Whether it's shepherding the Jean Grey School through "Battle of the Atom" in "Wolverine and the X-Men" or the much-discussed return of Nightcrawler in the upcoming debut of "Amazing X-Men," writer Jason Aaron has a command over some of the X-Universe's most beloved and diverse characters.
While "Amazing" doesn't release until November, "Wolverine and the X-Men" just wrapped its "Hellfire Saga" and is currently a key part of the massive "Battle of the Atom" crossover. Although time will tell what the effect of "Battle of the Atom" will be on Marvel Comics' X-Books, a great many details have been teased -- such as Chris Bachalo's cover for "Uncanny X-Men" #13 featuring Quentin Quire.
In order to shed some light on his current and future work in the X-Men Universe, Aaron joined X-Position to answer any and all questions about his stewardship of the Jean Grey School and beyond, including requests for information about Nightcrawler's return, current Jean Grey staff, the focus of "Wolverine and the X-Men" following "Battle of the Atom" and more.
Dabid K. kicks off this week's X-Position with a question about some of his favorite characters.
We know from dialogue in the now-defunct "New Mutants" comic book and the previous "X-Men Legacy" series that fan-favorite characters Blink and Ariel were supposedly in residence at the Jean Grey School. However, neither character has ever been seen at the school in any comics, nor are they on the class lists that sometimes appear at the back of each book. Are either Blink or Ariel still at the Jean Grey School as students or faculty members? If so, any chance of seeing one or both cameo in "Wolverine and the X-Men?"
Sorry, no, I have no plans for Blink or Ariel or any clue where they are these days. Maybe they were just auditing classes for a little while. Or got kicked out for smoking with the Bamfs in the boys room.
Valeria wants to know more about casting decisions both for "Wolverine and the X-Men" as well as the upcoming "Amazing X-Men."
Mr. Aaron, I am enjoying WATXM a lot and I am looking very forward for "Amazing X-Men." I have questions for both titles. For WATXM, are we going to see Sage join the Jean Grey School? She has a lot of unresolved issues with Headmistress Storm.
No plans for Sage on my part. At this point, I'm not looking to expand the cast of WatXM. Believe me, I've got enough characters as it is. If anything, I'll be looking to refocus a bit in coming months, after all the big craziness of the Hellfire Saga and "Battle of the Atom" have passed. There are some characters we won't have seen for quite a while by then (Hey, whatever happened to that Kid Gladiator guy?). So we'll be catching up with them instead of introducing any new faces.
And for "Amazing," why weren’t Kitty and Rachel part of the team, considering their long history/relationship with Nightcrawler? It just strikes me as odd at least one of his former Excalibur friends are not invested in seeing him return to the land of the living (btw even though it had promoted the last page in WATXM 35 still gave me tons of goosebumps).
Who's to say they're not part of the team? As I've said, the potential cast of "Amazing X-Men" will include anyone who's a teacher at the Jean Grey School or anyone who's on Wolverine's side. So yes, we do see Rachel in "Amazing" #1, along with Angel and Warbird, but those characters just aren't part of the main team for the bulk of this first arc. Going forward though, I'm sure we'll see them from time to time. As for Kitty... maybe you'd better just wait and read "Battle of the Atom."
R.W. is up next with some questions about Wolverine's look in "Amazing X-Men."
1) Will Wolverine be sporting his new costume in your "Amazing X-Men" series eventually? And, if so, have you seen Ed McGuinness draw it yet, and does it look cool?
No new costume yet in "Amazing." But I have seen Ed McGuinness draw Nightcrawler in action, and oh man, is it sweet.
2) Will Ed McGuinness be sticking around beyond the first arc of the series?
That's the plan. He sure seems to be having a blast. I know I am.
Trevor Bananacrust wants to know more about the young Apocalypse, Evan, and his possible role in the X-Universe moving forward.
Big Fan of all your work! My first question is Genesis/Evan is one of my favorite characters to come out in the past few years and I like the fact he struggles with the person everyone expects him to become and will we see more of this played out in 2014?
Yes indeed. Genesis is one of the characters we'll be catching up with in "WatXM" right after "Battle of the Atom." And yeah, there's still a lot of story to be told with Evan.
Also will we be getting some new staff after battle of the atom in "Wolverine and the X-Men?"
Not really. As I said, I'm not looking to introduce anymore characters to the cast in "WatXM." But over in "Amazing," we do see Firestar join the school as a new teacher. Though her first day doesn't go quite as planned.
Matthew is hoping for more of a focus on the students moving forward with his question.
Just one question for Mr. Aaron, I understand that your cast can only be so large, but is there any chance we'll see less of the teachers coming up and expanded focus on the students (particularly new characters or possibly the New X-Men kids who have been essentially wallpaper for the last couple years?)
"WatXM" will continue to try and strike a balance between stories about the kids as students and the X-Men as teachers, just as it always has. It's very much about the school as a whole. But no, I don't expect to be dramatically expanding the role the New X-Men kids are playing, other than occasional appearances, like Rockslide in the Murder Circus arc. The spotlight will remain on the same cast of kids that the book has developed over the course of its first 35 issues. 35? Really? Wow. It's been a crazy couple of years. That said, fans of the New X-Men may want to go ahead and circle "WatXM" #42 on their calendars. Though that's all I'll say for now.
4thsummers echoes the sentiment for more teen heroes -- but this time from Utopia, plus a question about the current status of Worthington International.
