It's been a rough first arc for writer Rick Remender's roster in "Uncanny Avengers." While the combination team of Avengers and X-Men eventually won the day versus the Red Skull and his maliciously powerful S-Men, the Skull still escaped with the psychic power of Charles Xavier's brain, living to fight another day. Perhaps even more concerning was a tease for three months from now, where an apocalyptic future reminiscent of "Days of Future Past" has taken over the Marvel U, as the Red Skull is revealed as Onslaught.
With the first arc of Marvel's flagship series wrapped, Remender rejoined X-Position to answer your questions about the opening gambit of "Uncanny Avengers," the expansion of the team's roster to include more characters from both sides of the Marvel U, the relationship to "Days of Future Past," possible 50th Anniversary plans and more.
CBR News: Rick, thanks for joining us today! mr_infinite kicks off the proceedings with some questions about the inclusion of Onslaught.
Hi Rick, I was really surprised by the ending of your first arc! Obviously, Onslaught is a really polarizing villain and makes for a risky gambit to reintroduce. What made you decide this was the right time to bring him back into the Marvel U?
Also, it was cool to see the "Days of Future Past" throwback. Considering this is 2013 -- the year DOFP was said to take place in -- any chance it has anything to do with bringing that reality to the Marvel U?
Rick Remender: The Onslaught choice is one that editor Tom Brevoort and I spent a good deal of time rolling over and considering, for all of the obvious reasons. But in the end it all worked too perfectly to be scared away from. I really like ridiculous things from the '90s, I like the challenge of cleaning them up and making them pertinent to the now. The reality is a lot of people were buying those comic books that these characters are very iconic and recognizable, that in of itself is strength and one that I have been able to exploit in books like "Venom," "Punisher," and ["Uncanny] X-Force." My first job writing for Marvel was an Age of Apocalypse "What if..." issue, and that was when the Pandora's box of the '90s sort of opened up to me and I saw that there was a lot of value in these things. During my years at Marvel I have grown to love the challenge of taking '90s relics and trying to breathe new life into them. And beyond that there is a very clean and natural story point that leads to this new Onslaught, and naturally won't be anything like what you think it will be.
As for the "Days of Future Past," I can't say anything about that right now. Other than what is hinted there will have a big impact on the Marvel Universe moving forward.
Next up, Derek has a few questions about the makeup of Havok's Uncanny squad.
1) Do you have any plans to reference Havok and Wanda's status as nexus beings? Could this mean that Havok might potentially reach the same power levels that Wanda did with the life source? If so given the destructive nature of his abilities wouldn't that be worse?
2) With Red Skull being a reccuring villain why haven't Havok's squad drafted in a telepath? From a tactical point of view it seems like they are leaving themselves at a huge disadvantage. Even if the Skull has Xavier's powers he doesn't necessarily have his skill, couldn't someone like Rachel Summers or Moondragon could potentially hand his ass to him in a psi fight?
Given who they were up against, they would be fools not to bring in a telepath to help. Unfortunately Xavier-level telepaths are not easy to find, some of the characters you mentioned are obviously being considered for membership. But they're not the only ones.
madroxdupe#420 wants to know about the potential romance between the Scarlet Witch and Havok.
Rick, you previously stated that Havok and Scarlet Witch had "chemistry". If they WERE to start a romance, wouldn't Polaris have something to say about her ex-fiance with her sister? I love when comics do soap-opera elements, they're very similar in their years and years of serialized storytelling and continuity. I just hate it when things like this get ignored.
If there were to be a relationship between Alex and Wanda I would definitely not glaze over the fact that Alex's longtime girlfriend and fiancé is related to Wanda. That's not to say there will be a relationship, only to help you rest your mind that I am not going to ignore continuity in any book I write.
Rogue superfan Jen has a question about Rogue's currently rocky relationship with Wanda.
Thanks for taking time to answer fan questions. I apologize upfront that the following is pretty nerdy. The exciting first arc left me with questions about my favorite hero Rogue. Since Rogue started off as a villain and had to prove herself to the X-Men, wouldn't she be the one character who could relate to Wanda? Rogue knows how hard one must work to earn trust. She also understands uncontrollable powers. Wouldn't Rogue have begrudgingly taken Wanda's olive branch but also keep an eye on her? Also, Rogue is back to being covered up, are her powers becoming an issue again? Thanks again and looking forward to the continuing saga of the Uncanny Avengers!
