It's been a whirlwind start for writer Sam Humphries' new "Uncanny X-Force" squad of Storm, Puck and Psylocke. After busting into a club to get more information about Tao, a new drug, the trio discovers longtime X-Villain Spiral is the dealer distributing Tao. Surprisingly, the source of Tao is a young mutant named Ginny. While chasing Spiral and Tao through Los Angeles, the time-displaced former X-Man Bishop arrived, but with a lot more anger and rage, taking on Storm's new X-Force squad and soundly decimating them. Meanwhile, Fantomex and Cluster are both on a collision course to Psylocke with Dark Fantomex hot on their trail.
This week, Sam Humphries joins X-Position to answer the burning fan questions about the series' still-in-progress first arc, bringing on former Alpha Flight mainstay Puck, the development of Storm as a leader of the new incarnation of X-Force and things to come for Bishop moving forward. Plus, a quick tease on how he plans to handle Monica Chang in "Avengers A.I."
Phil starts off the "Uncanny X-Force" question session with a focus on Puck.
Hi Sam, REALLY enjoying "Uncanny X-Force," especially the way in which you're writing Puck and his interactions with the females on "his" team.
Is there any chance that down the line we'll get to see a Puck-centric arc that will involve the team in something connected to his past as a adventurer?
YO PHIL! Thanks man. I am loving Puck, glad you are too. I would love to do a story that shows Puck from the perspective of his three ex-wives. Puck is a guy who, whether he understands it or not, is defined by his relationships with women. But we've got a lot of mayhem to slice through first...
Windrider is up next with some very specific questions about Storm and her approach to X-Force.
1) With Storm being the most experienced member of this cast when it comes to field leadership, and given that this "crew" is a far cry from a typical X-team, will we get to see her apply her leadership in way that we have not seen from her before (i.e. "screw winning you over -- I'll just stab your ass to get in line")?
2) What is your favorite 'bad-ass wildcard' Storm moment? Will you be looking to top that in this book?
3) Storm made her disapproval quite clear to Cyclops when she found out about his secretly sanctioned X-Force team. Even though this team isn't out to kill threats to mutants (sure those morally questionable moments are coming) will we get to see him react to finding her on an X-Force roster?
Thanks for you time and giving us fans such a great read (even though this book needs to be released bi-weekly -- tell Marvel to make that happen).
Hey Windrider! Thanks so much! "Uncanny X-Force" will go bi-weekly once Daniel Ketchum figures out how to split me in three a la Fantomex.
1) This is definitely a scrappier Storm, one that harkens back to her time as leader of the Morlocks or her childhood as a thief in Cairo. The questions of "leadership" and "getting in line" will be difficult for Uncanny X-Force to address without some serious drama.
2) Tough to beat the knife fight between Storm and Callisto! Especially with that Paul Smith art. Classic.
3) Scott is accused of murdering Professor X, the closest thing Storm had to a father figure. I doubt Storm would respect any moral high ground from him. I would love to see Storm and Scott come to terms with all the recent changes in their lives. I'll have to arm wrestle Bendis for that one.
cora reef wants to know more about flashbacks and the inside of characters' heads moving forward.
It was fun to see the spotlight scenes on Betsy and Spiral in the most recent issue. Do you have plans to use that flashback format for the other team members as well?
In the same vein, we got to see the inside of Bishop's head -- very cool. Are the psyches of various characters something you're looking to explore? How do you go about designing something like that?
Great questions, cora. You'll absolutely be seeing more flashbacks as the story demands it. Issue 5, for example, will fill us in on where Bishop has been since his last known appearance in the Marvel U. And very shortly, we'll be seeing what exactly happened between Betsy, Fantomex and Cluster in Paris previous to the first issue. Our past makes us what we are, and this is a book full of characters with very complex histories. I aim to bring those into the mix frequently.
Betsy is a psychic and I've always loved the astral plane mutant stories. Not just 'cuz they're cool, but that's a place where truth can be mixed up with lies, and secrets start to fold in on themselves. Anything goes. We'll continue to see stories play out in the elasticity of the psychic realm -- specifically issues 5 and 6.
With Adrian Alphona, it's easy to design psychic sequences because he is such a monster talent. I mapped out what I wanted to see, threw in some visuals and symbols, and Adrian ran away with it and made it beautiful. You are going to love issue #5.
Jim the Troll has questions, both about Spiral and the mysterious drug Tao.
Spiral seems to be defying expectations by the third issue, going from a villain to a sort of savior for Ginny. Is this a transformation that the UXF squad is going to be able to accept?
I really want to know more about this mysterious drug Tao. When are we going to find out more about it?
Greetings, noble troll. Spiral is indeed going through a transition in her life -- or trying to. Don't we all deserve a chance to change our lives? Whether or not Uncanny X-Force can let that happen is a very loaded question. Let me know what you think after issue #6.
Re-read the conversation at the beginning of issue #3, it reveals the secret behind Tao. But the secret of the secret behind Tao will be a very big factor coming up in "Uncanny X-Force." See the last page of issue #4 for a hint.
mr_infinite wraps up the Q&A with a question about the trifecta of Fantomexes.
Dear Mr. Humphries, I've definitely become a believer in Fantomex and his two siblings. It's a very cool mystery you're ramping up to. How do you deal with writing three versions of the same character that actually have to interact?
You seem to be on a crusade to bring Puck back to relevancy in the Marvel U. Are there any other obscure Marvel characters you want to get your hands on to bring back to prominence?
Finally, what's it been like to bring Monica Chang into the Marvel U while working on "Avengers A.I.?"
Fantomex was a complex guy to begin with -- roughish, murderous, and romantic. He was split into three, so I write them as three separate characters -- with unequal distributions of the characteristics that made up the "whole" Fantomex.
Ha, a Puck Crusade? I'm into it. I'm just showing everyone what I've known about Puck for years -- the dude is a serious badass. (Okay, Jason Aaron knew it too.) We've got an old obscure X-Men character burning up issues 3 and 4 and then making a big impact in issues #5 and #6. Can't wait.
I am loving my continuing writer/character relationship with Monica. The Marvel U Monica is younger, scrappier, with more to prove. In the Marvel U, she doesn't have the Nick Fury baggage holding her back, but she also doesn't have teammates like Captain America to back her up. She's going to have to fight her way to prominence in the Marvel U.
Finally, the Behind the X question: If you could have only one single issue to read for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Man, tough question!! If I'm eliminating comics that weren't published in the single issue format (like "Love and Rockets") or comics that were only published online (Simon Hanselmann's "Megg, Mogg and Owl") then I guess I'd have to arrive at the first issue of "Give Me Liberty" by Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons. Compelling, beautiful and dense -- there's a whole world in there. I've been re-reading it for 23 years and I still love it, why not the rest of my life?
Thanks to the incredible Sam Humphries for answering this week's "Uncanny X-Force" questions!
Next week, get set to revisit the X-Universe's most powerful loner: Legion. "X-Men Legacy" writer Si Spurrier returns to X-Position to take on your questions about the quirky and philosophical side of the X-Men. Got a question for Si? Send me an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position" or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!