X-POSITION: Duane Swierczynski

Wed, March 17th, 2010 at 11:58am PDT

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

A New Hope

Hope is coming to the X-Men – figuratively and literally – in the pages of the upcoming “X-Men: Second Coming.” As a refresher, Hope was the first mutant baby born since the events of “House of M,” in which Scarlet Witch magically made it so “no more mutants” could be born (in addition to drastically reducing the number of Homo Superior worldwide).

Bishop and Cable (both mutants from the future) insist that Hope’s role in mutantkind’s destiny is something that cannot be ignored. Cable views her as a savior of their race, however, while Bishop views her as one who will doom their kind. This led to a chase through time, with Bishop hunting Cable and Hope in an effort to kill this influential redheaded mutant.

Now, after twenty-four issues of “Cable,” the chase is over. Bishop is stranded in the future, and Cable and Hope end a (roughly) twenty year chase to come back to the present. What does this return mean? And what have the two characters learned from their journey? Let’s find out as “Cable” writer Duane Swierczynski joins us for today’s X-POSITION x-travaganza! Put on your party hats and let’s get to it…

Story continues below

Cable/Deadpool #25"Cable/Deadpool" #25

Grey has a few questions that he wants some black-or-white answers for:

I’m a huge “Cable” fan, and I’m sad to see this series come to an end. I have a bunch of questions for you:

1) Why do you think Cable didn’t tell Hope about the X-Men or about being a mutant sooner?

Thanks, Grey. I’m sorry to see the series end, too. But our plan all along was to tell this specific story, then bring Hope back to the present. Why didn’t Cable say anything earlier? From the beginning, Cable’s been determined to let Hope choose her own path. His mission wasn’t to nudge her one way or the other. It was to keep her alive until she was able to make her own choice. And now, she has.

2) Are there any untold tales of Cable/Hope that you would have liked to write?

I had a chance to do a little of that with the “A Girl Named Hope” backup stories (collected in the one-shot: “X-Men: Hope” #1), but it would certainly be fun to do more.

3) In the last issue, Bishop doubts himself for the first time…why now?

All along Bishop’s had the idea that fate’s been guiding his actions. No matter how desperate things seemed, no matter how impossible, fate would pull his butt out of the fire and let him complete his mission. But now, it’s clear “fate” wasn’t on Bishop’s side…because Bishop has seemingly lost. I see it as a kind of a Biblical, “Lord, why have you forsaken me?” kind of moment.

4) Has Cable ever discussed the Phoenix with Hope?

He’s barely talked about the X-Men or being a mutant. I don’t think he’d open up that blazing can of worms.

Adam is curious about Bishop’s past and future. What do you say?

1) I've really enjoyed your run on “Cable” and the Bishop miniseries. You planted a couple of self-proclaimed X-Men in Bishop's backstory. Both of them regret that the team didn't know "what" Hope was when they protected her. Did these X-Men seek Bishop out on purpose? Did Storm and Gambit/the Witness plant the seeds of psychosis in him on the off-chance that he could succeed in stopping Hope when he grew up?

That would presume that Bishop’s grandmother is Storm. That would also mean that Grandma knew that Bishop would be going back in time, which is a huge leap to make. As for “The Witness” – it’s very possible he knew that Bishop had appeared in the past, and I’m sure he had his own agenda, which no doubt influenced the young Lucas.

Pages from "Cable/Deadpool" #25

2) I liked that Bishop survived the series, after getting his character developed more than it has been in ages. If he found his way back from the future, would you be interested in writing him again?

I’d love to. There’s a powerful redemption story there. I know I’ve said this countless times, but I don’t see Bishop as a villain. He was doing what he thought was right – and he stuck to his guns to a tragic degree.

3) Another thing that wasn't explicitly spelled out (but had me wondering) was the redhead who Hope almost ran over in “Cable” #24. It reminded me of how Jean Grey got her powers after her best friend was hit by a passing car. Was that intentional on your part, or am I reading too much into this? I wish we were able to see your scripts!

Good eye, Adam. I was nodding to a few things there, actually. And because you asked so nice, here’s my panel description from that script:

5/ Cut to a second later, from Hope’s POV: a near fatal hit. In front of the Civic, just inches away from the bumper, is a 9-year-old girl – red hair in a ponytail, green eyes, holding a skateboard. In another life, this could have been Hope. Added bonus: this will TOTALLY freak Adam out when he reads it!

See? Duane totally keeps his readers in mind while he’s writing!

Above, you mentioned Adam presuming a relation of Bishop’s. Well, Valeria Kementari believes knowledge is power…can you help empower her?

Mr. Swierczynski, did you intend for Storm to be Bishop’s grandmother in “The Times and Lives of Lucas Bishop?” A lot of fans seem to think she is even though there was no actual mention of it whatsoever…

That’s one of those things that’s been teased for years. I say let the teasing continue!

Although you can’t reveal that detail about Bishop, maybe you can help Sharif Youssef out with his questions about our favorite time-hopping hunter…

Duane, I love your version of Bishop! You’ve added so many nice little touches, such as Bishop thinking of Shard as a little girl being branded on the face every time he blinks his eye; the fact that he lived with Stryfe for twelve years without ever allowing himself to think of Hope; that he nuked his parents in Australia; Bishop waving that hilarious badge because he really believes he’s still a cop.

