A New Year is typically all about beginnings. Unfortunately, today's X-POSITION focuses on an ending -- specifically the end to Zeb Wells' run on his relaunch of Marvel Comics' "New Mutants." While the writer's final issues haven't yet arrived in comic shops, the internet has (naturally) decided to run rampant speculating as to what will occur.
To answer a few of these rumors and comment on moments throughout this series, longtime Friend of X-Po Zeb Wells has stopped in for one more round of Q&A fun. So let's celebrate Wells' efforts in returning one of fandom's favorite teams back to the X-universe -- now, it's time for some adulation and adoration!
Reader Rikki Ranger starts us off on the right foot with the following:
I just want to thank Zeb Wells on doing such a fantastic job with his reformation of my favorite X-team of all time! I love the direction you've pushed all the characters and I am eager to see how "Rise of the New Mutants" all ends up -- particularly with regards to Dani Moonstar!
1) I'm loving everything about the Inferno Babies and I was just wondering -- do you have a particular favorite? And if so, who and why?
I think my favorite would have to be Face, because I'm proud of the sheer creativity it took to ask, "What if Chamber's wound was three inches higher?"
Seriously, though, I should be ashamed of myself. Still, I love how the character is repulsive and heart-breaking at the same time. Leonard [Kirk] made Face's design so evocative of the hellish isolation that he's in.
Speaking of Leonard, I'd like to mention how important he was not only to the look of the Inferno Babies, but this entire arc. He had to design so many elements, both demonic and technological, and he never phoned one of them in. A lot of the Inferno Babies were just vague ideas until he visually gave them character. He really is an amazing talent.
2) In "New Mutants" #10, it was hinted that Cyclops was looking for a potential future leader for the X-Men from this wonderful pool of New Mutants. With you leaving, will this be picked up in future issues by the new writer? Please say "yes!"
I've talked to Nick about it and I can report that, yes, this hot potato will indeed be handed off to the next writer after "Age of X." You're welcome, Next Writer!
The Inferno Babies were favorites for many folks, as indicated by our "Top X-Moments of 2010" column. Hopefully we'll see them again in the future!
Dani Araya is next, and she wants to see the New Mutants work with some...new mutants.
Do you ever see Hope and her "new mutants" joining up with the New Mutants to form one team? The New Mutants could give them some great leadership and I could see it driving future stories...
My gut says the New Mutants have little interest in going back to teaching, and Hope would have little interest in taking pointers from them, especially after her and Dani's quarrel in "Second Coming." So I don't see it, but you never know.
That little quarrel was another of our "Top X-Moments" -- see all the great contributions Zeb has given the X-Universe?
PO! has some flattering words and a handful of questions. Prepare to blush!
Zeb, "New Mutants" has been one of the best things to happen in the X-universe in the last couple of years. Finally, we are seeing the former students as the X-Men they should be.
1) Now that you are leaving the book, I was wondering if there will be a change to the team roster before you go. I've heard you are planning to kill at least two members -- is there any truth to this? And please...don't!
I'm going to level with you, PO! -- the issue is already off to the printer, and it's not looking good. This just got awkward.
2) Is there any chance of Empath, Firestar, Warpath, Tabitha or any New Mutant-related characters joining the team before you leave?
Ouch. No -- and again, the book's off to the printer already so I can't even pretend I'll consider it. I should have packed my bags -- it looks like I'm going on a guilt trip.
3) Is Karma's bizarre leg going to get replaced?
Absolutely not. (Three for three!) Remember that story about Frank Miller leaving Daredevil and making Marvel promise to not bring Elektra back to life? That's exactly the deal I made with Nick Lowe regarding Karma's leg. I'm very passionate about it, so it was a heated conversation. I thought we were going to come to blows, then there was that weird moment where maybe we were going to kiss. I don't want to talk about it.
4) Will there be any Kitty Pryde cameo or guest appearance before you depart? And what about Rahne? Does the team even know that she is pregnant?
Kitty doesn't show up before I exit (four for four!), but I'm sure the next writer will include her somehow. And since "Second Coming" and "Fall of the New Mutants" came one right after each other, Sam and the rest haven't had time to deal with Rahne's pregnancy. But I'm sure the next writer will pick up that thread as well.
That's interesting, because Derek has a query about a thread that Zeb picked up from someone else's run...
There was an implied biological link between Magma and Selene about fifteen years ago but nothing was confirmed till your run. What made you decide to confirm it?
I didn't think anything was gained by the ambiguity...for me, it made the character harder to get a handle on, and she turned out to be a hard one for me to begin with. I thought if some things were settled it would be easier to move forward.
