X-POSITION: Abnett & Lanning "Fear the Future" in "New Mutants"

Tue, May 15th, 2012 at 1:58pm PDT

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

There comes a point where every child must leave the safety of their home and wander out into the world. At this point, they will hopefully use valuable lessons they've learned while growing up, or they may make huge errors in judgment (that they'll also potentially learn from). The New Mutants seem to be at this point in their lives.

As a team, they have been under various "adult" leaders over their many years in existence. Not too long ago, they were Cyclops' hand-picked team for special missions. This purpose was revised a bit in light of "Schism," but they still had someone calling the shots in the background.

Now? Well, it seems the New Mutants have found a new home in San Francisco and are ready to spread their wings and decide their own future. This will mean many things to each teammate, so to clarify some of the questions you might have, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA to their fans), join us for today's X-POSITION to answer your e-mails. The like-minded writing team answer as one below unless otherwise noted. Let's dive on in!

Matthew wades into the waters with a few inquiries about powers and paperbacks:

New Mutants [B&W]Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning "Fear the Future" in "New Mutants" this June

1) I've been loving Nate in "New Mutants." Is there any chance we'll be seeing his powers increase? Or will he be staying at his low-level TK?

Hi Matthew! We're big fans of Nate too and think that there is a lot of story and character potential with him in his current "low-level" state. We get to see what he can do and hopefully get a better handle on the nature and extent of his powers. The more he understands them, the better he will be in using them and, who knows, the more they will return to their former levels. It's the telekinetic equivalent of gentle physiotherapy.

2) I know it's not something you can control, but it seems the "New Mutants" collections are being released out of order. "Date with the Devil" came out after the "Fear Itself" tie-in, the "DeAnimator" arc is being released after the "Exiled" crossover. Will reading them out of order throw off readers' understanding of the stories, or is it not a big deal?

You're right there -- we don't have much say in how stuff gets reprinted in collections, but we do know they are coming out pretty quickly after each other, so the reading order shouldn't be a major problem. We've always tried to start each story arc in a way that is "new reader-friendly," and hope this will help readers and make the stories more accessible.

3) Dani is awesome. While I'm curious to see her get her powers back, I love her with the bow and arrow. I also wonder, who is a better archer -- Dani or the girl Hawkeye from Young Avengers? How do you think she'd fare against the real Hawkeye?

Again, we think the current de-powered version of Dani offers much more potential for story development. She's essentially a regular human now who leads a team of high-powered mutants and that is just too cool! Not sure about who's the best, but Hawkeye's got the edge as far as experience and cunning.

It's Prodigial's turn and he has some story ideas and requests he wants to run by you...

1) With X-Man on the team, it makes sense to have Blink onboard. With her powers, she can be with the team any time she wants, and they could certainly use a teleporter. Can we expect her to stay?

Blink is going to be around for the foreseeable future and plays a major role in the next story arc, "Fear the Future." She's a great character. We were only planning on doing a story to bring her back into the X-fold, but we liked her so much we decided to keep her around, at least on a semi-regular basis.

2) Is Dani still Josh's guardian? Is he meant to be in Genosha now? Could whatever happened to Elixir be considered a 'loose end' the "New Mutants" will have to look into? He's potentially got a link with Magma, as well as Wolfsbane. Why don't you take the character under your wings? Please?

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Thanks for the suggestion. If you look back into past continuity, you can unearth all sorts of interesting potential loose ends; it's why we found the concept so fascinating. In fact, the more you look, the more you find, so we do have to be slightly selective about which threads to pursue. You need to space them out or things become way too complicated and crowded.

3) Empath is a character whom has always intrigued me. Your run opened with a cover featuring him and I was half-expecting to see him playing a minor role. Rewinding back to his 198's refugee camp days and his last few appearances, we don't really know where Manuel's loyalties lie. Do you see any hope of redemption for him?

EXCLUSIVE: Leandro Fernandez art from "New Mutants" #44

Empath is a cool character and if time and the powers that be allow, we're sure there's story potential down the line with him.

4) And lastly, for a guy who can read other people's reactions and responses, I love it how Cypher is totally oblivious to how annoying his "everything is language" demeanor to every problem that needs solving. He seems more interested in language than emotions. How does he balance the two? By the way, the scene with him coaching Sunspot on how to 'pick up' was brilliant.

Thanks. We enjoyed that issue very much. The nature of Doug's expanded powers and how they affect him and the team is going to matter increasingly. The possible applications of what he can do haven't been explored yet -- he's potentially amazingly powerful. But the more he understands the "language" of the world, the more things become theory and the more detached he gets. Doug's one of our faves.

The merry Marcus Martin sees potential events causing a few bumps in the road for the team. Do you agree?

1) Given that some of the members are involved in "Avengers vs. X-Men," will the New Mutants be changed by the events of AvX when all is said and done?