In my mind, the death of Xavier changed Rogue's opinion of the Scarlet Witch entirely. While Scarlet Witch is the one who put the mutants on the extinction list, it was not wholesale slaughter. But that chain of events in one way or another led to the death of Xavier in Rogue's eyes. Rogue also blames Cyclops, the person who actually killed Xavier, but she does not trust Wanda one bit. Her own experiences as a villain who redeemed herself definitely leave her a bit conflicted, but in the end she sees the Scarlet Witch is a ticking time bomb ready to blow up. And who knows, maybe she's right.
Marcus has a query about Mystique and whether she's got any plans for Havok's squad.
Given that she was the one who set Rogue up with the Avengers in the first place and that you have a history of writing her before, will we see Mystique going up against the Uncanny Avengers in the future?
Mystique is doing big things in the X-Universe these days, but she will not be appearing in "Uncanny Avengers" anytime soon. Or will she? Maybe she already has.
Christopher is hoping for a comeback and redemption for the Scarlet Witch after the events of the past few years.
For Fans of Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff, "Uncanny Avengers" is a very important book. I am wondering as a fan of Wanda's, is this truly her comeback book? Will all that has happened in past decade finally be dealt with and put to rest? Will this lead to Scarlet Witch finally coming back as a hero of the Marvel Universe?
Obviously, Scarlet Witch is trying desperately to redeem herself and if she succeeds or not is a big point of our story -- not something I want to divulge here and now. I will say we put a tremendous amount of thought into the direction to take with Wanda, and it's nothing like what you expect.
Wrapping up, cora reef has questions about bringing more heroes on to the roster.
I'm really excited for the next issue of "Uncanny Avengers" that expands the roster. I'm a big fan of the Wasp and got really excited to see her included on your team. Since she hasn't been on the team for a while (after "Secret Invasion"), what will adjusting to this new form of the Avengers be like for her?
Wasp's time in the microverse has changed her. There is an immediacy that she feels towards living her life and appreciation for being home in general. Being on an Avengers squad half made up of X-Men, with one of the Summers brothers as the chairman, is definitely going to add some complications in Janet's life. She'd been front and center as the chairwoman of the Avengers for a long time, she'll definitely have opinions on how things should be done moving forward. More than anything she's going to be doing everything she can to solve the issue of human mutant relations, in making everyone get along in the Avengers Unity Division is step 1 in that task.
I also saw some preview pages for the issue where Rogue has replaced a portrait in the mansion with one of Charles Xavier. It's a bold move by the character and it seems like she's really taking the whole "being-an-Avenger" thing to heart. How will this affect the dynamic with her new teammates?
Rogue isn't going to become an Avenger so much as make the Avengers become X-Men. She doesn't see this team's mission the same way as many of the other members do. In her heart, Rogue doesn't even really consider herself an Avenger, she considers herself an X-Man in a big public team fighting hard to further the dream of Charles Xavier. Rogue has no love for many of the other Avengers, to her they are human police who could not be bothered to come to the mutant ghetto to help when things were bad. There will be much tension.
Finally, will ramifications from your run on "Captain America" ever bleed over to what you have planned on "Uncanny Avengers?" With the tease of "Days of Future Past" and the Red Skull at large, it seems like a villainous partnership match made in heaven.
In year 2 Captain America and the Uncanny Avengers will intertwine quite a bit. And the events within "Captain America" will affect the Uncanny Avengers moving forward as well. That's all I can say on the matter for now.
And here's our behind-the-X question: What's your favorite show on television right now and why?
I only have time to watch a few shows a week anymore since having a couple of kids and juggling my workload. The two shows I'm watching right now are "Homeland" and "The Eric Andre Show." "Homeland" is a great character piece with a ton of wonderful soap opera, big tension and some terrific acting. It's a tightly written show in every episode moves the ball down the field while exploring variations on the complications within. Really enjoying that show. "The Eric Andre Show" is hilarious, absurd and wonderfully off-putting. It's one of the smartest shows I've seen in years, rapid-fire subversive humor, pure aggression, and plenty of fun pointed at Americans up session with celebrity. I recommend either show to anyone.
Thanks to Rick Remender for answering this week's "Uncanny Avengers" questions!
Next week, X-Position explores the new adventures of Marvel's most ubiquitous mutant, when "Wolverine" writer Paul Cornell takes on your questions about the best there is at what he does. Make sure to get those questions in before Friday whether it's via email or via Twitter. Do it to it!