It is a fantastic time to be a reader of comics based in the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe. On top of numerous long-absent characters returning from the dead, meticulously planned long-term storylines are finally coming to fruition. Two of the scribes responsible for much of the "fun" our merry mutants are experiencing are Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, writers of the ongoing "X-Force," the current "Necrosha" event and the upcoming "X-Men: Second Coming."
A good part of the X-Universe's future is dependent on the words that flow from these two gentlemen's keyboards, so we're lucky to have them joining us to answer your questions in today's X-POSITION. In addition to all their comic work, Yost is also working on the new animated "Avengers" television show and Kyle is busy as a producer on the live-action "Thor." As you might guess, their time is limited, so let's hop to your queries!
First up is Justice Foxx, and he wants to know more about fireworks and explosions - or, at least, the mutants that generate them. He also has a suggestion that hopefully won't make you sick...
I've heard you plan on leaving "X-Force" after "X-Men: Second Coming." Do you plan on leaving any drastic changes to make a big exit on your excellent run? I've also heard the cast may be somewhat different at this point. Any chance of Jubilee or Boom Boom joining it? Are there any other projects either of you are working on that includes them?
Chris Yost: Well, when I think of hardcore killers, I think Jubilee and Boom Boom...
Craig Kyle: [Laughs] Jubilee would be on my hit-list. And I would gladly put Boom Boom on, because I think we could make it work - just as we made Vanisher work. But if there's one thing I know about comics, it's never write a Jubilee comic. No offense to Justice Foxx, but I would never, ever write that character. And regarding the cast change...Chris?
Yost: Before our run is over, the cast will change.
Kyle: Yes, quite a bit - from top to bottom. I'd like to think that what we've done in our entire run was: 1) break a few toys, and then 2) hopefully, put a lot more out there for other writers and artists to work with. We tried to pick up the stories that we loved as kids and young adults - and grown adults. In the end, we're just trying to put out more things for people to play with...and break some things we felt deserved to be broken, and maybe some things that didn't.
We hoped to create and leave behind good stories so there's more to do after we go. It's not about wrapping up every loose end and making it impossible for someone keep the saga going...or making it too difficult for someone to come in and make it their own.
Also, in relation to the cast, I think it would be pretty cool if Typhoid Mary (a "closeted" mutie) joined up with X-Force. I think she'd be a great addition and would blend in well with the current roster. I believe she's still on the loose in Madripoor...
Yost: Isn't she already in "Avengers: The Initiative?" She's part of the Shadow Initiative, right?
Kyle: I like her. She won't be in the next group of characters, but she would be a good fit. But as Chris pointed out, she's in other places right now.
Yost: But we like her.
Kyle: Good suggestion, but...no.
Chickrockguitar is excited about the coming year and had a few questions about what to expect in 2010:
1) Are there any X-23/Hope scenes planned in either "X-Men: Second Coming" or "X-Force?" Hope seemed to form some sort of attachment to Laura, and they need to meet up again!
Yost: That will be touched on soon, if not already. In the pages of "Cable," there is a scene where Hope mentions Laura by name. And if it's not out yet...spoiler!
2) Any news on that third "X-23" miniseries?
Kyle: For now, that story's kind of on hold. There's lots of stuff coming with X-23 in the future, so for fans of her, there's wonderful surprises on the way. As for Chris and I writing that third story? For right now, that's been put on ice. We've had a lot of success and a lot of happy fans with the first two minis, and the last thing we want to do is put out one that is half-cooked.
Chris and I are up to our eyeballs in work right now, so to do that kind of final chapter of our work with her - the timing isn't right. If we can't give it our best, we're not going to do it halfway. It's something Chris and I would love to do, but I wouldn't look for it in the near future...unless Chris goes behind my back and does it without me.
Yost: I've already started it.
Kyle: [Chuckles] Look for it in 2010!
Yost: January 2010.
Kyle: Can I at least get a copy?
3) How about "X-Force: Sex & Violence?" Is there a release date for this yet?
Yost: It's not on the schedule yet, but issue #2 is pretty much wrapped. Or, if not, it's close. And I know we say this every time, but - ohmigod! It is spectacular.
Kyle: When it does come out - and I think it will probably hit before we're out of the series - it will be worth the wait when it hits the shelves. It's going to be a neat way to wrap our work on the series. We kind of see that as a second ending to our time on the book. We're really looking forward to it, and it is beautiful and, selfishly as fans, we've loved the ride so far and we're grateful every time a page appears.
