When you're an editor of the X-books, you have to have the ability to cover lots of ground -- ground that stretches from the island of Utopia ("Uncanny X-Men") to Westchester ("Wolverine & the X-Men") to the underground ("Uncanny X-Factor"). However, based on the solicitations for Marvel NOW! -- and due to fallout from "Avengers vs. X-Men" -- it appears the X-editors will have a new challenge: covering an assortment of characters from A to X (Avengers to X-Men, of course).
In the coming months, X-Men fans will be treated to "All New X-Men," "Uncanny Avengers," and a bright and shiny new "X-Men: Legacy." Maintaining the mutants in these titles (and others) is bound to keep all the X-Editors hopping. We've caught them in between bounces though to answer your questions in today's X-POSITION. Joining us for some fun are Senior Editor and X-Men Group Editor Nick Lowe, along with editors Daniel Ketchum, Jordan D. White and Jeanine Schaefer. Let's quickly get started before they leap away…
AnonSeed246 starts us off and she's clearly a friend of the X -- and a bit of a flirt:
First, I would like to say how cool it is to read the X-books -- I am really enjoying everything. I have a several questions, but first, please say "hi" to Axel Alonso for me (cutest EIC around!)…
Nick Lowe: Is this Axel's mother?
1) Since we have heard the news that Storm would defect from Team Cyclops to Team Wolverine, would her Security Team still exist? And given the status quo of Team Wolverine (children = school), would we still see Pixie join the security team's ranks?
Lowe: I can't answer this too thoroughly until the end of "AvX," but there will be some shuffling around. As you can see in the issues of "X-Men" that are out, events take place prior to "AvX." As for what that means for that team and book post-"AvX," mum's the word.
2) If they are still around, would the Security Team now work for Wolverine? Or will this spark another amazing and autonomous led team from Storm?
Lowe: I'm getting the feeling that you're a big Storm fan, Anon. She's got a big place in the X-books post-AVX, I'll say that much.
3) In "Wolverine & the X-Men," will we still see Genesis after AVX and Final Execution?
Lowe: There are a few important things that would need to happen: 1) He'd have to live through "Final Execution," and 2) He'd have to not have turned into full-blown Apocalypse. Providing both of those happen…maybe?
4) Will the true nature of the Bamfs ever be explained?
Lowe: I can give this a resounding yes!
5) Rick Remender will be missed on "Uncanny X-Force" (as it's rumored Daniel Way will be taking over). But since the new the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are so badass, will you let them stick around and kick the crap out of the X-Men, because they seem as if they'll be really nasty antagonists to our newly-christened heroes…
Lowe: Is Daniel Way taking over "Uncanny X-Force?" First I've heard of that. The future of the Brotherhood is all tied up in "Final Execution," so I can't really say anything about that here.
Joshua sent in a list of questions that were probably longer than this entire article, so I feel as though I have to pass along a few…
1) Why was the decision made to relaunch "Uncanny X-Men" (alongside "Wolverine & the X-Men"), if you were just going to relaunch more books after AvX and cancel "Uncanny?" If "Avengers vs. X-Men" had been planned for so long, didn't you guys have an idea what books would need to be "wrapped up?"
Lowe: Hi, Joshua. "AvX" has indeed be planned for so long, but the ending of "Uncanny" has less to do with "AvX" than it does with the story that comes immediately after AVX, and that hadn't been planned until after we'd already started down the Extinction Team road.
2) With Legion now apparently taking over as the lead of the new incarnation of "X-Men: Legacy," will Professor X play a key supporting role in the series?
Daniel Ketchum: Professor X will definitely play a key supporting role in "X-Men: Legacy"…but probably not in a way you're anticipating!
3) On the topic of where people are ending up, could we please be informed on where at least one of the Phoenix Five (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik or Namor) are going to end up post-AvX?
Lowe: Now, here you're just asking for spoiler material. A lot of this is tied up in "Uncanny X-Men" #18-20 and "AVX: Consequences."
4) How is Husk dealing with Angel's new identity? We haven't really seen them interact for a while, and I, for one, loved their relationship. And on the topic of Angel, what will Psylocke's reaction be when she sees the young Angel that comes from the past post-AvX?
Lowe: Husk isn't really dealing very well with anything, frankly. She's not in the best shape mentally or physically right now, so Angel hasn't weighed too heavily on her mind. As for Psylocke, I'd imagine she'll react much like any adult would if a time-traveling version of someone you love showed up. Here's my summation: "Ah! That's weird. He looks so young! What's going on here? I think I'm going to peace out and go get a cup of coffee and collect my thoughts."
Jeanine Schaefer: You just think the answer to everything is peace-ing out for a cup of coffee.
Speaking as a Seattleite, I don't think there's anything that coffee can't solve. As a matter of fact, let's see if Juan Valdez can offer any solutions to Derek's queries:
1) First of all, I want to say thanks for finally getting a Polaris origin. I've been asking (or rather tormenting) the X-Office about one for years! It was well worth the wait -- I think Peter David really did Lorna justice. On the other hand, however, "X-Factor" #243 did present an opportunity to re-retcon her parentage, if you guys wished. With this in mind, what made you guys decide to solidify it completely?