Unfortunately, that is something we can't reveal at this stage. You'll enjoy the stories much more not knowing, believe us!

2) Given that part of AvX is centered around the Phoenix force, I was wondering what your take would be concerning this event, given your previous history of working with Marvel Cosmic?

We love all things Marvel Cosmic and would have loved the opportunity to play with concepts like the Phoenix Force that are so rooted in Marvel lore, but we're not directly involved in the "AvX" storyline. Maybe sometime in the future we can get our grubby hands on the Phoenix Force and see what fun we can cook up!

Nune sent in a bunch of questions covering a ton of DnA topics. I wanted to hear the answers to these as well, so I'm letting him loose...

Hey Dan & Andy! I am a huge fan of all the books you write, and I'm especially enjoying "New Mutants." If it's okay with you, I have questions about a lot of different things you work on:

The team has forged their own path and started fresh in San Francisco

1) My first question is about the "New Mutants," of course. When this series first started off, they were getting their marching orders from Cyclops. Now, they seem a bit more self-directed. This team -- even more than the X-Men -- considers itself a family. Do you ever see them leaving the nest and setting up their own superhero shop, kind of like what X-Factor has done?

Hi there, Nune, and thanks for supporting what we do! The team have kind of cut ties with the main team(s) by setting up shop in San Francisco. They were torn by Schism and decided that even though they were 'Team Cyclops,' the time was right to leave home. They are no longer the "X-babies" and are finding their own place in the world and their own role in the X-Men family.

2) I've really been enjoying "Resurrection Man" (for the record, I enjoyed it the first time you had a run with it). How exactly was it "resurrected?" I was surprised (and glad) it was given a second chance...

We were very lucky to get a second shot at telling Mitch's story again. It was [DC Comics editor] Eddie Berganza's idea; he was our editor the first time around and saw the chance to resurrect the title (pun intended!) and we jumped at the chance to present Mitch to a brand new audience and to take a slightly different approach with his origin and powers. It's been great fun.

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3) Dan, your "New Deadwardians" is awesome! I like the way you are playing around with genres. What were your influences on this series? I feel like I'm seeing a bit of "Downton Abbey," "Bram Stoker's Dracula," and "Sherlock Holmes" all at the same time.

Dan Abnett: Thank you. Yes, it's definitely a bit of all of those, though I was working on the concept before "Downton Abbey" aired. Basically, I had no particular desire to invent a new vampire-and-zombies story, because I think there are plenty enough of them around right now. But when the idea popped up, I thought it was quite a worthwhile, different take, and the mannered, class-stratified nature of Edwardian society suite fit perfectly.

4) I hope I'm not wrong in assuming that you've seen the "Avengers" movie. What did you think of the introduction of the Chitauri? It's not someone you've used in your cosmic adventures, but now that they've been introduced to fans, can you see a place for them in Marvel's cosmic universe? Have you discussed this with Marvel at all?

It's a great movie. We both loved it. The Chitauri are pretty good cosmic thugs with some great bio-tech, and we can see them popping up in the comics, though we haven't discussed the idea with Marvel yet.

5) Were you surprised by the epilogue at the end of the movie? Did you know it was coming?

There had been rumors we'd heard about, but when we saw it on the screen, we squeaked with pure childish delight! It was seriously awesome!

Following the "Fear" arc, the team will "Fight the Future"
Covers to "New Mutants" #47 & #48 by John Tyler Christopher

6) I know a "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie has been discussed at Marvel? Do you think there's any chance that you might be brought in to consult, the same way other writers consulted on the other Marvel films? Nobody knows more about Marvel's cosmic universe than you two guys!

If that happened we would be very, very happy campers indeed. Whether we were involved or not, it would be something we'd love to see happen.

And now, it's time for our weekly get-to-know-you question that we call "Behind the X." Let's try this one out: name a movie that's loved by many, but you, however, don't quite see its appeal...

Andy Lanning: "Transformers." Lot of noise to eyes and ears!

Abnett: For me, it's often films -- including pretty good films -- that out-stay their welcome; the new Batman movies, for example, and "Avatar." There are lots of really great things about those films, and I love the fact that the filmmakers have taken genre seriously, but I'd have loved them if they'd just been a little more briskly paced and less, um, indulgent. I think a film has failed on some pretty basic level if you're sitting watching the final scenes wishing it had ended twenty or thirty minutes earlier, and you can't tell why it didn't.

That puts a pretty little bow on today's X-POSITION gift! Be sure to return next week though when writer Victor Gischler stops in to answer inquiries about "X-Men." His run on the book is ending, so if you're holding any question marks in your head, jot them down in an e-mail and send them to me as quickly as you can. Throw an "X-Position" in the subject line and your life will improve by 15% -- guaranteed! See you in seven!

TAGS:  x-position, marvel comics, new mutants, dan abnett, andy lanning, exiled, fear the future

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