How do you take a stone-cold killer and turn them into a character you feel sympathetic towards? A task like this would test any writer, but Marjorie Liu overcame this challenge with flying colors in the pages of "X-23." Nearly every letter I received this week seemed to sing the scribe's praises on her portrait of Laura, Wolverine's cloned "daughter."
Unfortunately, that title has reached an end, but Marvel Comics continues to employ Liu's talents in the pages of "Astonishing X-Men" along with artist Mike Perkins. It's quickly apparent that the writer is bringing her sense of joy, love, and pathos to the book too, as a wedding will soon be taking place for the team. And while we couldn't get her to spoil details regarding the marriage, Liu had plenty to share with readers in today's X-POSITION. So let's get to it!
Polan starts us off with one of those appreciative emails I mentioned in today's introduction. It's so sweet, I just had to share...
First off, I just wanted to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your "X-23" run and look forward to reading your "Astonishing X-Men" work (I'm a little behind on my comics). I was sad when "X-23" ended, but thankfully the character lives on in "Avengers Academy!" For me, you brought Laura to life in such a way that I see her as a vital member in the Marvel Universe. Thank you for making me care about her!
I just have one quick comment and one quick question to ask. My comment is a "thank you" for publishing my letter back in issues #18 and #19. It was such a joy to see and I scared my wife by screaming when I saw it! And my question is... are there any plans for a Daken/X-23 reunion? Anything down the road that might result in both of them meeting up again? And is there any chance we'll get to see more X-23 work from you?
With regards to Daken and X-23 meeting again... I have no idea. The same is true for X-23. I hope so, but there are no guarantees.
Gunshellz is enjoying your present book, but wanted to know about a dangling "X-23" thread:
I'm a big fan of your work at Marvel so far! Your first two issues of "Astonishing X-Men" were enthralling. Is there any chance you will ever reveal who that cloaked woman in X-23's book was?
To be quite honest, I don't know. She was a very X-23-centric villain, so I'm not sure it would make sense to reveal her identity outside any story that Laura isn't part of.
Soupernatural also professed their love for your work, and they were hoping to peek into the crystal ball you kept for X-23:
I am a self-professed filthy mutie lover, but I have to tell you Laura is my favorite character. Your treatment of her throughout her history pretty much sealed the deal. I now pick up every book she's in on principle. I know that sales and marketing were a big decision to cancel X-23's ongoing, but as one of her biggest fans I was happy you had a chance to close the series with an epilogue, which was wordless and one of the most beautiful comics I've read. Thank you so much.
Now that the series is finished, can you tell us what could have been? Did you have a direction for her had you not received the word the series was ending? I know she made her choice to go to the Avengers Academy, but seeing as how she's seemingly been pushed aside and almost sidelined, did she choose wrongly? I can't wait to see what happens in 'Astonishing' with you on board!
Had the series continued I would have written an arc in which Black Widow becomes her mentor, and begins training her to be more than a warrior. Also, Kiden and the other kids from "NYX" would have come back for an adventure in Las Vegas.
And now, Nathan wants to hear about your plans for the future and hopes that they're "Astonishing..."
Hi Marjorie! I'm loving "Astonishing X-Men" so far, especially the relationship between Gambit and CeCe. But I'm wondering how long you will be writing the book for? Previously, 'Astonishing' has had rotating arcs with different writers, but I've read that you have a second arc coming up. How far ahead have you planned?
It's always hard to predict how long anyone will stay on a book -- which means that I'll write "Astonishing" for as long as I'm needed. Hopefully, that will be for another few arcs, as I have some fun stories planned for this team that I'm dying to write.
Willie sent in a set of questions that covers everything from an early work of yours to current relationships:
1) I really enjoyed your time on the miniseries "NYX: No Way Home." I miss Bobby Soul and the rest. I was wondering if you were going to touch on what they were up to. They (sort of) trust Cecilia Reyes, and I know that while she doesn't work for Wolverine's school, she definitely knows about it. Can I at least hope for a scene of them turning down a recruitment offer from The Jean Grey Academy?