Hopefully, when people finally do get it in their hands, they'll feel that all that time was worth it. It's going to be a beautiful and twisted and screwed up and dark and funny and sexy and everything kind of book. For those who love our series now, I think that this will be some of the best they've ever seen from us, and it's because of the way (Gabrielle) Dell'Otto's bringing this stuff to life.
Yost: From a story perspective, our run on "X-Force" has been kind of a freight-train - there's never been that moment to do a side-story or take a breath or just have a down moment with the X-Force guys...and this is that in the most gorgeous way possible. This is X-Force taking a breath.
Ashley Keller would like a few other mutants to take a breath, and hopes they'll be able to do it here on terra firma.
Are there any plans to do another X-Jammers miniseries? It doesn't seem like they will be in "Realm of Kings." Or, will Alex, Lorna and Rachel return in time for "X-Men: Second Coming?"
Yost: I actually thought they were showing up in one of the cosmic books pretty soon, but we have had talks with the X-office about bringing them home. They are not forgotten.
Much like the leader of the "A-Team," Lance loves it when a plan comes together. He would just like to know more about your plans...
How complete were your plans for "Necrosha" when Wither first met Selene? What made you guys bring Asgard into "X-Force?" I love it, just so you know...
Yost: I think we had a pretty good idea. We knew in "New X-Men," when Selene seduced Wither and took him over to the dark side, where we wanted Selene to end up. So I think, as much as these things can be planned that far ahead, we had a really good idea of our plans.
Kyle: We are hardcore X-fanboys, so we know about her past with the New Mutants and Nova Roma and bits and pieces about what she's kind of been after over the course of her life. So we just grabbed those pieces and tried to build a bigger, fuller picture so that when people go back and read those classics, it all builds to the payoff we're telling now. For us, it's always trying to piece together what might be loose ends or bits and pieces from the past and tying them together in some screwed-up bow. So, yeah, I think a lot of the bigger pieces were in our mind right from the beginning.
[And regarding Asgard,] that obviously came once we got Rahne over the course of "Messiah CompleX," because at the point when we were first working with Wither, Rahne was not in the picture at all. So, being huge Arthur Adams fans and loving the Annuals that he did, any way that we could weave the stories he did into our own was the choice we wanted to make. So, the second we got Rahne, that was the story we definitely wanted to run with, because that felt like unfinished business.
Yost: And despite the fact that neither of us can pronounce the wolf's name (Hrimhari - the Wolf Prince from Asgard), we knew people wanted to see him.
Kyle: It's HRUM-HRA-HRI. Come on, it's easy...
Yost: It's spelled just like it sounds.
Kyle: It should eventually become a bark halfway through the word - almost as if you're choking. We'll do it live at a comicon eventually...
As a producer of the "Thor" movie, you can guarantee the character is in there, right?
Kyle: Oh, hell yeah! He is now. Rewrite!
Oh, the power of X-POSITION!
OK, Mikey is next, and he's wondering what makes a good teammate...of evil.
Considering that the Black Queen gathered herself an "Inner Circle of Death" team with mutants who have death related powers, how come we haven't seen Threnody? I figure her powers would work real well with what's going on in "Necrosha."
Yost: I assumed since X-Man was coming back in the pages of "Dark X-Men" that Threnody was going after him, and Selene didn't really want to open that can of worms.
Excellent explanation. Let's see how you fare with Derek and his can of virus-infected worms...
I'm a little confused by the T-O virus. The first batch of humans infected by Eliphas seemed to be just that - humans. The Leper Queen even died and stayed dead after being shot by X-23. How come the resurrected mutants can reassemble themselves? Are they still technically dead or are they considered alive like the humans? Some of them - particularly the Genoshans - still look really dead.
Yost: I think the answer is twofold. I mean, it is all the techno-organic virus, but you have two different people manipulating it. In the first case, you have Bastion. Now, he brought back the human villains of the X-Men, but Bastion wanted to be in control of them. So, being a computer, he was actually able to manipulate the T-O virus - kind of rewrite it - and control these people. And we've seen with Trask - and even the Leper Queen - that he can override their thoughts and actions and take control of them. These are villains; he doesn't want them working against him, so he built in fail-safes. The other thing is, these people all have to pass as human, too. So even though they are T-O infected, they are as human as they can possibly be.
With the Leper Queen...the other thing about her was that her dying was always part of the plan. Now, with "Necrosha," you've got Selene and Eli Bard, who is a supernatural creature, manipulating the virus with magic, and that opens up a whole different doorway of possibilities. You've seen a little bit of it in "New Mutants," and you'll see a little bit more in "Necrosha," but it's very much like the T-O virus infused with magic.
Kyle: See? We don't make this stuff up. We think about it.
