When Jason Aaron announced the end of his "Wolverine and the X-Men" run, fans didn't take the news well. Aaron's offbeat X-series has been a fan-favorite since its inception in 2011. Although the current volume of the series ends in February with "Wolverine and the X-Men" #42, Aaron will still have a hand in the future of the Jean Grey School staff with "Amazing X-Men," currently still in its first arc. "Amazing X-Men" not only heralds the return of Nightcrawler to the pages of the Marvel Universe, but also introduced a new Jean Grey staff member: Firestar.
For this week's X-Position, Jason Aaron took on reader questions about his long and critically-acclaimed run of "Wolverine and the X-Men" and the approach of the book as he finishes up. He also discusses what the future holds for "Amazing X-Men," his love of the original "Excalibur" series and some of his unused story ideas for "Wolverine and the X-Men."
CBR News: Jason, it was recently announced that you're heading off into the sunset with "Wolverine and the X-Men," and we got a lot of letters this week wishing you well, expressing sadness that you're leaving the series. What can you tell X-Po readers about your final few issues?
Jason Aaron: Many thanks to the well-wishers. Though I'll save my weepy goodbyes for later. As for these last few issues, look for us to deal with some of the fall-out from "Battle of the Atom," mostly involving S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as the ever contentious relationship between Cyclops and Wolverine. We refocus on the school a bit, after being away from it for a while. We break down where our main cast of kids all stand after everything they've been through over the last 40 issues. Things are finally resolved between Husk and Toad. The Hellfire Kids get what's coming to them. Or do they? And in my last issue, it's time for what else but graduation day, as well as one more glimpse of the Jean Grey School of the future.
On the "Amazing X-Men" side, there's a lot to be excited about -- pirates, demons, Iceman and Firestar -- what's been your favorite element so far about writing the series?
Writing Nightcrawler, most definitely. The more I write him, the more I realize just how much I missed reading him in the X-books.
Starting off this week's reader questions is jameshill417, who wants to know more about the core team for "Amazing X-Men." Is the team on the first cover of "Amazing X-Men" #1 the full official team?
No. That's the main team for the first arc. The overall cast can include anyone from Wolverine's side of the Schism. Anyone who works at the Jean Grey School. So we'll also see characters like Rachel Grey, Warbird and Angel from time to time, as well as a few possible surprises.
Emerald_616 continues the charge with some questions about the past of "Wolverine and the X-Men" and the future of "Amazing X-Men." 1) Are there any stories you didn't get to tell on W&TX that you wish there was more time for?
There were a few I didn't get to, yeah. There was a big Mojo story I wanted to do. And a much smaller story that set up a Night School class at the JGS. But it's always better to leave a book when you still have stories to tell than to wait until you've completely run out. I had initially hoped to write both "Amazing X-Men" and "WatXM" at the same time, but it just wasn't gonna be feasible given the rest of my workload. I hated to walk away from those kids. I really did. But I couldn't be happier about who's taking over. I would gladly trust Jason Latour to keep an eye on my actual physical children, let alone my made-up ones.
2) "Amazing X-Men" so far seems to provide a contrast to the otherwise serious and anti-hero driven X-Books. In that regard, what tone and character arcs do you hope to explore in "Amazing X-Men?"
Yeah, the book will continue to have the sort of tone you've seen so far. Personally, I always loved that original "Excalibur" series, which had a much more light-hearted tone than the other X-books. It doesn't mean every X-series needs to be like that. But especially given that there are so many X-titles being published these days, I think it's a must that we do series that differentiate themselves from each other. As for the character arcs we'll be following in "Amazing," I'd say Nightcrawler is looking like a pretty important character so far. And I'm thrilled to be using Firestar as well. I'm hoping to cement her at long last as an important part of the X-Men universe.
3) With Rogue's state in Uncanny Avengers and Frenzy, Chamber and Karma seemingly falling into limbo, will there be another roster page of who is on staff at the JGSHL at some point?
Probably not in my remaining issues, no. You'll have to ask Latour about one for the new series.
Justin has a question about the inclusion of the Jean Grey School's newest staffer, Firestar. First of all I'm sad to hear you're leaving one of your two Jean Grey School focused books but happy to still have you on "Amazing X-Men" at least! What made you decide now was the right time to include Firestar in an X-book? Like Cloak and Dagger and Namor before her, what's the appeal of bringing in mutants who have a long history in the Marvel U but relatively little time with the X-Men?
Well, I think it's exactly what you just said. Firestar is a mutant who for whatever reason has never been one of the X-Men. She's also a character that a lot of people my age have a real fondness for, based off the "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" cartoon. I loved that show. That show probably had more to do with me becoming a Marvel fan than any one comic I was reading at the time. But I don't know that Firestar has ever really gotten a fair shake in the comics. Yes, she's been a part of some big time teams, but overall she's really just bopped around from one book to another without ever really finding a permanent home. I'm hoping she'll find one now, alongside her fellow mutants.
mr_infinte is here, hoping for some teases about Jason Latour's upcoming run at "Wolverine and the X-Men."
Can you tell us anything about what Jason Latour's got planned for WATXM after your departure?
No, I better wait and let Latour do that. I'll just say that I've heard his plans, and I'm both jealous and crazy excited.
Rob is up next with a question about the X-Men's attitude toward Dazzler.
Why are the staff of the Jean Grey school so openly hostile toward Dazzler when she shows up? It's not as though they know she's Mystique in disguise -- or do they?
No, they don't know she's really Mystique. But they do see her suddenly standing alongside SHIELD, an organization that just revealed itself to have mutant-hunting Sentinels. So that's certainly gonna make the X-Men question her loyalty.
riteuhereto wraps us up with a question about the next generation of mutants at the Jean Grey School: the students. I'm really sad to hear about you leaving "WATX," I really liked the many new characters you created Eye-Boy being my favorite. My question is: Will you be focusing the rest of your run on the students development within the school? The Atrium scene in the latest issue was my favorite and I feel like the book has been lacking that as of late.
Yes, we will be focusing on the kids and the school for this last stretch of issues. You're right, we've been away from the school for quite awhile now, as we bounced from Frankenstein's Murder Circus to the Savage Land to the Hellfire Academy. But the plan was always to come back and refocus things after "Battle of the Atom." So yeah, we'll be exploring a few new locals in the school, like the Atrium. And we'll be catching up with our main cast of kids as we count down to my curtain call.
Special thanks to Jason Aaron for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, Dennis Hopeless joins X-Position to take on questions about his work on "Cable and X-Force" and the upcoming "Vendetta" crossover with "Uncanny X-Force." Got a question for Dennis about Cable's rag-tag squad of X-Forcers or his take on X-23 from "Avengers Arena?" Go ahead and send them over in an email with the subject "X-Position: Dennis Hopeless".
But that's not all! On December 24, Kieron Gillen makes his return to X-Position and we're taking questions about "Origin II" early due to the impending holidays! Send in your questions for Kieron and Marvel editor Jeanine Schaefer about "Origin II" in an email with the subject "X-Position: Kieron Gillen".
Whether your questions are for Kieron or Dennis, make sure to get them in by this Friday!