Last week, readers got their first taste of Marvel Comics' "Cable and X-Force" by writer Dennis Hopeless and artists Salvador Larroca and Frank D'Armata. The series follows a brand new X-Force squad led by Cable, recovering from the events of "Avengers: X-Sanction" as his body reacts to being cured of the Techno-Organic virus that's plagued his body since birth. Along with Domino, Colossus, Forge and Dr. Nemesis, the new X-Force is set to combat new threats in the landscape of Marvel NOW!
To shed some light on the events of the first issue, X-POSITION touched base with Dennis Hopeless to get the answers to your burning questions out in the open -- including the intricacies of cast selection and possible crossover potential with his other Marvel NOW! series, "Avengers Arena."
To kick things off, here's Phil with a question about bringing Forge and Dr. Nemesis onto the cast.
Hi Dennis, I just wondered what made you choose Forge for Cable & X-Force rather than Madison Jeffries who's been filling a similar sort of position with the X-Verse lately, has ties to Dr. Nemesis, and is also a combat veteran (and slightly mentally unhinged too)?
Dennis Hopeless: Phil! The boring answer is that I like Forge and wanted to write him.
Beyond that, I guess Forge and Cable seemed like a sci-fi Butch and Sundance. They both have these nutso checkered pasts and understand one another even when they can't agree. That pairing just made sense to me.
Alex has a question about the wibbly-wobbly continuity of the effect the Phoenix Force had on Colossus.
Will we see any positive or negative impact on Colossus' powers from being a Phoenix host, similar to the "Uncanny" team in "All-New X-Men?"
Alex! Yes. We address that in "Cable and X-Force" #2.
Joe needs to know about Gambit and how he might fit in to your plans for "Cable and X-Force."
Can't wait for this comic to really kick-off, very excited for it! When I saw the initial line-up, I thought to myself this is a great team layout with a Leader, Assassin, Techie and Muscle, but I couldn't help but think it was missing one thing for a team on the run, a thief/smooth talker. Then I saw the discussion online between you and James Asmus so, can we expect Gambit to show up in this book soon either as a main / randomly recurring character or through a potential crossover? I couldn't imagine a better pairing!
Joe! James Asmus is a friend and I'm enjoying the hell out of his "Gambit" solo series. I also think you're absolutely right. Gambit would fit right in on Cable's X-Force. James and I have talked and both love the idea of a crossover story. Nothing planned yet but it's a definite possibility.
R. Smith, a longtime Cable fan, wants to know more about Nathan's new look and design.
Dennis, I loved "Cable and X-Force" #1. My favorite character surrounded by a great supporting cast and with a really solid creative team helming his book. So first let me say thank you for that. I do have to ask, though, why the eye patch on Cable? I know it's because he's missing an eye, but it seems kind of redundant with so many other Marvel characters sporting that look; and with both Forge and Dr. Nemesis on the team it seems like it'd be easy enough for them to create a bionic or even organic replacement for him.
R. Smith! Forge has designs on replacing that eye patch. Keep reading.
Second question deals with his new ego-skeletal "battle arm." What happens when his atrophied left arm gets built back up? Will he still use it as a weapon or ditch it?
Battle arm is what I'm calling it from now on. It's very MOTU and I love you for it.
Cable just got his battle arm and like any weapon, he'll have to evaluate it in the field to decide if it's worth bringing along. If Nate loves the thing as much as Forge thinks he will, you can bet he'll have it retrofitted as needed to accommodate chunkier arm meats.
Last question involves Nathan's love life. I know you've said that he and Domino won't pick back up where they left off, and that makes perfect sense, but will there be anyone else special in Cable's life? Besides Hope, that is. I'm talking about romantically.
You and I both know Cable is a sexual animal. Keep reading.
Thanks, and keep up the great work on this exciting new series!
To change things up a bit, here's Roberto from Mexico City with a quick question about your other Marvel NOW! book, "Avengers Arena."
I'm really looking forward for "Avengers Arena!"