We never accused you otherwise, fellas. Wa Luigi wrote in with a couple of queries about upcoming battles. Can you tell him who will be giving as good as they're getting?
1) Out of all the members of Bastion's cabal, Cameron Hodge seems to be getting the most facetime in "Necrosha." Can we expect him to be leading the assault on Selene and X-Force if Bastion decides to take action? Also, the real motivation behind Hodge's "hatred" for Warren has been danced around by the X-writers for years. Will you guys be exploring the jilted lover aspect of Cameron's grudge?
Yost: No. I think Hodge has gotten a lot of facetime just because he's one of the more popular and more well-known of the cabal for longtime fanboys, plus he charges from The Right, which is like a full-on paramilitary organization that's out there and can go toe-to-toe with the X-Men. We did a bit with the Sapien League, and obviously we've done a lot with the Purifiers, but, you know...Hodge has gotten a decent amount of facetime, but Stryker and Leper Queen did too.
Kyle: Basically, everyone has a role in this fight, and Hodge will have one too.
2) Since we saw his selection of Dark Riders show up in Utopia, will Tyler Dayspring be showing up in "Necrosha" to take another crack at Wolverine?
Yost: No. Selene doesn't resurrect people who are too powerful or people from the future.
Taimur Dar sent in the final email of the week with questions about two characters - one a mutant, and the other...not so much.
1) I was hoping that Wallflower would play a role in "Necrosha," but it looks like Warren Ellis is already using her in his current "Astonishing X-Men" arc. I am curious though if you guys had planned to have Selene bring Wallflower back during "Necrosha" since she was an important character during your "New X-Men" run...
Yost: I think her presence will be felt in "Necrosha."
Kyle: It already is. I think it's also fair to say that she was definitely a character we thought we might've used more, but when someone like Warren Ellis decides they want to use a character - which they have every right to do, and obviously when it's Warren Ellis, you just get the hell out of their way and let them do their genius - you know, that's when you adjust your storyline. We're just thrilled that someone else decided to pick her up and dust her off - literally - and if it's going to be anyone, Warren Ellis is a hell of a candidate.
Yost: I heard it was part of his Marvel contract. He got to use Wallflower or he was out.
Kyle: [Laughs] We love Warren Ellis. He was one of the few people, when we were being reamed on the boards for blowing up that stupid bus, who came to our defense. Never met the guy, never talked to the guy, and he was out there telling people to shut up in the most creative way I'd ever seen. And, beyond just being a fan of his work, he's like my personal hero because he stood up when he didn't have to. I mean, he didn't know us from anybody and he stuck up for us, so I am happy to sing his praises whenever given the opportunity. Big fans over here from C&C...
2) Craig, since you're a producer on the "Thor" movie, is there anything you can say about the status of the film to help build excitement among us fans?
Yost: Yeah, because there's no excitement now.
Kyle: I have to be very careful, because these are the kind of stories that can get me fired. You see, in comics I can say whatever I want and people let me be, but this is a far more serious matter. Not that I don't love the comics, but...
Yost: How about this: will Thor be in it?
Kyle: Mmm...I can't say that. I've had a chance to meet everyone involved in the film and all I can tell you is the passion that fans have for reading these books and for the film itself are matched by those in it. Everybody is beside themselves and they're just attacking it with everything they've got. It's amazing what a tight ship [Director] Ken [Branagh] is running and the way he works with these people. We have someone who is just extraordinary at the helm and someone who inspires us all - we're starting with the best.
My hope and belief is that we will get the best out of everyone involved because of the choices we made, starting with Ken. It's been an amazing journey so far, and one that only gets more incredible every day. I can't give any specifics, but I'm filled with hope, wonder, and excitement!
And on that happy note, it's my turn to offer up this week's "get-to-know-you" question with a little "Behind the X" fun. As it's the New Year, I'm going ask the obvious: What are your New Year's Resolutions?
Yost: Mine was to stop drinking Coke and Diet Coke, but I hate coffee, I hate tea, and I hate water most of all. So, I've already failed.
Kyle: My New Years resolution? I only have one that matters: I want to make the best @#$%ing movie Marvel has ever put out. And, looking at "Iron Man" as the bar, that is going to be no easy task. Thankfully we have an incredible director, an amazing cast, and some of the most talented, passionate and creative people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. It's going to be one hell of a year!
Welcome to the beginning of 2010! Out with the old and in with the new..."New Mutants," that is. Zeb Wells joins us for next week's X-POSITION. Much has been occurring to this old-but-new team, so I expect emails aplenty from all of you. As always, send them my way with an "X-Position" in the subject line just as soon as you can. Isn't one of your resolutions to procrastinate less? Hurry!