"For a while, it's going to be partially a team book," the writer said, noting that the series will remain very Rogue-centric while unpacking the events of the "Age of X" event. "If there's one thing that's been consistent about 'Legacy' over the past couple of years, it's been that nothing is consistent...there's been a changing cast of one or two characters at a time and a whole bunch of supporting cast. That's part of the fun of the book...Having said that, there's a set amount of stability in this team."
Lowe joked that even though Carey has been on the book for five years, everything he's done has been part of one massive plan. Laughing, the writer did say, "Putting Professor X back at the center of the book just so we could pivot was part of the plan, but we did discover a lot as we went."
Artist Rafa Sandoval will join the creative team starting in May, and he's "one of the most visually exciting artists out there," according to Carey. "He does some amazing fight scenes with a very human focus."
The book will carry the weight of the "Age of X" story from issue #250 on (as will "New Mutants") including the introduction of new villains. "They have something in common that makes them different from other X-Men villains," the writer explained of the new bad guys led by a villain named Styx in a story called "The Orpheus Effect."
After that story, the team will be taken off of planet earth and face a threat that's been very subtly hinted at in "Age of X" and other stories, but Carey played coy on other finer details.
Carey said that his desire to place a team at the focus of the rotating cast series came from his enjoyment of his original run on the title when it was called "X-Men." "There's a huge pleasure in choosing a group of characters from the X-Men universe who can play off each other in unexpected ways...whatever characters you choose, there'll be explosions between them," he said, adding that the team that will occupy the future of the comic is rife with drama. "Obviously you've got Professor X and Magneto together...the spokespersons for two views of mutants together. You've got the parent/child relationships between Professor X and Legion. And you've got some very interesting romantic/erotic situations as well with Rogue having been involved with Gambit and Magneto."
The young mutants in the current cast won't necessarily play into future stories as much since Rogue will be leaving Utopia, but Carey said, "There are characters we'll be coming back to. We haven't put on this spotlight to abandon them."
As for other characters in the franchise, Lowe teased that Iceman will play a major role in X-Men events across the board by the end of 2011, and Carey said that the only character he's wanted to use that he wasn't able to because of timing is Cassandra Nova who had a role to play in Joss Whedon's "Astonishing X-Men." But he'd like to come back to Juggernaut at some point in the future.
Calls for a celebration of Rogue's 30th anniversary has been a recent topic on boards as well as Carey's Facebook page, and the writer noted that she'll be getting a special story in issue #250. Meanwhile, the Lowe felt that her role as the lead character of "Legacy" is a fitting tribute. "I think a lot of people forget how successful 'X-Men: Legacy' has been," the editor said. "I think that's a huge testament to Mike. He's been on the book since issue #188, and he's about to hit #250...that's one of the greatest longevities of any writer on the book."
Clayton Henry will be one artist doing more work on the series in the future, and other mystery collaborators will have a shot at the series as well moving forward.
Tune in tomorrow for more on the X-Men MMXI series of relaunches for the X-Men's world.