Most schools in the U.S. have to make contingencies for canceling classes due to snow. In the Marvel Universe, however, schools get closed for superhuman battles! At least, that's something the students of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning have probably gotten used to lately in light of the conflict in "Avengers vs. X-Men."
As headmaster of the school, Wolverine has been a busy little mutant helping both sides of the conflict (as needed) whilst trying to keep the fight from reaching school grounds. And as soon as he gets his campus through this legendary battle, he'll need to prepare for surprises unfolding in the Marvel U thanks to the Marvel NOW! initiative.
How is all this going to affect "Wolverine and the X-Men?" And what can readers expect from year two of the school's existence? Writer Jason Aaron joins us for today's X-POSITION to answer these questions and a whole heck of a lot more. Now, doesn't that make you feel special? Let's jump right in while we're still feeling warm and tingly...
Marcus Martin has heard about your new assignment writing "Thor: God of Thunder" and hopes this new business can be mixed with reader pleasure:
1) Given the status quo changes of both Wolverine and Thor in the aftermath of "Avengers vs. X-Men," will any of the Avengers be stopping by the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning as guest teachers -- possibly in a way to make amends for the Avengers' actions in the midst of AvX when they "attacked" the school?
Yes, I would love to have more guest-speakers show up at the school. And since I'm now writing "Thor," I definitely want to find a place for the God of Thunder to make an appearance. Just in general, I like trying to integrate the Jean Grey School into the fabric of the Marvel U as much as I can, like having Matt Murdock drop by to offer legal advice. You'll see a lot more touches like that in the coming months. There's a scene in issue #15 that was particularly fun to write involving Broo and Iron Man. And in issue #19, when the hunt for a new teacher kicks into high gear, you'll see lots of different faces making an appearance.
2) Will any of the X-Men from the "blue side" be joining the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning in the aftermath of AvX?
Yes, I'd say chances of that happening are high.
With alliances shifting, Time_to_Zap wonders how Wolvie will respond:
1) How personally is Logan taking the fact that taking several of his staff members fought on the "X" side of things? I know Iceman expressed a desire that he could return after the war, but is that something Logan would be okay with? Or would he hold a grudge?
That very question is answered in issue #15, and it speaks to Logan's entire philosophy as a newfound mutant leader.
2) Has the school helped Idie with her attitude? Is she still self-loathing?
There's certainly something going on with Idie's attitude. Her story takes an unexpected new turn in issue #18, which is our final AvX tie-in. That issue sets the stage for a lot to come in year two of the series, including the beginning of a very important and dramatic arc for Idie.
3) Will we get to see more of Broo's (and possibly Quentin's) romantic interest in Idie?
Yes, most definitely. Check out the previously-mentioned issue #18.
4) What's the deal with Husk's powers being all messed up lately?
There's obviously something going on there as well. Once again, see issue #18 (boy, sounds like there's a lot going on in that issue). And issue #18 is only the beginning for Husk. As with Idie, there are big plans for her in year two.
5) After the events of Brian Wood's "Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega," is Quentin "okay" with being at the school? Or does he still want to destroy it and get revenge on Logan?
If Quentin is "okay" with the school, he's certainly never going to admit it. But I would expect this question to be a big part of his continued development, beginning with his encounter with Professor X in issue #15.
Laurence also had a Quentin question:
Judging by how much you've used the character, it's clear that you're a big fan of Quentin Quire. Given that he became the rebellious young punk he is after discovering he was adopted, do you plan to ever reveal who his real parents are?
No, sorry, no plans in that regard just yet. But you never know. I do indeed love Quentin Quire though, and you can expect to continue see him front and center in "Wolverine and the X-Men."
And Renaldo had yet another query about Quentin. Gee, guess who's going to be picked "Most Popular" for this school's yearbook?
1) Will Quentin Quire get involved soon, as Deathlok's visions in the past saw him wielding the Phoenix?
I assume you mean "involved in the events of AvX?" If so, the answer is no. I made the decision early-on to keep most of the students out of AvX. We've obviously already seen Kid Gladiator sneak into the battle against the Avengers, but I just felt that having too many of the kids out in the world trading punches as part of AvX really kind of flew in the face of the reason Logan opened the school in the first place. So, no, you won't see any more kids leaving the campus to fight Avengers. But you can expect the events of AvX to find their way to the school, beginning with the upcoming issue #15 -- an issue that has particularly important ramifications for Kid Gladiator.