Had "X-23" continued, I would definitely have brought NYX back into the book. I love those characters as well, and it would be great to see them interact again with Cecelia Reyes. As it stands now though, I just don't know when that would happen!
2) I loved the interaction between Daredevil and Cecilia in 'Uncanny' #351. It looks like she is going to be living in Hell's Kitchen. Any chance we can expect to see Daredevil swinging into these pages at some point?
You never know! You'll see at least one Avenger in issue #50!
3) Does Warbird have any other abilities besides super-strength and her combat experience?
She reveals one startling ability to Wolverine in issue #50.
4) I really dig Kyle. Assuming he survives past the first story arc, will we learn more about his background? Also, is it possible for him to get some kind of force field -- or another form of protection -- so that he doesn't have to continually play the damsel in distress? He's already been kidnapped twice in the past year...
I know! Some guys don't have any luck! We will definitely be learning more about Kyle's background, although I can't promise a force field to protect him, or any kind of special powers. We'll just have to work on him navigating the dangers of dating-a-superhero in the same way that the boyfriend/girlfriend of a police officer (or anyone with a dangerous profession) does: with a great deal of care.
Phil is also enjoying Kyle and hopes to see him hang out with some of his beau's friends and family from the north...
I'm really enjoying your "Astonishing X-Men" run so far, in particular your characterization of Northstar and Kyle. Is there any chance that Jean-Paul's sister Aurora (or any of his old team Alpha Flight for that matter) might make an appearance in the future? I'd love to see your take on Aurora and her relationship with Northstar, especially after the way you've written X-23 and Cecilia Reyes.
Thank you. And yes, you'll see Aurora very soon!
Emerald616 also sent in a couple of character-based inquiries:
I am so happy you have been given an X-Team to write! 'Astonishing' is one of the few titles I have collected from the start, and I nearly gave it up until the announcement of your involvement. So far, I have loved your first story. I tore through issue #48 in a matter of minutes and flipped through it again, counting the pages to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Also, issue #50 comes out on my birthday, which makes it an excellent present for me. Now, onto my questions...
I've been in contact with Jason, who was incredibly helpful with Warbird's character.
2) What made you decide to include Karma as part of your line-up? The original New Mutants are my favorite X-Team, so I was really happy she wasn't sent off into limbo post-Schism.
I love Karma, too! I wanted another strong woman for the team, and she's got this complicated, tragic past that has turned her into a truly fascinating character who I wanted to explore further. Also, bringing more diversity into the line-up is never a bad thing.
Gary agrees and is crossing his fingers that you'll be delving deeper into this diversity...
I'm enjoying the current arc of 'Astonishing' immensely, particularly the focus on Northstar's personal life. Are we going to see Karma -- or any other member of the cast -- get a similar level of attention down the line?
Yes, definitely. All the characters will receive a similar focus on their personal lives.
There is another character's life that fans are curious about. Please allow Kevin to explain:
You have written Jubilee numerous times in team-ups with X-23, Gambit, and also Wolverine. Each story has captured her personality and relationships with her friends impeccably. It is obvious that you enjoy her character. Now that she is currently not being used by any other writer, do you have any desire or plans to use her in "Astonishing X-Men" (or elsewhere)? I know it would please many of her fans...
I will have to look into this!
Fantastic! Let's all hope that the stars align...
And now, it's time for our quick get-to-know-you question that we call "Behind the X." I was reading your blog last month and noticed you took a little trip to the gun range. It sounded like a fun excursion, so if you wouldn't mind, could you share your experience with a firearm and what that was like?
It was so much fun! I'm a bit of an addict now. I especially enjoyed handling a rifle, the .38, and the semi-automatic. Of course, some of that enjoyment probably came from the fact that I was a good shot with those weapons (though they were all heavier than expected).
Um, let's all remember to use our best manners when we see Marjorie at conventions. Thanks for the answers!
That's all for this week, but in seven days we'll be doubling your X-POSITION pleasure with both "New Mutants" writers -- Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. So think up some smart queries and send them to me as soon as possible. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line and I'll share with you the biggest surprise of "The Avengers" film (HINT: it involves pita bread). Get busy and I'll see you soon!