would be dangerous. Sabretooth's not necessarily one of them, but there are mutant out there that she would say "no" to…like Peepers.
Okay, Peepers' mutant power seems to be the ability to derail a Q&A. Let's move on to the event that follows "Necrosha" – "Second Coming." I received several emails on this subject, but all the questions essentially read like the following letter from Neostorm:
I have questions about the upcoming "Second Coming" X-Over. I am an avid X-Men fan and I love where each series has been going lately, but with the "Second Coming," will it finally be revealed who Hope is?
I remember that at the end of "Messiah CompleX" (in "X-Men" #207) – right before Cyclops gave Hope to Cable – Hope grabbed the locket around Scott's neck that had a picture of him and Jean Grey in it. So I've always suspected that Hope was part of Jean (not just because Hope resembles Jean and Rachel) and Scott in some way. Could Hope possibly be Scott and Jean's daughter? I think it would be very entertaining if this was true because of the implications it could (and would) have on Scott and Emma.
YOST: "Second Coming" is going to answer the question regarding what/who is Hope.
KYLE: I think that's the good answer, and I think beyond that, we can't say anymore.
YOST: But some woman in Alaska did give birth to her. Was it Jean? Was Jean resurrected, shipped to Alaska, impregnated by Scott…
KYLE: [Laughs] …and then killed.
YOST: …and then killed only to be resurrected in her own baby who then grabbed Scott's locket? Hey, I think this is working for me.
KYLE: That could be a theory. We're just putting it out there. SPOILERS!
And it wouldn't be the weirdest X-story ever told.
KYLE: That's true, and we'd be proud to have it…if that is the story.
YOST: Oh, and she's going to be raised by Rachel!
Chris L. gets the privilege of closing out today's craziness. He sent in a query specifically for Yost regarding the upcoming "Psylocke" miniseries he's writing:
Psylocke is a character that most just see as a sexy ninja. With her new miniseries coming on, will we get the opportunity to finally go deeper than this and understand her motivations, dreams, and fears? She's also been changed and transformed so many times since her creation that I wonder – is there anything left in Psylocke from that little blonde British girl who first appeared in "Captain Britain"? Is there any way to unify these different incarnations of the character and make it a whole?
YOST: It's funny, because we do see that "little blonde British girl" a few times in this series. This series is really about this character reflecting on her life and just the flat-out insanity of it, and what that does to a person. Like, what does being involved with the X-Men, and all the death and all the resurrection, and being blinded, and having your brother from an alternate dimension try to hurt you in horrible ways, do to a person? How do you not snap? This is a sad story. It's basically like Matsu'o taking a match and throwing it onto the powder keg that is her life. It's a very touchy-feely book.
Thanks fellas! But before you go, we have a small bit o' fun for you. Last week, I offered up a challenge to X-POSITION readers. As certain duos become known for working together, they are often given a nickname that's an amalgamation of their names.
There's Bennifer (but we won't got there); Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA)…you get the idea. So I asked fans for their thoughts. I didn't get too many, but Bloodwitch sent in a bunch. Let's start with her! She offered up Kost, Yle, Yoyle…
KYLE: That sounds Jewish. My wife will love that one.
KYLE: That sounds like my name with a weird accent on it.
...and she sent in K-Y, but so did several others. OrionRyking, however, actually cared enough to send in a slogan for this moniker: "When it comes to comics, it just feels better when you've got K-Y involved…"
[Kyle and Yost burst out laughing.]
KYLE: We've got a winner! Tell OrionRyking to submit their address to me in a PM (on the CBR forums) and I'll send them some free comics.
Free comics and a pat on the back from X-writers? It's a good day to be a reader of X-POSITION! Next week, we continue to double-up on the fun with two writers offering to answer your questions: Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu. Between the pair, they write "Dark Wolverine," "Wolverine: Origins," and "Deadpool." That's a lot of titles, so I expect to see plenty of email from allof you.
As usual, just send those questions my way as fast as mutantly possible, and I'll pass them along. Throw an "X-Position" in the subject line, and you'll make my email server seven different kinds of happy. I can't wait to see what you come up with!