Hi, Jason. First thanks for bringing Broo back, love that little guy. I wanted to know do you have any plans on having a storyline using the teen mutants from Utopia? I feel like since WATXM started they have taken a back seat.
No, sorry, I don't have plans for any of the "Generation Hope"kids. Except for Idie, who will continue to be a big part of the book.
Are you planning on checking on the Boardroom on Worthington International to see what been going on? Thanks
I would say there's a good chance of that, yes.
Greg is up next with a question about the focus of "Wolverine and the X-Men" as well as a call for more of the characters from New X-Men.
"Wolverine and the X-Men" has split its focus to a degree between the teachers and students at the Grey School; with the "Amazing X-Men" focusing on the teachers, does that mean WATXM will become more of a junior X-Men book like "Generation X" or "New X-Men," or will it continue its split focus?
"WatXM" will basically continue to be what it's always been. It's a book about the Jean Grey School, about the students growing up and maybe becoming X-Men and about the already grown-up X-Men growing into their roles as teachers. "Amazing X-Men" is about those same X-Men when they're outside the school, out being X-Men, out fighting to protect a world that hates and fears them and all that jazz. It's big, old-school X-Men adventures. I want each arc to basically seem like its own world-shaking X-Men event.
Speaking of New X-Men, will you be using those characters more in the future? It's been frustrating for me as a fan of those characters to have them in the background of so many X-titles, but rarely used.
You guys are trying to kill me, is that it? I'm already about to go crazy writing as many characters as I am. But again, "WatXM" #42. Be on the look-out for that one.
Excited about Nightcrawler's return, L wants to know more about how the character will impact some of the other characters in the X-Universe.
I'm really looking forward to Nightcrawler's return on the pages of "Amazing X-Men!"
1) One of the most memorable friendships in comics, for me, has always been Nightcrawler and Wolverine. I'm glad to see Logan leading the way in the effort to bring Kurt back, but another friendship that I found equally as compelling was that of Kurt and Kitty. They were so effective written opposite one another over the years. The bamfs even seem to have a particular attachment to Kitty in WatXM. Will we get to see a real in depth reunion between these two?
I'm excited to have Nightcrawler back too, but don't get ahead of yourself there, L. When we catch up with Kurt in the opening pages of "Amazing X-Men" #1, he is still very much dead and also very much in trouble. So he and the X-Men have a bit of a fight on their hands before we can even start to think about getting any sort of tearful reunions back on earth.
2) Mystique has been fairly active in WatXM and the X-Men as a whole. Her feelings towards Nightcrawler have always been shown as pretty ambiguous. In "Get Mystique" you had her saying that she helped Wolverine because of Kurt. Rick Remender touched on her feelings about her son using Kurt Darkhölme in his Uncanny X-Force run. Will we get to see any kind of interaction or word play between Kurt and Mystique in the future?
If Kurt were to come back from the dead, then yeah, I expect Mystique would at least wanna drop by and say hi.
Sean wants to know more about Husk and her familial ties.
I already asked you about Husk at the convention, to which you responded her storyline is not finished. I would like to know your take on her powers? Every writer seems to interpret them differently. Is her extreme changing (like to a giant insectoid) a latent ability that she didn't know she had? Will she be interacting with any family members, concerning her mental state, despite Sam being an Avenger now? Her family is a big part of who she is, even though she wanted to drop her accent. I find her internal dichotomies part of what I love about her.
Yeah, Sean, Husk's story isn't finished. This has all been leading somewhere, and once we get there, your questions about her powers will be answered as well. A giant insectoid? Did I write that? If not, I should have.
With a couple Hellfire founders joining the school, will this cause problems within the school?
I would say chances are very high that the answer is yes. Quentin Quire may have now serious competition when it comes to burning the school to the ground.
Since Jubilee and Shogo will be hanging around, will they show up in your book at all?
Yeah, they pop up in "Battle of the Atom," as a matter of fact, in a fun little bit of back and forth between me and Brian Wood. He had them in one of his issues of "Battle of the Atom," so I wrote them into mine. Those sorts of little moments are always fun in a big crossover like this. I also liked writing the Uncanny X-Men kids. I'm still trying to get Bendis to trade me Goldballs for Snot.
Cold Water wraps up this week's X-Po with a few more questions about everyone's favorite fuzzy blue elf.
1) Thank you so much for bringing back the heart of the X-Men with Nightcrawler! I know he is the focus of the first arc of "Amazing X-Men." Will we get to see him reclaim his spot as a leading player in the X-Men going forward?
Kurt will have his hands full for the foreseeable future just surviving the evil machination of his dad, Azazel, and his demonic pirates who are terrorizing the afterlife. Assuming he makes it through that, there's still the little matter of Kurt being dead.
2) Nightcrawler is an incredible and complex character. Over the years, he's been shown to have some self-esteem issues related to his appearance, his parental issues, and his value as a man and X-Man. Will you be touching on any of these?
Kurt is a troubled and tragic guy, sure, but what I'm trying to do right out of the gate is get back to the old-school swashbuckling Kurt. Within the first few pages of "Amazing X-Men" #1, Kurt has a sword in each hand and is Bamfing around like crazy, kicking butt and talking smack. That doesn't mean he'll be all fluff though. Just that he's totally in his element in this story, right out of the gate.
Thanks to Jason Aaron for answering this week's round of reader questions!
Next week, Dennis Hopeless returns to X-Position to discuss the most recent arc of "Cable and X-Force" as Nate and his band of mutant outlaws returns to their mission of preventing the dystopian future. Got a question for Dennis? Why not send it over in 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!