It's been a big year for Marvel Comics' "Astonishing X-Men" at the hands of writer Marjorie Liu and artist Mike Perkins. Following Northstar and Kyle's big wedding, the team faces off against new villain Susan Hatchi, who has major plans for Wolverine's team of Astonishing X-Men.
In this week's X-POSITION, Marjorie Liu answered any and all "Astonishing" questions, including request for favorite characters to appear in the book, Northstar and Kyle's relationship post-wedding, and the current status of female creators in comics.
@JayBezzOfficial hit us up on Twitter to ask about Karma and the definition of her powers.
Would you define Karma as a Telepath or a Telecaster? We know she sends out brain waves but can she read minds too?
My sense of Karma is that she has a limited ability to read minds -- as in, when she settles in to take possession of someone, she might get flashes of their thoughts and memories. But really, no, she's not a mind-reader in the typical sense.
Kevin wants to know if Jubilee has any "Astonishing" appearances in her future.
It was nice to see Jubilee appear alongside X-23 in the Kyle and Northstar wedding issue. Is there any chance we will see her again in the series, possibly as a mainstay? If not, do you have any future plans or desire to use the character?
Jubilee is one of my favorite characters. If I could write an ongoing for her, it would blow my mind. In the meantime, having her in "Astonishing X-Men" would be a blast -- but unfortunately, she's not available for the book.
Renaldo has a laundry list of questions about Northstar, Susan Hatchi and female creators in comics.
1. Now that all the heat is over from Northstar and Kyle's wedding, how has it been writing them and incorporating them post-marriage into the team's missions and adventures?
I try my best. As I've stressed, marriage isn't the end of their story. There's a lot more left to tell, and finding a way to integrate that into a team book that has many voices begging for attention is a challenge I enjoy.
2. You upped the Northstar ante, and also thrust the likes of Karma and Warbird into the spotlight. How did you go about configuring or assembling the list of these X-Men to comprise your team, given that they may have not been prevalent in years past?
I looked at characters that I thought had incredible potential for growth -- and complex personalities. That's what matters most to me. Put together a team like that, and hopefully, some interesting dynamics will arise.
3. Susan Hatchi reminds me of a character or temptress that would fit a Tony Stark book, so how did you plan her stay in this tale and where'd you get influence to scribe such a mistress?
Mistress! Temptress! Those are interesting word choices, for sure. I don't actually think of her that way, though. To me, she's a woman who is deeply damaged and resentful -- someone whose moral backbone has been ripped out, by choice and circumstance. Susan Hatchi is a survivor, and is determined to make a mark on the world that will leave her safe, and with the power that she craves.
4. Any chance we could see more Daken or X-23 in "Astonishing X-Men" as you've already crossed swords with them?
Time will tell, but that would be a pleasure. I love those two characters.
5. You've proven an all-rounder as you've tackled NYX and Black Widow, and with Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios amongst others, now helping push the flagship at Marvel, how do you see the strength of the female creative presence in the industry as is?
I think women have had a creative presence in the industry for a while now -- especially on independent, creator-owned titles -- and behind the scenes in editorial. But I would love to see many more women writing and taking on art duties at both DC and Marvel. There aren't many of us who have had the opportunity to push mainstream titles.
6. Finally, with all the "AvX" drama going on at present, what would be one arc you'd love to do or intertwine with any Marvel character on either side of the coin, if editorial threw you a "freebie" arc?
I don't know about any particular arc, but I would love to write Black Widow again.
PS - Marry me please!! :)
Ha! You are very sweet.
Neko wants to know everything there is to know about Gambit and his role on the team.
Hi Marjorie, I really enjoyed the team dynamic in "Astonishing X-Men" #53, I enjoyed how Gambit took the lead as well. Is this something that will continue with the book?
Will Mike Perkins adapt Gambit's new costume from his solo book?
That's a very good question. For this arc, probably not, but his new look will probably be part of future stories.
I really am liking your villain - Hatchi. Will this character be a recurring villain or will you be moving on with other bad guys/gals?
Thanks. And I do think I'll be moving on from that character after this arc. Her story plays out in a very definitive way.
I'm enjoying the unique uses with Iceman's power, is that something you suggested to Mike Perkins or is it something he came up with that adds to what you are looking for?
I've been watching a lot of horror movies lately. I'm going to pretend that Bobby has as well, and that it's been inspiring him. Seriously though, all I do is make a vague suggestion -- and Mike turns it into something powerful, horrific, and wondrous.
I enjoyed the "Dune" reference and the conversation between Beast and Gambit, will there be more little nuggets like that coming up?
I hope so! I like my characters extra nerdy.
mr_derp continues the Gambit love with questions about coordination between "Astonishing" and the new "Gambit" ongoing series.
Hi Marjorie, as we all know every writer polarizes readers with how they treat certain characters, but I have to say as a Gambit fan for many years, I think what you did with him in "X-23" was excellent. While nothing major happened with him, you made him likable, sweet and charming again -- something that has been missing for a long time with him. Are you planning on making him an important player in "Astonishing" or more of a background player like in "Legacy?" Does James Asmus' ongoing make it difficult for you in terms of group dynamic (i.e do you have to clear everything with him?)? Thank you.
First of all, thank you. I love writing Gambit's character, and the dynamic in X-23's book was especially important to me. It's hard, however, in a team book to really focus on just one character. Everyone needs a chance to shine, as best they can. So, while he's not a background character in "Astonishing" -- he's not the only character, either. The good news is I'll probably be slimming the team down in the next arc, which means I'll have better opportunities to let individuals shine (and that includes Gambit). And I love the new ongoing "Gambit" title by James Asmus! It's such a great book. And no, there hasn't been any difficulty yet, in terms of coordinating stories and group dynamics.
Avid X-23 fan infinite_chasm wants to know about everyone's favorite Wolverine clone.
Dear Marjorie, I was a big fan of your take on X-23 and have followed the character into "Avengers Academy" as a result, but I'm still hoping for another appearance by the character at your hand. Any chance for another "X-23" series or miniseries? Would you like to get your hands on the character for "Astonishing?"
I would love to write X-23 again. Fingers crossed.
Nick has an inquiry about each "Astonishing" team member's roles and skills.
Hi Marjorie. Thank you for your outstanding work on "Astonishing X-Men." I've really been enjoying this series, particularly the last two issues.
<1) One of the things I enjoyed the most about "Astonishing X-Men" #53 was the way in which the characters naturally fell into particular roles on the team, such as Cecelia being the medic, Northstar the scout and Gambit the field leader. Is this the setup we can expect to see in future arcs or will character roles change depending on the situation?
That is such a good question. Yes, roles might change depending on the situation, but these are characters that have very particular strengths and skills -- and why not utilize them in a way that naturally benefits and coheres the team?
b>2) Poor Karma sure has been having a rough time of things lately. Are you able to give any hints about what the future holds for this character? Will she be a permanent member of the team?
She will be a permanent member of the team. Except to see more of her ferocity, skills as a strategist, and love life.
And here's our Behind the X get to know you question: While growing up, what was your favorite cartoon?
"Transformers!" "Thundercats!" "Voltron!" "Gargoyles!" "Danger Mouse!" "X-Men!"
Special thanks to Marjorie Liu for bringing the answers to everyone's questions. Good ol' George Tramountanas comes back to X-POSITION next week and has "X-Treme X-Men" writer Greg Pak on tap to answer your questions about Marvel's newest reality-hopping team! Drop him an e-mail with the subject line X-POSITION by Friday to make sure your question gets in the queue!