Courtesy of series writer Sam Humphries, the Marvel NOW! relaunch of "Uncanny X-Force" has gotten a few shake-ups recently -- and it's unlikely to stop anytime soon. Even as Psylocke, Storm, Puck, Bishop and Spiral head off to confront the recently-revealed series villain -- Cassandra Nova -- Humphries and "Cable and X-Force" writer Dennis Hopeless have a plan to have their teams collide in the upcoming "Vendetta" crossover, which will see Cable, Bishop and Hope interact for the first time since "Second Coming."
In order to shed some more light on "Vendetta" and the future direction of "Uncanny X-Force," Sam Humphries joined X-Position to discuss bringing the two X-Force teams together, the slow reveal of Cassandra Nova as the series' villain, and plans to help showcase the individual members of Psylocke's squad -- including a possible story for Puck.
CBR News: Sam, thanks for joining this week's X-Position! First off, fans are pretty excited for the upcoming "Uncanny X-Force"/"Cable and X-Force" crossover, and your fellow X-Force scribe Dennis Hopeless threw down the gauntlet at NYCC when the topic came up. Tell us a bit about how the first encounter between the two teams is going to go.
They're going to meet up at Domino's house bright and early, and argue about who is going to drive -- you know, typical X-Force! Then they're going to pile into a van for the long trip to Disneyland. But when they get there, they'll realize someone left all the day passes at home. Who is responsible for this epic fail?! That person will have to bear the ferocious fury of not one but two teams of X-Force!!!
The first encounter between the two teams is going to be bathed in blood. The last time Hope and Cable saw Bishop, he had spent years trying to kill them both. He left Hope's childhood a smoking ruin. He ruthlessly murdered Cable's accomplices, friends and loves. Bishop back in the present is simultaneously their worst nightmare, and their darkest dream come true. They're going to have the opportunity to make Bishop pay for all the bad blood between them. And the ferocious fury of not one but two teams of X-Force may not be enough to stop them!!!
Go ahead and pick the story you'd rather see. But either way, you haven't lived until you've seen Harvey Tolibao draw an intricate blood splatter pattern across Space Mountain.
Which interaction have you been most excited to write between Cable's team and your team for "Vendetta?"
Forge and Storm. Instead of "Vendetta" I pitched "Lifedeath 3" as a steamy tale of tequila and jacuzzis. I was overruled.
Cassandra Nova has already established herself as a genuine threat -- even before she revealed herself to readers. How do you plan to ramp that up as Uncanny X-Force goes up against her?
Cassandra's been working and scheming across centuries to make her biggest wish come true: she's going to successfully trigger a revenant invasion of earth. It's Uncanny X-Force vs. a vicious torrent of billions of these psychic demons. Phil Briones is the artist on this arc -- and if you've seen his work before, get ready to see him level up. There's something about snarling, drooling goblins from the underworld that brings out the beast in him -- currently investigating to see if he is a revenant himself.
The most recent issue had some great background on Spiral with some gorgeous art by Adrian Alphona. You've covered quite a few of the squad in these one-shot issues -- when can readers expect to see a Puck-centric installment?
I have a story in mind about Puck from the perspective of his three ex-wives, and an axe. (Not a joke answer.)
With that, let's move on to reader questions starting with Confernally Efused, who wants to know more about Spiral and her experiences on the mortal plane.
I was really excited to see more about Spiral in the most recent issue. Will we find out more about her and her experience on Earth?
Hello, C.E. I would love to do an entire arc about Spiral slashing her way through life on earth, protecting lost lambs and destroying scumbags. That said, "Uncanny X-Force" is a team book, and Spiral just had her turn, so... probably not anytime soon. But I'd love to do another Spiral story with Adrian Alphona -- he really made her contradictions come alive in that issue.
cora reef is up next with a question about character development and the eventual clash between Bishop and Storm.
Dear Mr. Humphries, I think the way you approach these characters is refreshingly interesting, but I'm more curious about your approach to writing dialogue. The redacted words are a nice touch, but I find it difficult to reconcile how some characters act in "Uncanny X-Force" versus their appearances in other books. Why is the language so different in your book versus other incarnations of the characters?
You've expressed a deep love for mohawk Storm, and it's so cool to see her sporting that hairstyle again. When will we get to see her and Bishop have that clash everyone's hoping for? They were really good friends once and he clearly betrayed everything they believed in during "Messiah CompleX."
Thanks Cora! I can't comment on other books, I just try to write the dialog as authentic to the characters as I can. I take the time to "get to know" each of them, and I let them speak from the heart, which is different from speaking the truth. Sometimes they don't want to speak openly or truthfully depending on the situation. My goal is to get out of the way and let them speak from their own motivations and reactions.
For Storm and Bishop, stay tuned for "Vendetta"...
Jim wants to know a little more about "Vendetta" and the planning process between you and crossover co-writer Dennis Hopeless.
So excited for "Vendetta!" How long have you been planning the clash of the teams with Dennis Hopeless?
This has been something that's been on our minds before our books were even announced. To me, the incendiary story has always been about Hope, Cable and Bishop. Hope is the product of two fathers -- Cable and Bishop. One has been a flawed but nurturing dad, and the other has been a flawed boogey man who cast a shadow of terror over her entire childhood. Now they have the opportunity to come face to face -- which father does Hope take after the most? That's the story I really wanted to tell with Dennis.
What's your favorite version of X-Force throughout the years other than your own and why?
Hard to beat the [Peter] Milligan and [Mike] Allred era. Completely unlike any other superhero run I can think of, or imagine.
Thanks to Sam Humphries for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, prepare all your All-New Marvel NOW! X-books questions because the X-Editors are back for a special X-Position covering all the newest developments in the Marvel U. Senior Editor Nick Lowe and X-Book editors Daniel Ketchum, Jeanine Schaefer and Jordan D. White are onboard to answer your pressing queries about any and all X-happenings. And with "Battle of the Atom" wrapping up this week, what better time to ask about the aftermath and future of the X-Universe? If you've got a question for the editors, send it on over with the subject line "X-Position", or if your questions are a handy 140-characters-or-less, you can go ahead and send via Twitter -- but remember, the deadline is Friday! Do it to it!