Who knew that the death of Dracula would create so much havoc for the mutant race? When Xarus, third son of the lord of vampires, staked his father at a council of several vampire sects, he upset the order of the undead in the Marvel universe. But, now reigning in Dracula's stead, the usurper has still grander plans for his people - plans that involve bio-terrorism and corrupting Jubilee of the X-Men.
Victor Gischler, the writer behind Marvel Comics' "Death of Dracula" one-shot, the brand-new "X-Men" ongoing and "Deadpool Corps," joins us for this week's X-POSITION. Read on to see what he had to say about your reader questions on mutants, vampires and the Merc with a Mouth.
Leading us off this week is Kal Jafar with a couple questions about the events of Mr. Gischler's "Death of Dracula" one-shot.
1. With so much sibling rivalry between Janus and Xarus, is it possible we'll be seeing Lilith at all in Curse of the Mutants?
Kal, I ran across Lilith in my Marvel U vampire research before writing Death of Dracula and found her interesting, but I personally have no plans for her. But it's my understanding there are other writers who are interested in using her. Maybe she'll pop up down the road at some point.
2. I loved all the vampire sects but they all still seem like cannon fodder. Will we be seeing any specific vampires in the spotlight besides Xarus and Alyssa?
Brad's part in "Death of Dracula" was a bit small, but we give him a few more lines in upcoming issues of "X-Men." He's an example of vamps who do their best to assimilate with mainstream humanity. (But he's still all vampire at heart.)
The dearly departed Dracula is on Steve Spencer's mind, as well, specifically what the vampire lord's death means for undead society.
1. In the first half of your "Death of Dracula" issue, it looked like you might be setting up some parallels between the vampires and the X-Men - two sides with different views of the future, hated and feared, etc. - but by the end of the issue this seemed to be less the case. Are there, in fact, similarities between the mutants' situation and the vampires'?
As you've astutely observed, there are parallels there. Yes. And these parallels will be discussed further. But when dealing with good vs. evil, the differences are maybe more important than the similarities, yes? But it makes for some interesting layers in how the two groups view each other.
2. It seems like most modern vampire tales bring in a good guy vamp to contrast with the bad. Any plans for vampire allies for the X-Men?
Blade might fit sort of sideways into this category, and it's no secret he might be showing his cheerful face. Suffice it to say, not every single vampire want to be a trouble maker, although how you define "ally" can be a bit tricky...especially when dealing with the undead.
3. Suicide-bombing vamps is a pretty scary concept. Will we see more of this brand of warfare in the crossover?
I think the brand of warfare you'll be seeing is pretty kick-butt. It escalates from suicide bombings.
Slaader was somewhat more critical of the new direction introduced in "Death of Dracula."
Paul Cornell was able to take the old school Dracula [in "Captain Britain and MI-13"], and a continuity heavy moon full (literally) of Marvel vampires, and turn out what has been critically received as one of the greatest comic stories in years. But now it looks like you're set to undo his development of Dracula and the Marvel vampires. Why should someone who loved Cornell's interpretation of Marvel vampires commit to yet another X-series?
>Whenever you change something up, there are always going to be people who question it, and that's understandable. Sometimes you have to throw a few elbows and clear some space so you can move forward and make things happen. I think maybe "commit" isn't the right word. A new X-series is like anything else in the world: Try it, you might like it. If not...well, thanks for giving it a chance.
Simmering back a bit, let's go to Nathan for a roster check.
Hi Victor, will the Ragin' Cajun Gambit feature much in the new "X-Men" series?
Nathan, that's my plan. I can't commit 100% to that yet because we're always open to good ideas and changing things up if it means a better story, but I'm leaning toward involving Gambit more in future arcs.
We have another character-focused question from Gruoch, who seems to already have had her wishes granted.
So happy to see Jubilee center stage! (Am I the only one???) My question is, are there hints somewhere in X-Men history to why she might have been the vampires' target?
A fair question, Gruoch. There is a good reason, but the Spoiler Chip Marvel has implanted in my brain makes me feel "funny" when I think about it too much. But no, I don't think you're the only one happy to see Jubilee getting some play. Speaking for myself (and I'm a few issues ahead of everyone, obviously) I dig the direction things are going for Jubilee. Cool stuff in the works.
Next up is OrionRyking, who, as we'll see, is set to keep the ball of good fortune rolling.
Hey Victor. Love your work on X-Men and Deadpool. I don't think the 'Pool has been this funny since the Joe Kelly days. My question is geared more towards your employment with Marvel as opposed to storyline or any specific question. Any chance Marvel is going to get wise and sign you to an exclusive?
They did sign me to an exclusive. There wasn't a lot of fanfare when it happened because they don't want me to get a big head. And thanks for the kind words concerning Deadpool. I have so much damn fun writing that guy. (And his alterna-verse pals.)
Continuing on on with Mr. Gischler's other charge, the Merc with a Mouth, Corey S. ties it together.
Love what you're doing both with Deadpool and X-Men. Any chance the two might intertwine? Why not a vampire Deadpool?
Vamp-Pool! Why didn't I think of that?! I think there is a very good chance the Deadpool and X-Men worlds could collide (as they have before), but that might be a few arcs from now. Turns out Deadpool is a pretty busy guy in the Marvel U. Hmmmmm...I think you just gave me an idea for a team-up.
Before we go, it's time for a "Behind the X," by which we might learn a bit more our favorite X-creators beyond their interest in mutants.
What is your favorite vampire film or novel?
"From Dusk Til Dawn" with "The Lost Boys" as honorable mention.
Interesting choices. Interesting, indeed…
And so wraps another famed edition of X-POSITION. But not before two important announcements! First, X-POSITION will be taking a two-week hiatus due to San Diego Comic-Con International and Marvel's X-creators retreat that follows. When X-POSITION returns, so will your regular host George Tramountanas. Our next guest will be "New Mutants" writer Zeb Wells, so send George your questions with "X-POSITION" in the subject line by Friday, August 6.
Thank you very much for indulging me these past few weeks, I look forward to meeting you again next time our George takes a well-deserved holiday!