2) Judging from the way Colossus lost his temper on Kitty's date, how do you view the Phoenix 5? Do you write them as gods?
They're not gods, no. They're the same characters we've always known, but now possessed with this other entity that has the mind and powers of a god. A not-always-particularly-benevolent god.
Taimur Dar was wondering about another possible date in the offing…
1) I'm sure readers are waiting for a future Iceman/Kitty Pryde date, but personally, I'm more interested in knowing if Toad will ever get the courage to ask Husk out on a formal date in the near future?
See issue #15. Boy, sounds like there's a lot going on in that issue too.
2) I loved the dynamic between Kid Gladiator and his father in the most recent issues of "Wolverine & the X-Men." Ever since the character was introduced, however, I've been wondering if we'll ever see and/or learn about Kid Gladiator's mother?
Yes, we certainly will. At some point in year two of "Wolverine and the X-Men," we'll actually be learning quite a bit about Kid Gladiator's background and upbringing among the Shi'ar.
Our final set of questions comes from Kaiolino, who was curious about some of the Marvel NOW! specifics:
1) It was apparent that you spoke a lot with writer Rick Remender from the way things were referenced between your two books ("Wolverine & the X-Men" and "Uncanny X-Force"). Will this tight continuity continue with Brian Bendis as he writes "All-New X-Men?"
I expect so, yes. I've read Brian's first few issues of "All-New X-Men" (which are awesome, by the way), and we've talked about our future plans at the various Marvel retreats. You will definitely see that these books are happening in the same new X-Men universe. You'll see the Jean Grey School play a role in his book, and you'll see the events of his reflected in mine. Though you'll also be getting books that have very distinct flavors and mandates, which I think only makes for a stronger roster of X-titles.
2) Bendis has said Kitty Pryde will be in his cast. Will she still be in "Wolverine & the X-Men?"
Yes. And more overworked than ever.
3) Will Nick Bradshaw, my new favorite artist, continue to regularly pencil the book in the upcoming year?
Yes indeed. Nick's already a few issues into the post-AvX issues, and if you thought his stuff so far was good, wait'll you see these new pages. Nick just continues to amaze me. The guy packs so much into these pages, it's unbelievable. With issue #19, our hunt-for-a-new-teacher story, you get to see Nick draw a whole cavalcade of familiar faces from around the Marvel U. And then in issue #21, which kicks off our "Frankenstein's Murder Circus" arc, you get to see Nick tackle some all-new characters, as well as utterly madcap versions of our regular cast. Just wait until you see Wolverine as -- no, sorry, you'll just have to see it for yourself.
Darnit! Now I want to know how the previous sentence was supposed to end. Just wait until you see Wolverine as... a Smurf? An employee of Hot Dog on a Stick? I guess I must eagerly await issue #21 like the rest of you.
In the meantime, however, it's time for our get-to-know-you question that we call "Behind the X." Today's query actually comes from one of our readers (Time_to_Zap) and they'd like to know: "Do you listen to music while you write? If so, spill! Genres, artists, singles -- what's on Jason Aaron's playlist?"
I don't listen to anything while I write. I find it too distracting. But I do have an iPod loaded with a ridiculous number of songs. Lots of alt-country. Old Crow Medicine Show. Hayes Carll. Ryan Bingham. The Avett Brothers. These days badass bluegrass speaks to my soul like nothing else. But I have mostly old stuff. The Rolling Stones and Springsteen and Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Lots of new stuff too, though. Lots more than I used to listen to.
I love First Aid Kit. Alabama Shakes. The Black Keys. Cults. I love the Blue Series of singles that Jack White's Third Man Records puts out. Lots of good stuff on that. And after being a big rap fan from back in the early days (I saw the New York Fresh Fest tour in 1986, featuring Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash), I've gotten back into rap after a few years off. Been listening to lots of Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah. And looking forward to the new M.I.A.
Now that you've updated your iTunes playlist, it's time to get excited about next week's guest -- "Gambit" writer James Asmus! So gather your queries about everyone's favorite Ragin' Cajun and send them my way as quickly as mutantly possible. Be sure to throw an "X-Position" in the subject line, otherwise I'll force you to watch videos from my family vacation (and I have a lot). Let's get to it, people! I'm waiting...