On the topic of Cammi... I skipped the whole "Annihilation" Event, and this character seems to be all over the place for this series and also a fan favorite. Can you tell for those of us who have no idea... who is Cammi? Is her background that important for this series? What's your take on the character? Thanks a lot!
Roberto! Cammi was a badass little girl living out her crappy childhood in a nowhere town called Coot's Bluff, Alaska until the day an intergalactic prison transport crashed outside of town and she met Drax the Destroyer. Cammi helped Drax kick some alien criminal tail and then followed him into space where they (well, mostly Drax) fought against the Annihilation Wave alongside Nova and Starlord.
Eventually Drax took off to kill Thanos, leaving Cammi to fend for herself in the deep recesses of space.
In Avengers Arena, we meet back up with Cammi 2 years later. She's leaner, meaner and not to be trifled with.
Nathan has some questions about characters that aren't in the book and casting decisions for the team.
You have a very interesting cast in “Cable and the X-Force”, is their any characters that you considered for the cast but didn't quite make the cut, Gambit/X-23 in particular seem like they could've been good fits for the book considering their backgrounds/skills.
Nathan! I did want Gambit but by the time I pitched the book, I knew James Asmus already had Remy locked down. X-23 never came up because I got the "Avengers Arena" job first and she was on that cast from day one.
Beyond that, I think I got most everyone I asked for.
Marcus has some lightning-round questions about the current status of the cast following the death of Professor X.
1) Mr. Hopeless, in your "Cable and X-Force" series, will we get Cable's reaction to Cyclops' actions in "Avengers vs. X-Men" in his attempts at keeping Hope safe from the Avengers?
Marcus! I haven't scripted a scene like that yet, but one of my upcoming issue plots has the word CYCLOPS written in bold letters across the top.
2) Despite the fact that they have difference of opinions on how to deal with enemies, will we be getting Cable's reaction to Professor Xavier's death at the hands of his own father?
3) How does Hope feel about the death of Professor X?
I'd have to ask her but probably sad and conflicted.
4. Given that the Uncanny Avengers are after them, will we ever get a meeting between Cable and Wanda, given that they're both children of dysfunctional families?
That's an awesomely weird question but I guess my answer is yes.
Next up, we have this week's Twitter question from @ZakiZakaria.
"Will Ross' Thunderbolts clash with Cable's X-Force, Mr. Hopeless?"
ZakiZakaria! No plans yet but I do have my eye on Deadpool for a possible guest spot down the line.
Next up, mr_infinite has a clarification question about X-Force as a black ops squad.
Mr_Infinite! I think the difference is that for once in his life, running X-Force is the last thing Cable wants to do. He didn't decide to get back in the game. He put this crew together at the last minute because something needed done. The job went bad and now the whole world sees them as criminals.
It's more of a crime book than a black-ops super hero squad. This X-Force doesn't work from the shadows. They work on the run.
Finally, cora reef wants to know about the possible crossover between "Cable and X-Force" and "Avengers Arena."
Who has been your favorite character to write so far?
Cora Reef! Domino and Hope are probably the easiest characters for me to write. Their voices play to my strengths. But I think I have the most fun writing Forge and Dr. Nemesis bickering.
Since you're writing both "Avengers Arena" and "Cable and X-Force," are you planning some kind of massive crossover between the two down the line?
That would be a tough story to plot. I would love to write a confrontation between Cable and Arcade.
Finally, here's our "Behind the X" question, designed to get to know X-Writers outside their comics work. What is your favorite holiday-themed drink?
I love Boulevard Brewing Company's seasonal Nutcracker Ale but my honest answer to this question is Hot Chocolate straight up.
Thanks to this week's guest, Dennis Hopeless for his awesome answers!
Next week, X-Position takes a break for the holidays, but on January 2, we'll be back with "X-Treme X-Men" and "X-Termination" superscribe Greg Pak! Got some questions or New Year's wishes for Greg? Go ahead and send 'em on over with the subject line "X-POSITION." If you only have a small question, try and express it in 140 characters or less via Twitter. Either way, make sure to have those questions in well before the New Year. Do it to it!