Ketchum: I'm so glad you're pleased with Polaris's origin story, Derek! Peter did a terrific job crafting it. In particular, I think he did a nice job of definitively answering the question of her parentage, while simultaneously explaining some of her erratic behavior over the years. And best of all, while he did solidify certain details, he's opened other doors for further exploration: What exactly was the nature of Magneto's relationship with Polaris's mother? Was this a just small piece of a larger plan being enacted by Magneto and Mastermind? I think there was no hesitation on our part to solidify the matter completely because Peter's left us with new story avenues to explore in the future (with no re-retcon necessary!).
2) Brian Michael Bendis is coming to the X-books? I have really enjoyed most of his stories, and I thought "Spider-Woman" and "Dark Avengers" in particular were some of the best character-driven comic books I've read at Marvel over the last decade. On the other hand, I've truly disliked the direction he took a previous favorite of mine -- the Scarlet Witch -- and had issues with "Decimation." With this in mind, what can you say to convince me to give "All-New X-Men" a chance?
Lowe: What made Brian and this story such a perfect match to me was, first, the teenage original X-Men. I am a huge fan of "Ultimate Spider-Man" and always have been. It's my favorite Bendis book and so much of it is tied up in teenagers and what it's like to be a teenager. So that was part one of "Why Bendis Was Perfect For This…" Second was how deftly and humanly he handles these very emotionally complex situations. He comes at them in such a real way.
3) As there are going to be even more shared characters between the X-office and Avengers office, what extra steps are being taken by editorial to make sure that there won't be continuity errors and that characterization will remain consistent across various books? It seems like Marvel NOW is going to make those aspects of your jobs even more difficult…
Lowe: None. We're just winging it. Just keeding... The main place where the overlap is happening is in "Uncanny Avengers." The way we're keeping that in continuity lockstep is that it's a mix of X- and A-office people. Tom Brevoort is editing the book, but X-office superstar Daniel Ketchum is running the day to day and making sure that Brevoort doesn't Brevoort it up. That's a normal colloquialism, right? As for "Avengers" and the other business, we're just doing our best to coordinate and communicate as much as possible.
For our final email of the day, we'll zip on out of here with Time_to_Zap:
1) For a long time, the major themes of the X-Men books involved standing up in the face of adversity and accepting/taking pride in one's differences. This made the books a perfect metaphor for anyone who felt ostracized. Do you think the X-books still carry these themes in light of their apparent integration into the mainstream taking place in Marvel NOW!?
Lowe: First, just because they are mixing with the Avengers a bit, doesn't mean that mutants are accepted by the general populace. That is a core part of who the X-Men are, so you can expect to see that theme continue as we move forward. Second, that was only the point I had.
2) Are Cannonball and Sunspot the only two new Mutants joining Jonathan Hickman's Avengers? What will happen to the other members of that team?
Lowe: Cannonball and Sunspot are, indeed, the only New Mutants joining Jon's Avengers team. The others will be out and about, but we don't have anything to announce at this time other than undying love for the characters.
3) Is there any chance of an Ultimate X-Men crossover with the 616 X-Men, following the success of "Spider-Men?"
Lowe: It would certainly be fun. I used to work on the Ultimate books and am a fan of what they're doing over there in the Ultimate Universe. This isn't happening at this point, but I never say never. I also never say hold the bacon.
4) What's a typical day like in the X-office for the editors?
Lowe: Especially lately, it's been a madhouse. It's a really fast-paced environment that often feels like you're sprinting to get the work done and the books out. But it's pretty awesome. We get to talk about the X-Men to the best writers and artists in the business. As for a day, we read and write a lot of emails, read a lot of scripts, make a bunch of phone calls, have meetings with others in editorial (and plenty with other departments), but we always try to have fun, too. So I often just throw things at Jordan and bang on the wall to annoy Jeanine, Daniel and Jennifer who sit next door.
Jordan D. White: We wish he were joking.
Schaefer: There's a lot of singing, too -- don't forget the singing.
And now, it's time for that get-to-know-you question we like to call "Behind the X." Our friend Time_to_Zap offered up a really intriguing notion that I thought the editors might enjoy: "Have you guys ever cosplayed as an X-character? If so, as who? And if not, what was the best cosplay of an X-character you ever saw?"
Lowe: There isn't any cosplay in my past, although it looks like a ton of fun and the community seems really cool. One of the best ever was in San Diego this year. It was an incredible Apocalypse who was walking around with a minion making way for him.
White: Never as an X-Man, no. At last year's New York Comic Con, I cosplayed as the cartoon of me that serves as my twitter icon, though. As for the best, who doesn't love Dancing Deadpool?
Ketchum: When I was in elementary school, I once dressed as Gambit for Halloween, headsock and all. But I can't say that I've cosplayed in recent past. If I were to pick, I would love to cosplay as classic Sunfire. I don't think I've ever seen one at a convention, but I have seen some pretty damn good Storms! Most of whom were men in drag…
Schaefer: I dressed up as movie-verse Jean Grey for Halloween one year. Dyed my hair red and everything! There's even photographic evidence out there somewhere (she says, instantly regretting that she said it). This year at SDCC, I saw an amazing classic Jubilee -- she had lights that she attached to her hands as fireworks, and the coolest pink knee-high Converse I've ever seen!
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. Be sure to put an "X-Position" in the subject line, or I'll send Clint Eastwood to your house to berate your furniture. Get busy and I'll see you soon!