Roger wrote in with an inquiry about powers -- and blunt trauma:
What happened to Cypher's new abilities to read body language? His spying on Xavier and the other New Mutants before he assaulted Amara was some of the most heart-wrenching writing of the year. And his using this new ability to single-handedly take out the entire New Mutants team with an iron bar? Incredible! Bring that Cypher back! (And he should carry that iron bar.)
His abilities are still there, as far as I'm concerned. He's just more "himself" now. When he's not under the influence of Selene, he'd rather smell the roses than beat the pretty out of them with an iron bar.
He really gave it to them with that iron bar though, didn't he? Nothing can take that away from us, Roger.
Aw, that's...not right. Christopher Judd has several questions about the soul, babies, and romance. Do you anything that might appease this reader? But first...
Your run has been incredible and I couldn't be more grateful for your involvement in returning my favorites to the Marvel Universe.
Wow. Thanks, man.
1) In the issue where Pixie had her bloodstone extracted from her souldagger -- how did that happen? Also, it appeared that she was projecting some kind of pink ghost from her body -- was that her soul? Or did they manage to create an entirely new bloodstone?
At the end of the "X-Infernus" miniseries, a second Bloodstone is extracted from Pixie by Witchfire, allowing her to complete the Bloodstone Amulet using two Bloodstones from Pixie, and three from Illyana.
Illyana and Pixie use the Soul Sword and Soul Dagger to extract the final Bloodstone from the Amulet before the Elder Gods can destroy the world. Witchfire disappears with the Amulet and four Bloodstones, while the fifth stone becomes trapped in Pixie's Soul Dagger.
Doctor Noc developed a machine that would amplify any agitation felt by Pixie's soul, attracting the Bloodstone from the Dagger. They were going to use conventional means to agitate her, but once they had the Soul Sword, they used it to pierce her soul, which in turn attracted the Bloodstone. The Stone left the Dagger and was collected.
So, yes, the pink ghost was her soul...but, no, they did not create a new Bloodstone. I can't believe that wasn't clear to you. Oh, wait, yes I can -- because it's insane.
2) Is there a chance you'd give us a breakdown of the Limbo kids? Names? Powers? Pretty please?
I would, but I'd have to admit that I not only made Kirk design a character with mouths all over his body, but I also named that character "Maw." Why don't I post a naked picture of myself right after I get out of the pool while I'm at it?
3) Can we expect Cannon Face to join Karma and Magik (etc.) when they return to Limbo?
I'm not going to lie to you...Face bolted and we don't know where he is. Illyana left him behind when she teleported Shan and Pixie out of the military complex. I'm sure he'll turn up again soon, but my work with him is done.
4) If you absolutely had to pick, which of the New Mutants have been your favorites to write?
They all jockey in and out of favorite position, but some of my favorite moments have been Doug's return, Illyana arriving in Legion's mind, Karma's scene with Face, Loca torturing Sam, and Dani's revenge.
5) With your departure, is there still hope for future romance for Karma? Amazing job with her in this arc by the way -- so awesome!
Zati1 closes out today's X-POSITION, so it's only fitting his queries are all about perspective and the future:
1) I'm so happy with what you've done with the New Mutant, but I'm sad to see you go. Do you have enough perspective yet to identify any regrets from your all-too-short tenure on New Mutants? Are there any stories you wanted to get to but didn't have the chance?
I guess I'm not terribly happy with how the "Necrosha" arc ended. I wanted to tie the conclusion into the Hellions and their relationship with the New Mutants more, but I never quite cracked it. In hindsight, the conclusion I wrote reads too saccharine for me. But at least I know I almost lost my mind trying to beat it.
Aside from that, there are characters I wish had given stronger arcs, but I wanted to make sure Illyana's story paid off in a satisfying way because it had been set up from the beginning, and I didn't want to leave that dangling. I'm satisfied with how it all comes together and am really happy that every character gets a cool moment in the last issue.
2) Where can we look for your work next?
I'm finishing up the "Carnage" miniseries and hard at work on two more projects that should be announced soon. If you're desperately hungry for more Wells (it's possible...), I wrote on Season 5 of "Robot Chicken" and it starts airing January 9.
Before you stroll off into the sunset, let's have one last "Behind the X" question of the day. I have one that I hope might provide some entertainment for our readers: what is the best prank that you've either done to somebody or had done to you?
(For those who aren't sure what this response means, go ahead and give Google a workout using the terms "snake woman" and "zeb wells"...)
In seven days, prepare to see what 2011 has in store for "X-Men: Legacy" and, of course, "Age of X" courtesy of writer Mike Carey. Please come up with some heart-warming and mind-bending queries, and email them my way just as soon as you can. Throw an "X-Position" in the subject line, and the coming year will be your best ever -- guaranteed! So hurry and get to it!