Just like Forge, you never left any question that he was cracked and completely delusional about the concept of time-travel. The way he filters history into his obsession made Bishop hilarious, tragic and compelling. My questions:

1) Was your limited series meant to show that the Bishop we've been reading about all these years was always crazy or at least always on the verge? Do you think he just snapped when Hope was born?

I really appreciate the kind words, Sharif. I don’t think Bishop was always crazy. He grew up hearing about this monster who had ruined everything – but only when the events of “Messiah CompleX” drew near did he realize that, “Oh crap, it’s happening! Now! I need to stop this…”

Pages from "Cable/Deadpool" #25

2) At the end of issue #24, Bishop seems to feel like a proud Poppa because he helped to raise Hope as a badass. Do you think all along he subconsciously wanted her to become a monster?

Not at all. It’s not so much pride as “What have I done?” One wonders what Hope’s life would have been like if Bishop had just left her alone.

3) Did you ever consider having Bishop discover that Layla Miller triggered the rebellion in which his parents were killed, and that she intentionally turned the man who would kill his sister into a soulless monster? Is Bishop's story over?

Bishop’s story is not over. He’s probably off the playing field for a while, but I think there’s more to learn about our disgraced mutant cop.

Marcus Martin has an assortment of queries on a variety of topics. As they say on Jeopardy, “Alex, I’ll take Potpourri for $300…”

1) I'm kind of sad about what happened to Bishop within this series. I mean, never once did the X-Men get his side of the story – just small tidbits of his past/their future. I truly do think that he lost his way as a hero, as he was so obsessed with killing Hope. So I just have to ask you...wasn't there any chance of redemption for Bishop at all that he could have taken?

As long as he clung to the idea that Hope had to die, I don’t think anything could have convinced him to step off the road he was traveling. By the end of #24, though, Bishop does seem to understand that maybe his actions have had the opposite reaction. Maybe he helped create this “monster.”

2) With Deadpool returning for the final issue, are we going to be getting the fourth wall jokes/yellow boxes? Or will you be portraying a different side of Deadpool? Whose perspective will this story be from?

This will be the Deadpool we know and love, yellow boxes and all. The story jumps back and forth between Cable and Deadpool’s POV, though there’s a reason Deadpool’s name appears first in the title.

3) What other Marvel characters would you like to try to write and why?

I’ve been lucky to have been given at crack to my favorites – the Punisher, Werewolf By Night, Moon Knight, Wolverine and various X-Men. But I think I won’t die happy unless I get the chance to do a little Spidey. Somewhere. Somehow…

Page from "Cable/Deadpool" #25

Speaking of other Marvel characters, Marius665 would like to know more about a certain non-mutant with some powerful pummeling abilities…

I know it’s not an X-Men question, but I just wanted to ask what’s going on with “The Immortal Iron Fist?” Are there any plans to bring the series back with either yourself as the writer or another creative team? And when is Misty going to have the baby? At the time it was coming out, the book was easily my favorite series! I loved how you continued after Fraction/Brubaker and just kept the ball rolling. Thanks for that!

Thank you, Marius665. So glad you dug the series. For a while there I thought the series would be coming back soon, but alas, it wasn’t to be. Still, I can’t imagine that Danny and Misty will be on the sidelines all that long.

ClanAskani concludes today’s verbal “assault” with two questions: one about Cable’s omission and the other about your inspiration.

1) There's been a notable absence of anything Askani-related in Cable. Is this something that you wanted to avoid as a writer? Or something that Cable wanted to avoid teaching Hope?

As I mentioned earlier, Cable was awfully closed-mouthed about a lot of things when it came to Hope. I think he’d be worried about filling her head with stories of the Askani – that it would cloud her own judgment.

2) Your upcoming novel, “Expiration Date,” has to do with time travel. Is this an idea you came up with while writing “Cable?” What else can you tell us about this book?

The idea for “Expiration Date” has been in my head for over ten years. It started as a sequel to my first novel, “Secret Dead Men,” and was about a time-traveling detective (he’d take cases in the past, then go forward to the future to “solve” them via Google). But when I started writing it, I realized the key to the story wasn’t the time-traveling gimmick; rather, it was the screwed-up family relationships. That’s probably the closest tie to “Cable,” actually. Instead of a father/daughter dynamic, I played around with a son/dead father story.

Before we go, it’s time for this week’s “Behind the X” question, where fans get to learn about what makes X-writers tick. As your answer to the last query was a bit touchy-feely, tell us…what was the last movie you watched that made you cry (and who were you watching it with)?

Geez, George – what, are you trying to get me thrown out of the hardboiled tough-guy club? Truth is, I’m always a sucker for grandfather/grandson-type weepies. Specifically grandfather/grandson weepies featuring Peter Falk. The end of “Princess Bride,” when Falk tells Fred Savage: “As you wish…” Gets me every time. And it’s not even a sad moment! Then there’s “Roommates,” Peter Yates’ 1995 “comedy” where we watch Peter Falk’s character raise the D.B. Sweeney character from boyhood, and guide him through various traumas and tragedies. I openly wept at the end of that one (and I was alone, thank you very much).

We ended on a sentimental note today, so let’s get a little “dark” next week. That should be easy enough, as Paul Cornell – writer of “Dark X-Men” – joins us to discuss those mutants with menacing motives. Be sure to read up, write those questions down, and email me just as soon as you can. Put an “X-Position” in the subject line and I’ll be sure to drink a green beer for you on St. Patrick’s Day. Ah, you X-POSITION-ites…you’re always after me lucky charms!

TAGS:  marvel comics, x-position, cable, deadpool, duane swierczynski

 
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